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Royal Caribbean
Avg. Customer Review (4.5 Palms):
4.5 Palms
Number of Reviews: 17


Review Type: Cruise Ship
Location: Caribbean
Dedicated GF: No
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Cruising gluten free on the Disney Wonder cruise ship,

Reviewer: LizzyB

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
We boarded the Disney Wonder on Sunday April 27th, 2014. I have celiac disease and I'm very sensitive to cross contamination. My husband and son are also gluten intolerant. We chose this vacation to be our first since I developed my condition 2 years ago. This was based on all the great reviews I read about their handling of allergies. We were not disappointed. I've lived in NYC, Los Angeles, and Tokyo and consider myself a 'foodie' so my expectations really weren't that high. On the 5 day cruise, we never got sick and we ate plenty of wonderful food!

After boarding the ship we went strait to the buffet where I asked the head server what was gluten free. He said, why don't we make you something fresh so we can be sure there's no cross contamination. This was a great way to start the trip. They brought me salmon with creamed potatoes that was wonderful. They also put some lightly steamed veggies on the side, but those were a little undercooked for me. In general the breakfast and lunch was not anything too spectacular, but they really made up for it with the dinners. The first night, they brought us gluten free rolls. They brought regular rolls to the people sitting across from us and asked me if this was ok. I appreciated the concern, but the table was large enough that I wasn't worried about flying crumbs. My dinner was an amazing cheddar potato soup, pasta Bolognese with a champagne cream sauce on the side (I asked for a little heavy cream on the side, something I always do, and they brought me that as well as the beautiful cream sauce). Dessert was a chocolate mousse cake. After finishing dessert they asked what I would like the next day for breakfast and lunch. I was having a really hard time looking at the menus because I was totally stuffed and tired from traveling all day. I asked to look at the menus before the meal on the remaining nights, and this worked out better. You don't have to pre-order your food, but you have a lot more options if you do and the staff seems to appreciate it. Try to show up pretty soon after they open the restaurants though, so anything that had to be prepared ahead of time doesn't sit around too long. We had 1st seating, not sure if that was an important factor in our experience.

Most mornings I had a Mexican omelet with hash browns that I was happy with. My husband and son had waffles and doughnuts. The doughnuts were very good, but the waffles were just an average frozen kind. The pancakes weren't very good either. But, if they were good I would have probably gained more than the 5 lbs that I already gained. So, it may have been a good thing. One of the head servers said they could make gluten free waffles from scratch for us first thing in the morning before they contaminate the waffle iron, but we never tried this. For lunch we often had hamburgers with fries and creme brulee with berries. The rolls were good, but needed to be heated up to keep them soft. Sometimes they did this and other times we had to ask them to. When we went on an excursion that was set to return at 1pm, we spoke to the restaurant manager, Pietro. He took our order and said we needed to be back by 2 pm when the restaurant would close. Well, the excursion was delayed and we didn't get back until 2:20. He actually waited in the gangway for 30 min. After we didn't arrive, he put a block on our room key. So, when we tried to board the ship they had a message to give us first. "The burgers were waiting in our room." This was very thoughtful of him and much appreciated since I didn't feel comfortable ordering room service and I didn't want to wait until dinner. Of course since they had been sitting for a while, they really weren't very good. But, at that point I was just appreciative to have something to eat. All of the restaurant managers (in the white coats) were wonderful. I tried to give Pietro a tip on the final night, but he said he couldn't accept it. He said please give this to your server instead. So, I did. We gave our wait staff extra tips over what is recommended by Disney. Nadia was our main server and she was wonderful. She ordered us extra entrees and desserts that we didn't even ask for and we usually ended up eating them. She wanted to make sure we were covered in case we didn't like something. I felt bad about wasting some food, but I understood the reason she did this. . . Because it's harder for them to make gluten free things once the kitchen is in full swing if they haven't prepped some of the easily cross contaminated ingredients ahead of time.

