Cruising with SED/ARFID child

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#1
Sacramento, CA
3 Posts
Joined Jun 2018
Long shot, but anyone here experienced cruising with a child with SED/ARFID? We're considering a RCL cruise that goes to Roatan, Puerto Costa Maya and Cozumel. A bit worried what our son who has SED/ARFID will eat when we're on shore. The cruise itself looks safe for him because there's a Johnny Rocket's with grilled cheese, so that can be his fallback meal.

If you're experienced with SED/ARFID and have cruising tips to share, I welcome them! Our son is 15, but has not overcome the SED/ARFID, despite going through intensive eating disorder treatment (he finally ate a healthy amount, but never did expand his safe foods).

TIA!
#2
NYC
1,611 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
What are his safe foods? Have you looked at the kids menu for rc? If it’s not online, you can email the special needs department and they should be able to send you a copy and discuss possible options if necessary. As long as your son eats grilled cheese, I’d imagine any sit down dining facility should be able to accommodate that request (the cruise lines are usually very accommodating in general and bring out yogurt and fruit and things for my small children).

That’s a nice cruise you are looking at. In roatan bodden adventures can take you all over the island (there are monkeys and other animals to play with at Borden’s house, plus an iguana farm, plus great snorkeling and beaches. The south shore ecowalk was great, and I’m sur their zip lines are nice too). In costa maya native choice does a nice job taking you to Mayan ruins and serving a lovely authentic Mayan lunch.
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#3
3,759 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
the main dining room does a great job with special requests - they can serve many things "plain" -- veggies, proteins, pasta. They will accommodate requests for things to be served on separate plates or in a particular order.
#4
853 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
I am not familiar with this disorder, but since you mentioned grilled cheese - it will be available at other venues as well. I've seen grilled cheese sandwiches at the buffet. And I am sure it was on the kid's menu in MDR, but my kid doesn't like grilled cheese sandwiches. Last time the MDR staff accommodated our request for a bowl of plain steamed green beans for the kiddo. That's all he ate at dinner.

What are his other safe foods? We could, perhaps, tell you if we've had/had seen it on the cruise.
Also check out Travel with Disabilities board - there are a few discussions about allergies and the accommodations the cruise lines make for the allergic people/people with food sensitivities and disorders. Perhaps, you will find some useful information there as well.
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#5
Virgina
5,139 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Call the special needs department of the cruise line. They should be able to tell you about dietary accommodations that are possible.
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#6
Sacramento, CA
3 Posts
Joined Jun 2018
Thanks so much! I appreciate the feedback. I will get in touch with the special needs contact for sure. I didn't even know cruises had those, so that's extremely helpful.
#7
Fredericksburg, va. USA
88,757 Posts
Joined May 2001
The cruise line WANTS you to have a fabulous time...they will do pretty much everything they can to make a "good time" happen for you! Enjoy your trip!
#8
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
24,403 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Onshore will be difficult but not impossible.

You will not be able to bring off any fresh foods, only commercially packaged foods. We bring off cereal boxes, hard candy etc. Hopefully some of his food is this.

Will he eat a quesadilla? If so, almost every restaurant has cheese and tortillas to make one for him.

We travel with allergies and have translated cards with pictures saying what can not be eaten. Could make up one with what can be eaten.



If you haven’t done so already, ask on the RCL board how to preorder food. On Carnival we preorder at embarkation for first night, then preorder for the day’s meal after dinner.
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#9
853 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
when DS was younger (4-5), we brought some snacks and real breakfast foods off the ship, like hard boiled eggs, croissants, bread with butter, pastries, sausage, etc. in Ziplock/Glad containers for him. Most of it ended up in the trash. We brought it because our friends brought lots of food from the ship for their kids, but their kids were not very good eaters and, therefore, needed a lot of snacks between meals.

When he was 6-7, we realized that all he needed was a couple of boxes of Fruit Loops when we were at the beach. He isn't much of a snacker between meals. He had breakfast, we went to the beach/excursion, he had a box or two of Fruit Loops and then we came back onboard about 2-4 pm, and DS then got a lunch. Perhaps, this will work for you, OP, as well. Something that your DS likes and is portable.
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#10
NYC
1,611 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
when DS was younger (4-5), we brought some snacks and real breakfast foods off the ship, like hard boiled eggs, croissants, bread with butter, pastries, sausage, etc. in Ziplock/Glad containers for him. Most of it ended up in the trash. We brought it because our friends brought lots of food from the ship for their kids, but their kids were not very good eaters and, therefore, needed a lot of snacks between meals.

When he was 6-7, we realized that all he needed was a couple of boxes of Fruit Loops when we were at the beach. He isn't much of a snacker between meals. He had breakfast, we went to the beach/excursion, he had a box or two of Fruit Loops and then we came back onboard about 2-4 pm, and DS then got a lunch. Perhaps, this will work for you, OP, as well. Something that your DS likes and is portable.
If there are any prepacked foods for your child (the ship should have cereal) please try to bring those off first. I have honestly never seen searches of people leaving cruise ships for contraband food (I've seen drug searches for passengers returning to the ship in Jamaica, though they did just wave me and my son through), but there have been people on these forums who have stated that this has happened in the ports during disembarkation and people have gotten fined for breaking the rules banning non-prepackaged food off the ship.
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#11
18 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by kitkat343
If there are any prepacked foods for your child (the ship should have cereal) please try to bring those off first. I have honestly never seen searches of people leaving cruise ships for contraband food (I've seen drug searches for passengers returning to the ship in Jamaica, though they did just wave me and my son through), but there have been people on these forums who have stated that this has happened in the ports during disembarkation and people have gotten fined for breaking the rules banning non-prepackaged food off the ship.


My bags and I were searched for fresh food in Cozumel by dog and guard. It does happen.


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#12
Sacramento, CA
3 Posts
Joined Jun 2018
Thanks for the additional insights! Very helpful. Thankfully, one of his "safe" foods is quesadillas, so I'm hopeful now he will find that for lunch. We will bring along any packaged foods that might work as back-ups, too.

I did reach RCL's special needs department and received copies of the menus. I think our son is going to do fine on the trip.

Thanks, again!
#13
Concord, NC
104 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Originally posted by sparkygirlfamily
My bags and I were searched for fresh food in Cozumel by dog and guard. It does happen.


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Same here. We were in Cozumel last Wednesday and they searched bags. They have signs that tell you not to bring fresh food off of the ship. The ladies in front of me all had their bananas taken from them as well as yogurt. They had a bin full of bananas that they were going to throw away because people don't listen.
#14
374 Posts
Joined Mar 2018
We just got back from a Baltic cruise with a child I suspect may have ARFID. She mostly ate in the buffet when we were onboard, so she could get plain pasta and chicken nuggets (and she does eat fruit and veggies). Offbosrd espcially in Russia was difficult, I brought a supply of packaged PB crackers and granola bars to get her through. The flights were really tricky bc we didn’t think to order a kids meal and the food offered on the flights were not anything she’d touch.
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#15
charleston, sc
297 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I have finicky eaters, and I travel with "KNOWN" packaged snacks for them. Partly because hungry kids are miserable, and partly because I am cheap and I hate to pay for something in a restaurant that they end up not wanting because it isn't what they were expecting.
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#16
SC
170 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Honestly on many cruises we come back to ship for lunch. I mean we already paid for it 😬. Our son isn’t game for a 8 hour adventure in port anyways. 2-3 hours is plenty and return to boat for late lunch and then back off again if needed to shop etc.