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appollo12345

Oceania Gluten Free--Not Recommended

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We are currently on the Oceania Insignia, sailing on one of the cuban cruises that was repurposed to the Mayan Mosaic. If you have a food allergy like my wife and I (we are both glutent intolerant), then we recommend you not sail on Oceania. The food might be the best in the world, but not for us. Their gluten free selections are minimal, boring, and in many cases downright awful. I sampled gluten free confections from the afternoon tea, and to say they were awful was an understatement. Scone so dry it could remedy a flood. All of these confections tasted like they were made last year. Other cruise lines meet this need much better. There may be great offerings for the bulk of the cruisers, but if you have a food allergy  like us, this is not the cruise line to sail on. Given the typical price points, we judge this to be not worth the money (again, this applies to those with a gluten allergy). Others on the cruise seem very happy. I will post more when I return.

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So you write that you're "glutent intolerant" and later say that you have a "food allergy."  Do you have both?  What are your   allergy symptoms?  Hopefully not anaphylactic shock.  Here's a link to the Mayo Clinic which might help:  https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gluten-free-diet/art-20048530

Were there problems beyond "sweets"?  Hopefully you've written at least as much to Oceania as you have here.  They need to know. Best of luck to you.

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Clo, intolerance to gluten (which is a food allergy, since food is the most common source of gluten) and the other food allergies that I have are different than say an allergy to pollen or a weed. I do not have itching, hives, sneezing, wheezing, or heaven forbid, anaphylaxis, but if I eat gluten containing foods (wheat, rye and barley-based products, most notably flour used in numerous foods), I have very significant GI effects that plague me for about 24-48 hours after consumption. Gluten is an issue in many foods beyond sweets. It is ubiquitous in many, many foods, sweet and savory. Other cruise lines handle this much better. And yes, I have let the staff here know of my issue, repeatedly and vociferously. My hope was to provide insight to others who are gluten intolerant or celiac so that they can make an informed decision before they choose to sail. Thanks for the link, but I am well versed in the gluten free diet, having had to do this now for 7 years.

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I've heard of Celiac disease as a medically diagnosed condition. 

 

What exactly is gluten intolerance?  Is that something that people self diagnose?

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2 hours ago, Skai said:

I've heard of Celiac disease as a medically diagnosed condition. 

 

What exactly is gluten intolerance?  Is that something that people self diagnose?

 

Gluten intolerance is not a true food allergy but a gluten sensitivity. When people have symptoms similar to those with celiac disease, but test negative for it, doctors sometimes suggest trying a gluten free diet to see if it alleviates symptoms. It's like if you get migraines when you drink red wine or food with nitrites, you're not allergic to those substances as much as you suffer when you ingest them.

 

My heart goes out to people with gluten intolerance like you Appollo. Know that sometimes gluten free food can be wonderful or it can taste like hockey pucks. With the prevalence of gluten sensitivity it's unfortunate that O doesn't have the art down.

Edited by Petoonya

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40 minutes ago, Petoonya said:

 

Gluten intolerance is not a true food allergy but a gluten sensitivity. When people have symptoms similar to those with celiac disease, but test negative for it, doctors sometimes suggest trying a gluten free diet to see if it alleviates symptoms. It's like if you get migraines when you drink red wine or food with nitrites, you're not allergic to those substances as much as you suffer when you ingest them.

 

My heart goes out to people with gluten intolerance like you Appollo. Know that sometimes gluten free food can be wonderful or it can taste like hockey pucks. With the prevalence of gluten sensitivity it's unfortunate that O doesn't have the art down.

 

After reading up on the subject from a number of different sources, I've come to the conclusion that so-called 'gluten sensitivity' is pseudo-science.

 

As my above statement may bring offense to the OP - whom I add, has only two posts on this forum since joining in '08🙄 - I will respectfully bow out of this thread.

 

Carry on.

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44 minutes ago, Skai said:

 

After reading up on the subject from a number of different sources, I've come to the conclusion that so-called 'gluten sensitivity' is pseudo-science.

 

Putting the OP on the defensive about his/her health has not a thing to do with cruising.

 

Hope the rest of your cruise is going well Appollo, and as you're still on Insignia I'd speak with someone about your dissatisfaction. Give O a chance to make things right for you.

Edited by Petoonya

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If you have not spoken to the head Chef  already  I would certainly  do it now

I  am surprised that you have had problems  O usually does better

Did you notify  them well in advance so they could stock GF products? 

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I'm sorry you had this experience. 

We had dinner on a recent cruise with someone who had celiac disease and she was very happy with how her dietary issues were handled.

