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Reflection - food for allergic people?


karli_ratte
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Dear all, 

 

we will be travelling on the Reflection this summer after a 4 year baby-break from Celebrity. For the first time we will have our 2,5 year old daughter with us and we are fully aware that we will most likely eat at the buffet rather than in the MDR. Our daughter is unfortunately allergic to all products containing milk protein (NOT lactose intolerant). 

 

We did try MSC last year because we know that children are not "as welcome" on Celebrity as on other ships, but apart from all other reasons we didn't like it, getting information on ingredients at the buffet was a nightmare to say the least. 

 

I'd be grateful for any information on how allergies are handled on Reflection that any of you might have. In Austria it's a legal requirement now to label all food in restaurants etc. with the respective allergenes, but I don't think that will be the case on ships? 

 

thank you all in advance!

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just ask crew at the buffet and if they don't know they will have the chef attend you right away. I have used this method and it was wonderful. After the first day as soon as the chef saw me he would come over and walk me through all the dishes

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In all honesty, you would be better off eating in the MDR. I don't know why the inclusion of your granddaughter would preclude eating there. But, first off, make sure you alert special needs. Then when you go in, flag one of the head guys and tell them, they should be able to assist you.

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Contact the Special Needs Department at least 30 days prior to your sailing either with the attached form or at 866-592-7225.   They will assist you with whatever is needed, but, as others have said, check with the management at whatever venue you are eating at to be 100% sure of the allergens.

Celebrity-Guest-Special-Needs-Form.pdf

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I agree with the other posters. There’s no reason to avoid the MDR because you have your young daughter with you. The staff will definitely work with you to avoid triggering your daughter’s allergies. In the MDR, I have seen the Maître d’ go over the next night’s menu with a passenger each night of a 16 night cruise. I have also seen a chef in the OVC (buffet) discussing food allergies with a passenger. I hope you have a lovely holiday.

Edited by Silkroad
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It really depends on the staff available. The MDR is definitely a better option than the buffet. The other day I wasted a ton of time trying to find a simple gluten-free roll or piece of bread. Not a single staff person was able to help and some shrugged and had no idea what I was talking about.

 

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Dear all, 

 

thank you so much for your feedback. We will definitely send the Special Needs form, just to make Celebrity aware of us being on board. I really don't expect any special food to be prepared for a young child. She eats such small quantities. We usually can work with what's available as long as we know what's in it. 

We have Select Dining, which gives us flexibility and depending on when we get back from our tours we will definitely try the MDR. You've put my mind at ease. Thank you all so much for your feedback!

 

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Always ask to speak to the Chef.  I have not sailed Celebrity yet but in both Royal Caribbean and Carnival I was given the wrong info at the buffet and once given a sweet that had a wafer stuck in the middle in the MDR (wheat allergy). so you still need to be cautious don't be embarrassest to re-ask or er-emphasise when the food is brought over just in case there has been any mix up.

 

For any UK folk the line that has catered the best for my ceoliac has been TUI Marrela. It also had in my view by far the best included food we have had on a cruise (4 waiter service restaurants included as standard). To get the same quality on the other lines we have had to eat in the specialty restaurants, The also do a nice afternoon tea with gluten free scones, sandwiches, nibbles, cakes and biscuits which was a nice touch and handy after arriving back from a trip too late for lunch.  I will soon see what celebrity are like to compare.

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20 hours ago, stevea36 said:

Contact the Special Needs Department at least 30 days prior to your sailing either with the attached form or at 866-592-7225.   They will assist you with whatever is needed, but, as others have said, check with the management at whatever venue you are eating at to be 100% sure of the allergens.

Celebrity-Guest-Special-Needs-Form.pdf 183.4 kB · 6 downloads

Thanks for posting the form. It got an error in linking boxes that keep messing up the name, reservation number, or email address. I ended up searching the web for another version that has only 3 pages and submitted that to special needs. It seems Celebrity's IT department is the weakest link.

Edited by Tourist1292
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I suggest calling the special needs department after you submit the form to confirm. When I called, they were able to add all dietary requirements while I was on the phone with them and put in a request for a medical refrigerator (for insulin) right away.

 

We ate most of our meals in the MDR with our toddler and never felt like other passengers didn’t want us there. Mind you, we are lucky enough to have a toddler who sits through a 2 hour meal without much fuss.... we always asked for things we knew he would normally eat at home: steamed broccoli, cucumbers, plain rice, spaghetti noodles, etc. The MDR had no problem meeting these requests.

 

If your daughter enjoys food pouches, you can also speak to the special needs department to see if they can supply you the ones you normally give her at home. 

