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How to Prepare for a Gluten-Free Port Visit on Your Cruise

This is a person’s preference if they eat at a local restaurant at a port.  I get way too sick if I try this--like I said before. I can only suggest how to try to do it but it is you doing it and I can't guarantee any results because I am not cooking or serving the food.


To eat at a local restaurant while at port

 You should have already done a search on the internet for the ports you are going to to see if there is a gluten free restaurant.

  1. To be able to speak and read the language if it isn't English--or have a comprehensive gluten-free restaurant card in the language they speak.  You still can ask to see the product and to look at the ingredients. I have eaten corn chips in Mexico that were in a bag and I was able to read the English on the bag to make sure no wheat.
  2. I highly suggest having the food cook in front of you like a little side walk grill and try to have them clean the grill or broiler.  Give them the plate and fork to pick up the food.
  3. Can you get them to microwave the food like vegetables, or chicken.  So much safer, not the way to try the local food but you don't get sick. Ask them to put it in a plate with wrap on and microwave it.
  4. You could have a letter explaining your illness in there native language and write out how to cook the food you see on the menu. Make small form letter like I showed for cruises and then hand writes what you want to eat when you look at the menu.  Remember in there language or they might not be able to read it.
  5. Ask for items you know are fresh like vegetables and fruit.  I get orange cheese and they cut it in front of me or slices. Maybe they have some yogurts or other milk products that are sealed and you can read the ingredients.

 If you are not that brave like me this is how I spend all day off of the ship. I carry a small back pack to hold some food.

  1. The night before I turn in a form letter for breakfast and also on the bottom of the form letter I have a lunch request to take for later in the day (that’s why your extra nice to your hostess because she is the one who is going to sweet talk the Sous chef to do this)--try not to say to take it off the ship. You might get denied.
  2. Review the room service menu and have items that you like and they will hold up in the heat served to your room in the morning.

·    I get orange cheese because no matter how hot it gets and as long as you eat it within a few hours won’t spoil. Might melt but I don’t care about that. It is good protein.

·     Do they have peanut butter packages that are few ounces (read the ingredients)? Some room services have this type of containers. Again some good protein for energy while away playing.

·    Small honey packages is a good sugar and gives energy if it is a very long day

·    Ask for some chunks of turkey or ham.  If it is sliced there is a slim chance that they might have sliced a product with gluten right before they sliced the meat that you are going to eat.

·    Some vegetables and/or small fruit that hold up well.  Go to the buffet that runs all day and grab your fruits and vegetables. Make sure that you go to the buffet the day before you get to port.  Go at the time you will go the following day so you see a lunch buffet. Then the day you go to port and the buffet is still serving breakfast.

·     Bacon holds up very well but not the best tasting if it gets to cold

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You do know what you like so stick to that either from the buffet or from your main or the dinning room.  I asked at the bottom of my form and highlighted it or circleed it and I do ask for it before I leave from my breakfast. 

We went to the Jamaican rum factory in Jamaica and the trip was 1.5 hours one way. We didn’t read the trips traveling time that was on the sheet.  So I was unprepared for this trip with no food at all.  Part of the cost was lunch buffet at the rum factory. It was Jamaican food and I didn’t touch it.  I waited patiently for the cook to come out and told her I have food allergies to certain food. This was way easier to just keep it really short and to make sure you don’t insult anyone.  She could hardly speak English but enough to understand I would get sick.  I asked for some orange cheese to eat and I was good until I got to the boat.

Each port is different and you need to know how sensitive you are prepare accordingly.

I believe that this is the last blog on eating while you are cruising the seas.

The next blog will be questions and answers from you and anything I missed. Also I will  make a form letter for you to bring on your cruise.

Chef Daniel P.


 I am available for consultation and to convert menus for your cruise.

As always, welcomes your comments (see below).

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All Activity Celiac Disease & Gluten-Free Diet Forum - All Activity

Love reading this story as it is rare (I think) to find someone else with the swallowing issues! Hate that this is your experience however! My daughter also has the swallowing issues and it got so severe (we had no idea about Celiac) that she had to do intensive therapy to learn how to swallow again. It got better but never resolved. Once she went gluten-free it got way better though a recent exposure to oats caused it to flare up again. Do you mind me asking - Has your swallowing issues 100% resolved being gluten-free? Does it ever actually go away and stay away or will it always pop up from time to time?

I will say what everyone else says and get tested again with the endoscope and biopsy to confirm, you will need to be on gluten for 12 weeks for blood test 2 weeks for endoscope at least a slice of bead a day. The thing about celiac is many symptoms can be quite minor, hell even before I had my MAJOR symptoms show I had some of the other issues show up in my every day life and I just thought it was normal. Regardless if you keep eating gluten with celiac disease it will slowly eat away at your body internally til it does become a problem. Celiac is a autoimmune disease that reacts to the gluten proteins, and has misdirected attacks on your own body internally by mistake trying to kill the gluten. Now the damage can lead to all kinds of other auto immune diseases, random allergies, food intolerance, and even cancer. I suggest if you do have it, stay on the gluten-free diet, your just basically changing brands there are many gluten-free food versions of everything now days. Be thankful you got this early, I developed issues with dairy, corn, peanuts, and a whole list of others along with another autoimmune disease Ulcerative Colitis that makes it so I can not eat sugars or carbs or my intestines swell. Getting on a gluten-free diet before your damage progresses will not only keep you healthier for longer, and let you live a pretty normal life but also save you from this pain and very limited diet if the damage progresses too much. As to your fatigue, you changed over to gluten-free diet, you stopped eating a bunch of the Fortified foods, and depending on the route you took of either whole foods ore more processed foods. You could be eating to many empty carbs, starches, and not enough nutrients. OR if you took the whole foods approach you be lacking in your daily calorie intake or not the right ratio of nutrients. You might have to supplement a few of them.

REALLY odd call out here, I am attending a anime convention called A-Fest in Dallas come August, I need someone to split the room with it who is gluten-free. I take extra precautions, I COOK all the food, bring only CERTIFIED foods into the room, The room will be Gluten Free, Corn Free, Dairy Free, Peanut Free. I am trying to find someone to split the room cost with, that would be safe to be around I CAN NOT AFFORD to get sick at one of these things, it is one of my few joys left in life and get very paranoid around them. So I need someone who is also gluten-free to make sure the room stays safe (YES I have done with with a non celiac with the rules down and well stuff happens so not chancing it). Room split is food coverage comes to $400 if it is just two people. 4 day convention, I will arrange a meal plan around your diet as long as it is free of my allergens. I will also provide various snacks, baked goods, and even stuff to take home with you. ^Convention info.

Hi Jennifer, This thread might have some information that would help you. Your doctors are pretty lame IMHO. Perhaps you can find a celiac group in your area that has local meetings for support. They might also suggest a different doctor who knows how to treat celiac patients.

The initial reason gluten free diets came about was to treat a condition called celiac disease?an autoimmune disorder known to affect at least three ... View the full article