I was never jealous of the gluten filled poolside food that so many people were eating. It didn't look very good. I was surprised how many people were going for those options when they could be going to a nice meal at one of the restaurants. When we arrived for lunch or dinner, usually a manager (with a white coat) would recognize us and bring us to our assigned table. The couple of times that this didn't happen, they still asked "does anyone at the table have any food allergies?" So, that was nice. They put your order on a pink slip and mark off your allergies in a check box. I usually ordered wine by the glass with dinner in the $6-$9 range. I tried a different one each night. I wasn't overly impressed with the wines. They were good but not great. I'm not sure if ordering the more expensive ones would have made a difference. The only gluten free beer they had onboard was Omission. I had avoided trying this brand prior to this trip because I was concerned it would cause a reaction. (I drink Green's at home) I had 3 of them on board and I didn't have a problem with it. If you order it poolside, they bring it in a plastic beer glass. So, my husband immediately asked to see the bottle it was poured from. They brought it out to show me. The same thing happened one night when the rolls looked different. My husband said, "don't eat those, they don't look gluten free." The staff somehow overheard our conversation and brought out the bag to show us that they were indeed gluten free, just a different kind. We weren't speaking that loudly, so we were surprised by this. You get the sense that if anyone gets sick, they get fired immediately. Which, is probably a good policy. I've never eaten anywhere that takes allergies as seriously as they did on the Disney Cruise. You can truly relax and know that you are taken care of. Make sure to tell them about your allergies at the time of booking so they can prepare. I'm not really a cruise fan in general, but I would do a Disney cruise again just for the wonderful gluten free dinner experience. Below are some photos I took of the meals. I didn't get all of them because sometimes I was too excited to start eating, so I forgot. We unfortunately didn't try Palo, I hear it's totally worth it. But, we were concentrating on spending as much time as possible with our son and it's adults only. The ribs were good on Castaway Island (pre-ordered) I'm not really someone who writes reviews, but I am very appreciative of the safe and pleasant dining experience we had. And, I think it's important for us all in the gluten free community to write reviews. I rely heavily on them myself and they are the only reason I took this great trip in the first place.

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Royal Caribbean


Gluten free on the Celebrity Constellation cruise ship,

Reviewer: MaryBethV

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
I took my daughter on a cruise for her 21st birthday. We both have celiac disease, and I was very nervous about the food. We booked the trip through Lesley Hayden at Travel Leaders and had a wonderful trip! The main dining room had Gluten Free options marked on their menu every day. We upgraded to the "Aqua Class" which gave us access to the "Blu Dining Room" which was less crowded, had healthy choices and many gluten free options. We had gluten free bread/toast with every meal. If we wanted something that was not on the menu, we just had to let them know the day before. My daughter wanted Chicken Alfredo which they made for her the following day, and it was delicious. The buffet was a little harder to navigate and we had to ask for help but there were always choices. We will definitely go again!

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Celebrity Cruise Line Rules When It Comes To Gluten-Free Traveling,

Reviewer: Rjpewaite

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
We were on the Eclipse cruise ship and the staff bent over backwards to accommodate special diets. Special meals that were chosen the night before, special desserts (yum), breads, everything. Couldn't have been better. We will sail no other cruise line but Celebrity.

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Gluten Free on a Carnival Cruise: Dining Room,

Reviewer: G-Free Laura

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
This is Review 4 of my Gluten Free Experience on a Carnival Cruise. If you read the other 3 reviews, you would know that the gluten free options aboard the Carnival Pride were surprisingly abundant. This post will now focus on the experience in the formal dining room. If you have been on a cruise, or are thinking about going on a cruise, you may know that the dining room is available to all cruisers every night with a changing menu of 4 courses. Through our research before going on the ship, my mother and I knew we had to ask the Maitre' D about our options. After doing this the first day, the dining room hostess remembered our names, table number, and preferences making the process very easy. Each evening, she would come to our table and show us the menu for the next day. We were guaranteed a gluten free alternative to just about everything, making it seem like we didn't even have Celiac disease holding us back! When dining out at a restaurant with a gluten free menu, the usual options consist of meat, potatoes, and vegetables...so I thought my options on the Carnival Pride would be similar. I was wrong. Carnival provides everything from Pasta and Bread, to Chicken with Thai spices. I was offered choices such as Lasagna Bolognese, Beef Stroganoff, and Braised Lamb. The variety of sauces, spices, and side dishes was amazing. I often wish to try something while dining at a restaurant with a gluten free menu, and then find out that the sauce, or spice that makes the dish what it is, is sadly NOT guaranteed gluten free. The chances for me to broaden my horizon while on this cruise were everywhere. Being the picky eater I am, I was able to try a dish without fearing that I would not like it and then end up hungry while wasting money at the same time. Another plus to cruising - it's like an all-you-can-eat, upscale buffet!! Another great thing about the dining room was that we were given gluten free bread with each meal. It was nice to actually be passed the bread basket for once, especially when I was STARVING since we didn't dine until the 8:15 PM. But, I do have a few suggestions for Carnival - get a contract with a different gluten free company! The bread we were given was nice, but definitely didn't even come close to the quality of other gluten free bread out there. It would have been amazing if we were given Canyon Bakehouse, Rudi's, or Udi's products. I would think that these companies would love to have a contract with a brand like Carnival, and it would also make Carnival's gluten free menu 100x better. If anyone from Carnival is reading this post right now, PLEASE look into this!!! I promise you, if this was advertised to Celiacs and Gluten Free individuals, you would have A LOT more of these cruisers aboard your ships. In light of the recent events in the news regarding cruise ships, I think anything that can help business is worth trying!!! All in all, the experience was WONDERFUL. It is very nice to know us G-Free'ers are able to enjoy vacations such as this even with our dietary restrictions. I do hope the options get better in the future, and Carnival teams up with some of our favorite gluten free companies. Doing so would make gluten free cruisers rave EVEN MORE about their experience on their Carnival Fun Ship. Thanks for reading about my vacation, and I hope you look into a Carnival cruise yourself so you can have just as much fun and food as I did!!! G-Free Laura http://gfreelaura.com

