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Anyone Sail Carnival Recently?
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This will be my first trip gluten free. I've read great things about Carnival's ability to handle gluten free meals. I have already contacted them and have it noted in my reservation and plan to talk to the dining room staff on the 1st day. Anyone with recent experience? What was good, bad? Did you eat at the buffet at all and if so what did you feel was safe? When I contacted Carnival they let me know that gluten free could only be accomodated in the dining room so I'll probably stick with salads/fruits, whole eggs, bacon, etc. at the buffet.

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Hello Christine0125, I have not traveled with Carnival, so I'll be interested to know your experience upon your return. Since being diagnosed last year I have been on two cruises (Princes and Royal Caribbean lines). Both were similar in that you you notify them of your dietary needs prior to the cruise and on the first day (maitre d' upon boarding and again with the headwaiter on the first nights seating). I always avoided the buffets because of potential cross-contamination issues. Royal Caribbean actual listed the gluten free options (but do note that folks use tongs from other dishes that contain gluten). So get there first or ask them to get you some from the kitchen or skip it and eat your own food. For dinners you will preview the next days menu and select what you would like to eat (the will prepare it to your dietary needs). I still do not understand why they don't do that for all meals, as it seems to be the safest way to prepare food(I hear that Norwegian might do lunch too). The cruise lines and staff in general are really accommodating, I'm still getting over my upbringing in Minnesota where you do not ask people to go out of their way for you (I know...I'm my own best advocate...still working on it). I'm still healing and am risk adverse when it comes to food, so I happen to travel with a lot of safe food. Have fun and enjoy the cruise!!! Feel free to ask as many questions as you like and I look forward to hearing about your Carnival cruise.

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When are you traveling. I'm planning a Sep cruise on Carnival. I have never taken a cruise before.

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6/24 sailing. I will report back on my gluten free findings. I am sitting in the phoenix airport with a delay and its very lacking in gluten-free fare. Ended up with sunflower seeds for dinner. :(

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Funny you should ask..I am on the 7/9 Carnival sailing. I emailed dining but todate have not response. It will be interesting what you find out. I am going with high hopes. I know Disney does gluten free right, i am thinking that Carnival will too.

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I sailed on Carnival Destiny in April!!! Best vacation EVER!!! And dare to say the best vacation for someone on a gluten free diet. Had a great time, staff were attentive and if you have a gluten free diet - you become VERY SPECIAL!!! I did eat at the buffet and just watched what I ate. Each area has different foods and plenty of each. I had no issues at all.

The dining room dining - was excellent!! There is no way to describe how they cater to you. You eat in the same dining hall (the one assigned to you) each night and I even reqeusted the same waiter (Daniel from El Salvador - we loved loved loved him). I was also assigned a lady to deal with my menu. After the first night I would plan my meals for the next day. You can eat all three meals in the dining hall!!! The 2nd night I ordered a meal and then a backup meal just to make sure the chef could prepare that meal gluten free. When the waiter brought me my food they brought both meals!!! Gives you an idea of why I can 10 pounds on the cruise!!!

The last day on the ship they set a man (eating alone) at our table what was also celiac. Gave me a chance to chat with him which was really nice.

I hope you enjoy your trip.

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Back from our cruise and overall I give Carnival high marks for accomodating gluten free. The first night the waiter told me the couple options they could make gluten free - I stuck with steak, baked potato and steamed veggies. After that the hostess came each evening to the table and took my order for the following night and I could order just about anything on the menu - she would point out the ones that could not be made gluten free. After the 2nd night of icky desserts I asked and they got better... one night I got a gluten-free chocolate melting cake and another night baked alaska (delish). I found when I didn't request dessert I'd get something really obscure - an apple baked in heavy syrup (yuck), some kind of weird pinapple thing. I found the gluten free bread pretty bad (gritty weird texture) which was disappointing. I could have ordered gluten free pancakes and french toast but after tasting the bread I didn't bother and stuck with omelets and fruit. One thing I noted was that the timing was sometimes off where they would have to wait longer for my food to be prepared (felt bad for the waiters) and one evening I got my appetizer and main course together. No biggie for me!

The buffet was hard to navigate when the dining room was not open but the salad bar was large with lots of options plus a lot of fruit. I risked it at the Indian buffet because salads were just not quite enough for me. I'd ask the chef which contained flour and they were pleasant and knowlegeable. As far as I know I didn't have any ill effects... but I'm new to gluten-free and not sure I recognize reactions vs. just normal ups and downs related to healing.

Good news.... I certainly didn't go hungry!

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I responded under a different post regarding gluten free on Carnival - we had a terrible experience - my daughter with celiac disease was served gluten food on a few occasions.....

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    • Thanks Stephanie & Gemini for the info. that the 4 of 5 doesn't apply to children. I wasn't aware of that until now. 
    • I think the posters above have given you very good information and I will throw in my 2 cents worth.  I am surprised that they did not test her DGP IgA also.  I am sure that would have been positive.  They switched off with antibody classes and usually they do both tests for both antibodies.  IgA is more specific to Celiac but the IgG is also useful.  The testing shows your daughter is producing antibodies to the gluten in her diet. (DGP IGG). THe tTg shows positive for some damage or inflammation. You know........your daughter is only 4.  She hasn't been on the planet or eating gluten that long. It can take years for enough damage to occur for it to be able to be found on biopsy.  I would say it is highly likely that this is Celiac, especially with her symptoms. But because the damage hasn't graduated to bad enough yet, they won't diagnose her. I think you need to do what others have said and get all copies of testing and find someone else who will take a look and give a diagnosis, especially if they have you do a dietary trial and her symptoms go away.  That might be the only recourse if you want faster proof. I know I would want faster.  I would not really be happy if I thought I had to keep feeding her something that was making her sick.  If you keep her on gluten long enough, the diarrhea will probably show up. BTW.........the criteria mentioned regarding diagnosis does not apply to kids.  I know it's silly and stupid but most leading Celiac specialists do not go by this criteria for kids.......adults only.  Keep that in mind because it might come up.  You could recognize it but they might not. Have you considered gene testing, to help bolster a diagnosis? As far as false positives go, it's the other way around. False negatives happen more frequently than many people think.  It's a recurring theme here.  With her symptoms, which is what I had, a bloated belly and tummy aches are telling.  Have they tested her for lactose intolerance?  That can cause similar symptoms, although it sure won't raise those 2 blood tests.  Keep looking for Celiac because there are many red flags here.
    • This 4 out of 5 criteria does not apply to children. I was never given a reason why, but it isn't.     That said, you may try to get a second opinion from another GI who may be willing to give her a firm dx.  We were in your boat 6 years ago and while I'm sure I'll get slammed for it, I wish we had kept gluten in our kiddos diet till he scoped positive for a variety of reasons.  Again, even family is different and you have to find what is best for you!
    • Mnoosh, I had swollen lymph nodes prior to celiac dx and for a while after going gluten free. My neck as well as groin. The groin ones were the worst. Guess what? All gone! It's hard to recall a time line & consider that everyone is different but I think mine completely resolved within a year.  You've been given great information. Just breathe and then again, breathe. You're going to be fine. 
    • It is the only thing you have eaten, so it can't be anything else?  I eat it with no issues so I am not sure how you can be certain that is the problem.  All I am saying is that its sort of "your word against mine and the company's word".  
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