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Celebrity DINE AWARE Program for People with Allergies and Food Sensitivities

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Earlier this year, Cruise Critic posted an article that, among other things, talked about how Celebrity Cruise Line will launch Dine Aware in November 2016. Dine Aware helps the food service industry better serve customers who have food allergies or intolerances:

 

http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=7190

 

I haven't seen much about the launch since the August press release, and when I was on my October Celebrity cruise, I didn't see or hear anything about it.

 

So, now that it's November and supposedly Dine Aware launch month, I thought I'd start this thread in case anyone has an update. For those of you who cruised Celebrity in November, was there any talk about Dine Aware on your cruise?

 

Please, if anyone has more information on if Dine Aware is still an active part of Celebrity's plans, let us know.

 

As someone who is acutely gluten-intolerant, the Dine Aware program excites me, but I have no idea how much it might change the menu/offerings on Celebrity. From what I've seen, its main focus is on educating staff.

 

Any information, experiences welcome! Thanks.

Edited by TravelKnitter

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We are on the Eclipse right now and they have made a concerted effort to ask about food allergies. I don't have that, but I am sodium sensitive and they have been accommodating that. However, we are dining in Luminae and I'm not so sure they wouldn't have done that before this program. The menu does seem to be pretty much the same from our last trip last year - nothing highlighting that this is 'gluten-free' that I've noticed so far or documented warnings about food prepared with nuts, for example.

 

 

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We are on the Eclipse right now and they have made a concerted effort to ask about food allergies. I don't have that, but I am sodium sensitive and they have been accommodating that. However, we are dining in Luminae and I'm not so sure they wouldn't have done that before this program. The menu does seem to be pretty much the same from our last trip last year - nothing highlighting that this is 'gluten-free' that I've noticed so far or documented warnings about food prepared with nuts, for example.

 

 

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Thanks, Kylomom. I wonder if they've started implementing it. Would you mind asking one of your servers? I'd love to know. Happy cruising!

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We were able to take a recent tour of Silhouette's galley with the head chef. I can confirm that the main dining room menu does indeed make note of certain dietary compliant dishes such as gluten and sugar free, using a related symbol next to food items. We were also shown a separate galley area where the "special" dietary dishes are prepared. I have a food allergy and they were very diligent in managing it.

So they are indeed making progress in that area. I am nor sure it it has been implemented fleet-wide, but we were very impressed with the entire operation!

Edited by sippican

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DW has a gluten free diet and was extremely well looked after on Eclipse in August.

 

This is the first I have heard of this new program so am very curious to see what Dine Aware has to offer.

 

We are on Solstice early next year so hopefully will be able to find out all about it. :)

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I'm not sure about the Dine Aware program but my niece went with me in March on the Summit and is gluten intolerant. We just contacted Celebrity Special Needs department prior to boarding. Once on board we checked w/ the MDR and they had it noted on her reservation. Each night the Maitre D came over w/ the menu for the next night so she could make her selections and they would prepare gluten-free if possible. We had a wonderful experience even w/o this new program.

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We went on the "Shopping with the Executive Chef" excursion in Barcelona (best excursion ever and would gladly pay double to do it again) in fact we have it booked on the upcoming14 night Equinox Holiday voyage.

 

We got to know Executive Chef Victor very well during the crossing (as well as many of his team Michael, Oscar, Gilbert, Desilva, Web to name a few). The allergy sensitivity program is mandatory for all chefs (yellow scarves right on up to executive chefs). The training occurs in Miami at a few of the chef schools and (at least on the Silhouette) the changes in the kitchen and at the server table have been incredible.

 

For example, each galley has a dedicated grill that is used ONLY for allergy sensitive food. The grill is scrubbed clean after each individual meal is prepared and burned with a blow torch for a specified time and cleaned once again.

 

There is extensive training that is occurring with all of the staff (waiters and chefs) to raise awareness of the many food allergies and special needs diet. I watched the preparation of a Paleo diet a couple of nights, It is amazing to see what the staff does to accommodate us (I had never really given it a second thought as I can eat about anything).

 

Another Celebrity amazing service that we often take for granted.

 

This program may take a while to get everyone certified and the program rolled out (there are many class modules to be completed off ship as well as on) but it will surely make many of our fellow cruisers with special needs delighted!

