I am deathly allergic to shellfish (terrible I know!) and I am getting a bit nervous about how serious the cruise staff will be about helping me avoid a reaction. I obviously do not go out and order seafood, but I need to be weary about cross contamination, things being fried in the same oil as shellfish etc. I know seafood is prevalent on cruise ships, but my question is how far will the staff go to help me avoid a reaction? We haven't booked yet, but we are most likely going with the Crown Princess in January to eastern Caribbean. Does anybody have any practical advice or first hand experience with this ship in particular?
Here is a good article on cruising with severe food alleriges. It is written for parents with kids who have allergies. However, I think a lot of the tips will help you. http://www.deliciousbaby.com/journal...ood-allergies/ Here are some parts of the article. The article as lists questions to ask before booking a cruise. I suggest you eat all your meal in the dining room and not the buffet due to cross contamination concerns. I hope this helps.
Be sure to choose a cruise line such as these that offer traditional dining with set times so you can get to know the waiter, chef and staff. Upon boarding go see the Maitre'D at the main dining room to introduce yourself, make sure the allergies are noted in their dining system and to become familiar with where your family will be seated in the dining room.
For the most part, the food on cruise ships is prepared in the large galleys so being diligent about cross contamination and asking lots of questions is the key. Many ships do offer cook to order meals with some prepared right in front of you which offers a better look at how the food is cooked and what ingredients are used.
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Book through a travel agent before you go and make sure the line is aware of you allergy. On a note, although there is always seafood on the menu, there are other options and you will not have any issues with cross-contamination. Keep in mind that the staff is accustomed to dealing with a variety of issues and all meals are expertly prepared so everyone can enjoy their cruise. If your allergy is severe enough, I would consult your doctor plus purchase a medic alert id from www.idyourself.com so that the staff can know what is happening in the event of a related emergency. I am an epileptic myself, and though it does not have anything to do with food, there is a risk with my being on a ship, so I am planning to purchase a medic alert ID to be on the safe side.
My doctor took his wife on a cruise and she had a shellfish allergic reaction, a bad one. They didn't even know that she was allergic. Anyway, he told me that the dining and medical staff were as good as it gets in dealing with it. He was very impressed. And, the ship's doctor said that it happens fairly often. People order things on cruises that they might not on land, so the staff are well prepared. But, do make sure that the cruise line has it in writing from you before you go, then reinforce it with the maitre d' and your waiter. If you are not comfortable with how they react, change tables. Not worth the risk! ANd the ID bracelet is a good idea, too.
Sorry, I think I got the web address wrong. Here is an accurate one. These are pretty much a universally recognized way to alert medical staff to a problem. Do make sure that the line knows of your allergy in advance so they can be prepared, but the braclets are a good backup. In any case, here is the accurate address.