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Cruising with Food Allergies: What You Need to Know

Cruising with Food AllergiesCruising with food allergies can be smooth sailing with these tips from

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.

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We would like to THANK Cesar for all of the hard work he put into making our trip to Hawaii a GREAT experience! He made sure our traveling ran smooth (and it did)! We can't wait to book another vacation with him! THANK YOU Cesar and ALOOOOHA!!! - Mia Williams

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 cruise agent today to find the perfect ship for your needs. Visit 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!

Our team of cruise consultants and support staff, based in Central California, counts nearly a century of combined talent, knowledge, and enthusiasm in the travel industry. We’re not just another internet upstart; our seasoned team has gained the trust and business of thousands of satisfied cruise and land vacation customers from all over the country since 1995. We ARE the original Cruise Experts.

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