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We went on the "Shopping with the Executive Chef" excursion in Barcelona (best excursion ever and would gladly pay double to do it again) in fact we have it booked on the upcoming14 night Equinox Holiday voyage.

 

We got to know Executive Chef Victor very well during the crossing (as well as many of his team Michael, Oscar, Gilbert, Desilva, Web to name a few). The allergy sensitivity program is mandatory for all chefs (yellow scarves right on up to executive chefs). The training occurs in Miami at a few of the chef schools and (at least on the Silhouette) the changes in the kitchen and at the server table have been incredible.

 

For example, each galley has a dedicated grill that is used ONLY for allergy sensitive food. The grill is scrubbed clean after each individual meal is prepared and burned with a blow torch for a specified time and cleaned once again.

 

There is extensive training that is occurring with all of the staff (waiters and chefs) to raise awareness of the many food allergies and special needs diet. I watched the preparation of a Paleo diet a couple of nights, It is amazing to see what the staff does to accommodate us (I had never really given it a second thought as I can eat about anything).

 

Another Celebrity amazing service that we often take for granted.

 

This program may take a while to get everyone certified and the program rolled out (there are many class modules to be completed off ship as well as on) but it will surely make many of our fellow cruisers with special needs delighted!

 

Wow, that's exciting!

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We recently cruised on Royal's Explorer of the Seas. I enjoyed the dedicated gluten-free station in the Windjammer Café (similar to Celebrity's Oceanview.) Does Celebrity offer anything like this in their informal buffet service Oceanview Café?

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I checked with our waiter tonight and he confirmed that he is applying the Dine Aware program. He also sat down with me tonight to help plan out low sodium foods so we can pre order from the chef. My husband also confirmed that they discussed there is a separate kitchen area for gluten free food prep to avoid cross contamination. Waiter also confirmed he has been going through training. So on the Eclipse they are definitely working on implementing this program even if they aren't shouting about it. Hope this helps.

 

 

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This sounds great. I wonder how it is handled in Luminae. They do cook other items for DH who has a nut allergy but cross contamination has remained an issue.

It also is during the day. The written advice from X is not to eat at the buffet - for us it's not the nuts in the food which we can always find out about it's the cross contamination from serving spoons. The worst is the ice cream scoop, trying to get servers to understand dipping it in the water they have is not an option, we need a new scoop. Hopefully the awareness training will help here.

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We were able to take a recent tour of Silhouette's galley with the head chef. I can confirm that the main dining room menu does indeed make note of certain dietary compliant dishes such as gluten and sugar free, using a related symbol next to food items. We were also shown a separate galley area where the "special" dietary dishes are prepared. I have a food allergy and they were very diligent in managing it.

So they are indeed making progress in that area. I am nor sure it it has been implemented fleet-wide, but we were very impressed with the entire operation!

 

The related symbols on the menus have been a feature for a number of years on Celebrity.

I am Lactose Intolerant and pre order the night before.

Also I have been provided with 'Special deserts' for at least 3 sailings ( 2013?)

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In August I was diagnosed with systemic allergic contact dermatitis to three things, one of which is propylene glycol. Not only is this found in most personal care products such as toothpaste, lotion, deodorant, shampoo, etc., it is also found in many foods. At the time I made a deposit on a B2B cruise (booked directly with Celebrity), I informed their certified sales agent of my situation. I explained that propylene glycol is found in ingredients which have modified food starch, natural flavors, artificial flavors, food dyes, etc. It is also in all boxed brownie/cake mixes, ice cream, all sodas, etc. The Celebrity sales agent took extensive notes and said she would contact the proper people but that she was sure that my needs could be accommodated. My concern now is that I've had to make the final payment but have not been given the definitive word from Celebrity that I will be informed of which foods will be safe for me to eat. Does anyone know of a phone number that I could call in order to speak directly with the right person who could help me? Thanks for any suggestions you might have!

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We recently cruised on Royal's Explorer of the Seas. I enjoyed the dedicated gluten-free station in the Windjammer Café (similar to Celebrity's Oceanview.) Does Celebrity offer anything like this in their informal buffet service Oceanview Café?

 

Not that I'm aware, but it is something I've been wishing for FOREVER. Please, Celebrity, take note!

