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pinktulip

Cruises

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My stepmom is taking my dad on a cruise for his birthday and we've called ahead and told them it needs to be gluten free and talked with the chef several times. My only worry is snacks, more specefically sweets. I'm sure he can find chips and such, but like I've stated before dad has a major sweet tooth.

Basically what I am asking am I right in assuming I should pack some stuff from home cookie and brownie wise? I was thinking making some cookies, getting one box of his fave so far and maybe making some brownies as well as sending some bread on with him.

He's pretty new to the diet and I would hate for him to mess up and get discouraged as the progress he is making is wonderful.

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I was looking at cruises awhile ago and I saw on the Royal Crab. sorry can't spell, they said they can accomodate gluten free diets. See if they allow you to bring some things on, and you could bake him goodies. I was never on a cruise let alone one while being gluten-free so I can't help you more.


~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!

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Not sure if you're familiar with Bob and Ruth's Gluten Free Travel and Dining Club (www.bobandruths.com). I've never been on one of their vacations so I'm not sure what cruise line they use but I would imagine they might be a good source of information.

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Guest Kathy Ann

Bring plenty of snacks, (sweets and otherwise) just in case. You may have a little trouble getting your suitcase checked frequently, but with explanations it can be done. Check and recheck with the cruise staff well in advance and make VERY SURE they honestly understand your needs. Then try to talk primarily to the people in charge on the ship itself. Speak up for yourself (nicely of course) and don't be shy about your needs. I am shy and have had one cruise since being diagnosed that was a bad experience because I didn't stick up for myself and they didn't prepare for me. I lived on the snacks I brought and a few very plain meals. It was stressful. SO.....don't let that happen to you. At the prices for a cruise, you are paying for GOOD FOOD and probably even FANCY FOOD. They are very talented on those ships and can accomodate you if you are sure to prepare them ahead of time and don't let yourself fall throught the cracks by not speaking up. We can educate these cruiselines by creating great experiences for ourselves.

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My step mom has already talked to the chef and explained and I picked up some Pamela's cookies he likes. My grandma thinks I'm crazy but like I pointed out to her, chances are actual sweets like cookies and such might be out of the question. I'm sending to boxes of cookies and some brownies I am baking now.

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Holland America not only knows what Celiac disease is but they will definitely accomodate.


Rusla

Asthma-1969

wheat/ dairy allergies, lactose/casein intolerance-1980

Multiple food, environmental allergies

allergic to all antibiotics except sulpha

Rheumitoid arthritis,Migraine headaches,TMJ- 1975

fibromyalgia-1995

egg allergy-1997

msg allergy,gall bladder surgery-1972

Skin Biopsy positive DH-Dec.1 2005, confirmed celiac disease

gluten-free totally since Nov. 28, 2005

Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism- 2005

Pernicious Anemia 1999 (still anemic on and off.)

Osteoporosis Aug. 2006

Creative people need maids.

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Carnival let me bring gluten-free food on the ship and did a good job of letting me order my meals in advance. Make sure you talk to the Matre D' and the Head Waiter when you get in the dining room.

ENjoy

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Guest Kathy Ann

Nearly every square inch of most cruise ships is filled with 'food glorious food'. There's really no escaping it and it is closely tied in with most of the fellowship. And nearly all of it as it sits on the counters will be off limits to the gluten intolerant guest. That takes some real getting used to. It's sort of like being set adrift in the ocean and told not to drink the water even when you are intensely thirsty. Or going to a 5-star banquet with your jaws wired shut.

But if you know that there are wonderful special gluten free meals awaiting you in the dining room at least 3 times a day, it's MUCH easier to have the needed self discipline to avoid the rest of it. You can always eat pieces of plain fruit and drink tea and plain coffee at the casual buffets, but not much else safely. So the snacks you bring along will come in real handy at those times.