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Wow, sorry to hear this.  This is exactly the opposite experience our “sailing buddies” had last month with us on the Regatta.   She has celiac disease, talked to the Special Needs dept before we left, met with the head chef on her requirements on the first day, received the next days menu the night before (each night)  to check off her desires, and received special items for desserts and tea items during the cruise.   In fact one night the pastry chef came out with 5 gluten free desserts just to sample, for the entire table.   I would personally meet with the head chef and pastry chef if I were you.   Something is drastically wrong with this picture.   She had awesome desserts and tea cakes which I did sample (because I wanted to compare with Crystal’s offerings).  Hmmmmm. 

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I have celiac disease and just finished a 22 day cruise on Insignia. IMO Oceania does more than an adequate job on taking into account passenger’s dietary restrictions. I agree that more could be done, such as labeling the gluten free menu items with an unobtrusive “GF” as well as using gluten free soy and teriyaki sauces in the Asian dishes (most of those sauces contain wheat). I do agree with Cruseforme and have experienced a similar level of service and accommodation.

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Though I’m not sensitive to gluten, I did try one of the gluten-free sandwiches at afternoon tea while on Marina last week.  It was appalling, completely lacking in taste.  I’ve never had gluten-free anything (to my knowledge) before this, but it really looked yummy.  I would have thought that if anyone could make gluten-free taste good, it would be Oceania.  Since this was my only experience with gluten-free, I am no reliable judge, but I sincerely hope that not all gluten-free products are as tasteless.   

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15 hours ago, Skai said:

 

After reading up on the subject from a number of different sources, I've come to the conclusion that so-called 'gluten sensitivity' is pseudo-science.

 

As my above statement may bring offense to the OP - whom I add, has only two posts on this forum since joining in '08🙄 - I will respectfully bow out of this thread.

 

Carry on.

 

2 hours ago, CraftyMomster2112 said:

Though I’m not sensitive to gluten, I did try one of the gluten-free sandwiches at afternoon tea while on Marina last week.  It was appalling, completely lacking in taste.  I’ve never had gluten-free anything (to my knowledge) before this, but it really looked yummy.  I would have thought that if anyone could make gluten-free taste good, it would be Oceania.  Since this was my only experience with gluten-free, I am no reliable judge, but I sincerely hope that not all gluten-free products are as tasteless.   

 

 

I can't speak about "gluten sensitivity" (or being "gluten intolerant", etc.).

 

However, "celiac disease" is definitely a real medical condition, as we found out recently.

DH was recently diagnosed with celiac disease, much to our astonishment.

During a procedure for something else entirely, the surgeon observed the very characteristic intestinal damage.  The subsequent blood test confirmed the cause.

(He had had minor symptoms that we had pretty much dismissed, quite in error!)

 

Once the blood test came back, he was immediately put on a strict gluten free diet.  Surprisingly, his "minor symptoms" soon resolved, which was the reason we realized they were probably linked.  (There is a medical reason they *would* be linked.)

His blood tests are now *much* closer to normal already (having been totally "off the charts" before).

 

Now, regarding "gluten free food", we have found a dramatic variability in the taste and texture, in many places.  It has ranged from a sandwich that was truly inedible (gag us!) to some dinner rolls at a place where we used to LOVE the regular dinner rolls, not knowing there were any choices... and we *both* prefer the "gluten free"!

 

We were worried about our recent trip to Italy (Italy EQUALS pasta, right!?).  Turns out there is *wonderful* gluten free pasta, and in some cases, gluten free choices are even mandated in restaurants there.  What a surprise!  (We had traveled with a lot of "snack bars" in case he couldn't find anything good to eat.  Ha!)

The GF rolls in one of our hotels in Italy clearly had to be micro-waved (or otherwise heated quickly), but they were SO good!

 

He can get packaged bread here, at the local grocer, and it is quite good.  It's all we keep on hand now, as I like it too (although we aren't "crazy about it" like we are those dinner rolls at the nearby restaurant).

We've found some yummy cookies (more than one brand)...

 

So... IF *packaged* bread can taste so good, and if dinner rolls can be SO TASTY... why ever is Oceania unable to provide good "gluten free" food?  Sure, there is lousy GF food.  But at Oceania??

 

We were on the Riviera last fall, and his initial test was scheduled for right after the cruise, so we didn't yet know he had this medical problem.  We love the ship!  And we love the food.  Now I'm trying to think... how much of what he enjoyed likely contained gluten... 

We'll still give them another try, given how much we both love the ship, but the food was a nice part of that.....

 

GC

 

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Neither DH nor I have any food allergies or restrictions, but I have to say that almost invariably comments here at CC have been positive about the gluten free options.  I was surprised to see OP's opinion -- not saying you are wrong!  We all have our opinions about what food is good and what is not.  It's understandable that if you are unhappy with the food options you have, you don't want to return.

 

I agree with the suggestions that you speak with the chef.