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I checked with our waiter tonight and he confirmed that he is applying the Dine Aware program. He also sat down with me tonight to help plan out low sodium foods so we can pre order from the chef. My husband also confirmed that they discussed there is a separate kitchen area for gluten free food prep to avoid cross contamination. Waiter also confirmed he has been going through training. So on the Eclipse they are definitely working on implementing this program even if they aren't shouting about it. Hope this helps.

 

 

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Yes! Thank you so much for checking. Much appreciated.

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This sounds great. I wonder how it is handled in Luminae. They do cook other items for DH who has a nut allergy but cross contamination has remained an issue.

It also is during the day. The written advice from X is not to eat at the buffet - for us it's not the nuts in the food which we can always find out about it's the cross contamination from serving spoons. The worst is the ice cream scoop, trying to get servers to understand dipping it in the water they have is not an option, we need a new scoop. Hopefully the awareness training will help here.

 

Yes. I really struggled with this on my last X cruise. As hard as I tried to explain, the servers did not "get it," and there was not anyone else around to oversee the serving. In Cafe Baccio, I sometimes had a hard time getting them to understand to use a dedicated utensil when serving a gluten-free cookie. Usually, though, I was able to get the Cafe Baccio staff to understand.

Edited by TravelKnitter

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In August I was diagnosed with systemic allergic contact dermatitis to three things, one of which is propylene glycol. Not only is this found in most personal care products such as toothpaste, lotion, deodorant, shampoo, etc., it is also found in many foods. At the time I made a deposit on a B2B cruise (booked directly with Celebrity), I informed their certified sales agent of my situation. I explained that propylene glycol is found in ingredients which have modified food starch, natural flavors, artificial flavors, food dyes, etc. It is also in all boxed brownie/cake mixes, ice cream, all sodas, etc. The Celebrity sales agent took extensive notes and said she would contact the proper people but that she was sure that my needs could be accommodated. My concern now is that I've had to make the final payment but have not been given the definitive word from Celebrity that I will be informed of which foods will be safe for me to eat. Does anyone know of a phone number that I could call in order to speak directly with the right person who could help me? Thanks for any suggestions you might have!

 

From their website: "Celebrity Cruises is happy to accommodate many different kinds of dietary needs in our Main Restaurant to enhance your cruise vacation. Once you have booked your cruise, send your special dietary request to special_needs@celebrity.com or call 1-866-592-7225."

Edited by TravelKnitter

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In August I was diagnosed with systemic allergic contact dermatitis to three things, one of which is propylene glycol. Not only is this found in most personal care products such as toothpaste, lotion, deodorant, shampoo, etc., it is also found in many foods. At the time I made a deposit on a B2B cruise (booked directly with Celebrity), I informed their certified sales agent of my situation. I explained that propylene glycol is found in ingredients which have modified food starch, natural flavors, artificial flavors, food dyes, etc. It is also in all boxed brownie/cake mixes, ice cream, all sodas, etc. The Celebrity sales agent took extensive notes and said she would contact the proper people but that she was sure that my needs could be accommodated. My concern now is that I've had to make the final payment but have not been given the definitive word from Celebrity that I will be informed of which foods will be safe for me to eat. Does anyone know of a phone number that I could call in order to speak directly with the right person who could help me? Thanks for any suggestions you might have!

Propylene glycol is poison to everyone! It is crazy how many things it is in!

Sorry I don't know the number but should be on the site.

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You might try calling Celebrity's Special Needs department.

From the web site:

'To customize your accommodations to meet your specific needs, please complete the Guest Special Needs Form.

 

For more information contact our Access Department at (866) 592-7225 (voice), fax (954) 628-9622, send an e-mail to special_needs@celebrity.com, or have your local Travel Agent or International Representative contact us.'

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From the web site:

'To customize your accommodations to meet your specific needs, please complete the Guest Special Needs Form.

 

For more information contact our Access Department at (866) 592-7225 (voice), fax (954) 628-9622, send an e-mail to special_needs@celebrity.com, or have your local Travel Agent or International Representative contact us.'

 

 

 

I am REALLY disappointed in this program.

I sent an email to the special needs department about my husband being a vegan (with a few more restrictions) and this is the response I received back -

 

Message body

Hello,

 

Thank you for contacting us with this information. Unfortunately, we do not have vegan options on our menu. However, we do have vegetarian options which can be modified to be made as vegan as possible.

 

We recommend once onboard speaking with the Maitre 'd to go over the menu and the meal accommodations.

