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  #1  
Old January 26th, 2012, 12:30 PM
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NorbertsNiece NorbertsNiece is offline
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Default For the Gluten Free cruisers out there

Hi,

Just picked this up from Adam Goldstein's blog :

Later this year we plan to revamp our dietary needs program by incorporating Gluten Free and Lactose Free selections into the regular menu program and call these dishes out. This should eliminate the majority of all special dietary needs requests.

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--------------------------------------
Where I've been :
Not called a blog but it is one :
day visit to Celebrity Eclipse July 5th 2014 here
Legend of the Seas - Ultimate Scandinavia & Russia – June 18th 2014 Bit of a blog here
Adventure of the Seas - Westbound Transatlantic - 4th November 2013 Bit of a blog here
M/S Chardonnay : Cote d'Azur - Paris : 1st August 2013 Bit of a blog here
Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - 17th March 2013 Bit of a (surprise) blog here
Adventure of the Seas – B2B in the Caribbean – 18th November 2012 Bit of a blog :here
Navigator of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean - 26th November 2011 Bit of a blog :here Link to pics : here and here
Adventure of the Seas - 5 Nights out of Malaga - 8th November 2010
Bit of a blog : here
Radiance of the Seas - Alaska Cruise Tour - 31st July 2010 Bit of a blog : here Link to Linda's FB pics : here Some of Darran's pics are here
Jewel of the Seas - Panama Canal - 2nd March 2009 Bit of a blog : here
Link to pics : here
Independence of the Seas - Treasures of the Med - 20th Sept 2008 Bit of a blog : here

Where I'm Going :
Oasis of the Seas - 18th September 2014 : B2B : Barcelona - Barcelona - Rotterdam
Rhapsody of the Seas - 3rd May 2015 : Singapore - Dubai
Celebrity Solstice - 14th February 2016 : B2B : Auckland - Perth (Fremantle) - Sydney
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  #2  
Old January 26th, 2012, 01:32 PM
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#1packerfan #1packerfan is online now
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That will be fantastic!!! No more guessing which foods are safe to eat with having Celiac. Thus far, the staff has done a super job with the no gluten, but having designated menus will make it that much easier. Can't wait.
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  #3  
Old January 26th, 2012, 01:41 PM
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wantocruisemore wantocruisemore is offline
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Actually it might not work that well. My DD who requires gluten-free is also disabled and a very picky eater. For us it's much easier to have more choices that can be made into gluten-free rather than have 1 or 2 listed on the menu that she may or may not want.
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  #4  
Old February 13th, 2012, 01:10 PM
SDNNC2012 SDNNC2012 is offline
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This will be my first GF vacation (going on Oasis March 10th!) with my DD who was just diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Our TA ensured RCCL is aware, when we booked. I've researched lots on CC and have found some wonderful information. My only concern is how difficult is it on the Excursions/islands? We are going to be in St. Thomas, St. Martin and Nassau. Any other tips or hints for her?
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  #5  
Old February 13th, 2012, 02:47 PM
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NorbertsNiece NorbertsNiece is offline
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Hi,

Anything you eat ashore on independent excursions will not be in RCCL control so you will need to exercise the same caution you use when dining out. I have no idea about how RCCL organise their excursions these days but would strongly suggest that should you use their tours you request dietary support and their recommendations.

I order food bland, without sauces, no buns etc....

Even though your TA states that RCCL are aware I would strongly recommend you email them yourself : special_needs@rccl.com with your reservation number and give them a heads up.

After you have boarded go to the dining room and have a chat with the Maitre d'. They will then ensure that your specific servers are advised and will provide daily menus for your DD to choose her specific meal to be prepared for the next day.
__________________
Linda
--------------------------------------
Where I've been :
Not called a blog but it is one :
day visit to Celebrity Eclipse July 5th 2014 here
Legend of the Seas - Ultimate Scandinavia & Russia – June 18th 2014 Bit of a blog here
Adventure of the Seas - Westbound Transatlantic - 4th November 2013 Bit of a blog here
M/S Chardonnay : Cote d'Azur - Paris : 1st August 2013 Bit of a blog here
Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - 17th March 2013 Bit of a (surprise) blog here
Adventure of the Seas – B2B in the Caribbean – 18th November 2012 Bit of a blog :here
Navigator of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean - 26th November 2011 Bit of a blog :here Link to pics : here and here
Adventure of the Seas - 5 Nights out of Malaga - 8th November 2010
Bit of a blog : here
Radiance of the Seas - Alaska Cruise Tour - 31st July 2010 Bit of a blog : here Link to Linda's FB pics : here Some of Darran's pics are here
Jewel of the Seas - Panama Canal - 2nd March 2009 Bit of a blog : here
Link to pics : here
Independence of the Seas - Treasures of the Med - 20th Sept 2008 Bit of a blog : here

