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TimeToGetNauti

Cruising with Food Allergies

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I would love to take my daughter and family cruising when my grandkids are old enough for Adventure ocean.  Unfortunately, my younger grandson has developed a lot of food allergies.  Not just the normal ones like nuts and eggs.  But another whole list that includes bananas, celery, soy, citrus, melons, avocado, etc.  He honestly has been developing a new food allergy every week.  He is 1 1/2 now and my plan was to wait til after he is 3.   By then hopefully we will have a better handle on the allergy situation. I know about telling the chef in the main dining room about food allergies for dinner service, but what about other times of the day?  Breakfast, lunch snacks?  Do people with extreme and many food allergies just not cruise?  I would love to hear anyone's advice who has dealt with this in the past.  Thank you, Randie

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8 minutes ago, TimeToGetNauti said:

I would love to take my daughter and family cruising when my grandkids are old enough for Adventure ocean.  Unfortunately, my younger grandson has developed a lot of food allergies.  Not just the normal ones like nuts and eggs.  But another whole list that includes bananas, celery, soy, citrus, melons, avocado, etc.  He honestly has been developing a new food allergy every week.  He is 1 1/2 now and my plan was to wait til after he is 3.   By then hopefully we will have a better handle on the allergy situation. I know about telling the chef in the main dining room about food allergies for dinner service, but what about other times of the day?  Breakfast, lunch snacks?  Do people with extreme and many food allergies just not cruise?  I would love to hear anyone's advice who has dealt with this in the past.  Thank you, Randie

 

 

My oldest GD has many food allergies.  As recommended by folks here on CC I contacted the special needs dept. about it. This is the email that I received from the special needs dept.

 

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for contacting the Access Department.

Allergies are handled daily on all sailings. 

Our galley has a separate preparation area away from the main production area to prepare meals for guests with allergies and to avoid cross-contamination of the meals.  Our Food and Beverage Staff attend recurring training programs regarding allergy protocols. 

During the booking process, we ask that the guest choose a set dining time versus My Time Dining. This will provide the guests with a dedicated serving staff for the cruise. 

Once the guest is onboard, we ask them to visit the dining room, introduce themselves and speak with the dining staff to advise of the allergies.  The dining staff for their table will be advised.

We are pleased to advise you Royal Caribbean offers Gluten Free meals as a standard offering on our menus in the main dining room.

We carry lactose free, soy, and almond milk onboard.  

When guests eat in the Windjammer/ Oceanview Cafe, please ask for a manager so they can arrange to get a meal from the galley. This will avoid any cross contamination that may occur at the buffet.  

When eating in specialty restaurants or other food venues, it is important to advise our staff of the allergies. 

If we can be of further assistance, please contact us. 

Please be advised your reservation has been noted accordingly.

We look forward to welcoming you on board.


Warmest regards,

LaQuanda Kaisley
 

They sound super accommodating.  We'll see 

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11 minutes ago, Tree_skier said:

 

 

My oldest GD has many food allergies.  As recommended by folks here on CC I contacted the special needs dept. about it. This is the email that I received from the special needs dept.

 

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for contacting the Access Department.

Allergies are handled daily on all sailings. 

Our galley has a separate preparation area away from the main production area to prepare meals for guests with allergies and to avoid cross-contamination of the meals.  Our Food and Beverage Staff attend recurring training programs regarding allergy protocols. 

During the booking process, we ask that the guest choose a set dining time versus My Time Dining. This will provide the guests with a dedicated serving staff for the cruise. 

Once the guest is onboard, we ask them to visit the dining room, introduce themselves and speak with the dining staff to advise of the allergies.  The dining staff for their table will be advised.

We are pleased to advise you Royal Caribbean offers Gluten Free meals as a standard offering on our menus in the main dining room.

We carry lactose free, soy, and almond milk onboard.  

When guests eat in the Windjammer/ Oceanview Cafe, please ask for a manager so they can arrange to get a meal from the galley. This will avoid any cross contamination that may occur at the buffet.  

