Food allergies and cruises
Can Food-Allergic Diners Go on Cruises?
Our members have come through again! Given that AllergyEats is designed to be a community site, it is great to see members helping members beyond just the key task of rating restaurants.
Yesterday, an AllergyEats Facebook fan (Melissa) asked:
“Have any of you gone on a cruise? We are considering taking a cruise with our food allergic son, but I am afraid to take him somewhere that I have no control over what he eats for a week. I’d love to hear experiences on various cruise lines.”
The responses were great (so far!) and I thought it made sense to share them with the AllergyEats Blog readers. Feel free to add your own comments under Reply or Comments at the end of this blog entry (or on the AllergyEats Facebook page).
Here are the responses:
I’m wondering the same thing. This is why we haven’t traveled out of state even! My son had and anaphylactic reaction, stopped breathing and had to be intubated and air-lifted while on vacation. Now we’re paranoid to go anywhere that’s not close to home.
I have no doubt that Disney would handle it with grace & ease.
We did a Disney Cruise this year with my son who is allergic to milk, soy, and eggs. They were absolutely fantastic at every meal. It was such a stress-free vacation for me because I did not have to worry. They are pricier than other cruise lines, but IMO was worth every penny to have peace of mind.
I’ve heard terrific things about Disney’s cruises,etc…for gluten intolerant vacationers as well as other allergies. If I had the money, I’d definitely take a cruise on one of their ships.
My concern lies more on the medical care aboard and in port – as my child has gone ANA from a trace reaction – I have yet to find a site that rates medical care on cruises
I have a wheat allergy & traveled twice over the last few years on Norwegian Cruiselines. I contacted the special services dept. a few weeks prior to our sailing dates & they were very knowledgeable & sent me a list of gluten free foods they offer. They asked me to select foods that I would want the cruise to have. When I boarded the ships, the restaurant manager met with me & went over my dietary needs. At each restaurant on board, I reminded the servers & they always knew exactly what I needed. They were very well trained on food allergies.
We also did a Disney cruise in December with my nut and egg allergic child- the best thing we ever did!! I was so nervous, my comfort level is pretty tight, but it couldn’t have gone better. The chef even would make special desserts for my son every night so that he had something “fancy” to eat with the rest of us, sadly “fancy” to him is vanilla ice cream, but the things he made were amazing. Our waiter was always on top of the dinner, discussing the next meal before we left. I felt so great and relaxed while there – although my meds bag was overflowing with everything I could possibly bring – the only thing we used was Dramamine – for me!!
We took a carnival carribbean cruise a year ago with my son who has an anaph allergy to all nuts. Prior to the cruise we filled out a special form detailing the allergy and his reaction. Once we boarded, I made a beeline to the dining room and spoke with the maitre d and waiters we would have. They sat w me that first day and gave me the menu for each day and wrote down what we picked for Reid, and cooked his food first and separately each night. They gave us dessert suggestions as well. The maitre d made sure to stop at our table every night to make sure all was well. All in all, I think they handled it exceptionally well.
These are great comments and more positive than I would have thought (having never gone on a cruise). As always, all proper precautions should be taken; however, it seems like a cruise should not be out of the question for those with food allergies.
In addition to these above comments, I found some great advice on the web. My favorite is from the website Delicious Baby (hey, I don’t name these) at the following link:
Again, please feel free to post your own comments on cruising with food allergies below. Have you had similarly positive experiences as some of the posters? No one has yet shared a negative experience – have you had one? Are there other cruise lines that deserve kudos?
And as always, please remember to rate all of your land-based restaurant experiences at the main AllergyEats site, www.allergyeats.com. Every rating increases the value of AllergyEats for our entire food allergy and intolerance community.