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augie

Carnival Cruises--accomodating To Celiacs?

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We are planning a cruise on the Carnival Legend and I have received conflicting information from Carnival on whether they will accomodate a gluten-free diet. Initially, I was told yes, just discuss it with your waiter; then, when I checked back again, I was told a flat no that they cannot provide a gluthen free menu. I'm not sure if they think that I was asking for "special" food, rather than food preparation that was modified. (I can live without gluten-free bread/pasta for a week) Has anyone had experience with Carnival? Was the waitstaff responsive to helping with menu selections/preparation? Thanks.

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Guest gliX

yes. i avoided the restaurant, and went to the buffet a lot, so then I could choose what i knew was gluten-free

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Just got back from the Carnival Legend and they were very accomodating. They told me I could bring my own bread, snacks, bagels etc. Which I took advantage of. They even said if I brought my own pasta on board they would cook it for me. Which I did not do. I even brought on gluten-free beer.

They do not offer a g/ free menu. However, they will prepare the meals they do offer for you gluten-free. The first day i went to dinner I spoke to the Matre D' who directed me to the Hostess. She spoke to the head waiter in with me and explained my situation. Each day following the first she gave me the next day's menu and let me chose a meal so the chef's could prepare it gluten-free.

For breakfast they toasted my gluten-free bagel each day without question. However, one waiter did bring it back in the same basket as the other bread. One bad thing in the week. Not bad.

Also, they had a flourless chocolate tart which the waiter double checked for me to make sure it was gluten-free. It was and was very good.

The grill for lunch did not have the bread on the grill so I feel everything there was gluten-free. They had steak, burgers, chicken etc. All you had to do was ask for no bun. I had the hot dogs but were not 100% sure if they were gluten-free. Hey, it was vacation. I did not experience any ill effects. Also, all they cooked in the fryer was the french fries so I feel they were gluten-free as well. If you are super sensitive maybe you should just double check before you order on each of these.

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Killern, did you request permission prior to sailing to carry your beer? We are sailing from San Diego in October and would not carry it on the airlines but do cruise frequently from ports we can drive to.

You said they toasted your bagels, did you carry the toaster bags or did they have a seperate toaster? I would be afraid of cross contamination since I am so sensitive. I usually carry cereal, cookies for afternoon tea, and crackers for dinner.

I have not cruised Carnival, but HAL and Celebrity. If you notify them prior to sailing, they will provide gluten free meals in the dining room. HAL allows you to chose gluten free items which they will stock. If you check the Carnival website you should find a number to call prior to sailing, usually 30 days, to request a special diet.

I have been very fortunate and had outstanding waiters. Most are familiar with special diets and will help with ordering. I prefer the casual atmosphere of the buffet but am probably safer in the dining room.

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Killern, did you request permission prior to sailing to carry your beer?  We are sailing from San Diego in October and would not carry it on the airlines but do cruise frequently from ports we can drive to. 

You said they toasted your bagels, did you carry the toaster bags or did they have a seperate toaster?  I would be afraid of cross contamination since I am so sensitive.  I usually carry cereal, cookies for afternoon tea, and crackers for dinner.

I have not cruised Carnival, but HAL and Celebrity.  If you notify them prior to sailing, they will provide gluten free meals in the dining room.  HAL allows you to chose gluten free items which they will stock.  If you check the Carnival website you should find a number to call prior to sailing, usually 30 days, to request a special diet.

I have been very fortunate and had outstanding waiters.  Most are familiar with special diets and will help with ordering.  I prefer the casual atmosphere of the buffet but am probably safer in the dining room.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hello,

I did not mention beer specifically but the Carnival rep said I could bring one bottle of alcohol. Again, I left it very vauge so I would not get a "no". I felt if they called me out on the beer I would tell them it was part of my gluten-free diet.

I have read that other cruise lines - the more expensive ones than Carnival - would make specific gluten-free meals and even do bread etc. I would probably try a different cruise line anyway since I've been on two with Carnival. Not because I didn't enjoy Carnval - just want to try a new one to compare.

I don't know if they used a separate toaster. So if you are very sensitive I guess you should request it. Also, as I mentioned before they did bring out my bagel in the same basket as the normal bread once - so that is something you might want to stress also.

