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About Daized

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    United Kingdom
  • Interests
    Sewing, Singing, Trivia, Pop Culture, Food
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Carribean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    New Orleans

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  1. It was a fabulous cruise - one of the best I've had!! Great people, lovely atmosphere. No illness onboard (well not Covid or Flu related anyway) tho I believe a chap had a heart attack near the flow rider and we had a Med Evac near the Azores. We got off the ship easily, did a short morning tour in Montserrat and then got dropped at the airport. No issues at all at BCN, no crowding or lines, but we were travelling back to the UK not to the states. xxx
  2. Gotchya! I'll likely throw out a review once I've cruised 🙂
  3. Can anyone clarify what will be included? I've assumed Chops, Giovanis and Izumi. Just wondered about Rita's? When we had it on Navigator, it included Playmates bar food. Anyone have any direct experience? (if not, I'll be onboard from 18th to 31st on a back to back cruise and I'll let you know xxx) Daisy xx
  4. In my experience they haven't chosen the restaurant. I usually head straight to where I want to eat on the first night as soon as I board, and there is Usually someone there at the booking desk to sort me out. On the last cruise I have Ultimate dining package and they booked me in for the first couple of nights at the same time (They can book you into any restaurant from any of the speciality restaurants) Debs xx
  5. I'm coeliac and also Lactose intollerant. I've found that on many ships now they have a Gluten Free section and things like milk alternatives. In my case, I have found it best to ask the most "in charge" person you can find - Head waiter, Head Chef etc. Next tip is to give them plenty of notice and choose in advance - MDR or Speciality restaurants. The Menus are available in advance for each day, or in the case of the speciality restaurants, its the same menu so they know it inside out and can advise on whats possible for you. Of course its more difficult when its little ones, but I've found them to be even MORE accomodating for little uns and will cook special stuff whenever they possibly can 🙂 I'd also recommend eating in MDR For Breakfast and also lunch when available (I think on sea days) and getting to know the names of the head waiters n going to them first - they'll make you their personal priority in most cases. I don't think Cruising is any more difficult than eating out anywhere other than home when you have extra dietary needs. Possibly for me its easier to eat out on a cruise as you often get the same waiters and staff serving so you don't have to start again for each new meal. Very best of luck - Daisy xx
  6. Once you get onboard, go straight over to the restaurant you want to eat at that night - there will be someone on the desk to book you in, regardless of where Royal might have put you. TBH I've never had any dinner reservations in my cabin once I got onboard and I've always gone straight to the restaurant and booked in. Daisy xxx
  7. The final bit of my review - Best Of The Rest - El Loco Fresh and Playmakers!! I adored El Loco Fresh on Symphony and it was just as great on Navigator!! Most of the toppings or fillings are GF including chilli beef, and the nachos, cheese sauce and the salsas!! Really great shredded salad also, which made lunch there a lovely fresh naturally GF experience. My choice was usually a plate of Nachos, with chilli beef and lots of salsas and salad. Oooh and the sour cream and spring onion dip was a fave!! And the best part? IT IS INCLUDED - not a speciality venue. Playmakers serves some similar fare like nachos but also wings and stuff. But one of the best treats is the Sundaes - $12 each and include 5 scoops of Ben And Jerry's. These ARE included in the Unlimited Dining Package along with all the other stuff on the Playmakers menu, and you can go as often as you like, I believe. As far as GF goes though, you will need to know your B and J flavours of icecream and specify them.. In my case, I just asked for only Vanilla and Chocolate and knew they were GF 🙂 But I think if you went to the Ben & Jerrys stand itself, they might have known more flavours that were GF - the stand is just opposite Playmakers :) We went to Hooked and Jamies a second time so here are some pics of my choices then - a lovely Muscles Starter in Hooked, Carpaccio beef? in Jamie's, some GF Pasta with tomato sauce, Garlick Prawns, and Blackened Seabass entrees. I had a fabulous time and will likely get the Unlimited Package again - I thought it was good value for me and made more sense than a drinks package as we don;t really drink that much :) My next cruise is on Brilliance in November and I've got Unlimited dining again - Happy Gluten Free eating!! - Daisy xxx