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Gluten Free on a Carnival Cruise: Breakfast Edition,

Reviewer: G-Free Laura

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
This is Review 3 of my Gluten Free on a Carnival Cruise series. Review 1 consisted of my utter shock and happiness of all the amazing accommodations. Review 2 consisted of my dining experience at David's Steakhouse aboard the Carnival Pride. Now it's time for Review 3...all about Breakfast. I am a firm believer in the fact that breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. I am also a creature of habit. Every morning, I wake up, fry up some egg whites, and eat 2 pieces of Rudi's Gluten Free toast. When I'm really feeling frisky, I do turn to some gluten free pancakes on a nice Sunday morning. But...back to my point...I want to rave about the wonderful gluten free accommodations my mother and I had during the most important meal of the day on our cruise vacation. If I choose to go out to breakfast, I have come to terms with the fact that I won't have toast to dip in my egg....or pancakes to eat with my bacon...or have the chance to enjoy the benedict to my egg. Now, that's a different story aboard a Carnival Cruise Fun Ship. My family decided to go to the dining room every morning for breakfast, because we were able to request certain items at meals [unlike at the buffets, where it's all men for themselves]. The first morning, after being sat down and handed menus, I began to see what I would order. I thought to myself, "Well, I guess I'll order my go-to egg white omelette, and maybe I can get a piece of bacon or something to go with it." Then, as I was reading down the menu, I saw Gluten Free Bread written under the available bread items [Hallelujah! Hallelujah!]. YAY! I then reverted to my habits, ordered an egg white omelette, and 2 pieces of gluten free toast. Breakfast of champions. Breakfast number 2 - I stuck with the old habit of omelette and toast, but I did mix it up with some turkey bacon [which was not tasty. I'll take the real thing over that any day]. After the meal, as we were walking out of the dining room, we stopped to thank the Hostess for her help. At that time, she asked us if we wanted to order anything special for the next morning. We then asked what other things they could prepare for us - pancakes, french toast? She replied answering that they could make any of that. So, of course my mom and I each ordered pancakes for the next day. Breakfast number 3 - Gluten Free pancakes - that's what's up. My mom and I both enjoyed our pancakes, and were happily surprised with a platter of home fries. Since the hash brown's on the menu were not gluten free, the hostess thought that we would enjoy specially cut, thick potato slices for a gluten free version of home fries. I'm a starchy kind of gal, so I thought they were amazing. Breakfast number 4 -Gluten Free french toast. You better believe I took advantage of that! The bread they used for the french toast was the same bread that we were given with our meals, so it was not as thick as I would have liked, but nonetheless, it was scrumptious. This time around, I ordered REAL bacon [none of that wannabe, turkey bacon stuff]. French toast + bacon + syrup = amazing. Breakfast number 5 - After seeing my stepdad order eggs benedict 3 previous times, and clean his plate, I decided to try that out. I had never had eggs benedict before, so I was really in for a treat. I usually don't like yolk that is still runny [personal preference], so that was one thing holding me back initially. But, I enjoyed the meal overall. It was so nice to be able to order just about anything that we wanted - such an enjoyable experience! Breakfast number 6 - Back to the basics - egg white omelette and toast. After eating course after course after course for the past 5 days, I decided I would try and not stuff my face that morning. So that's the down low on what gluten free options one has while on a Carnival Cruise. Pretty impressive if I do say so myself. I hope you enjoyed learning the possibilities we G-Free'ers have now in the world of travel. There's nothing but good things to come for us as more people become aware of the gluten free diet! Stay tuned for Review 4 of my experience being Gluten Free on a Carnival Cruise. I will be going into detail about the expereience I had each evening in the dining room. G-Free Laura http://gfreelaura.com