Where I'm Going :
Oasis of the Seas - 18th September 2014 : B2B : Barcelona - Barcelona - Rotterdam
Rhapsody of the Seas - 3rd May 2015 : Singapore - Dubai
Celebrity Solstice - 14th February 2016 : B2B : Auckland - Perth (Fremantle) - Sydney
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  #6  
Old February 13th, 2012, 08:07 PM
'80 Wolfpacker '80 Wolfpacker is offline
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Default Gluten Free Nightmare Cruise!

I have Celiac disease have cruised many times successfully on Royal Caribbean. My family loves to cruise because my gluten free diet has been easy to manage on Royal Caribbean. That is why we cruise! Everyone has always been so helpful and my food has been truly outstanding.....until my Jan. 22nd cruise on the Freedom of the Seas.

I did everything that I was supposed to do....I notified them of my gluten-free diet at the time of booking, my “Diamond Plus” preferences on-line notes my "gluten free" diet, I wrote to the "Special Diet Needs" e-mail months before the cruise, I called the Crown and Anchor phone number ahead of time, and I met with the Matre'D soon after boarding.

The Freedom of the Seas was HORRIBLE with my diet! If this had been my first cruise, it would have certainly been my last! All of my previous cruises were great, but the Freedom had untrained staff who seemed to not care.

When I told my waiter of my gluten free diet before dinner the first night, he said he didn't understand and quickly left. The headwaiter came some time later and said very firmly that there was "nothing on the menu that is gluten-free except for the Caesar salad and the salmon." I knew this was not true (since I have dined with that menu many times before), but I did not complain because I wanted this cruise to be FUN! (I had talked two of my friends and my daughter in taking a Royal Caribbean girl's cruise and I wanted to show them how great RC cruises are!)

Our dining time was 8:30. My plain salad was served to me soon after the other appetizers were served. My salmon arrived over an hour later as the waiter was taking my table's dessert orders. It was cold, dry, brown and curling on the edges. It was served with no garnish, no sauce, no seasoning along with some icy cold broccoli. No one spoke to me about dessert at all. They ignored me. (and the Pavlova - which is gluten free and always served the first night - is my all-time favorite dessert!) I sent the cold food away with the assistant waiter and I left the dining room in tears at 10:30 with no food. I spoke to another headwaiter as I left. I was so embarrassed. As my party was leaving, they were handed some Indian food (from the menu) and a Pavlova to take to my room. There was no apology.

The next day, we went to lunch in the main dining room. The dining experience was very similar with the same cold fish and cold broccoli arriving at dessert time. This took over 2 hours! Finally, a headwaiter came over to speak to us as we were leaving to go to the Windjammer. He brought some freshly prepared fish that was delicious. Still, no apology. We did get out dinner table changed.

Our new waiter was outstanding, but the dining room was very slow with my food - which mostly had no sauce or garnish and was cold. After waiting an extra hour for my food, my friends asked for all of our food to be served together. Most nights, we got our entrees when others were leaving the dining room.

The Windjammer was bad too. There were fewer choices than in the past. Many of the salad bar ingredients were almost always empty each day. There was not the same attention to replenishing salad bar items as on other ships. Each day, we were scraping the bottom of the black deep containers. The carving stations had rolls and crumbs up on the cutting area. One day, I asked one of the chefs what was gluten free and he replied…”the tomatoes and the pickles.”

The headwaiter in the evening told me that they would have something for me in the Windjammer the next day. After asking a chef and two headwaters about the meal that I was instructed to ask about, no one knew what I was talking about. I made a scant salad and was preparing to leave when a very nice headwaiter came and offered to bring some fish forty-five minutes later. My party waited for the food and it was very good, but it was so frustrating and it took so long to get it. It was embarassing.

Overall, I was treated very poorly and have never experienced this before. People acted like they were doing me a favor just to bring me any food at all! I am not that picky, but cold unseasoned fish and broccoli are really not suitable to eat.

I truly feel like the dining room management is the problem on that ship. We recently cruised on the Allure of the Seas and that ship and the food was perfect.

I am VERY embarrassed that my friends had to endure my horrible long meals. I dreaded each meal. I told the concierge of my problems, and he said it would improve. It really never did and no one really apologized.

When I got home, I wrote an e-mail to the Crown and Anchor Society and the Special Needs Diet address, and their response was.....

