Tip for Dining Gluten Free on the Carnival Imagination Cruise Ship,
October 29, 2012
Carson City, NV
When we booked our cruise on the Carnival Imagination, I learned that there is a policy in which you can't bring substantial amounts of food or drink on board. I told them of my dietary restrictions, and the person I spoke with said it would be fine for me to bring my own food then. She did say, however, that they would have plenty of gluten free food available for me on board, so that I really didn't need to worry about bringing my own food.
I decided to take them at their word, and I only brought a few snacks. I put my trust in them that I would be fed--and fed well.
Where Carnival failed is that they didn't give me enough information when I booked. I wish that they had explained where I would need to go to get the gluten free food, and I wish that their staff had been better educated on the subject. At the very least, I wish they would have put a pamphlet in the cabin explaining where people on dietary restrictions need to eat.
We were on a three-day cruise, and the first day and a half was quite stressful for me. We went to the buffet and were met with blank stares when I asked which items were gluten free. After much standing around and waiting, a chef came and pointed out maybe one main dish and two side dishes I could have.
At the next two meals, the chefs were not as helpful.
I finally became stressed enough that I complained to the person in charge of the buffet room. It was only then that I was told that I should go to the formal dining room if I wanted gluten free food. They called the hostess from the dining room, she came to meet me, took me to the dining room and she and the waiters took excellent care of me for the rest of the cruise.
Once we found out we would need to eat every meal in the dining room instead of going to the buffet, life was good again and I had plenty of choices.
I would definitely book again on this cruise line.