I would also ask for creative gourmet meals, including snacks and not just settle for plain stuff. I plan to do that next time I go. Cruise ships are designed for imaginative meals and that is a great portion of what you are paying for. I still think it's just a matter of courteously speaking up and not getting into victim mode. Be VERY prepared and make it FUN! :)

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We leave February 10th for the first cruise since I have been diagnosed. Princess offers a gluten free menu and I faxed them with my request. I have a friend whos sister has Celiac and she has cruised on Princess many times before...she said that they almost have to drag her off the ship at the end of the cruise..she is so spoiled by gluten-free pancakes, french toast, rolls and muffins...also each evening the head waiter would sit down with her and go over the next days menu so she could select what she would like to have prepared for her gluten-free the following day....I can hardly wait. We have cruised on this line many, many times before and have enjoyed the food, but it was on cruises that I had my first symptoms...stupid me, for several years I thought it was just eating different and rich foods that caused me to run to the ladies room each night after dinner, this will be a new experience for me...we have a very long transpacific cruise of 31 days from Sydney to Los Angeles planned for April '08. I am doing this short cruise as a test to see if I get sick and to make sure they really understand and get what I need.....so this is going to determine if we will be able to take the long cruise. On previous cruises after eating all the things I now know I cannot eat and usually did not eat at home I could not understand why I always became so tired and had so much gi distress, I now know that the way I felt was caused from the gluten...typical gluten reaction. Sissy

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Since going gluten-free 3 years ago I have done a lot of traveling. Most times without trouble but a couple of times my gluten-free requests got lost in the shuffle and they weren't ready for me. I have learned to bring some of my favorites items with me just in case.

The 2 cruises where they lost my requests they were willing to use my prepackaged items as long as they were not already opened.

Holland America did a really great job and picked up items when we went into port but Uniworld River cruise was not very helpful even though they had told me before we booked they could accommodate me, I won't travel with them again because of that and other issues we had with them.

So my recommendation is go have fun and take a couple of items just in case.

Debbie

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Dad is back and had no problems. I think they sailed on Royal Carribean. He said the brownies I made and the cookies I sent were a great help as it was harded to get sweet snacks that he likes, but other than that his main dishes were fantasic. We did notify ahead a time the Celiac Disease and even sent a dining card.

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Pink - glad your dad had a great time with no problems.

I just got back from a 10 night cruise on Princess, who did a wonderful job making sure I could eat something. I was even able to eat at the buffet safely--one of the head cooks noticed me staring at all the food and asked what I was looking for, so when I started asking him about ingredients, he offered to go back and make something for me. I normally wouldn't have done that, but he said it wouldn't take much time. Normally I would eat in one of the restaurants, where you can always get a steak or chicken breast fairly safely. Anyway, this cook sort of looked out for me whenever he saw me.

I took some of my own food....a jar of peanut butter, some energy bars, nuts, etc. to supplement and because the friend I travel with is a late riser and I get up early....so an energy bar + peanut butter was just perfect to allow me to take some meds and hold out until we got to eat breakfast.

The one thing I want to mention to future cruisers is shore excursions. That was something I had the most problem with. We went to the Panama Canal/Caribbean and ALL of the ports we visited had a restriction on food allowed into their ports. Some allowed food as long as it was individually wrapped (at the factory--zip lock bag was not good enough), but some didn't allow anything. So basically if you were on a long excursion, you would have to rely on local food. That was scarey to me. I did have one lunch in Jamaica which seemed safe and did not make me sick, lol, but truly it was sort of a gamble to eat it.

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Dlp252, I am so happy to hear that your cruise went well...we leave in about 6 weeks for 7 days on the Grand Princess...this will be our first cruise since my dx...it is reassuring to hear that they were on top of things...I have already faxed Princess with a gluten free menu request and your post just takes some of my pre cruise food stress away...I am already worrying about one of our excursions that has lunch included...visions of glutenized food are dancing in my mind as I type I will have to get a few goodies to take with me .....Sissy

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Dlp252, I am so happy to hear that your cruise went well...we leave in about 6 weeks for 7 days on the Grand Princess...this will be our first cruise since my dx...it is reassuring to hear that they were on top of things...I have already faxed Princess with a gluten free menu request and your post just takes some of my pre cruise food stress away...I am already worrying about one of our excursions that has lunch included...visions of glutenized food are dancing in my mind as I type I will have to get a few goodies to take with me .....Sissy

Sissy, I had not heard from Princess at all by the time we left, but I had faxed in the gluten/casein free request before hand. When we got to our cabin, there was "mail" in our slot (by the cabin door), when we opened it there was a letter from Princess saying they had my special diet request on file and to show the letter from them to the maitre'd. We had AnyTime Dining, so the very first night we ate in one of the restaurants, and I showed that letter to the person who seated us. They in turn got the maitre'd, who listened to my restrictions, then showed me what I could have at any time from the menu, and the necessary modifications I'd need to ask for. Then he told me that if I talked to him the day before that they could substitute gluten-free pasta, bread etc. on some of the other menu items as well.