When eating in specialty restaurants or other food venues, it is important to advise our staff of the allergies. 

If we can be of further assistance, please contact us. 

Please be advised your reservation has been noted accordingly.

We look forward to welcoming you on board.


Warmest regards,

LaQuanda Kaisley
 

They sound super accommodating.  We'll see 

Thank you for the information.  I hope it all goes well.  I had heard about contacting special needs also.  I wonder how long it would take you to get the food?  May need to plan meals a day in advance.  But what other choice do you have right? 

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Never had a problem.  Have been on 23 cruises and they all have gone out of their way for me.  As was mentioned, be careful at the buffets and speak to someone in charge.

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20 hours ago, DaniDanielle said:

Never had a problem.  Have been on 23 cruises and they all have gone out of their way for me.  As was mentioned, be careful at the buffets and speak to someone in charge.

Thank you.  Did you find you had to wait a long time for food in the buffet? I was wondering if we could plan meals a day ahead since kids don't really understand having to wait to eat.  Or maybe we can bring meal bars with us to help. 

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Not a long wait for food.  They will also walk you around the buffet and point out safe foods.  I only have a tree nut allergy so it is a little easier for me.  They made a separate dessert for me because they felt badly that there was not that much for me to eat one night.  It did not take long for that to arrive!  The next night’s menu is brought over and I 

pick my meal.  Last cruise I actually got to try things I never would order before, so I do trust them. Last thing they want is an allergy attack at sea.  Good luck!

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On 10/21/2019 at 2:17 PM, TimeToGetNauti said:

Thank you for the information.  I hope it all goes well.  I had heard about contacting special needs also.  I wonder how long it would take you to get the food?  May need to plan meals a day in advance.  But what other choice do you have right? 

Our DD has numerous food allergies.  I would recommend NOT eating in a buffet.  Although the food may be safe, cross contamination can be an issue.  Eat in the MDR.  Plan to eat at the same time every day.  Prepare a menu for the next meal or two and discuss it with the head waiter.  The head waiter should also be able to send the meal to a specialty restaurant, should you decide to eat elsewhere.

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6 minutes ago, philpcruiser said:

Our DD has numerous food allergies.  I would recommend NOT eating in a buffet.  Although the food may be safe, cross contamination can be an issue.  Eat in the MDR.  Plan to eat at the same time every day.  Prepare a menu for the next meal or two and discuss it with the head waiter.  The head waiter should also be able to send the meal to a specialty restaurant, should you decide to eat elsewhere.

That was also my fear with the cross contamination just from tongs.  I hope he will be past the food allergy soon. It could be something he grows out of.  I am most worried about breakfast and lunch I guess. Thank you for your experience. 

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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

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I have several food allergies, and contact the special needs at the cruise line. For me, I had to consult with someone from the cruise line each day and pre-pick where and what I would want to eat, the night before. Then, it would be specially prepared for me. Even when we went to a specialty dining restaurant. 

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Our young daughter has celiac disease and must eat strictly gluten free and we have been on 3 Royal Caribbean cruises with her and found them to be quite accommodating. A few things I can think of to share based on the concerns and comments you have expressed:

 

1) The first night in the main dining room is a bit hectic and you may wait a little longer while everyone gets their bearings and learns your special needs. In our experience every other night is much better, so be patient if the first night doesn’t feel perfect.

 

2) Your headwaiter is the person you need to establish a rapport with. They are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Beginning night 1, they will take your dinner order ahead of time for each night so the allergy food can be delivered with everyone else’s meal. 

 

3) Ask your head waiter about breakfast and lunch options. The main dining room serves a full breakfast daily and we have always been able to order the night before. Our family has Main Dining room for breakfast and dinner every day and have never had an issue with our daughter’s meal. It’s less variety, but having safe options is out top priority.

 

4) Lunches can be a bit trickier, as the Main Dining room is only open sea days. We can get our daughter gluten-free pizza at sorrentos, though I’m not sure that’s an option for your grandson. But it works for something quick for us.

