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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Anyone Sail Carnival Recently?
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8 posts in this topic

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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    • Will my doctor test me? So many symptoms...
      Yep, get tested for celiac.  You have plenty of digestive symptoms to indicate it.
    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richie, It definitely sounds like you got glutened.  Over here in the USA they can't label foods gluten-free if they are made from gluten ingredients, period.  So your barley drink would not be labeled gluten-free here.  A while back I read something about the testing for gluten in foods not being as accurate for detecting barley hordein as it is for wheat gliaden.  So the gluten-free testing (if they do any) that your drink maker does may not be reliable. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition.  So the immune system starts reacting when it detects gluten and damages the gut lining.  An immune reaction is not like a food poisoning event, where most of the damage is only while the food is actually in your system and then ends.  An immune reaction can continue for weeks to months.  The immune system is really quite serious about protecting our bodies.  And since it is designed to detect and attack micro-organisms it reacts to tiny amounts of gluten. Wheat, barley, and rye are the main gluten grains that affect celiacs.  But some celiacs also react to oat gluten.  
    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richie,  Glad you are feeling better. I wondered have you been officially diagnosed with coeliac disease? Just wondering as you say you are anaemic, that is one of the symptoms of coeliac disease, along with other general malnutrition. You don't need to eat meat for iron though, you can get it from non-heme foods, like spinach or parsley. Just be careful with the drink with barley, it may be that you only start to have symptoms if you consume a lot of it, but if you have coeliac disease the damage is still been done to your gut regardless of whether you have symptoms or not, which will ultimately lead to malnutrition as well as other things.
    • Weird Reaction
      I think, if all this is caused by glutening, it could be that it takes a while to work its way out of your system. I should explain about what I said about organic broccoli.   I don't have a problem with organic food,  in fact, I buy organic milk and carrots all the time, but I don't want to try organic broccoli in case it is the broccoli that is the problem, not the insecticide.    I meant to ask, are you a coeliac or is it non-coeliac gluten intolerance that you have?   I wonder what sort of support you get in Australia for these conditions once diagnosed?   Here in the UK I think the understanding is that if new gastro symptoms have lasted for more than six weeks it needs to be investigated.   I have found this very helpful advice because I do get odd twinges of pain and sometimes changes in bowel movements (sorry if tmi) but they rarely last more than a couple of weeks.   If they do persist I mention it to my gastroenteroligist and he follows it up.  I recently had a sigmoidoscopy for left sided pain and they found nothing.  Turns out it was to do with lactose intolerance, but I always imagine the worse!    
    • Will my doctor test me? So many symptoms...
      Welcome, @iwillmoveamountain! Of course you are not wrong to pursue getting testing for celiac. My advice is to drop that doctor and find a new one, preferably one who is celiac savvy, and who will listen to you and test you for the disease.  
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