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Being in Control of Your Gluten-Free Diet on a Cruise Ship

I am a chef so misspell words, terrible grammar is what you will get...but I am one of the best of best when it comes to food...believe that. Feel free to ask questions because I want to help like I have helped many others...

How to get gluten-free fine dining on a cruise
Of course book your ticket first and  notify the ticket agent you have a special diet..I assume they put it in the ticket. Your ticket will tell you what sitting you will have for dinner and your table number so always keep that in mind for future correspondence. Next I contact the cruise line per their web page and use the contact info to let them know that I am on a special diet and will need help with all my meals. I tell them to please foreward to the correct persons . Remember to put in your letter the date you are going and your table number and time you are eating also your room number (hint' if you get severely ill or just a little it will spoil your trip so treat it like it will ruin your trip).   Also you want to ask the cruise line to notify the ship,
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and maybe they will send your letter you make out explaining in detail your illness one to the Head chef and one to the matrure D'. In my letter I tell them in bold letters that CROSS CONTAMINATION is my worst fear (A chef using the same tongs he uses to flip a sandwich then he uses it to put my lobster on the plate...just a small example or a cloth to wipe the rim of my plate he just used on another plate).

Once my letter is drafted and emailed I keep a copy to take with me when I board the sailing day. You would be amazed that they will remember you from your letter because they did with me.  So now they know I am coming and the next thing I do is ask the cruise line for the menus of the meals. For the ships to save cost they have menus for the whole year so that is very easy to do. They will send you breakfast menu and the cycle of dinner menus so hang on to next time I will tell you how to master the menu. Why should you be stuck with simple food cause you have celiac or another food allergy? So the next time I post I will wow you with some menu ideas and how to plan your dinner meals before  you get to the cruise...'till next time.
Chef Daniel P

As always, welcomes your comments (see below).

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5 Responses:


said this on
20 Mar 2008 5:14:00 AM PST
I tried doing something similar on a recent trip. The dinner waiter and maitre'd didn't speak enough English to understand my diet restrictions. Even talking to the maitre'd the after boarding didn't really help. I ended up eating a lot of salad or stir fry from the buffet and a la carte stations by the pool.

Chef Dan

said this on
20 Mar 2008 2:45:11 PM PST
Thats why I am here...I hate salads, well I'd rather eat next blog will show you how I make a meal for a king or queen...stay tuned as this will show you how to get the dinner for all the days...and if interested folks I will show how to get a hamburger from the non English staff. Trust me I did it and you can to. You just have to have patients and know what to do--I will explain soon.


said this on
23 Mar 2008 1:10:26 PM PST
I am planning a cruise. Please post an example of the letter that you sent. I am not sure what 'chef language' to include to insure safe dining.


said this on
23 Mar 2008 5:58:10 PM PST
I am so glad to read your advice. We had booked a cruise on Carnival Destiny before I was diagnosed. Please keep writing as I will look forward to every entry. As a teacher, I think you get an A for spelling! I will try to get menus for my sailing dates tonight!

said this on
25 Oct 2012 2:37:05 PM PST
I have found that CARNIVAL's ships do a fabulous job with my gluten-free meals! Everyone in the main dining rooms and additionally at the 'specialty' food areas set up throughout the ship can provide me with a gluten-free meal (which is NOT only salad! or fruit!!) Be careful regarding their ice cream stations, though! I found that even though I was told that the soft serve ice cream is gluten-free - it was not. However, the frozen self-serve yogurt machine sitting right next to the ice cream machine proved to be gluten-free! So, I was able to 'indulge' there!

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