"We are very sorry you were unhappy with the food on this sailing. We certainly understand that the dining experience is a key piece of your vacation. While it is our goal to provide choices that will meet everyone’s expectations, we recognize that some selections may not always do so."

They were sorry that I was unhappy with "some selections." WOW!!!!! Truly, I had trouble finding ANY food at times. I don't eat a lot and I was not asking for a lot. I just needed some food, and I wanted to be treated normal. Their response and the lack of apology on the ship makes me feel like I need to vacation elsewhere in the future. I truly do not feel welcome and I can't trust that they care about continuing with their past excellence. I am afraid to try it again and I have over 200 cruise credits!

(Oh by the way, on the last sea day, we were invited to a special diamond breakfast with officers seated with many of the guests. It was lovely. I ordered my food and it arrived in five minutes, hot, tasty and perfect - just like my many other cruises. I am sad that my friends were not there to see how my other cruises have been. Instead, I was treated like a freak and a problem at all of the other meals!)



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  #7  
Old February 13th, 2012, 10:42 PM
Dem920 Dem920 is offline
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Default Great Gluten Free Experience on Freedom

We had a great Gluten-Free experience on Freedom on our last trip. Both my husband and son have celiac and we couldn't believe the gluten-free choices they had for us on Freedom. We sent an email ahead of time so it was in our reservations. We also went to the head waiter of our dining room the first day of sailing when we first got on the ship to check that our waiters knew how to handle this food allergy. Our waiters were great. The head waiter came over every night with the next nights menu to tell us what could be made gluten-free. They also made gluten-free pizza and pasta for them when they ordered it ahead of time. Even for lunch on the sea days they were very accommodating in the main dinign room. We don't go to the Windjammer often, but when we did, we just asked to speak to the chef, who was always happy to come out and tell us what had gluten in it. They had tons of choices and no stomach issues.

It was a great trip. Don't give up and just keep asking until you get someone that understands you. If you had a peanut allergy you wouldn't accept anything less, so why do it with gluten.
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  #8  
Old February 14th, 2012, 12:37 AM
'80 Wolfpacker '80 Wolfpacker is offline
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I did everything that you did - plus more ......and I got terrible treatment. I am diamond plus and have had many wonderful cruises....but on Jan. 22, 2012....it was VERY different! I am not demanding. I don't eat a lot. I am happy with simple stuff....and I had trouble finding any food to eat!
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  #9  
Old February 14th, 2012, 12:40 AM
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CVU CVU is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDNNC2012 View Post
This will be my first GF vacation (going on Oasis March 10th!) with my DD who was just diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Our TA ensured RCCL is aware, when we booked. I've researched lots on CC and have found some wonderful information. My only concern is how difficult is it on the Excursions/islands? We are going to be in St. Thomas, St. Martin and Nassau. Any other tips or hints for her?
You could come back for lunch, then it is not a problem.
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  #10  
Old February 14th, 2012, 12:43 AM
'80 Wolfpacker '80 Wolfpacker is offline
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I truly have Celiac Disease, so I can't ask for anything less!. It is just as bad as a peanut allergy for me.....without the death part...but with the sickness for days.....I have always been treated with ease on my past cruises with no problems. This is why I am Diamond Plus. I have previously LOVED cruising and my gluten free diet has been no problem at all until this last cruise. I had many choices and my food was outstanding on Royal Caribbean. The Freedom of the Seas was TERRRIBLE! I was embarrassed at every meal! I hate it for my friends and my daughter who had to endure the long long meals and the bad manners of the staff. It was REALLY bad!
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  #11  
Old February 14th, 2012, 12:48 AM
'80 Wolfpacker '80 Wolfpacker is offline
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I have had great luck with gluten free food on shore excursions too. The Royal Caribbean staff called ahead. I avoided bread, but I could always find grilled food and salads. I have never had a problem with food on shore excursions. I have done the cooking classes in Curacao and Cozumel and they have been wonderful! If only the Freedom of the Seas had been like all of the other cruises. I truly think the Freedom of the Seas has a serious food managment problem!
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  #12  
Old February 14th, 2012, 05:35 AM
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NorbertsNiece NorbertsNiece is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by '80 Wolfpacker View Post
I have had great luck with gluten free food on shore excursions too. The Royal Caribbean staff called ahead. I avoided bread, but I could always find grilled food and salads. I have never had a problem with food on shore excursions. I have done the cooking classes in Curacao and Cozumel and they have been wonderful! If only the Freedom of the Seas had been like all of the other cruises. I truly think the Freedom of the Seas has a serious food managment problem!
Hi,