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I emailed them the form yesterday with the allergy information. I got an email from them an hour ago that they have advised their staffs on the ship for our allergy needs and advise us to talk to the dining room again once we are on board.

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On 4/5/2019 at 7:13 AM, Tourist1292 said:

Thanks for posting the form. It got an error in linking boxes that keep messing up the name, reservation number, or email address. I ended up searching the web for another version that has only 3 pages and submitted that to special needs. It seems Celebrity's IT department is the weakest link.

 

Yea  I had the issue at least 2 months ago.  I took the time to FIX the pdf file and send it back to them with an explanation of what was wrong with the form.  Of course nothing has been done.

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On 4/4/2019 at 1:05 PM, Silkroad said:

I agree with the other posters. There’s no reason to avoid the MDR because you have your young daughter with you. The staff will definitely work with you to avoid triggering your daughter’s allergies. In the MDR, I have seen the Maître d’ go over the next night’s menu with a passenger each night of a 16 night cruise. I have also seen a chef in the OVC (buffet) discussing food allergies with a passenger. I hope you have a lovely holiday.

 

We continue sailing with Celebrity as we have always been pleased with the way they handle DW food allergies.  I agree with most info posted here.  Send in the special needs form as this gets it noted on the reservation BUT from out experience it won't be noticed by anyone onboard.  So as soon as you get onboard go to the MDR entrance where they will have a station setup for dining staffed by a Maître d’ go over your requirements with them and when you get the the MDR the first night your waiter should have been notified.  As described here they will present the next night's menu after after desert (you may need to remind them) and review the offerings or come up with something suitable (don't hesitate to ask if they can do xyz) and put in a special order for the next night.

 

In the buffet don't rely one people manning the stations.  Find the Maître d’ on duty (generally wandering around with shirt and tie and phone) and ask, they will find out for you or get you what you need.

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Being Elite Plus I have sailed with Celebrity quite a bit and always fill out the special needs form months in advance but still have problems once I board a ship.  I, too, have a milk allergy and always confirm with the dining room as soon as I arrive.  They confirm that they have received my request but are never prepared.  A simple thing like soy margarine is always a hassle.  They used to have it available in the buffet but lately it's disappeared.  On the Equinox last December they had to buy some in St. Maartin.  Really?  Why did I bother to fill out a form so it could be purchased in Miami?  Soy milk is very available each morning.  Requesting dairy-free desserts is another issue. You'll never find a dairy free dessert at the buffet (except for sorbet where they will use the same dipper as they do for ice cream).   Most often I will get a delicious dessert the second night and am expected to be delighted with the same dessert for the remainder of the cruise!  I have been very disappointed with how Celebrity has handled my requests over the last 10 years.  Good luck.

 

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On 4/6/2019 at 1:51 PM, wrk2cruise said:

Send in the special needs form as this gets it noted on the reservation BUT from out experience it won't be noticed by anyone onboard.  So as soon as you get onboard go to the MDR entrance where they will have a station setup for dining staffed by a Maître d’ go over your requirements with them and when you get the the MDR the first night your waiter should have been notified.

Not true, the ordering for supplies is done with the Special Needs forms in mind.

When I ask for Lactose Free milk, I am often asked if I have filled in a form prior to embarkation.

However, I always go to the MDR once on the ship, so that I can order my Evening meal. In that way I am assured of some food and the Maitre ‘D knows to give me the menu for the next day before I leave after my first meal.

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What did I say that was untrue?  I didn't advocate for one to not do the special needs form, I just said that in almost all of my 40 cruises the dining room staff weren't informed before I met with them on boarding which I said to do as soon as you board.  The point I was trying to make is that just filling out the Special Needs form without following up on the ship prior to dining is probably not going to end well.

 

Years ago while dining at the captains table with the Staff Captain he said he had seen the info, so it does go somewhere!

Edited by wrk2cruise
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We always book an aqua cabin, so that we eat in Blu most of time as I have, of all things, a mushroom allergy.  Because of the smaller number of people being served there, after a couple of days most of the servers remember that I have this and make sure no mushrooms come near my food.  The Maitre 'D will always have the dinner menu for me at breakfast so that I can see if there are things I can order for dinner and if there is something I'd like that contains mushrooms, can check to see if it can be made without them and keep the dish similar.  I've found them to be very accommodating.  I rarely eat at the buffet, because, as mentioned above, you can spend a lot of time trying to find out what ingredients are in many dishes.  As anyone with a food issue knows, you must be vigilant for yourself.

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Dear all, Thank you so much for the feedback. We've heard from the special needs department and will hope for the best, but be prepared for everything else. We tend to carry lots of snacks etc. around with us for our daughter all the time anyways. 

I'm positive that our experience will be a better one than on MSC one way or another. 

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