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Gluten Free on a Carnival Cruise: David's Steakhouse,

Reviewer: G-Free Laura

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
This is review 2 of my Gluten Free on a Carnival Cruise story. I started out letting all you g-free'ers know how easy it was to set up our gluten free diet on our Carnival Cruise vacation. Now, I will fill you in on one of the THE best dinners I have ever had. The first night on the ship my family decided to go to David's Steakhouse, which was an additional $30 fee for each person. You might think, "But everything on the ship is free, why would you pay money to go eat at a restaurant?"...the answer is because it was AMAZING. For starters, since we were choosing to eat at the steakhouse on the first night, we were given a free bottle of wine, so you know I was lovin' that. We entered the restaurant and were escorted to our table on the second level. After being seated, my mom and I informed the hostess that we were gluten free, and she let us know that we would be able to order whatever we wanted, and the chef would make the necessary adjustments. How exciting!! Our waiter came to the table, and ordered our drinks [our free bottle of wine that is]. She handed us each a menu, while showing us the tray of the entrees we would be able to choose from. But first, I had to choose what appetizer I was in the mood for, and to be honest with you, I didn't know what some of the options even meant! I ended up ordering the Beef Carpaccio for an appetizer, as I had never eaten it before. While waiting for our appetizers, the waiter brought out surprise mini-appetizers for my stepdad, Craig, and my Aunt Jenny [the gluten eaters on the trip]. The mini-appetizers were so cute! A tiny little hamburger, and a cold tomato-like soup. We obviously took pictures [we aren't used to this classy service], and then the two started to eat the food, raving about the taste. Then, to our surprise, the waiter brought out gluten free mini-appetizers!! They were the SAME thing, just modified to fit our gluten free diet! I didn't necessarily dig the tomato-ish soup, so after tasting it, I handed it over to my mom. The hamburger on the other hand, was so good! I had wished it wasn't so mini when it was gone in 1 and a 1/2 bites! After we enjoyed our tiny-tizers, our real appetizers came. I was so excited to try my Beef Carpaccio, as I was extremely hungry and the mini burger just didn't cut it. The waiter set down the plate, and I was in awe of the presentation. After literally cleaning my plate, [and of course getting a re-fill of wine], I was ready for my gluten free filet mignon. My stomach was already beginning to stretch from eating so much, but I was prepared - packing dresses for the final days of the trip rather than pants with buttons. I know, I know, so intelligent. A few moments later, the server came with our main entrees. When she set down the plate with my filet mignon, my taste buds were crying tears of joy [otherwise known as salivating]. Folks, this quite possibly was the BEST piece of meat I have eaten in my entire life. I was so ready to pick up that steak knife and go to work. ...And that's exactly what I did. Finally, it was dessert time. The menu, any diabetics nightmare, was filled with options that made your mouth water just reading them. Now, of course, we were not able to eat the cakes, as Carnival does not have gluten free cake options for us, but we were still accommodated. We were able to have either ice cream or sherbert to hit the sweet spot. I personally do not dig ice cream [somewhat lactose intolerant] so I was sticking with the sherbert option. My mom on the other hand loves a cup of ice cream, so she was still quite pleased. I decided to also order the fruit cocktail with my sherbert, making for a very colorful [and somewhat healthy] dessert plate. I don't know how I found room for everything, but I cleared the plate. You know what they say - "Go Hard, or Go Home." I had 7 days until I was going home, so I was going hard for sure. To find out what other gluten free meals I had on the trip, you can read my other posts. Just click the "Read more reviews from G-Free Laura" link at the bottom of the page. GFree Laura http://gfreelaura.com

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Gluten Free on a Carnival Cruise,

