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hez

Royal Caribbean

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I know alot of people have done cruises and had a great time.

I am about to book a quick anniversary get away and wanted to know if anyone has been on the Monarch of the Seas out of LA? I am worried that since this is a 3 night cruise they may not be as attentive as a 7 day. There are tons of posts but none on this ship.

Thanks,

Hez

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I worked on cruise ship for a number of years pre-celiac BUT I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT you can talk to the head chef or food and beverage manager. When you board go to the front desk and tell them your Celiac and food and blah blah blah and I'd really like to talk to the Head Chef or the Food and Beverage Manager. Whenever you sit down to eat you SHOULD have the same server in the main dining room, tell them when you first meet them that you are Celiac blah blah blah and throw them a nice tip. You tip first, they will really pay attention to you (IE I always tipped first and got the best sheets, room service when it wasn't open, stuff like that) and really get their name and ask about them as a person. Ship people are often lonely and just want someone to talk to...trust me.

And just cause it's a 3 day or 19 day cruise doesn't mean crap, whatever the cruise is they are there in that moment, not thinking about the next cruise or the last cruise. It's odd but you totally focus on the now out to sea, cause you loose the outside world.

I know this all sounds stupid and superficial but trust me trust me trust me, I learned and I PROMISE you that will work....but make sure you talk to the head chef too! :) Have a GREAT trip and don't forget your sea bands!

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Dinners you should be fine. You will have the same "team" every night and they will do everything they can to keep you happy (and healthy). The problems may come with other meals and snacks. To be safe, you will probably need to stay away from the buffets, and just stick with meals in the dining room, and room service. But, for breakfast and lunch in the dining room, you probably will NOT have the same waiter as you have for dinner, so you may have to explain things a lot. On the other hand, if the Maitre'd is there for breakfast and lunch (I think they usually are) he will probably take it upon himself to get you what you need. It is in their best interest to keep you healthy :)

On our last cruise with my MIL, she told the waiter the first night that she had gall bladder problems and had to avoid high-fat items. Of course, every time she ordered a dessert from the normal menu instead of the "fit-fare" menu, he would remind her that what she had just ordered was not low-fat. Sometimes he'd even suggest a low-fat alternative if it was available :) It was actually kind of funny. He would look so upset whenever she ignored his advise and kept her order for the high-fat stuff. By the end of the week, she would just have her husband order her dessert for her so she didn't get a lecture.

One more thing, English is not the first language for most of the people working on cruise ships (especially waiters). I would be sure to take a bunch of the cards that people use at ethnic restaurants (I can't remember what they're called, or where you get them). Take as many different languages as you can. Most of the employees speak passable English, but for something this serious, having something in their native language will probably help.

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I forgot to mention the flourless chocolate cake! Make sure you double-check the recipe, and when you talk to the chef or food manager, see if they'll make you one in an uncontaminated pan. It is WONDERFUL! It is my husband's favorite dessert on the ship, and he can eat anything he wants! If you beg enough, you may even be able to get it as an alternate dessert for every dinner! :)

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Thank you so much for the advice. Part of my problem is that it is really scary for me to eat outside my home. I do it on occasion but I am careful. Last time I was glutened I stayed sick for about three months (I think I was glutened three times). I am really looking forward to a weekend getaway with dh, it should be fun!

Hez

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I worked on cruise ship for a number of years pre-celiac BUT I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT you can talk to the head chef or food and beverage manager. When you board go to the front desk and tell them your Celiac and food and blah blah blah and I'd really like to talk to the Head Chef or the Food and Beverage Manager. Whenever you sit down to eat you SHOULD have the same server in the main dining room, tell them when you first meet them that you are Celiac blah blah blah and throw them a nice tip. You tip first, they will really pay attention to you (IE I always tipped first and got the best sheets, room service when it wasn't open, stuff like that) and really get their name and ask about them as a person. Ship people are often lonely and just want someone to talk to...trust me.

And just cause it's a 3 day or 19 day cruise doesn't mean crap, whatever the cruise is they are there in that moment, not thinking about the next cruise or the last cruise. It's odd but you totally focus on the now out to sea, cause you loose the outside world.

I know this all sounds stupid and superficial but trust me trust me trust me, I learned and I PROMISE you that will work....but make sure you talk to the head chef too! :) Have a GREAT trip and don't forget your sea bands!

We have booked a RC cruise and it is coming up fast. Who should I tip in advance and what amounts are appropriate? We've always left the auto tips at the end. This is my first gluten free cruise and I would love for it to go well so I can keep on cruising.

Best,

Michelle

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Ok...this is going to make me look really dumb, but that's o.k.

I am new to the board and am trying to read posts, but am always getting a little confused, b/c I feel like there is a "secret" language that I have never learned. What the heck is MIL, DD, DH, and all of ther short abbreviates stand for? Is there a manual somewhere!

I just feel so stupid, but I think it's kind of funny that I don't know, so I had to ask!!! :-)

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Bobbi

It took me a long time to figure out what the slang meant. To be honest I still do not know it all. I do know that dd and ds is darling/dear daughter or son, dh/dw = husband wife, IMHO = in my humble opinion, mil = mother in law. There is someplace that will break down thread lingo but I do not know where it is.

Hez

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We have booked a RC cruise and it is coming up fast. Who should I tip in advance and what amounts are appropriate? We've always left the auto tips at the end. This is my first gluten free cruise and I would love for it to go well so I can keep on cruising.

Best,

Michelle

Here is my husband's policy: The first time you make a special request of your waitstaff and it is granted, give the person who made it happen a tip ($5 if they really had to go out of their way or $1-2 if it was pretty easy). That makes the person receiving the tip realize that you are willing to pay well for good service, and the remaining waitstaff on your team will likely find out about it and maybe go the extra mile in the hopes that they will be well compensated. We have had waiters refuse the up-front tip, saying they were just doing their job. When that happens, we make sure we add on some extra at the end.

Also, we never have tips added to our seapass account. Reason being, we always like to give cash, in person, so we have a chance to let the person know that we appreciated their service. Also, we have no idea how/if taxes work for these employees. Most are citizens of different countries, and I don't know if the cruise lines report their income to their native countries. If I give cash, they can decide what to report.

This has always worked for us, and we have always had excellent service. Btw, we almost ALWAYS give them more than the "recommended daily amount" provided by the cruise line. The only exception has been one time when we had a cabin steward who did his job, but didn't really seem to go out of his way on anything, we gave him almost EXACTLY the recommended amount. Everyone else gets a "bonus" depending on how much extra stuff they did.

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