Good luck & enjoy the cruise

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Hi,

I know this doesn't help exactly, but something to consider - I recently got back from a Royal Caribbean Cruise and they were very good at accomadating my needs. They only asked that I avoid the buffet and eat at their restaurant or order room service. I just ordered all my dinners with plain baked potatoes, plain meat, and steamed veggies. For lunch, I ordered two plain hamburger patties, specifing that they could not touch bread. They did not tell me originally, but they do have a mini-fridge in the cabins - these, of course, were filled with gluten- containing goodies, but you could always plan for this and bring things that need chilled (I had brought juice-boxed sized Silk soymilk, which doesn't have to be refrigerated, but was able to keep them cool this way). Also, I brough my own dry snacks and cereals. It was so nice to be taken care and not have to worry about food for once. Good luck with Carnival! I'm sure it will be fun!

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someone mentioned the toaster bags...I have heard about these over and over but am not sure how they work? You put the toast in it and pop it in a regular toaster and the bread actually browns without the bag melting?

Thanks,

Roo

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They only asked that I avoid the buffet and eat at their restaurant or order room service. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Was this the restaraunt that you have to pay for or the main dining room? I'm sailing with RC at the end of the month. I don't want to have to pay $20 for a steak each night at the restaraunt.

Thanks,

Stephanie

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Sorry for the confusion. Nope, it was their dining room....I didn't eat at any of their restuarants (I thought it would be easier that way, not having to explain my situation to someone new every time). Hope this helps and enjoy your cruise!

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someone mentioned the toaster bags...I have heard about these over and over but am not sure how they work?  You put the toast in it and pop it in a regular toaster and the bread actually browns without the bag melting?

Thanks,

Roo

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Roo,

I was actually wondering the same thing. Anyone with any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Kevin

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Sorry for the confusion.  Nope, it was their dining room....I didn't eat at any of their restuarants (I thought it would be easier that way, not having to explain my situation to someone new every time).  Hope this helps and enjoy your cruise!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Roo,

I just googled it and they do exist. They state they are washable and reusable also. www.Toastabags.com and they are available on amazon .com

Good luck - don't set your toaster on fire.

Kevin

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Yes, you place your bread, bagel or whatever in the bag and place the bag in the toaster. It usually takes 2 cycles to brown nicely. Toasters with wider slots are of course easier to use. The toasters with the moving tray also work. You always need to be careful picking them up since they are very hot. I have had some burns on the bag but they remain usuable. I wipe them out with a paper towel when finished.

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We are planning a cruise on the Carnival Legend and I have received conflicting information from Carnival on whether they will accomodate a gluten-free diet. Initially, I was told yes, just discuss it with your waiter; then, when I checked back again, I was told a flat no that they cannot provide a gluthen free menu. I'm not sure if they think that I was asking for "special" food, rather than food preparation that was modified. (I can live without gluten-free bread/pasta for a week) Has anyone had experience with Carnival? Was the waitstaff responsive to helping with menu selections/preparation? Thanks.

I have mixed reviews on Carnival. I ate most meals in the dining room and, as described by others, the hostess brought me the next evening's menu so we could go over it. I never got sick. However, the food was not particularly special. They were worried about sauces & such, so I ate a lot of very plain food. But they definitely had the approach of "when in doubt, leave it out." So kudos for that. On the other hand, the spiffy restaurant really blew me away,(I wasn't on the Legend, so I don't know what the equivalent would be. "Captain's Club" or something like that). It was small & cozy, and the service was fabulous. The server paid attention, the food was wonderful, and the sommalier recommended a great wine. I think the staff and chef had a lot fewer people to attend to, so they could be far more creative than "just leave the sauce off." There was even a lovely and decadent chocolate dessert.

That was the only restaurant my sweetie & I tried, and I think it was the smallest of the options. We did have to make a reservation. If we weren't with a large family group, we would've gone back a few times. I realize that on a cruise you're already shelling out a lot of money to be there, but I'd reccommend spending the additional funds for at least one meal at the spiffy reservation-only restaurant. It was still significantly cheaper than the equivalent meal would've been at a restaurant at home. And it helped me feel less sorry for myself when everyone else in the dining room was enjoying tastier fare than plain chicken with veggies.

As far as the buffet stuff, there was always plenty of fruit and salads (bring dressing?). For morning breakfasts, there was an omelet station, and again, plenty of fruit. Sure, I got jealous of everyone eating ice cream and pizza all the time... but I consoled myself by thinking they'd come home complaining about how much weight they gained on the cruise.

Let us all know how your experience goes/went.

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