Reviewer: GFree Laura

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
We all love vacations - it's a break from your daily routine, a chance to spend time with friends and family, and in some cases, a chance to get some large-scale doses of Vitamin D. But, when you're gluten free, you may have some concerns about where to go. Will you be able to eat at the resort you stay at? Should you go somewhere where you can prepare your own food? If the prospective travel destination does offer gluten free options, will they only consist of a salad bar? These are the things that run through a Celiac's mind when planning their trip to paradise. Since going gluten free, I have been on a few trips (Vegas, New Orleans), but I was able to choose restaurants to dine at, as they were not all-inclusive style vacations. So, when my family booked a 7-day Carnival Cruise vacation, the first thing my mom and I thought was, "What will we eat?" and, after this positive experience, I can now assure you, things are looking up for the gluten free world. Before departing for vacation, we were told by our travel agent, as well as many gluten free blogs, that we would be able to request gluten free food for each meal. We learned that upon boarding the ship, we would need to meet with the maitre d' to request gluten free dining options. From there, we assumed we would order each meal ahead of time, and would not go hungry. So the day finally came - we arrived to Port of Baltimore, and were ready to board the Carnival Pride Fun Ship. Of course we had some gluten free snacks with us, as my family is always prepared. As I munched on my rice chips, I was excited and nervous for the next 7 days at sea. After walking a somewhat long gangway up to the Carnival Pride's entrance [while freezing my tush off because Baltimore isn't exactly tropical], I was ready for the adventure! Immediately when walking into the ship, you are amazed at the size, and the architecture. Although we didn't quite have our bearings yet, we needed to find the dining room to talk to the maitre d' to order our meal for the next day. After finding our way through the somewhat maze that a cruise ship can be, we arrived to the Normande Dining Room. There, we were introduced to the Restaurant Hostess, Crisell Cocchi. She was very sweet, and knew exactly how to accommodate us. We were told that each night at dinner, she would come to our table, give us the menu for the next day [including breakfast, lunch, and dinner], and we would order our meals. The dining room was able to make almost every entrée gluten free! Our nerves were instantly settled! Next, we went to the Lido deck for the embarkation party! The Lido deck is the main deck of the ship - where all the action happens. During the "party" there was live music, and buffets FILLED with food. This was the only time I was unable to eat the entire trip, since the dining room was not open for lunch on the first day. Luckily, I had a gluten free bar with me, and was able to eat that while the herds of people piled their plates at the buffet with every type of food under the sun. After sailing away, we were able to go to our staterooms, unpack our luggage, and get situated for the week. The dining room was open that night for the first dinner, but my family chose to go the David's Steakhouse for dinner. The steakhouse was an additional $30 per person [whereas all other food on the ship is included with the initial cost]. All I can say is that the steakhouse was AMAZING. The quality of food and service we received for only an additional $30 was unbelievable. I'll share my experience dining at David's Steakhouse in a separate review. GFree Laura http://gfreelaura.com

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Second round on Celebrity Summit cruise ship does not disappoint this gluten-free traveler with Celiac,

Reviewer: OttawaCeliac from Ottawa, ON

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Not to torture anyone, but I’m writing this review while tanning on the deck of the beautiful Celebrity Summit cruise ship. We are currently docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where I will soon depart for the return trip home, but I just couldn’t wait to tell you of my experience. The first couple of days of this weeklong cruise were rife with rain and thunderstorms, but that was followed by five days of sun so the good times rolled for sure! This was my second cruise with my wife; our first was on the same ship in May 2008, which also served as our honeymoon. The first cruise was in Europe, and we had such a fantastic time on board that we decided to sail on the same vessel, but this time island-hopping in the Caribbean. St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados were on the menu. I am a huge fan of the Caribbean all-inclusives, and have no problem vegetating on the beach in Cuba for seven days straight, cigar and Cuba Libre in hand. However, in terms of gluten-free dining, cruising is far, far superior. I was taken aback by the staff’s genuine concern for my needs and remarkable ability to cater to the GF diet. Shortly after boarding, I met with the maitre d’, who took down our dietary needs (GF for me, vegetarian for my wife) and said it wouldn’t be a problem. At dinner that evening, the waiter was patient as I explained exactly what I cannot eat, and he assured me that the chefs have much experience in gluten-free dining. While he spoke to the chef to figure out what they could do for me, the assistant waiter brought me gluten-free bread. I hadn’t even requested it! They keep it on board for such occasions, he explained. It was previously frozen bread, but I appreciated the gesture nonetheless, and partook in a slice before each dinner. The way things worked was that my wife and I would be shown the next day’s menu at the end of each evening dinner, and we would select what we wanted the next day in terms of appetizer, soup, salad, main course and dessert. Yes, every dinner was five courses, and six if you counted the all-you-can-eat sushi buffet that occurred simultaneously several decks above. Needless to say, I ate like a king on this trip. Celebrity greatly emphasizes meal presentation and service, and they did not disappoint. Some of the options I enjoyed were veal, smoked salmon, quail, risotto, rib beef tenderloin, New York steaks, tuna steak, shrimp cocktail and a variety of salads. Among the soups I was able to taste were corn chowder, seafood, cream of chicken and beef and Asian consommé. Using corn starch and other alternatives, they were able to prepare my meals separately and in gluten-free fashion. They were completely honest – the one dish I ordered that could not be made gluten-free was chicken spring rolls, and they opened said it couldn’t be done. Hey, it was worth a try! For breakfast, bread was of course very common, but they were careful about cross-contamination. I typically had scrambled eggs, sautéed mushrooms, cheese, fruit and tea. Oh, and did I mention a bowl of smoked salmon? Mmm. However, I still had to be on alert – the U.S.-manufactured yogurt had unidentified modified food starch in the label. Always double-check, especially when you’re travelling outside of Canada. Lunch was mostly pasta and saucy salads at the main buffet, but this ship also features the “AquaSpa Café,” which offers light and healthy dining choices. This meant a lot of nutritious meals, not heavily prepared. Choices included salmon, tuna, calamari, delicious lettuce salads, sushi, chicken breast, fruit plates, gelatin pannacotta-type desserts, poached fruits and much more. I can definitely recommend cruising as a safe option for gluten-free travellers. The cost is admittedly higher than all-inclusive resorts – I’d estimate about 30 – 50% – and alcoholic drinks are not included, but you get to visit a variety of different destinations and the dining experience is off the scale. I also picked up some $4 per litre rum in St. Maarten – huge savings, eh? Cruise ships also feature fabulous entertainment, from dancers to musicians to acrobats to comedians, as well as an a cappella choir that I was quite fond of. See you at the pier!

