I'm back from my Viking River Cruise of the Yangtze. Although Viking told me that I would not be about to eat gluten-free in China, I had a wonderful experience. I had prepared a Mandarin card explaining what I couldn't eat. I showed it to my tour guide Richard, and he said that he would take care of the land meals. He said that it would be good to place the card near me at the restaurants, although not all of the wait-staff would be able to read it. He called ahead to each restaurant and ordered a special meal at each location. I didn't get Peking Duck, but I was able to eat everywhere I went. I was delivered one soup and one meal incorrectly. I recognized that the soup was bad when I tasted it, so I had a little contamination there. I could tell that the meal was bad as soon as it was delivered: I showed my Mandarin card and the meal was replaced right away. Many of the special meals were vegetarian: I suspect the meat is prepared in advance, and vegetarian entrees were fast replacements. My meals were frequenly delayed a short time, but I was on vacation and not in a hurry.
On the Century Sun, Cristophe (the Maitre-d) reviewed the meals with me each morning and selected replacement dishes as necessary. My wait-staff on the ship (Jacky, Olivia, and Maggie) always remembered and made sure that I got my special meal. Another rave: we had tried to order a pitcher of Margaritas when we got on board, but could only find individual drinks. I talked to Cristophe about pitchers and he set up a price for pitchers of Margaritas while we were on board. The price was a great deal, so the group I travelled with had Margarita pitchers every day!