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Reviews Written by Northerntraveller10:  



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NCL Gem

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4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
NCL Gluten Free Cruising Jan 02, 2010
reviewer: Northerntraveller10 from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontar, Canada

NCL has the best setup to accomodate gluten free diets out of all the major cruise lines. We have been on 6 cruises on four different lines, and so far found NCL has the best gluten free food. This being said, I cannot vouch for Princess, Celebrity (the latter I understand does claim to suit meals to your gluten free needs). As for NCL, they are the best because they are prepared with the right ingredients for gluten free food and they prepare all meals to suit on demand. This means they have rice pasta, and if you order any dish from the menu, on the spot (no pre- ordering the night before), they will make it completely gluten free, without comprimising the dish in any way. So if it has a sauce on it, it will be on there, less the wheat flour in it. I must clarify, that on occation, there were unable to prepare a dish, because of key, specific ingredients used for that dish which cannot be replicated gluten free, of which the whole dish hinged on. There was one time side dish and sauce could not be made for this reason, but recommended some substitute for this that went well with the main part of the meal. Yes, they had real gluten free pizzas, pastas, breads, and sauces and they all tasted really great. So far they have also been consistant, but time will tell. For this reason we will now only use this line and recommend it to anyone else. Now before you say that the gluten free food cannot be that good as other reports are that the food is not good to start with on NCL, consider what the bad review is comparing too. I (me the non-gluten free eater who writes this in behalf my spouse) found that the food is not in the category of fussion, or exotic. It will not be spicy or too out there. This is often available on other lines and some high end restaurants. But I have also heard many say they did not like those types of foods as well, so NCL may be leaning to the other side of person tastes. Also the main dining room did not have as much selection as other did. This being said, the buffet was great, and better than any other I had seen at sea, also the specialty restaurants were exceptional, with a cover charge of $5-20 per person (a small cost compared to the total trip overall). The food in general is more geared to family fare than exotic, foreign, adult only dining meals. Remember if you want your curried lamb really hot, tell the waiter, as the food is made to order and not just prepared the same for everyone. Food on some other ships overall were better to some extent, not significantly though and some ships had worse food overall. NCL is consistant and you will be well taken care of. I have rated the food based on a combination of overall food quality in general and also took into consideration the gluten free side of things.

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Carnival Legend

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2.0 Palms
2.0 Palms
Carnival Legend Gluten Free Cruise Experience Jan 02, 2010
reviewer: Northerntraveller10 from Sault Ste. Marie

For all you gluten free cruisers out there, Carnival has improved their gluten free options. Just travelled on Carnival's Legend with a group of friends so we went, but only as the cruise line said that they were now good at accommodating gluten free needs. They were, kind of. Past experiences on both Carnival and Holland (Carnival's upscale line) were both disasters for gluten free eating. The past trips found the gluten free food selection to be terrible, of poor quality/taste, and was not a true gluten free menu, just glutened items removed or poor attempts at bread/dough based items like bread. This time was much improved, although the bread was still inedible. There were at least 2 main dish selections, 2+ appitizers, salads, and at least one soup and always a dessert. Sometimes they used gluten-free ingredients to make the menu selection, but sometimes gluten filled items were simply removed. It was hit and miss, but I did not starve this time. Dessert was great some nights, but fruit or ice cream were the only options on other nights. While the cruise was the worst out of 6 we've been on, I am not rating the trip, but the meals. Also keep in mind, on other ships under the same line, there may be a different response or ability to adapt to your gluten free needs as we have found. This seems to be the case with Carnival and it's affiliated lines. If you want to go on these lines because of the group you want to be with you will survive ok and get glutened. But if you have the choice, NCL will take care of you well.

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Carrabba's Italian Grill
405 North Reo Street
Tampa, FL 33609


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Carrabba's -- Tampa Bay Gluten Free Restaurant Jan 02, 2010
reviewer: Northerntraveller10 from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

This Italian restaurant is all over Tampa Bay and I called before going on vacation to ask about a restaurant being gluten free. They confirmed yes. I assumed they all are as many gluten free sites claim. Another location was selected, one east of Westshore Plaza Mall, and it turned out they did not have gluten free pasta like the other one claimed on the phone. They did have a gluten free menu if you asked for it, but like some places, it was not a true gluten free menu, just some items with the typical gluten items removed. This was disappointing. Despite this, the staff did provide a decent meal. The service was good, and portions large. The atmosphere was nice and was like an Italian eatery style restaurant, not just a cafe. But if you are looking for gluten free pasta, try calling another location and stick to that one. Alternatively, try Uno Chicago as they have good gluten free pasta and pizza - tried them in other locations and it is good; Maggiano's at Westshore is another try but did not eat there.

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PF Chang's
250 Westshore Plaza
Tampa, FL 33609


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
P.F. Chang's -- Tampa Bay Gluten Free Restaurant Jan 02, 2010
reviewer: Northerntraveller10 from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

This place is an upscale chinese food restaurant, complete with a similar calibre of atmosphere, decor, people, and a desire to please. You don't have to talk with anyone in particular upon arrival as all the staff know the specifics of a gluten free meal. There is a large selection of gluten free items as the entire back page of the menu is specific to this diet. The quality of the food is excellent and could not taste the difference between the standard prepared food and the gluten free food (neither could my wife who is the one with celiacs). They were very careful with dietary needs in general and if you tried to mix things up they were more then welcoming to this, but the servers also knew enough to say whether your idea would work or not for your diet. In the several times we visited this establishment while on vacation here, the quality was high, consistent, taste was excellent (some of the best chinese food I have ever had), the gluten free menu was a real menu and not just something with the bread removed - many breaded items had light gluten free breading too - you would never know if someone did not tell you. You will not be disappointed and you can do takeout also.

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