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Royal Caribbean Cruise Gluten-Free?,

Reviewer: Gluten-Free_Cat from Nashville, TN

2.0 Palms
2.0 Palms
Everyone says that cruising is all about the food. With cruise lines that boast of 24-hour buffets and five-star dining, it’s easy to see why. I had been on cruises before, and gained the predicted 5 pounds in a week that took a month to take off, but that was before going gluten-free. Recently, I took a Thanksgiving cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Sea, and I had high hopes that they would provide delightful dining experiences. After all, gluten-free dining is nothing new. We’ve been at this for a while now. In the dining room, eating gluten-free was fairly easy. Although I had requested gluten-free dining on my cruise registration, there was no indication that the waitstaff or chef had been made aware of my need. In fact, our waiter didn’t seem to know what gluten was and quickly excused himself to find out. Since English was clearly a second language for most of dining room staff, communication about gluten was difficult at first. But after the first night, it got easier. There was usually one appetizer, salad, or soup that was naturally gluten-free to choose from each evening. I think if I could have eaten appetizers and desserts for every meal of the cruise I would have been very happy. The entrees were usually fish or chicken with a side of rice or potato and some vegetables. They were all naturally gluten-free, and very good. I inquired about the vegetarian dishes each night, and all of them contained gluten. I was very concerned about Thanksgiving Dinner. Thanksgiving Dinner is my favorite meal of the entire year. Our waiter brought us the Thanksgiving menu the evening before and asked what we would like. I told him that he would make my Thanksgiving if he could come up with a gluten-free stuffing and a crustless pumpkin pie. He was able to produce a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, including gravy, but there was no stuffing or pie. The desserts were incredible. If there wasn’t a naturally gluten-free dessert one evening, like Pavolova or Chocolate Souflee, there was always ice cream. Outside the safely of the dining room, the rest of the ship was a gluteny disaster. The language barrier made it very difficult to communicate with the servers. On day one, we barely made it to the ship before the 4:00 pm departure because of airport delays. We boarded just moments before disembarking and moments before the food lines closed for the mandatory safety presentation. I was famished. I walked up to the pizza counter with hopes that Royal Caribbean had gluten-free pizza. After all, gluten-free is nothing new! When I asked if there was any gluten-free pizza the worker happily said, "Yes!" Thankfully, I figured out pretty quickly that he didn’t know what I was asking. There was no other option other than the cheese or pepperoni slices behind the glass, but he was dead set on telling me that the price of pizza was included in my cruise fare. Even hungrier and more frustrated, I turned to the buffet line. The only thing I could find that was naturally gluten free was white rice and green beans. I was stunned that in this day and age, on a cruise ship, I could only find two items to eat. But I realized that the line was closing because of the safety meeting, and I hoped that things would improve. The buffet line continued to be horrendous throughout the rest of the trip. First of all, it was a mess, and where there’s a mess, there’s the possibility of cross contamination. But then there were signage issues. I was excited to see that there were signs labeling gluten-free items. But these signs could not be relied upon. There were a few gluten-free entree options, but most were meats. If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll find little more than salad and fruit. unless you want mushrooms and onions. There was very little attention to the gluten-free signs that were placed above gluten-free dishes. When trays of food were replaced from behind the buffet line, it appeared that the gluten-free signs in front were left up, even if the next item was not gluten-free. That is a dangerous situation for any gluten-intolerant diner. Thankfully, I realized quickly that the signs were not to be relied upon. So my daily meals consisted of this: Breakfast – yogurt and fruit Lunch – salad and white rice Snacks – Lara Bars brought from home, fruit, and soft serve ice cream Dinner – a very nice three-course meal in the dining room Royal Caribbean has a long way to go in terms of gluten-free service. Hats off to the chef in the dining room for providing lovely, safe meals complete with desserts. But with the prevalence of quality gluten-free products in restaurants these days, there is no reason why a cruise ship can’t offer something as simple as gluten-free breads, muffins, and snacks. And the buffet needs a serious overhauling with a separate gluten-free line and about ten times more gluten-free options. For pictures of the food please see my blog Gluten-Free Cat: http://www.glutenfreecat.com/?p=9155

