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Celebrity Equinox
(0.5 Palms): 0.5 Palms
Number of Reviews: 1

Review Type: Cruise Ship
Location: Mediterranean Cruise (Rome)
Dedicated GF: No
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Not a good gluten-free experience on Celebrity Cruise,

Reviewer: from Northborough, MA, USA - See all reviews by Celiac_Traveler

0.5 Palms
0.5 Palms
I have just completed an 11 day Mediterranean cruise on the Celebrity Equinox (June 27 – July 8th). It was meant to be a once in a lifetime trip for our family, and it would have been if the dining/restaurant staff could have met my special dietary needs. I wanted to share my experience in order to provide context and information for those considering a cruise with Celebrity. I have Celiac Disease and I require a gluten free diet (diagnosed August 2005). I am someone who is very sensitive to gluten, and I follow a very strict gluten free diet. Prior to booking our trip (January ’11), my travel agent confirmed with Celebrity that my gluten free diet could be accommodated. A week before the cruise, I was assured by a member of the Celebrity staff (via phone call) that the special diet was not a problem. On the first afternoon on board, I met with the executive chef, the restaurant manager and the Maitre D of the main restaurant (Silhouette) to review my dietary needs and they assured me that they would take care of me. Despite the good intentions of the staff, I was unknowingly served items that contained gluten or that had been cross- contaminated with gluten on multiple occasions. As a result, my intestines became so irritated with multiple doses of gluten that I could no longer process any food or absorb any liquids. I ended up very ill (dehydrated and weak) and required multiple visits to the onboard medical facility for treatment and multiple IVs for fluids. Fortunately, I responded to series of steroids injections that helped calm my intestines and after several days I was able to stabilize. When I began to recover, I again went to guest relations, and met with the Maitre D and the Restaurant Manager and explained how the current process was not working. The sensitivity of the staff was heightened, but I was still inadvertently served gluten. This was despite meeting with the Maitre D before and during each meal and often double checking meals and ingredients with the restaurant chef. My conclusion was that although the restaurant management had the best intentions (Maitre D, chef, restaurant manager), they did not fully understand the needs of someone with Celiac Disease. In addition, the waiters and waitresses are not trained for special dietary needs. If you are sensitive to gluten or have other food sensitivities, I cannot recommend the Celebrity Cruise line as safe option under any condition.

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