i would like to know the answer to this one also. I am cruising with my mom and husband on Celebrity on 9/31 and she has Celastic and requires the gluten free diet. We have been trying to get ahold of the cruise line but have yet to get a response.
Celebrity and Holland America have accomodating my wife with her gluten-free diet. With both, we notified the cruise line ahead of time, andwere accomodated. With Celebrity, we didn't get a confirmation, but when we boarded, and spoke to the maitre'd we were informed they knew all about us, and the maitre'd would come over to my wife with the next day's dinner menu, and told her what already was gluten-free, and what other dishes on the menu could be made gluten-free for her. On one cruise Celebrity made my wife homemade bread, fresh daily. Holland America acknowledged her diet, and sent us a form to complete. The form had gluten-free products on it, and she was allowed to pick (i think) about 20 products, which they then stocked in their dining room. The products included chocalete cak, pizza mix, muffins, etc. My wife and I have been very impressed by these two lines. We contacted Royal Caribbean, and were told that we would have to bring our own food on board. This was not very accomodating, which is strange since they own Celebrity.
Contact your cruise line, and make sure that they will accomodate you, before going on your cruise. We found out that on Celebrity, the whipped cream (which you would think was safe), has wheat in it, to thicken it. Our waiter knew this, and wouldn't serve it to my wife, but had the kitchen, the next night, make fresh whipped cream, just for her.
My friends dad has Celiac (sp) disease and they took their first cruise last year on Princess, they were very concerned about the gluten issue and how they would manage, well when they got back they said the ship was extremely accomatadating and they had no problem at all ( they were on a long cruise , 30 days) They will now cruise as a regular thing. Previous to this travel was difficult and they often had to get accomadations with a kitchen so the wife could prepare the food.They were so happy to discover travel could be this relaxing, and they never had to worry that they would be served food with some form of gluten in it, which on land based holidays they had to worry when they went to a restaurant( even if they tried to explain to the waiter what foods and ingredients were off limits) So if you contact the line before your cruise you should have no problem. By the way I worked once at a restaurant where I explained to the chef that one of my customers had said they couldn't have gluten and the chef said no problem and then proceeded to try and dredge a chichen breast in flour before frieing it. I saw him do it and said,no he can't have that , well the chef thought I was an idiot because" that little amount wouldn't hurt"Well I stuck to my guns( because I knew form from friends dad that even alittle amount could hurt)so it really helps to educate your waiter that even a little is too much. Explain to the staff that it is life threatening( I know it isn't but you must stress how important it is)because so many people say they have "sensitivities to certain foods( dairy for one) that the staff can be careless. I've also seen waitresses pour regular coffee onto a decaf pot because they didn't want to make another pot of decaf, for someone sensitive to caffiene this is sneaky but does happen.
I think that you can have a safe and healthy cruise , so go and enjoy!!
I am going on the Carnival Spirit with Cruisemates Jan. 26. Should I be contacting our TA to ask her to get in touch with Carnival before I go? How soon before the cruise should they be contacted?
Yes, talk to your TA. He/she should know how fat in advance to tell them. Fortunately with us it was a false alarm and we do not need the gluten free diet after all. I have read though that the cruiselines are very accomodating when it comes to food allergies, diets, concerns, etc.
I'm taking a trip in January and I've been debating back and forth about even bothering to ask - so many folks are baffled when you start to explain it seems not to be worth the effort. Based on the positive comments here I just sent a note to Carnival asking if they would be able to accomodate me. I even offered to bring mixes for bread and brownies!
Here is a bit of what I sent them "I have Celiac Disease, it's an auto-immune disease and means I am allergic to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in all forms of wheat (including durum, semolina, and spelt), rye, oats, barley and related grain hybrids such as triticale and kamut. So, I'm unable to have any of those items."
Carnival is incredibly accommodating when it comes to certain food needs - the dining room in particular, if you'd rather not stick to the comparatively plainer foods in the buffets. I am not kidding; these guys have heard it all, want their tips at the end of the week, & will make it their mission to bring you foods to suit your needs.
I myself am a low-carber, & strictly adhere to a lean protein, non-starch vegetable, low-glycemic fruit diet - even on vacation; *especially* on vacation - and my requests do not even faze these wonderfully helpful people. Rest assured you will be taken care of.
By the way, I'll be sailing on the Victory 2 weeks before you. Have fun!
On 12/29 I called my TA to have her check if Carnival had any response to the email message I sent to their Customer Service area regarding my dietary constraint. After much discussion with them she found they had never rec'd my message, I used their "Contact Us" webpage.
They did allow as how I could bring my own food (if I informed them I was doing so immediately) but that I needed to let the head waiter know about the problem. To date - approaching the cruise - my reaction to Carnival has been less than favorable. I hope the trip is not the nightmare that arranging it has been.
My friend went on Holland America last year on the Maasdam. They asked her to complete a form and the first night they had prepared 2 different menus to choose from. Then after dinner every night they came to the table and asked her to chose her menu for the next day. They prepared breads every day for her and she was very pleased.
All the cruise lines have 800 numbers that you could call.
I would do that before you get on the ship. Good luck, hope
everything works for you. My mother wont go on a cruise, she
has lactose problems and is diabetic and thinks she wouldnt
be able to eat. I have told her that they will work with her diet.
Anyone have any of those problems and what was your experience?
Thanks in advance.
On Princess, you can let them know of your dietary needs in advance when you use the Cruise Personalizer. Gluten-free diets are one of the 'choices' that you can select as a special diet when you personalize, so I'm sure they are very aware of the health considerations involved with Celiac, etc.
Reporting back from the Conquest 1/11/04 cruise. The cruise line was less than helpful, the headwaiter was a dear but kept arranging for me to get jello like desserts. I tried to explain I could have the cheesecake and just not eat the crust but he was to thoughtful and noxious jello it was.
There were some very odd things which I was informed I shouldn't have because it contained gluten, as I wasn't willing to risk it I skipped them.
I'm sailing on NCL later this year hoping that they are more cognizent of the issues.
Celebrity was extremely helpful with my mother-in-laws gluten free diet. There was gluten free bread waiting at the table upon arrival. There always seemed to be something on the menu she could eat, and I think the chef found it to be a personal challenge to make her incredible gluten free desserts. Major Kudos to Celebrity and the staff of the Summit.
Norwegian Sea - 5/99
Majesty of the Seas - 4/00
Norwegian Wind - 4/01
Veendam - 4/03