I haven't been active in a while - very busy with my wedding plans, school, etc. Now that it's all done I wanted to share my surprisingly fantastic experience on a Celebrity Cruise. For our honeymoon, we booked a cruise through Celebrity for 12 nights in the Mediterranean (Italy, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Spain, etc). Needless to say, I was absolutely terrified about eating and getting sick. I dreaded the thought of being stuck in the bathroom for days when I should be enjoying my honeymoon with my new husband. After calling the customer service line multiple times to confirm over and over again that the cruise line was aware that I had Celiac and needed to be on a very strict diet, I took a deep breath, boarded the ship, and waited to see what happened. I couldn't be more surprised...
Every single staff member new what "Celiac" and "gluten free" meant, even the ones that had some difficulty speaking English. I never had a single problem finding food, even at the buffet where I thought I would have mini heart attacks every time I passed through there. I was able to go to the Pizza Station in the all-day buffet and request a gluten free pizza. A staff member would call for a gluten free crust to be brought up to the kitchen, staff changed their gloves, and they would make me any kind of pizza I wanted on a separate section of the oven reserved for gluten free items. Same with the Pasta Station - they actually knew to boil new water for me and my gluten free pasta in a separate pot (trust me, I watched). Every staff member was able to help me pick out gluten free items at the buffet (I know, we all cringe when we hear buffet, but it was a cruise with mostly adults and people were really good about keeping the spoons separate)
At dinner in the main dining hall, there was always warm toasted gluten free bread waiting for me each night. Again, the staff were extremely knowledgeable about gluten-free food. They had each item on the menu labeled to tell if you if it was gluten free, dairy free, nut free, or "no extra sugar added." Regardless, they knew I had Celiac and made sure that my food was not cross contaminated. I got to order my meal in advance to make sure that it was able to be prepared gluten free. The food supervisor would come to my table each night with the next day's menu and would directly take my order.
I was even surprised that the specialty restaurants were able to accommodate me - the Asian restaurant was able to provide me with gluten free Pad Thai food with Asian fried rice with gluten free soy sauce. The Italian restaurant made me fresh gluten free bread - it was so good that I actually had to ask the waiter to check to make sure it was gluten free. They even had gluten free croutons for my salad.
By day 2 I was incredibly comfortable and actually ate better on the cruise than I ever did at home (the extra 5 pounds I put on is proof of that!). I WILL be sailing with Celebrity again because of this experience. I wanted to share to let everyone know that you can have a good experience on a cruise!