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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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