  8. Sorry for being absent, I was getting back on track after my cruise!! - a few replies.... KansCocoa, I totally agree on this front!! Meringue is a great GF base for deserts, as are Flourless choc cakes. TBH, GF Flour is very available and cheap these days, and most cakes can be made using a straight swap!!! Truly tho, I don't think I can face another Creme Brulee!!! LadyDivot I liked Navigator a lot and the new changes were brilliant!! Pool Deck and Lime And Coconut Bar were great places to meet people. They have a new system (new to me) of serving the soft serve icecream from a kind of bar, instead of being help yourself which is better for me, but take a saucer or cup from the WJ to put your icecream in / on!! K8T - we paid $168 each for a week for the Unlimited Dining. We could easily have eaten more snacks in Playmakers, but weren't totally sure it was included until the last few days. I didn't see the MDR on this cruise at all but on other cruises Its been fine tho I feel tey sometimes take their time over the sitting and you get less time to go to shows etc. I often ate in WJ when I wanted to eat quickly and get to a show or event 🙂 Fries in Windjammer in my experience aren't stated GF. But I think if you asked for them GF they may well do what the restaurants did and send for some from Johnny rOckets. Anthem is a more up to date ship - you will find gf crisps/snacks in the 270 cafe, and I also recommend the solarium bistro at breakfast as being better for GF (or if the MDR is open for breakfast, thats also good) Sdonlon13 - you'll have a smashing time, no doubt!! Breakfast is good in MDR if they serve it in there. Windjammer is OK - top tip is don't get the self serve scrambled egg as its powdered egg - worth queueing for the omelet station as they use real eggs 🙂 Daisy x
  9. Recently on Navigator and can confirm Playmakers is included. Great for the Icecream Sundaes which had scoops from the Ben And Jerrys tho that isn't included!! Winner!!! 🙂 Also Izumi standard sushi restaurant included with $35 spend 🙂
  10. I've just posted a review of speciality dining GF on Navigator with unlimited dining 🙂 just incase anyone is interested. Now then, I've found that off the menu stuff varies hugely from ship to ship. I've asked similar questions and the best answers of great service nearly always come from those with children. Sadly I don't think they are always as accommodating to us grown up cruisers. Sometimes they are... but not always. I have had brilliant gf freshly made pancakes at breakfast. They were a little too lovely and I put on lots of weight that cruise 🙂 Some other gf goodies are gf udi's bagels that they would toast for me in the WJ at breakfast. And also gf snickerdoodle soft cookies are available strictly on request at cafe promenade. Must say I totally agree with the poster about creme brulee and the main dining room menu being bland and repetitive. That's why I loved trying out the Unlimited Dining Package - my experience is that generally any gf request is much more likely to be met in speciality dining than main dining. Yes, it costs more but I see it as not really much more than a drink package if you like a drink 🙂 Daisy xx
  11. Chops Grille followed - You can find this Speciality Restaurant on every Royal Caribbean ship - I usually have a Filet Mignon, but decided to try something else this evening... For Starter I had Prawns with a kind of Tomato spicey sauce - A nice appetiser Main Course was Rack Of Lamb, and it was cooked exactly to my order - some fries, sauteed Mushrooms and Creamed Spinach to accompany. For dessert, they didn't have a menu item, but brought me a selection of moussey things from windjammer and some Mango Sorbet! I was happy 🙂 I'll pop a final post on later, with some general stuff and overall thoughts.
  12. Next up was Jamie's Italian. Being from the UK, we have lots of oportunities to eat at Jamie's on land here in Manchester. And the experience onboard a cruise ship is more or less the same. Once again, I let them know I needed GF food before we went and there were lots of choices. For starters, we ordered The Plank - a lovely appetiser and to make it GF they had simply subsituted the usual bread with some GF Toasted Bread. Lots of lovely flavours!! My main course was Short Rib, boneless and served on a bed of creamy mash with veg - I also ordered a side of Garlicky Fries (Again from Johnny Rockets, fresh and GF!!) It was melt in the mouth succulent and its making my mouth water thinking about it again. But my most delicious part was dessert - A lovely big Pavolva / which has cinder toffee and fresh cream - it was LUSH and I was thrilled to find a dessert on the menu that was GF rather than something retrieved from the Windjammer as a substitute. Managed to remember all the pics this time - yayyy me!!
