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I apologize for the tardiness in posting my experiences on the Moscow-St.Petersburg cruise on Viking. Please refer to my response that I entered today (5/14/08): "River Cruise Moscow to St. Petersburg".
My wife and I did the Moscow - St. Petersburg river cruise with Viking River Cruises. We had a fabulous experience, not one accident. The cruise ship crew was fantastic looking after my diet.
Here is what I did:
1. I went into MENUDATA.com and get a free translation in Russian of the stuff I cannot have.
2. As soon as we got on board, I went to see the dining room's maitre d' and gave him a copy of the printed the translation.
3. He identified me as #5 (lactose intolerant) and #6 (gluten free) from his mater list. Told me to tell the wait staff of my numbers each time I came for a meal, and promised to make a special meal.
4. True to his word, I never had an accident. Even the box lunches that they prepared were gluten free. After a couple of days, they all knew me.
Naturally I tipped them generously for their detailed attention.
We brought a lot of Lara Bars, Jerky (only Oberto as it is MSG free), etc. Didn't touch them too much.
We flew Lufthanza and requested a special diet. They faithfully provided me with the fruit platter meals that I requested.
That was my pleasant experience, and the river cruise ? It was fantastic.
I hope this experience is helpful to those who wants to go to Russia.
I don't know if you can import beer from the US. We have "Red Bridge", a beer made of SORGHUM by Anheuser-Busch, Inc. It tastes somewhat like dark beer. To me it tastes pretty decent. Hey, beggars are not choosers. This is the only beer that I can have.
Here is a link to their website: www.redbridgebeer.com
I live in Metaire, LA, and since diagnosed with Celiac not long ago, has had many "accidents" dining out in New Orleans. The one where I had good experience was a small nice place called "Dante's Kitchen". The table staff that we had was quite knowledgable about celiac. The fish dish that I ordered was fantastic and it was gluten free. Unfortunately, when you have celiac you don't have too many choices from the menu.
Dante's Kitchen is at the corner of Dante St. and Leake Ave.
Thank you very much for the feedback. I will post my experiences after I get back from our trip in September.
Many readers suggested bringing such things as gluten free bars that you can get from Whole Foods, Trail Mixes, etc. Unfortunately, I found out that I am also sensitive to dried fruits. I tried dried appricots, dates (beautiful, large and delicious ones from California) and got into big D.
Recently I found out that I seem to develop lactose intolerance. Loved cheese and yogurt, but, can't have them anymore. I was diagnosed with Celiac in Nov 2005. Had no problem with lactose until recently.
I also found that I cannot tolerate certain nuts, such as smoked almonds. I understand many bars use nuts and dried fruits. I plan to try some of them shortly.
Is this unusual, or are there readers with the same problem ? This makes it difficult when flying long distance.
I chew on a lot of sugarless mint gum. Always have a supply in my pocket, at home, at the office, in the car, everywhere. If the nausea is bad, I could be taking one every 30 minutes. Also, I found that strong ginger tea helped. Usually they ae sweetened with sugar, so it is not good if you are diabetic. You can buy the ginger tea in Asian Groceries. I have found them made in Thailand or Indonesia.
I am lucky that I don't get nausea too often or very bad.
My wife and I (I am a new celiac) plan to do a river cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg in Sept/Oct. I am very concerned about my situation and would like to learn from you who have been on a trip similar to this. This trip is organized by Viking River Cruises.
From reading the comments in this forum, I understand that I need to talk to the cruise line, to the people managing food on board the cruise ship, to the tour guide, etc. I was also thinking about bringing my own food (very cumbersome), rice, rice cooker, etc.