Cruising with Food Allergies: What You Need to Know
Planning a vacation should be an enjoyable experience from choosing your desired destination to daydreaming about activities and adventures you will enjoy. But living with food allergies can sometimes put a damper on traveling. Research should be done ahead of time regarding food options whether you are cruising or choosing a different method of transportation. Thankfully, cruise lines work hard to accommodate guests with food allergies. Many cruise lines employ award-winning chefs who are educated and trained when it comes to food allergies and the seriousness of the issue at hand. Plus, the goal of these cruise lines is to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable vacation, while also tending to any concerns you may have. If you or a loved one will soon be cruising with food allergies, here are some tips to help you protect yourself and enjoy your trip as much as possible:
Decide which cruise line would work best
In addition to destination, price, amenities, etc., certain cruise lines have specific systems in place to accommodate guests with allergies and dietary needs. Some of the best cruise lines for food allergies include Azamara, Carnival, Celebrity, Crystal, Disney, Holland, Norwegian, Oceania, Princess, Royal Caribbean and more. Some of these cruise lines, such as Azamara, will even send you an invitation to meet with the executive chef and restaurant manager to discuss allergies and special meal options.
Inform your travel agent ahead of time
Starting to plan your dream vacation? If so, let your skilled cruise agent know ahead of time about any food allergies, medical concerns, etc. Whether you have a diary, shellfish, gluten or nut allergy (among other possibilities), your travel agent will mark your account so the cruise line and its food staff are well aware. In addition, he or she can offer tips and suggestions about food options onboard your chosen vessel and accommodations that can be made. Because of the hustle and bustle aboard the ship on the first day, it is best to notify the cruise ship ahead of time rather than the day you step onboard.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Not sure what is in a particular dish, sauce or condiment? Don’t be afraid to ask your wait staff or head waiter to see the label, or ask the chef about the ingredient list. Taking a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the ingredients beforehand is by far a better option than dealing with a potential food allergy reaction later. Cruiseline chefs and wait staff serve hundreds if not thousands of guests with food allergies each week and understand the importance of knowing a meal’s ingredient.
Consider choosing a set dinner time
While some cruise lines are known for their freestyle dining options, choosing a set dinner option may work best when food allergies are involved. This allows you to introduce yourself to the wait staff scheduled for your table during the cruise, and thoroughly explain any food allergies.
Don’t be afraid to try something new
If you are about to embark on your very first cruise, get ready for daily meals options that are unique and mouthwatering. Chefs typically go all out at dinnertime, so if you see something on the menu that looks delicious, try it out. If there is an ingredient you are unable to eat, ask your head waiter to have the dish specially prepared with safe ingredient options. In most cases, the kitchen staff will be more than happy to provide you with a scrumptious dish that won’t affect your food allergies.
Wondering which companies offer the best cruise lines for families that deal with food allergies or other medical concerns? Speak to a skilled CruiseExperts.com cruise agent today to find the perfect ship for your needs. Visit www.CruiseExperts.com or contact us directly at 1-888-804-CRUISE (2784) to learn more. And, don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join our InnerCircle for exclusive offers and cruise news you can use! Also, check out our new Resource Center, where you can receive expert knowledge from us before your next cruise or cruisetour!