In the end, I ended up not talking to him again, simply because with my friend, we can never really tell what we'll feel like doing a day in advance, lol. I did take a chance eating at the buffet, but luckily I found someone who sort of looked after me there. I think the whole process is easier if you eat in the restaurants or have Traditional Dining.

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My stepmom is taking my dad on a cruise for his birthday and we've called ahead and told them it needs to be gluten free and talked with the chef several times. My only worry is snacks, more specefically sweets. I'm sure he can find chips and such, but like I've stated before dad has a major sweet tooth.

Basically what I am asking am I right in assuming I should pack some stuff from home cookie and brownie wise? I was thinking making some cookies, getting one box of his fave so far and maybe making some brownies as well as sending some bread on with him.

He's pretty new to the diet and I would hate for him to mess up and get discouraged as the progress he is making is wonderful.

Hi,

I wish I would have looked into this site before I left for my cruise. I went Royal Caribbean and they lost my previous request. This was NOT a problem. I sat with the Matre'D and we worked out my meal plan every day. It really isn't that hard. I am gluten free for 1 month now and have come to my senses and stopped feeling sorry for myself about what I can and can not eat. My whole life revolved around food and I had to be reaquainted with myself and find other interests. This was VERY HARD and i eat when I am hungry, it is not my major focus. I started working out - i should say just walking and this cruise helped me start this. The buffet on the 10th floor was truly hard because i wanted what I couldn't have. I ate salad, fruit and then the waiter brought over some steak, chicken for me (gluten free) and it was the protein that helped me to feel satisified. I have lost 15 pounds and I need to loose more, but I feel soooo good and clothes aren't the enemy anymore. I feel like I am finally worrying about me and not just my family. I had a wonderful cruise, I went swimming everyday and I hadn't done that in years...i should say I have gone to the beach just in a coverup. I wore a bathing suit without a coverup in the water and was so excited. I had to find other things to keep me occupied and that is the issue that takes getting used to. I can't wait to go on my next cruise. I keep on saying food doesn't make the person, it's developing a new foundness for oneself thats scary. I just found out that my mirror doesn't talk back, its just me. ha ha Now christmas is another issue....

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We have always requested anytime dining because we just hate to have to be somewhere at a certain time each day when we are on vacation.

I had no idea how they could provide a gluten free diet for me...thanks for the info...I will hope that letter is in my mailbox. I am not a real fan of the buffet except for breakfast...and I will be able to eat yougurt, fruit, bacon so that should not be a problem. I have stressed about this whole gluten free thing but feel a little better knowing that you had a good experience...a friend of mine has a sister that has cruised Princess before and she said that her sister hated to get off the ship at the end of the cruise because she never had to worry about being gluttoned...I hope that I have that much confidence in the food while I am cruising. I don't know if you read my previous post...we have a 31 day cruise planned for 4/08 and wanted to use this cruise as a gluten-free experiment...I think I will not only fax the gluten free menu request to them at Princess before the cruise but I will also send a letter to the head chef and Maitre'D on the Sapphire Princess with my food restrictions...31 days is a very long time to be on a ship if the food is not gluten-free! Sissy

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We have always requested anytime dining because we just hate to have to be somewhere at a certain time each day when we are on vacation.

I had no idea how they could provide a gluten free diet for me...thanks for the info...I will hope that letter is in my mailbox. I am not a real fan of the buffet except for breakfast...and I will be able to eat yougurt, fruit, bacon so that should not be a problem. I have stressed about this whole gluten free thing but feel a little better knowing that you had a good experience...a friend of mine has a sister that has cruised Princess before and she said that her sister hated to get off the ship at the end of the cruise because she never had to worry about being gluttoned...I hope that I have that much confidence in the food while I am cruising. I don't know if you read my previous post...we have a 31 day cruise planned for 4/08 and wanted to use this cruise as a gluten-free experiment...I think I will not only fax the gluten free menu request to them at Princess before the cruise but I will also send a letter to the head chef and Maitre'D on the Sapphire Princess with my food restrictions...31 days is a very long time to be on a ship if the food is not gluten-free! Sissy

Thats for sure! Your upcoming cruise sounds wonderful, but definitely 31 days is a long time if you can't eat, lol. You'll for sure want to take some extra goodies to supplement just in case.

On the Princess website there is a section called "cruise personalizer"...under there somewhere is a place for special dietary needs. I checked the box for gluten-free, but noticed there was a link beside it, which basically said to fax a letter to Princess outlining your needs. There's a fax number listed there.

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