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herbanrenewal

viking China cruise and special diet requirements

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I have booked with Viking for river cruise in China for next year. Since booking I have found out I have kidney disease and need a very strict sodium and protein restrictions. I am extremely concerned about the ability to meet my dietary needs. Viking FAQs said special dietary needs can be met - to inform them 4 weeks in advance of medical dietary needs, and to notify maitre'D on the cruise.

 

Has anyone with medical restrictions succeeded in having those needs addressed during a China river cruise? I would not eat in an American Chinese restaurant anymore because of high sodium in the cooking, but i'm not sure what to expect on the Chinese cooking experiences in China, though I recognize there is a vast difference between American Chinese food and authentic cooking.

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I don't mean to be a spoilsport, but the issue isn't just on the cruise; that might be able to be dealt with. Much of this trip is not on board a ship; that would likely be much more difficult to deal with.

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I wouldn't anticipate problems on the ship, but as gnome suggests, the rest of the trip is going to be a bit more complex.

 

Breakfasts are going to be in the hotels and they are all buffet style so you will be able to choose what you want then from a huge range of options so you should be able to take care of yourself there.

 

The lunches and dinners are almost never in the hotel and are mostly 'themed' in one way or another so are likely to be more of an issue.

 

I would contact Viking and see what they say, the guides are wonderful and will take good care of you once they know what is good or bad for you, but you may find some of the optional trips less suitable, like the Peking Duck dinner, or the cultural show which included a set dinner.

Edited by Mark_T

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Mark and gnome are right. Your restrictions are severe and may go beyond what Viking is able to accommodate given the circumstances. Most of your meals will be served in restaurants, hotels and catering halls where Viking is not in charge of the kitchen and may not have the ability to meet your needs.

 

I suggest that you contact Viking immediately at tellus@vikingcruises.com, explain your circumstances and ask them to call you so that you can discuss, now sooner than later, if this trip is going to be a good fit for you--and for Viking. Do it now while you can still change your plans if necessary. Do it now so that you don't spend the intervening months worrying about it (which isn't much good for your health either).

Edited by Peregrina651

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thanks so much for your input. When I contacted Viking they kept assuring me they could accommodate my diet onboard, but no reassurance regarding land-based parts of trip. Unfortunately they seemed to address it as I should know what I can and can not eat and it would be my own responsibility to maintain my diet. Knowing I can not control how things are cooked I have regretfully given up my hopes for a trip to China.

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1 hour ago, herbanrenewal said:

thanks so much for your input. When I contacted Viking they kept assuring me they could accommodate my diet onboard, but no reassurance regarding land-based parts of trip. Unfortunately they seemed to address it as I should know what I can and can not eat and it would be my own responsibility to maintain my diet. Knowing I can not control how things are cooked I have regretfully given up my hopes for a trip to China.

I'm sorry for you, but I think that you made the right choice.

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1 hour ago, herbanrenewal said:

thanks so much for your input. When I contacted Viking they kept assuring me they could accommodate my diet onboard, but no reassurance regarding land-based parts of trip. Unfortunately they seemed to address it as I should know what I can and can not eat and it would be my own responsibility to maintain my diet. Knowing I can not control how things are cooked I have regretfully given up my hopes for a trip to China.

 

Unfortunately the land part of the cruise represents the majority of the meals and those meals are for the most part a 'one size fits all' situation.

 

While our guide was very helpful in assisting a couple of vegetarians on our trip, it was mostly a matter of identification not providing different meals, so yes, I think you have made the right choice in this case.

Edited by Mark_T

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3 hours ago, gnome12 said:

I'm sorry for you, but I think that you made the right choice.

 

Agreed. The truth is that the only food you can trust is the food that you yourself have prepared--and that, sadly, is very restricting when it comes to travel. 

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16 hours ago, herbanrenewal said:

thanks so much for your input. When I contacted Viking they kept assuring me they could accommodate my diet onboard, but no reassurance regarding land-based parts of trip. Unfortunately they seemed to address it as I should know what I can and can not eat and it would be my own responsibility to maintain my diet. Knowing I can not control how things are cooked I have regretfully given up my hopes for a trip to China.

 

I think you have made the correct decision.  Chinese food is usually heavily salted and/or seasoned and kitchen control is up to the individual restaurants. 

 

When we we toured China five years ago, the vegetarians were reasonably catered for, but one vegan was only offered plates of steamed vegetables - for 16 days!  

 

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herbanrenewal,

I would not give up on a trip to China, but instead do more of a conventional cruise. that more easily CAN meet your dietary needs such as this: https://www.windstarcruises.com/cruise/cruise-tours/chinas-great-walls-and-warriors-cruise-tour/?id=442&sid=30013

 

As. you can see here, Windstar can accommodate your dietary requirements: https://www.windstarcruises.com/voyage-plan/faqs/#foodallergies

 

In the meantime, I would suggest going to your local health food stores and looking for shelf stable low sodium, low protein meals and snacks.  Buy different ones and try them so that you have found several you actually enjoy eating.  These can be taken with you on your travels so that if you are somewhere and the lunch served is just not appropriate, you still have something good to eat or if you have been touring for hours and you are famished, you know you have something appropriate with you to eat and won't have to search the town for something.

 

You must never allow yourself to become a victim to your health circumstances and give up on things you want to do.  Anything is possible, it just may require thinking a bit outside the box to make it work.  

Edited by SuiteTraveler

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