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Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Gluten-Free!!!!,

Reviewer: KPedersen from Springfield, VA

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Took a Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean's ship Adventure of the Seas in March 2010. I ate Gluten Free the entire time, without a hitch! It was amazingly easy. First, when I booked the cruise I told the travel agent to put the request for Gluten Free meals into the booking. Then I sent an e-mail to glutenfree@rccl.com, informing them of my need for Gluten Free meals. They responded that the request was entered into my file, and that I should find the Maitre'd aboard ship to discuss my special needs. Aboard ship, I never found the Maitre'd, but was directed to my Head Waiter. He was aware of my request, and told me how they would serve me - each night they would show me the next day's dinner menu. I could identify which items I wanted - if they could be made Gluten Free, the chefs would modify recipes to do so. If not possible, I could always choose from the standard menu of beef, chicken, or salmon. The waiter also knew of my request, and between the waiter and Head Waiter they were always checking on me. I never had to choose from the standard menu - the chefs were always able to make my choices Gluten-Free. Of course, I never chose something that was pre-made with gluten as an integral part, such as Yorkshire Pudding or a Puff Pastry dish. I was realistic about what they could modify, and they surprised me with their flexibility. The ship baked Gluten Free bread each day, which I could have for breakfast as Gluten Free French Toast (a special order). I had Gluten Free bread each evening at dinner. Every day the Head Waiter checked on me, and the waiter was careful to check with the chefs about my choices. The waiter and Head Waiter were the same for dinner each night - for breakfast we had rotating waiters but my Head Waiter had made sure the kitchen staff knew I might ask for Gluten Free French Toast, and to make my omlettes without cross-contamination. I never ate in the Windjammer Cafe, only in the Main Dining Room, to avoid cross contamination. I never had to worry about eating Gluten Free aboard this ship! It was a pleasure, and I was able to relax in a way that I have not been able to when traveling, ever since my diagnosis of Celiac Disease. I would definitely recommend this ship, Adventure of the Seas, on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, to anyone in need of Gluten Free meals, and I would gladly cruise with them again myself.

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Holland America - Westerdam,

Reviewer: JacqTan

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
This was my first gluten free vacation, as well as being my honeymoon. I was tremendously surprised at how well taken care of I was. It did take some pre planning. When I contacted Holland America directly they sent me a pre order form. I was allowed to pick 10 gluten free foods per day (cookies, cakes, muffins, pasta, pizza, soups... I can keep going) but I was not obligated to eat them on any particular time frame. My pre-ordering just made them available on the cruise. Once on board I connected with the maitre d who after the first night took care of the rest of my stay. He gave me the menus for the next day so that I could pre-order since gluten free cooking takes a little longer, and all the food came out great!

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Celebrity Cruises,

Reviewer: Jmcl

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
My last Celebrity cruise was in 2008, but I have been on several cruises with Celebrity. I have also been on Royal Caribbean, Carnival and NCL, which do a good job at producing a good GF diet. However, I try to sail on Celebrity because I prefer their meals and I believe they do a superb job at creating delicious GF meals. From the time I board and meet with the head Maitre'd to meeting daily with my personal Maitre'd I know that I will have a safe trip with the best GF meals available. Celebrity goes out of their way to provide a meal as similar to the "regular" menu as possible. From soup to dessert. They are the BEST!

