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Severe food allergies - does Carnival try to accommodate?


KimmyinLA
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We will be doing b2b on the Freedom. Our 3 yo son has life threatening food allergies (multiple and not simple).

 

While we will try to pack most of his food, we obviously don't want him eating only processed items.

 

Does anyone know if there is someone we can work with to request and get a few simple foods. Ex chicken breast without any seasoning and no cross-contamination (meaning it can't be cooked in a pan or grill used for other foods). Also, we would just need some fruit but again, cross contamination would be a huge worry unless he only ate bananas.

 

And lastly, his options are very limited but he can have oatmeal (certified gf). Would they microwave it for us or is it poss to ask for a small microwave in our room?

 

His allergies are life-threatening. He's gone into anaphylactic shock several times. One of those times was cross-contamination (it really is just a tiny bit of protein from an allergen food).

 

This will be our first cruise with him and I am a bit nervous. Does anyone have any helpful advice on how to approach Carnival about this?

 

 

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They will try to help, but if his allergies are that severe, I would skip the cruise. What would you do if he got sick on the ship with their limited medical facility? Or worse yet, if he got sick in a foreign country. I doubt they would cook or prepare any food you brought aboard. Just my opinion.

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Joey, as much as I'd like to place him In a bubble, well...that's just not likely. Just curious, are you speaking from experience or having traveled with someone who needed some accommodating?

 

 

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I am not sure what part of my post you are referring to. I do know that they will try their best to accommodate your needs, especially in the MDR. The maitr`de will meet with you every evening and discuss the next day`s dining. on the lido you are probably on your own. I suggest you contact the special needs department and explain your situation. They will tell you how they can help you. I also know that if the ship's medical team cannot handle a medical situation they will send you to a hospital at the next port. This could be costly, so I suggest you purchase trip insurance of some sort. No , I have not traveled with some one with special needs. I have taken 30 cruises and am an avid reader of these boards, so I have a certain amount of knowledge. I hope all goes well on you cruise and your son has a great time. I was trying to be helpful and not suggesting you keep your child in a bubble.

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Hi Kimmy,

 

My son is allergic to eggs, wheat, nuts, sesame and certain spices. I met with the maître'd on embarkation day and explained his allergies. They were very helpful and prepared a special meal for him every lunch and dinner in the MDR. We actually asked for a plain chicken breast, lightly pan fried with a little vegetable oil and hand made French fries (the fries from the buffet are pre-made and doused with flour). While they would not prepare a special meal for him at the buffet, the cooks were great in answering ingredient questions, if it was something that they were unsure of, they would get the packaging and read it to me or call for the head cook. They will not prepare food that you bring, however we brought my sons usual snacks and cereal from home to be on the safe side. We always carry Benadryl and multiple epi pens. We were very happy on our 9 day cruise aboard the Spirit out of LA. Notify your PVP so they will make a note for the special needs team.

 

I hope you have a safe & fun cruise !

-Ron

 

 

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Contact the Special Needs Dept. at CCL. They are wonderful! My niece also had very bad food allergies. They may ask for a Dr.'s note explaining the allergies. As Ron said - go meet the maitre'd on embark. The dining room is usually open at 1 p.m. On the first night the Maitre'd and/or assistant maitre'd will meet with you at the dinner table with a menu, and go over all needs. One of the chefs may even come over and speak with you! (very probable) Every night there-after someone will meet with you and go over the menu for that night, and probably the next night. We had no problem with cross-contamination. Just be aware - with over 2,500 guests to serve, "stuff" may happen - so be prepared with epi-pen, etc. If your child goes to the kid's club to play, make sure the staff there knows about the allergies, so they don't give him a snack that is not on his list.

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DW has some very unusual food allergies.

 

The first night she will order something simple liked grilled salmon and fruit and tell headwaiter about it.

 

He/she will send over asst MD or social host and will discuss and make a list of what she cannot have.

 

They will than plan the next evening's dinner and her food will be made special. Normally this works well but they have been known to make mistakes. Those mistakes bring on migraines but not life threatening.

 

I would contact special needs and also tell head waiter first night.

 

Honestly not sure that I would completely trust them not to make errors and would if all possible bring on your own cereal and other foods to minimize their cooking facilities.

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You have had some great suggestions above. To further answer your questions, no microwave in the stateroom and no they will not heat up or prepare any food stuff you bring on board. To prepare would be against health code. I know you will have a great cruise it will just take some prep work on your part which you have already begun.

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I am very fortunate that I outgrew all of my food allergies. That beiong said, I do understand the level of issue your son has.

 

You do need to get detailed information regarding his situation from your (his) doctor and have it with you. You should copy and e-mail this information to Carnival so they have ample notice of his special needs.

 

You need to carry an EpiPen. You need to know how and when to use it. This is essential.

 

Carnival has been very helpful to several people I know in planning and adapting the menu to their needs. One needs to have a certain amount of trust that they will do the right thing, but that is most likely to be the way things get done.

 

Doc

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I wouldn't risk waiting til I board to talk to them about something that could threaten my child's life! I'd follow the suggestions made earlier to contact the Special Needs department and make sure it's all arranged in advance.

