Gluten-free cruise diet

by C.J.
(St. Louis)

Recently, I went on a cruise and I was concerned about how I would approach a gluten-free cruise diet. Would I have to eliminate a lot of the tastiest foods? Would I end up only eating fruit and salads? Since I had never been on a cruise before, I wasn't sure if they could accomodate my gluten-free diet. I sent a few emails to my travel agent before the cruise started so that I could be prepared prior to arriving on the ship. She assured me that there would be gluten-free options for dinner on the cruise. She said that all I would need to do is consult with the head waiter when I arrived and that this person would arrange for my meals to be prepared just as I needed them to be.

The first night I ate in the dining room, I expected to have something already selected for me as that was what I understood the head waiter to say. Instead, I had to choose from a regular menu and ask a lot of questions about what was available. I was a little disappointed, but fortunately, they were able to accomodate my needs that evening without much preparation.

From that point on, eating dinner was a breeze. Our waiter, Troy, brought me the menu for the following night and I would select my meal ahead of time and they would ensure it was gluten-free. Honestly, unless you are gluten-intolerant, you can't possibly appreciate how stressful it can be to contemplate eating away from home.

One highlight was the last night I ate in the dining room. Troy set a plate of chocolate cake in front of me (well, actually it was three small pieces) and I took my first bite of absolute heaven. It was the most life-alteringly delicious dessert I had ever tasted. In fact, I liked it so much, I bought the cruise line's cook book just for that one recipe.

So, cruising and being gluten-free can work together. It worked for me.

Comments for Gluten-free cruise diet

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Gluten Free on the Dream Vs Magic
by: Jessica

The Carnival Magic has all kinds of gluten free options. Even the deli had gluten free bread on that ship so I could have a delicious pannini. I LOVED it! However, the Carnival Dream has nearly no gluten free items at all. The spaghetti area has it if you happen to be on board during the very strict lunch hours but not the pizza area or delis nor lido items. I do not recommend choosing The Dream if you are gluten free. Go on a nicer ship like The Breeze or The Magic.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Gluten free
by: Anonymous

All of these remarks helped me very much, my husband got us a trip on the Carnival Dream in June. I was worried about what I was going to be able to eat, gluten causes me migraines, very bad migraines. I also can not eat soy, eggs, onions, garlic so I was a little worried. After ready what people have wrote, I can not wait to go. I do love to eat and try different things. Thanks for sharing with us.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Cruising
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the info on NCL we are cruising with them in Sept and I was wondering how I would go. I have only recently been diagnosed with celiac disease but luckily no other allergies.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Carnival Cruise Lines
by: Love Cruzin'!

I have been on 3 cruises, all with Carnival on The Liberty, Freedom and Valor. I have to eat gluten free and I also have some food allergies. I have to say that on all three of my cruises I would have to give Carnival a 100% A+ !

All three times I was told in advance what they could cook for me and they made dishes just for me. I always had several choices for all meals. Our waiter, on two cruises, and the waitress on the third, even took time to tell me what choices would be good for me at their buffet which gave me even more choices! I did not feel like I missed out on anything, I felt like I was a queen that they wanted to be happy.

On the Liberty ship, the chef found out a gf dessert that I really liked, that is normally served only on Mondays, and he made it specially for me every night for the rest of the cruise, without even asking me. Yes he just took upon himself to do that.

One night I couldn't eat it from where I was toooo full and they took it to my room so I could eat it later.

I was always full, never felt like I was missing out or lacking. Because of the royal treatment I will always go Carnival. They go above and beyond!

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
concerned
by: Anonymous

I am curious as well, what line you cruised with, I am going on a cruise soon as well and I need to be gluten-free, dairy free & soy free.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Surviving a cruise gluten free
by: Anonymous

I just returned from a celebrity cruise and gave them my list of foods I could not eat, and they were as helpful as could be. I did bring some of my own gluten free oats, as they did not have any on the boat, but I also have milk, egg and soy intolerance, and allergies to beef, lamb and pork so had to eaten pretty simple. I ate a lot of fruit and vegetables, fish and chicken and also the healthy cafe had some things I could eat. They did the best they could, for which I was thankful, only having discovered this problem about a week before I left.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Cruise gluten free
by: Anonymous

I just ended a cruise with Celebrity Solstice cruise and it wasn't too good!! My travel agent contacted the cruise line in advance - so far, OK.

When I arrived I had a card on my door asking that I contact the maitre`d, which I did - then they would only fix me heart attack food. Plain boiled fish and steamed veggies - no salad dressing - actually it scared them to death to try and prepare me anything acceptable to eat. And since it was a fairly large cruise - they didn't care about one person who needed special food prepared, when 2,700 others didn't. So, don't assume that just because you've contacted them in advance, and give then a card explaining your condition that your going to get great made-to-order food on a large cruise - not happening.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Soon to be cruising
by: Susan

Which cruise ship did you travel with? I'll be going on a cruise soon and my husband is allergic to gluten.

Rating
starstarstar
Constant Cruiser!
by: Dee

I love to cruise and do research about where others are cruising. My husband can't do dairy and I am gluten free. The best lines we have travelled are Norwegian (or NCL) and Princess. They have the best policies and stock onboard. Norwegian has a great deal more but I still got Gluten free Pizza on Princess (and cookies and muffins).

The WORST was Royal Caribbean. They only stock Gluten free bread (not the good kind) and rice pasta. They have no plans to change their stock and it is the same parent company for Celebrity cruises because we looked into cruising them as well (so I am not shocked to hear they do not accomodate allergies well). I even asked the access desk if they were going to expand their stock and to email me when they change and they declined. -- I was not treated "Royally" nor will I be treated like a "Celebrity" in the future.

All in all if you want to cruise gluten free - give Norwegian a try. We have 1 booked and are getting ready to book another really soon!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Gluten Free Chat.