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  #1  
Old October 6th, 2012, 01:01 AM
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Default Food Safety while on board the Vantage River Odyssey in Eastern Europe

We're aware of all the don'ts regarding eating food in Eastern Europe. Should we be concerned with the food served "on board" The Vantage River Odyssey? We will be traveling from Budapest to Bucharest.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 08:25 AM
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I am sure the food is fine .....Vantage customers are mostly Americans. We are doing a trip like that as well on Vantage North sea to the Black sea .
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Old October 6th, 2012, 08:51 AM
UKBayern UKBayern is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandyss View Post
We're aware of all the don'ts regarding eating food in Eastern Europe. Should we be concerned with the food served "on board" The Vantage River Odyssey? We will be traveling from Budapest to Bucharest.
What don'ts regarding eating food in Eastern Europe??? I really do not have the faintest idea what you could be talking about. You are not travelling to third world countries! Hungary and Rumania are in the EU, and have to comply with strict EU food-regulations and laws.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 11:55 AM
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We've returned from a trip to Eastern Europe a month ago, not a river cruise tho. Have/had not seen any information about not eating certain foods, as a matter of fact we ate many regional foods at many restaurants along the way and never gave it a thought. Why the worry? Just curious why you'd been warned otherwise.

I hope you have a wonderful time and like stated above, with a river cruise you should be fine.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 12:54 PM
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We've returned from a trip to Eastern Europe a month ago, not a river cruise tho. Have/had not seen any information about not eating certain foods, as a matter of fact we ate many regional foods at many restaurants along the way and never gave it a thought. Why the worry? Just curious why you'd been warned otherwise.

I hope you have a wonderful time and like stated above, with a river cruise you should be fine.
Thanks for all the comments. I really wasn't concerned about the food until yesterday when my DH came home from a doctor visit with a list of foods to avoid while in Eastern Europe - mainly anything that wasn't fully cooked - no uncooked veggies, no unpeeled fruit, no ice cubes, only bottled water, etc. It was the usual list of foods to avoid while in third world countries.

My DH has an extremely sensitive stomach, and asked the question about how to avoid problems on our upcoming river cruise. Since I definitely look forward to enjoying the food while on board the boat and also during our extension in Romania, I'm interested in the experience of others regarding the safety of food while in that part of the world.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 01:02 PM
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I doubt you will be in any "third world' countries while in Europe.

I actually believe that the food is fresher and better there than in the States.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandyss View Post
Thanks for all the comments. I really wasn't concerned about the food until yesterday when my DH came home from a doctor visit with a list of foods to avoid while in Eastern Europe - mainly anything that wasn't fully cooked - no uncooked veggies, no unpeeled fruit, no ice cubes, only bottled water, etc. It was the usual list of foods to avoid while in third world countries.

My DH has an extremely sensitive stomach, and asked the question about how to avoid problems on our upcoming river cruise. Since I definitely look forward to enjoying the food while on board the boat and also during our extension in Romania, I'm interested in the experience of others regarding the safety of food while in that part of the world.
Seriously!!! There are 3000 deaths per year from food poisoning in the US, and 49 in the EU!!! Third world countries??? I think you should think about cancelling and rebooking a different holiday because what you seem to be expecting, and what you will get, are two very different things.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 03:26 PM
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In fairness to the OP. her husband's doctor got the info from the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control). Here's what the CDC says for Romania (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/romania.htm). It may be wrong or outdated, but that's the info US doctors get now to pass on to patients.

Be Careful about Food and Water



Diseases from food and water are the leading cause of illness in travelers. Follow these tips for safe eating and drinking:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially before eating. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, learn how to make water safer to drink.
  • Do not eat food purchased from street vendors.
  • Make sure food is fully cooked.
  • Avoid dairy products, unless you know they have been pasteurized.
Diseases from food and water often cause vomiting and diarrhea. Make sure to bring diarrhea medicine with you so that you can treat mild cases yourself.
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  #9  
Old October 7th, 2012, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Cloudyrain View Post
Seriously!!! There are 3000 deaths per year from food poisoning in the US, and 49 in the EU!!! Third world countries??? I think you should think about cancelling and rebooking a different holiday because what you seem to be expecting, and what you will get, are two very different things.
I'll ignore your flame.

Thanks to everyone else for being so helpful.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 04:14 PM
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[quote=Arusha;35625525]In fairness to the OP. her husband's doctor got the info from the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control). Here's what the CDC says for Romania (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/romania.htm). It may be wrong or outdated, but that's the info US doctors get now to pass on to patients.

Thank you Arusha, I think some previous posters were a little harsh on sandy who came to us for help, not lectures! Let me start by saying I have never gotten sick on any trip in Eastern Europe, but I did get food poisoning on Holland America in Alaska!!! If DH has a sensitive stomach, I would stick to food that has been prepared on the ship or in a restaurant that Vantage takes you to. I would avoid buying food from street vendors because, while some of it can be outstanding, just like in big cities in US, you really don't know what you're getting or how it's been handled. If you buy fresh fruit from a stand, wash it before you eat it.....which you would do anyway no matter what country you were in. Many times when people get sick drinking the water in another country, it's not because the water is impure but because we are not used to the chemicals or additives in the water and it disagrees with us. That can easily be controlled by drinking bottled water only. If the water is not potable where you're going, believe me, Vantage (or I imagine any other tour company) will advise you immediately and often. We were reminded every day not to drink water in Egypt unless it was bottled and opened in our presence.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 04:27 PM
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We did the Eastern Europe tour with Vantage in 2010. No problem with the food on the boat and also when we dined off the boat. Food was great, as was the wine. You should have no problem. Go and enjoy. Willard
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Old October 7th, 2012, 04:54 PM
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Thanks Hydrokitty and Willard. Your comments are very helpful.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 08:25 AM
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If you look at the CDC website carefully, it also mentions the same concerns about countries like Canada, Luxembourg or Switzerland. We are talking richest, safest first-world countries on the planet. CDC is obviously so worried about getting sued by somebody who vomitted on his trip that they write this in all their destination advice. The UK Foreign Office and the dutch Foreign Ministry do not issue any of these health warnings for Romania. The german Foreign Office only talks about untested water from wells (this would only be in very remote villages far away from the beaten track who are not connected to the main water supply) as being potentially unsafe. I would take the advice on the CDC site with a pinch of salt, if not a bucket.