  13. The Unlimited Dining Package - allows you to visit speciality restaurants every night of your trip. In theory, you can even go to more than one - say starter and main courses in one place, nip to another place for a special dessert!! It also allows you to eat Lunch in the speciality restaurants on sea days, so our next meal was Lunch in the truly fabulous IZUMI 🙂 When I booked with the lovely server, I of course mentioned my need for GF again 🙂 As a Coeliac, I often lean towards Sushi when I'm not cruising - its freshly prepared, many non gluten containing options, and very healthy for my tum!! I also know that GF Tamari Soy sauce is usually readily available. So, I do love my Sushi!! We had salted edamame (fresh soya beans) as an apetizer while we decided what to eat - IZUMI is an a la carte priced restaurant, so when eating on a dining package, you get a $35 allowance for each person - you can get a whole lot to eat for that!! IZUMI on the Navigator of The Seas also has the wonderful Hot Rock options - they bring a superheated slab of Rock and you can cook fresh steak, or fish and seafood however you like - accompanied by a bowl of warm sushi rice, sauces and some fresh veg. - So we ordered a tenderloin Beef Hot rock to share. I ordered some salmon Nigiri and Sashimi, and asked the waiter if any of the signature rolls could be made GF - He said yes, they had Champagne Rolls, with Octopus filling, avocado and a nice mayo drizzle so I ordered those (They were bloomin delicious!!) My hubby ordered some non GF stuff and we asked for it to come whenever it was ready. By the end of the meal we were extremely stuffed, and I think our bill possibly has around $3 to pay over the allowance. We ate in Izumi a few more times this cruise because the staff were fabulous and so was the food. I never had desert in Izumi as I was always full - I think they had Fruits and Icecream options tho. As usual, Pics to prove it happened 😄 And the great view from IZUMI on Navigator, which is on Deck 14 🙂 (Yes we did eat all the steak before I remembered to take a pic, but I've added one from Rhapsody to show you)
  14. 2 - Lets get to the Yummy Stuff!!! Our first speciality restaurant for this cruise was Hooked Seafood Restaurant. I had tried out Hooked onboard Symphony last year, and I was really looking forwards to eating there again. I visited the restaurant after we boarded to book in for the first evening and to give them a heads up on my dietary needs. On Symphony, the Hooked chef had made me some truly mouthwatering Gluten Free Calamari, so naturally I asked about that again - the lovely lass behind the booking desk was sure the chef could do that for me and she even popped back to see him and check. - Came back with a thumbs up, so I was really happy!! I recommend always nipping by a restaurant before you visit for the first time to let them know what you need. Definitely gives them a better chance of being able to provide the food you really want, and also helps to reassure you that they know, and are prepared. You can relax more easily!! When we arrived and got seated, I mentioned that I would need Gluten Free bread to the waiter as soon as possible. Never assume the pre visit and info filters down - things get busy, and of course you might not have turned up for your booking etc. - once you are there, they remember your request and you are all good!! I had GF Bread to start and checked out the menu - many of the dishes could be made GF and I found our waiter to be quite on the ball with what I could have - I'd already requested my GF Calamari for starter (It was HUGE tho, make sure you are hungry when visiting Hooked!!) and then I chose The Captains Platter - Lobster tail, Jumbo Shrimp, and grilled sea bass for my main course, which came with Seasonal Veg, Fresh Coleslaw, and I was able to request some Fries which were done GF (I think on the Navigator, the Johnny Rockets Fryer was kept GF and only used for fries. In most of the Speciality Restaurants, this was where they went to get me some fresh Fries cooked GF. They were always very crisp hot and fresh too!) Dessert was marginally less successful as there wasn't an option on the actual menu for me - They did nip to the main dining room and brought me a Creme Brulee (More on this later) which was a nice sweet finish to a very filling meal. - here are shots of my lovely Captains platter and sides, and my Creme Brulee to finish 🙂 ( I managed to forget to take a picture of the GF Calamari so I found a pic of the same lovely treat on Symphony )