 

From what I hear they are excellent at dealing with special dietary circumstances. But as someone else mentioned, they may even want a letter from your son's pediatrician explaining the allergies.

 

But it should all be do-able. Enjoy your cruise!

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DD has peanut and tree nut allergies. We travel with a group that, combined, has allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, MSG, dairy, eggs and shellfish.

 

Upon boarding go to the MDR around 1pm. The hostess will go over that night's selection. If several things look good, order it. Every night they will come by and take your order for the next day' meals.

 

There is no MDR lunch served on port days. Ask how this works. We've traveled so often on Carnival that we know the ingredients on the buffet.

 

For set dining your waiter will have your preorder slip. At ATD the hostess will give it to your waiter when you are seated.

 

Buffet---

Talk to the lido chef about ingredients.

Be extremely careful about cross contamination. Less chance of contamination when it first opens.

 

We avoid the Mongolian Wok. The woks are swished clean and the lids are not cleaned between uses.

 

Kid' Clubs---

There is an allergy form to fill out.

Food isn't served too often in the clubs. What is brought in is there for the activity then taken out. These times will be marked in the schedule.

 

Onshore----

You can bring off commercially prepared foodstuffs but NO FRESH FRUIT OR VEGETABLES. This is to protect the ecosystem. Many of the Mexican ports have AgDogs. You do not want those friendly Labs sitting next to you. I've had bugs crawl out of asparagus on Princess

 

For travels we've made up business card sized allergy cards for waitstaff. Haven't had a problem in Italy or Mexico.

You can order them at selectwisely.com.

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Thank you. I did not know they had a department I could contact.

 

We *always* carry multi epi-pens & plenty of Benedryl.

 

My concern was whether they understood food allergies enough that a new pan is used vs just wiping down a used one. Some (many) restaurant workers haven't been trained in allergy vs intolerance and so we always error on the side on caution on land. Then, the whole gf fad adds another level of confusion for workers.

 

We will be packing most of his snacks & foods such as cereal, sunbutter & jelly & special bread so we can always have a back-up sandwich. But I wasn't sure whether they could prepare a piece of protein & a veggie with regards to x-contamination.

 

I'm not too concerned about kids club bc we prob won't leave him unattended. He knows that he can only eat safe foods we give him. He goes to preschool and obviously there's plenty of potential exposure but we work with the caregivers so they know to be aware.

 

 

 

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Ranyw, How did they make the fries? My son can't have most ff because most restaurants fry other battered items in the oil. And yes, the coating is a big issue for us too. And those sneaky "spices" add another level of confusion. Mine is ana to wheat, eggs, sesame, pn & tn too. Then he has a list of oddball foods that we're unclear whether it's allergy vs intolerance (stone fruits, strawberries, melon, certain beans).

 

 

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If you brought on a sealed box of oatmeal would they hold it for you and make it to order for your son each morning?

 

 

For this you'd need to contact guest services. I've read about an autistic spectrum kid where they made his from-home commercially prepared (Schwann's) chicken nuggets.

 

***

The galley has a specially trained chef and prep area for these special diets.

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FWIW here are the ingredients of the soft serve in the Lido

 

FYI - The ice cream they serve in the Steakhouse and in the MDR very good.

 

This is what is in the frozen yogurt and the frozen dessert. If the food company won't call it ice cream, then I won't either.:D

 

yogurtingredients_zps1d2099e8.jpgicecreamingredients_zpse0cbf7fc.jpg

 

Hopefully he can enjoy this!

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You've already rec'd MANY HELPFUL responses!!! Yes, they are helpful. Possibly repetitious in menu for special needs -- but they will work with you!!!

 

Contact Carnival, by phone, and ask for the Special Needs Dept. Talk to them.

 

When you board -- go to the Maitre D' in the central MDR. Usually this station is manned from 1:30 - 2:30 so you can verify or make special requests of tables or menus.

 

Go to Guest Services, if you have not been able to find anyone in the MDR.

 

Take your Epi-Pens and whatever else you may need in emergencies for shore time.

 

Bless you and have a wonderful cruise!!!!

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I'm dreading this cruise because of my food allergies. Gluten, tomatoes, peppers and anything with MSG or high levels of histamine in it. I've read they say to not call ahead but part of me thinks: well what if they get a cruise with food allergies and there's not enough? Lol

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We will be doing b2b on the Freedom. Our 3 yo son has life threatening food allergies (multiple and not simple)... his options are very limited but he can have oatmeal (certified gf). Would they microwave it for us or is it poss to ask for a small microwave in our room?

 

 

 

Some good news is that being only three, you son probably won't be as bored as you might imagine eating the same thing over and over for a B2B.

 

I have many allergies and intolerances to food myself, and I try to take as much instant (just add hot water) type of food as I can when travelling just in case.

 

Have you found any oatmeal or other items he can eat that don't require a microwave? Room service will deliver hot water (as if you were ordering tea), and you can prepare it yourself in the room. The MDR and buffet could do the same for you, I'm sure.

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Also make sure the asst waiter is aware of the allergies. He/she is critical to examine and question things in the galley.

 

They do a good job in the galley but have made mistakes with my wifes dinners.

 

and if it all works out tip everyone who made the trip a great one.

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