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Norwegian Dawn,

Reviewer: Pegom1

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
We were assured and then reassured that the Norwegian Cruise line could accomodate a GF diet. When we first arrived we spoke with a chef here and there at the locations we chose to eat at. When we chose an Italian restaurant for dinner the first night I was discouraged as they claimed there was no GF pasta on the whole ship. We found the Maitre D in charge and from that point on they couldn't do enough for me. We ordered a late afternoon snack one day as we had a late breakfast and they delivered a GF pizza to my cabin. All I had to do was tell them if I wanted a bagel, french toast or pancakes for breakfast and after a slightly long wait it would be brought to our table. THe only issue was...they'd bring 2 bagels or 12 pieces of French toast even though I told them I couldn't possibly eat that much! Once we found the right person..he took wonderful care of me and made sure I had interesting and tasty GF food. Royal Caribbean...now that's another story! Told me things were GF that in fact were not!

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Autism on the Seas,



5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
I have a child with autism, Ty who is now 8 years old. Traveling has been a fun and interesting experience with him. He is so interested in all aspects of traveling that it helps to remind me of finding the excitement in the little things. I too went on the Cruise with Autism on the Seas and it was a great experience. My son and I had gone on the same 3 day cruise one year prior with mixed results. We did not book through Autism on the Seas and did not receive any special accommodations for him. He was 6 at that time and he was unable to stay in the kids club and I was not able to keep him on his restricted diet. He had a great time, but many of his symptoms increased and he was acting very out of control. By the time we got back home, his teachers and therapists wanted to know what had happened. I told them about the cruise and it took him over a month to fully recover and get back to his previous level of functioning. When we went on the cruise with Autism on the Seas in March of 2008 with the Berreys things were much different. The Autism on the Seas staff arranged for all of his dietary accommodations (gluten and casein free) ahead of time and we were able to sit back and enjoy meal times. They also spoke to the Adventure Ocean staff and they were able to help my son enjoy his time with the other kids. Unlike our last trip, he would not leave the other kids. He had such a great time. I also enjoyed my time and really felt like Ty and I were both getting the vacation that we really needed. As a full time single parent it is hard to find time to just sit and read a book. It was a big change to not have to worry about him every minute. I was also able to meet other parents with similar stories and that was really fun too. At the end of the three days, I was so disappointed that it was over. Ty and I kept saying we wish the cruise was longer. When we returned home he was able to go right back to his regular routine and returned to school without incident. I am looking forward to our 7 day cruise in August 2009 with the gang from Autism on the Seas. I know it will be a great trip!

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Caribbean,

Reviewer: Verna

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
It is amazing how the chefs are willing to cook what i want. My experience was great, being on vacation and having gluten-free food! There was a menu of all the selections they had on the cruise and it was full of variety for me to eat something new that was gluten-free everyday. GF CUCHINAS :]

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Royal Caribbean- Mariner of the Seas,

Reviewer: Mel529

3.5 Palms
3.5 Palms
My family and I utilized Royal Caribbean for our recent trip to the Caribbean, we were aboard The Mariner of the Seas. My overall satisfaction was good, but there was much room for improvement. Our travel agent contacted Royal Caribbean ahead of time and they were alerted to my gluten free needs, and we were assured that I could and would be accomidated. Each morning for breakfast we opted for the buffet for pure ease and time (we had a formal breakfast one morning (I had a fritatta) and it took nearly 2 hrs.). Lunch was the same way, but they did have Indian food, and we all realize that ethnic food is much easier to eat than good ol American classics. At dinner the first night I was informed that they had no idea of my needs and I was lucky enough that they happened to have a gluten free option that night. The next night it was better, the waiter told me of the menu for the next night so that the staff was able to make a gluten free version for me as well as bread which I appreciated. However, it seemed as the week wore on, as much attention was not paid to my needs. One night I was told there are no gluten free options for tomorrow night except a chicken breast from the alternative menu (BLAH!). One night I had no dessert option other than plain vanilla ice cream while everyone else lavished on cakes, pies, and tartes. Overall, I was appreciative of the efforts, but the attention to detail was not consistant from night to night.

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Royal Caribbean wonderful experience,

Reviewer: Holly_Gottlieb

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
We had a wonderful experience cruising on Royal Caribbean\'s Liberty of the Seas this past February 2008. Both of my children have celiac and it was smooth sailing all week! We had a wonderful head waitress who provided my children with dinner menu\'s for the following evening so they could could enjoy the same entrees as the rest of us but in a gluten free manner. In addition, there was gluten free bread available for dinner every evening and in the morning our head waitress would have the chef prepare gluten free french toast and she would bring it to the Windjammer for them whenever they came down to breakfast. The french fries at Johnny Rockets were also gluten free and once again whenever the kids wanted the fries she would pick them up herself and bring them to the kids so they wouldn\'t have to pay the cover charge at Johnny Rockets. We found the staff and chefs to be most accommodating and very knowledgeable. I would highly recommend cruising with Royal Caribbean for anyone with food restrictions.

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