  15. Specially For COELIAC AWARENESS WEEK - My thoughts on cruising Gluten Free with the new Unlimited Dining Package (This first post has info on Coeliacs Disease - feel free to skip it of course) On the first of April this year, what appeared at first to be a really rubbish April fool's joke turned out to be a bit of a disaster. A crane fell on our cruise ship Oasis and our TA cruise was cancelled shortly after. It's always nice though when something good comes out of something not so good and that's where this lovely cruise on Navigator of The Seas comes in. We were lucky enough to grab a cabin on Navigator on a sailing within our original vacation dates, as hubby couldn't get other dates this late in the game. At the time we just wanted somewhere to vacay our weary heads and make the best of a less than ideal situation. I was thrilled to find out after we were all booked that Navigator had been all spruced up very recently - and even more thrilled to find Hooked and El Loco Fresh had been added to the ship. We tried these out on Symphony last year and loved them. So I'm a bit of a foody. Love trying new things, exploring flavours and dishes. Which is made a teensy bit more difficult because I have coeliac disease. I'm writing this on the flight over to Miami, and I thought I'd take a little time to explain what coeliac disease is and how it affects me every day. (Feel free to skip this next bit if you like as its not about the cruise at all) Coeliac disease is an auto immune condition and shares some common ground with other autoimmune disorders like diabetes in that it has a simple issue, but effects most areas of the body and your health. To stay healthy and happy, Diabetics need to watch the sugar, CD folk need to avoid gluten. CD mainly impacts the gut and digestion. If I eat anything with gluten in, my body sees the gluten as an enemy and attacks. Unfortunately, gluten molecules are very similar to the cells in the gut, and as a result, my body attacks the gut, eating away at the lining which is crucial for absorbing any nutrients. So on top of getting the immediate horrid gut pain, diarrhoea and nausea, the long term effect is basically malnutrition, and even longer term sees a vastly increased risk of stomach and bowel cancer. People often think CD is an allergy to gluten. Some just think it's an intolerance like some have to dairy. Whilst most people get that you can't eat gluten, it's hard to fully understand what that means and even where gluten is found in foods. Some people think avoiding gluten is healthy (it's not really, tho it might help some people with a slight sensitivity who get bloated with breads and pasta) and many think it's a fad. People who need Gluten Free food are often seen as fussy and picky. And you know, some people who eat gluten free are faddy, fussy and picky. It's not the same for folk with Coeliac disease. Every time I eat, I need to be aware of what I'm eating. I need to take special care at home to avoid cross contamination because not everyone at home is GF so gluten is around. It's not that hard these days with so much GF foods available in supermarkets. And the good thing is that it's made me eat more healthily and cook from scratch more. But that's at home. Wherever i go, whenever I eat outside the home, I'm at risk. And it's a pain. If you think it's annoying to be held up in a restaurant because someone is asking about GF foods, imagine being *that* person every single time you go out. I've gotten better at it, but it's a real bind being that person, feeling people's eyes on you, hearing the sighs of your server when you ask, seeing the annoyance in people around you when all you really want to do is just avoid the fuss. Life with coeliac diseases is all fuss sometimes and it gets wearing very quickly. And all that is before we even get to the physical effects. I'm going to be reviewing this cruise as a coeliac, looking at the provision for special diets and letting others know the good, bad and ugly parts of cruising Gluten Free. I have the Unlimited dining package for this cruise, so I'll be looking particularly at how the speciality restaurants on board cope with a teeny bit of fuss from me. Hopefully what I share will help others with CD and also be helpful in general for those who might need to also be "that person" where food is concerned.
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