 

We do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Best regards,

Sulay Suarez

Access Advocate

 

 

 

So basically NOTHING is new. :mad: :(

 

We've always met with the Maitre D' upon boarding but I thought with this new advocacy program and advance notice they might have more vegan options ordered.

 

I especially want to note the "as vegan as possible" phrase. :mad:

 

Not even a commitment or assurance that there actually WILL be vegan choices for him (which I know there will be.)

Why bother to advertise a new program?

Edited by chamima

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We sailed on Eclipse in July in Aqua so dined in Blu. I have a shellfish allergy which is always very well handled by Celebrity and Azamara. However I am also allergic to Capsicums and any related spices plus food intolerant to black pepper this always causes problems as people don't necessarily recognise these and think you are faddy. This time on Celebrity they really tried to ensure my meals were allergen free.

 

 

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Just off Infinity, eating in Luminae. That menu did not list food info, such a whether a dish had dairy, gluten, etc. the MDR menu did list it.

 

My challenge is a dairy allegory and initially it was not handled in Luminae well the first few days. There were very few options on Luminae menu without dairy and even on the MDR menu, one or two appetizers and maybe one entree. So, instead of reworking a dish (is using red sauce instead of Alfredo), they just served me bland food with no sauce at all. One night they gave me gnocchi with literally nothing. Not great eating just dough for dinner.

 

The maitre d changed after 3 days and he immediately came to me, saying he heard from the waiter I was lactose intolerant. He brought out the chef, who agreed that I should see menus the night before and he could rework dishes. How nice!

 

The only thing they didn't change or accommodate well was dessert. Literally I didn't have dessert the whole cruise. All desserts were creamy, except apple pie. It was odd not to have a crumble or cobbler some nights. I always get stuck with berries for dessert...my husband jokes that all I get are freakin berries when everyone else gets good desserts!

 

Anyhow, there are guidelines, but not many options. I would ask your waiter to see if changes to dishes can be made by ordering the night before, or you will be stuck with maybe only one choice at dinner. When they offered this to me, it was greatly appreciated!

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Earlier this year, Cruise Critic posted an article that, among other things, talked about how Celebrity Cruise Line will launch Dine Aware in November 2016. Dine Aware helps the food service industry better serve customers who have food allergies or intolerances:

 

http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=7190

 

I haven't seen much about the launch since the August press release, and when I was on my October Celebrity cruise, I didn't see or hear anything about it.

 

So, now that it's November and supposedly Dine Aware launch month, I thought I'd start this thread in case anyone has an update. For those of you who cruised Celebrity in November, was there any talk about Dine Aware on your cruise?

 

Please, if anyone has more information on if Dine Aware is still an active part of Celebrity's plans, let us know.

 

As someone who is acutely gluten-intolerant, the Dine Aware program excites me, but I have no idea how much it might change the menu/offerings on Celebrity. From what I've seen, its main focus is on educating staff.

 

Any information, experiences welcome! Thanks.

I think it's UP to each pax to properly notify the cruise line of any food issues they may have! It's listed in their online documents.

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I am REALLY disappointed in this program.

I sent an email to the special needs department about my husband being a vegan (with a few more restrictions) and this is the response I received back -

 

Message body

Hello,

 

Thank you for contacting us with this information. Unfortunately, we do not have vegan options on our menu. However, we do have vegetarian options which can be modified to be made as vegan as possible.

 

We recommend once onboard speaking with the Maitre 'd to go over the menu and the meal accommodations.

 

We do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Best regards,

Sulay Suarez

Access Advocate

 

 

 

So basically NOTHING is new. :mad: :(

 

We've always met with the Maitre D' upon boarding but I thought with this new advocacy program and advance notice they might have more vegan options ordered.

 

I especially want to note the "as vegan as possible" phrase. :mad:

 

Not even a commitment or assurance that there actually WILL be vegan choices for him (which I know there will be.)

Why bother to advertise a new program?

Hate to tell you, but on a ship where 3000+ pax are being fed, it is really difficult to cater to someone with a "preference" as opposed to an actual allergy/food sensitivity.. Sorry, but "Vegan" is a "choice" & not an allergy. If you want vegan, the best you're probably going to get is "steamed" veggies or "Tofu" intensive type dishes, sorry.

Edited by keithm
additions

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