I've just read your previous post. Sounds like you were fobbed off with a standard response email. May I suggest you copy your story into an email and send it to : agoldstein@rccl.com
I used that address to complain about an embarkation experience and received a phone call from the CEO office with days.
__________________
Linda
--------------------------------------
Where I've been :
Not called a blog but it is one :
day visit to Celebrity Eclipse July 5th 2014 here
Legend of the Seas - Ultimate Scandinavia & Russia – June 18th 2014 Bit of a blog here
Adventure of the Seas - Westbound Transatlantic - 4th November 2013 Bit of a blog here
M/S Chardonnay : Cote d'Azur - Paris : 1st August 2013 Bit of a blog here
Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - 17th March 2013 Bit of a (surprise) blog here
Adventure of the Seas – B2B in the Caribbean – 18th November 2012 Bit of a blog :here
Navigator of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean - 26th November 2011 Bit of a blog :here Link to pics : here and here
Adventure of the Seas - 5 Nights out of Malaga - 8th November 2010
Bit of a blog : here
Radiance of the Seas - Alaska Cruise Tour - 31st July 2010 Bit of a blog : here Link to Linda's FB pics : here Some of Darran's pics are here
Jewel of the Seas - Panama Canal - 2nd March 2009 Bit of a blog : here
Link to pics : here
Independence of the Seas - Treasures of the Med - 20th Sept 2008 Bit of a blog : here

Where I'm Going :
Oasis of the Seas - 18th September 2014 : B2B : Barcelona - Barcelona - Rotterdam
Rhapsody of the Seas - 3rd May 2015 : Singapore - Dubai
Celebrity Solstice - 14th February 2016 : B2B : Auckland - Perth (Fremantle) - Sydney
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  #13  
Old February 21st, 2012, 10:41 PM
'80 Wolfpacker '80 Wolfpacker is offline
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I took your advice and I wrote to Mr. Goldstein. A very polite young staff member from the executive office called me today to apologize. I really just wanted an apology and a promise that this would not happen again. I got the young man's verbal apology and that is all. (no promises, but he did talk about more staff training.) I am hopeful that things will improve on that ship. I do not want anyone with any medical condition to have to experience what I went through on that ship! I will NEVER sail on the "Freedom of the Seas" again!

Since I have experienced wonderful Royal Caribbean cruises in the past, I probably will cruise with Royal Caribbean again one day, but my travel mates will probably never cruise with Royal Caribbean again. (They were so upset at how poorly I was treated, the long long meals, and the lack of apologies!)

The young man told me that my complaints will be passed to the ship and with the executive dining managment. I really think someone from the ship should have responded with a very sincere apology, but I am happy that someone at Royal Caribbean acknowleged my complaint and apologized.

I will be very nervous about cruising in the future. Even though my previous dining experiences were nearly perfect, this upsetting cruise makes me worry! Maybe in a few years, I will forget how bad it was. My next cruise will be with Celebrity. I will have my fingers crossed. My past dining experiences with Celebrity exceeded my expectations, so I am very hopeful!
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  #14  
Old February 21st, 2012, 10:57 PM
marcopolo1125 marcopolo1125 is offline
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There may not always be a huge selection of gluten free food on a cruise ship but I think it's a sign of the times that Royal Caribbean is at least making an attempt to incorporate a major food issue into their foods. I've never had trouble finding food for myself but I'm also not picky about what I eat. I've also been accommodated very well with them making GF bread for me and in the dining room making sure I knew what was on the menu for the NEXT night!
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  #15  
Old February 23rd, 2012, 10:59 AM
'80 Wolfpacker '80 Wolfpacker is offline
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I too have never had problems finding gluten free food on Royal Caribbean ships! That is I am writing! This ship was SERIOUSLY different!

I have sailed on twenty cruises, and I have never had any problem getting outstanding gluten-free food ....with ease.....until I sailed on the "Freedom of the Seas." I had to endure embarrassment and humiliation, plus a very long wait at many of my meals. This has never happened before. I am not picky either and I don't eat a lot....but I have to eat something!

I am very accustomed to the routine of selecting food for the next night or (even for lunch in the dining room the next sea day). I usually have no problem at all finding items in the Windjammer. I often don't have a lot of choices there, but I can find something. I have never had any difficulties at all like this prior to this cruise. Also after long waits each night for my main course to come out (as many of the surrounding tables had finished their meals and were leaving) my gluten free food was often tasteless and cold.

The dining staff/chefs/management overall on the "Freedom of the Seas," seemed very poorly trained. They certainly were no up to the excellent standards of the many other Royal Caribbean ships that I have sailed on!
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