 

5) The Windjammer is another option for lunch. You should not feed your grandson from the buffet though. See a head waiter in the Windjammer and they will either take your order or have a chef come out and talk with you. They can prepare allergy-safe foods a la carte in the kitchen and bring them direct to your table to eliminate the buffet cross contamination risk.

 

6) As for waiting for food with young kids, the waits really aren’t too much longer than regular meals. Honestly here’s what I do, as both kids are young and antsy. I often just pick up their breakfast plates in the dining room and bring them back to the room (especially on Port days). This gives them time to get ready more leisurely while eating breakfast. At lunch, if I know we are going to Windjammer, I will go ahead of them and order and my wife will meet me there with the kids 15 minutes later. It minimizes their waiting and works for us. Finally, I try to anticipate and plan for meals before they’re hungry. It makes life so much easier for all of us. 

 

7) You can bring prepackaged snacks. Honestly if our kids eat a large breakfast and dinner in the Main Dining Room, often a snack is all they need in the afternoon.

 

I’d be happy to answer any specific questions I can answer. I wish your family happy cruising!

 

 

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100% what Gatordad815 said. 

 

I'm onions BTW.  Such a pain but such is life.  Good luck.  I think you'll find a lot of help and options once on board.  

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Thank you all so much for the information. I feel so much better that I have some options.  I appreciate it.  Happy sailing everyone. 

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We have cruised on three different lines and found each of them to be incredibly sensitive to my son's food allergies.  We have always gotten extremely personalized service in the main dining rooms and the waitstaff goes out of their way to make sure my son has everything he needs/wants.  I would agree with being careful at the buffet...but there are usually other made to order options available on the ship where you can find something to eat.  I also believe they allow you to bring some food onboard (such as bars)...but you may want to check beforehand.

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You've already gotten lots of options so far, so I won't repeat what others have already suggested.  I'll just add that my wife has some very specific dietary needs and the staff bend over backwards to accommodate her.  They did way more than any restaurant at home has ever done.  And do bring food with you.  Even if you never use it, it will serve as a security blanket that you know you will have something to fallback on.  Sometimes eliminating stress in ways like that can be just as useful.  As long as it's prepackaged you won't have any problems.

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Thanks so much for these comments, we have a tree nut allergy in our party.  How does one contact Special Needs?

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4 hours ago, styxfire said:

Thanks so much for these comments, we have a tree nut allergy in our party.  How does one contact Special Needs?

 

special_needs@rccl.com

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the folks at RCCL say:

 

"We are pleased to advise you Royal Caribbean offers Gluten Free meals as a standard offering on our menus in the main dining room."

Does that mean if my wife is Celiac that we don't have to worry about contacting them etc, she can just order of the regular menu because their gluten free options there every day?
 

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11 minutes ago, BuckeyeMark said:

the folks at RCCL say:

 

"We are pleased to advise you Royal Caribbean offers Gluten Free meals as a standard offering on our menus in the main dining room."

Does that mean if my wife is Celiac that we don't have to worry about contacting them etc, she can just order of the regular menu because their gluten free options there every day?
 

I believe you can email dining room in advance but should be no problem.  Somebody may be able to chime in on the email address

EDIT:.I see bob provided it above

 

My husband is also celiac and he was well taken care of. The head waiter came to our table every night to go over next days menu for hubby to choose. He even got pizza at Sorrentos every day he just had to order it and wait for it. Always fresh!  

Edited by #55worktoplay

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Hoping this works well for us too. The DH has a new diagnosed food allergy.  I’ve written up cards with his name, cabin number and what his allergy is to give to the head waiter in both the MDR and WJ.  I also sent an email to special needs but understand that probably isn’t enough. 

 

We did a Viking cruise since his diagnosis and they were great, giving him menus at breakfast for the rest of the day.  I do realize this is a bigger ship though with a lot more people to keep track of for allergies.

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