Nobody is flaming anybody. It is a fact that EU-regulations are the strictest in the world. We have a hotel and we sometimes moan about all the ridiculous rules, but I have a responsability to keep the people I feed healty, and I would not want it any other way. A friend who has owned her own restaurant in Europe and now has a motel and a convenience store in upstate NY, and was a senior manager at McD in the US and Europe, is appalled by the lack of rules or US government hygiene control, and what will pass as safe in the US.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 09:44 AM
4774Papa 4774Papa is online now
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We did Kiev, Russia and the Baltics with Vantage and found the vegetables to be superior to what we find in the USA. The tomatoes there were super.
On our home hosted visit in Kiev, we had a fantastic dinner with a Ukrainian grandmother and her granddaughter.
Great food. We learned all about how Chernobyl affected the Ukraine. Our host still doesn't eat mushrooms from the Ukraine. If mushrooms come from the Chernobyl exclusion zone, they can harbor radioactivity.

We did find that many on our trip did have minor intestinal issues, which was likely due to the differences in spices, etc. used in cooking and perhaps the water. Still, we manged with Imodium.
We sometimes have the same issues in Western Europe on long trips.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 11:01 AM
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We did Kiev, Russia and the Baltics with Vantage and found the vegetables to be superior to what we find in the USA. The tomatoes there were super.
On our home hosted visit in Kiev, we had a fantastic dinner with a Ukrainian grandmother and her granddaughter.
Great food. We learned all about how Chernobyl affected the Ukraine. Our host still doesn't eat mushrooms from the Ukraine. If mushrooms come from the Chernobyl exclusion zone, they can harbor radioactivity.

We did find that many on our trip did have minor intestinal issues, which was likely due to the differences in spices, etc. used in cooking and perhaps the water. Still, we manged with Imodium.
We sometimes have the same issues in Western Europe on long trips.
The tomatoes were super, but interestingly, the strawberries were not as sweet as ours. I know that soil conditions can effect the way produce tastes but it's the first time I noticed a real difference. We didn't do the home hosted dinner in either Ukraine or Russia, but all the restaurants we visited were very clean and the food delicious. Still, we were told by Vantage not to drink tap water in Russia and we didn't.

I think PP over-reacted just a little. No one was accusing his/her hotel/restaurant of being unclean or unsafe or having bad food. Sandy was asking for our experiences and help with an issue she had not encountered. Her question was posed in a respectful manner and, while I don't know the poster, I don't believe it was intended to be an indictment of the European Community. As to CDC being afraid of being sued....that would be an exercise in futility!
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Old October 8th, 2012, 01:31 PM
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I think PP over-reacted just a little. No one was accusing his/her hotel/restaurant of being unclean or unsafe or having bad food.
Why are you being so touchy and determined to think bad things of other people you don't know? I am profoundly saddened by so much animosity, where people only want to give sturdy and balanced advice and reassure the original poster that the countries she is going to are completely safe.

I wanted to start defending myself for the completely harmless comments I made after taking the time to do thorough research on a number of international government websites, but you know what? I'll divert my attention to other posters who WANT my advice. And yes, now I feel accused....
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Last edited by UKBayern; October 8th, 2012 at 01:36 PM.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 01:39 AM
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Default Food on Odyssey Cruise in Eastern Europe

We traveled on the Vantage River Odyssey in October 2011. The food on the ship was excellent as was the food in the Vantage arranged restaurants. The hotel food was lackluster but wholesome. That said, any traveler can have difficulties with unfamiliar foods and drinks no matter where they travel.

I am not aware of any food or water caused illnesses on the Odyssey. Because of the itinerary and limited access to medical facilities on some sections of the Danube there was a doctor on board the ship for the entire cruise.

Enjoy your cruise.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 07:02 AM
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Not sure I even want to put my foot in here but don't some of the ships get provisions along the route?
If the concern is with produce, etc. I would be curious.
Personally, we eat just about everything, just about everywhere.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 01:46 PM
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Thanks for all of your comments.

We just returned from our cruise on the Vantage River Odyssey. I took no precautions, and ate everything while on the boat. My DH followed his doctor's suggestions and only drank bottled water and avoided the fresh produce. We both remained problem free (a first for my DH).

The cruise was fantastic, as was the optional extension to Transylvania.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandyss View Post
Thanks for all of your comments.

We just returned from our cruise on the Vantage River Odyssey. I took no precautions, and ate everything while on the boat. My DH followed his doctor's suggestions and only drank bottled water and avoided the fresh produce. We both remained problem free (a first for my DH).

The cruise was fantastic, as was the optional extension to Transylvania.
So glad you and your DH didn't have any problems with the food or water, and happy that your cruise was fantastic.

Will you be writing a review?
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