 

Mura

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3 minutes ago, Mura said:

Neither DH nor I have any food allergies or restrictions, but I have to say that almost invariably comments here at CC have been positive about the gluten free options.  I was surprised to see OP's opinion -- not saying you are wrong!  We all have our opinions about what food is good and what is not.  It's understandable that if you are unhappy with the food options you have, you don't want to return.

 

I agree with the suggestions that you speak with the chef.

 

Mura


Thank you for mentioning other comments.

 

Because all of this is still quite new for us, we hadn't been paying attention to this particular food issue at Oceania.

 

GC

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not sure if Oceania makes GF baked goods  or has brought  in

One man at out table on a  cruise  did not ask in advance about GF items & was winging it  

he mentioned at dinner he was GF ..the waitress overheard him & immediately told him what items on the menu were suitable  then went & got him some GF bread 

it looked like  a manufactured type shape wise

maybe different now that there is much more GF options for baking like almond flour & rice flour  but  I would think it would take some practice making breads & rolls

 

JMO

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1 hour ago, clo said:

I absolutely agree with that.  As well as give suggestions of sites for gluten-free site.  King Arthur Flour is good.  

https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/gluten-free

The problem  is that for most of us, gluten is the very essence of what makes our  baked goods "good".   

It gives breads that soft yet chewy bite, rolls their crust  and pizza crust crispy.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

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What you're saying about gluten free on Oceania concerns us.  The wife is a celiac and has had to eat gluten free for at least 25 years.  We are coming up on our first Oceania cruise and expected that we would be treated to good gluten free options as we have been on other cruise lines - Celebrity, Viking, Princess, NCL, Holland America.  Several of those lines now go to the trouble of labelling food selections in the buffets and menus with a GF symbol to save having to question the serving staff.  I'm surprised that with the way Oceania and its clientele rave about the food there would be as much attention paid to gluten free options as the regular options.  We hope we will not be disappointed.

 

Barbara and Bob

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Just now, isbclarin said:

What you're saying about gluten free on Oceania concerns us.  The wife is a celiac and has had to eat gluten free for at least 25 years.  We are coming up on our first Oceania cruise and expected that we would be treated to good gluten free options as we have been on other cruise lines -

Barbara and Bob

Have you notified the special services Dept ?

If not have your TA  make sure they are aware  of the problem  or call them yourself

do not take chances

Speak to the Chef  when you board  & make sure you know what is "Safe"  for you to eat

 

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5 minutes ago, isbclarin said:

What you're saying about gluten free on Oceania concerns us.  The wife is a celiac and has had to eat gluten free for at least 25 years.  We are coming up on our first Oceania cruise and expected that we would be treated to good gluten free options as we have been on other cruise lines - Celebrity, Viking, Princess, NCL, Holland America.  Several of those lines now go to the trouble of labelling food selections in the buffets and menus with a GF symbol to save having to question the serving staff.  I'm surprised that with the way Oceania and its clientele rave about the food there would be as much attention paid to gluten free options as the regular options.  We hope we will not be disappointed.

 

Barbara and Bob

Did you notice the other posters that have said positive things about the GF offerings? Don't just take the negative reports, look at the reports as a whole. 

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Just now, LHT28 said:

Have you notified the special services Dept ?

If not have your TA  make sure they are aware  of the problem  or call them yourself

do not take chances

Speak to the Chef  when you board  & make sure you know what is "Safe"  for you to eat

 

We always notify the cruise line directly about the diet and also visit the restaurant manager(s) when we board to make ourselves known.  As for gluten free baked items we have had really good ones on other lines that are baked on board.  The wife doesn't eat gluten free as a fad diet; she needs it to stay  healthy.

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15 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Have you notified the special services Dept ?

If not have your TA  make sure they are aware  of the problem  or call them yourself

do not take chances

Speak to the Chef  when you board  & make sure you know what is "Safe"  for you to eat

 

Sorry! Quoted wrong post!

Edited by Petoonya

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19 minutes ago, isbclarin said:

What you're saying about gluten free on Oceania concerns us.  The wife is a celiac and has had to eat gluten free for at least 25 years.  We are coming up on our first Oceania cruise and expected that we would be treated to good gluten free options as we have been on other cruise lines - Celebrity, Viking, Princess, NCL, Holland America.  Several of those lines now go to the trouble of labelling food selections in the buffets and menus with a GF symbol to save having to question the serving staff.  I'm surprised that with the way Oceania and its clientele rave about the food there would be as much attention paid to gluten free options as the regular options.  We hope we will not be disappointed.

 

Barbara and Bob

I'm one of several others here believing you should be sure that your travel agent has notified O of your requirements. And definitely speak with the restaurant managers as soon as you board. We traveled with someone with celiac disease and he raved about the food.

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