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corjuly

Celiac disease and cruising

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Hello, this is our first cruise on NCL and looking at the Escape to Bermuda in June. We have cruised RC before.  My 6 yr old daughter has celiac's so she is on a GF diet. I was wondering if anyone with celiacs can chime in on how accommodating they are and the process and if there's food across the whole ship not just the main dining room.  She had celiacs so cross contamination is a huge issue for her, so we can't take a chance with buffets and such. 

 

Thank you

 

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I can’t give you a lot of info, because we don’t cruise until June. However, this will be our first cruise with our 15 yr old since she was diagnosed.  Cross contamination is not a huge issue for her, since she is a silent celiac. But, she obviously still needs gluten free. Make sure you contact the access desk well in advance and they will note it on your reservation. Upon boarding, meet with the restaurant manager and they are supposed to help with meal planning. From what I understand, they should be able to make gf things that are off menu, as long as the ingredients are on the ship.

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7 hours ago, corjuly said:

Hello, this is our first cruise on NCL and looking at the Escape to Bermuda in June. We have cruised RC before.  My 6 yr old daughter has celiac's so she is on a GF diet. I was wondering if anyone with celiacs can chime in on how accommodating they are and the process and if there's food across the whole ship not just the main dining room.  She had celiacs so cross contamination is a huge issue for her, so we can't take a chance with buffets and such. 

 

Thank you

 

Contact the Access Desk at 866-584-9756 at least 45 days before your cruise. NCL takes all dietary restrictions very seriously and you will be provided additional details. You will need to coordinate dining locations a day in advance on the ship. Foods are prepared in a separate galley in an order that avoids cross contamination. 

 

If the dining room manager can not guarantee the safety of your food, you will be denied service. Your daughters safety is more important than her being hungry. 

 

https://www.ncl.com/about/accessible-cruising

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8 hours ago, corjuly said:

Hello, this is our first cruise on NCL and looking at the Escape to Bermuda in June. We have cruised RC before.  My 6 yr old daughter has celiac's so she is on a GF diet. I was wondering if anyone with celiacs can chime in on how accommodating they are and the process and if there's food across the whole ship not just the main dining room.  She had celiacs so cross contamination is a huge issue for her, so we can't take a chance with buffets and such. 

 

Thank you

 

 

As others have said, do contact the Special Needs/Access Desk ASAP.

They take food allergies VERY seriously.

 

Now, the "good news" is - IF there is good news about celiac disease - is that in the past several years, there has been so much more awareness and understanding of celiac disease and "gluten free" (for celiac disease or otherwise) that there seem to be GF products almost everywhere.

 

Just make sure that they understand about the "cross-contamination" issue, as not everyone who requests "GF" is that sensitive (not all have the actual disease, or are that sensitive).

 

And then, every time you speak with a server, emphasize the special diet.  Just double check, to avoid any misunderstandings or mistakes.

 

We have found them to go out of their way to help you plan ahead if necessary (each evening for the next day), but there may be GF choices at each meal anyway.

 

And yes, avoid buffets, as others may have "cross-contaminated" the food, ahem...

 

Enjoy the cruise!

 

GC

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100% agree. 

 

But it there is a difference between not having any gluten ingredients (which you will see even on the buffet) and guaranteeing no cross contamination.

 

The ship will take good care of you. And ensure your daughter’s safety. 

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I don’t have celiac but I am gluten intolerant.  I was able to plan my meals in advance and I never felt deprived.  The staff was great.  As others have stated, make sure that you contact the access desk at least 30 days prior to sailing.  I ate gluten free bread, pancakes and waffles, and so much more.  I also have dairy, peanut and tree nut allergies.  No problem for NCL.  

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They are very good. My daughter ordered food a day in advance and would call before every meal and tell them where she was eating, and it was delivered to our table. After you get on the ship, I suggest eating in the MDR for lunch, and the dietary manager will most likely come to your table. 

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They have a dedicated area in the main galley for cooking meals for people with allergies and dietary restrictions so they are very careful about cross-contamination. On Getaway the executive chef mentioned that the main galley makes *all* the pastries and breads for every restaurant on the ship.

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I have celiacs and have cruised ncl for a number of years, specifically because they handle the celiacs so well. THere is typically a dedicated member of the service staff for guest with allergies/food intolerances. When you get on board find him or her by either by going to guest services or asking at one of the restaurants.  Every night I would need to 'pre-order' my meal from him - they are often my favorite members of the staff :-)  - so you do have to decide where (and ideally approximately when) you are going to dine for the following day.  They will bring you the menu from that restaurant and you can choose something to eat that they will adapt to gluten free. Occasionally there are things that they can't adapt but largely they are very accomodating. At dinner every night ask to see the specialist to pre-order for the next night. This has worked very well for us. My celiacs is not 'silent' and if there was significant cross-contamination I would have noticed, I've only had an issue once (someone at my table ordered the same dish as I did and the waiter gave them the gluten free version and me the gluten-full version), I will be on my 9th cruise this summer. 

I don't eat at the buffet except for fresh fruit and pre-packaged yogurt sometimes, althought if you speak to a staff member they will identify if something is gluten free for you, but the issue of cross-contamination is high there.  You can pre-order lunch and breakfast but I typically find the waitstaff accomodating and knowledgeable if you indicate your issue and the crowds are less then in the dining rooms so I've never had an issue just ordering directly. Just prepare that your meals will take a little longer due to the need to accomodate. 

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21 minutes ago, diamondbear said:

I have celiacs and have cruised ncl for a number of years, specifically because they handle the celiacs so well. THere is typically a dedicated member of the service staff for guest with allergies/food intolerances. When you get on board find him or her by either by going to guest services or asking at one of the restaurants.  Every night I would need to 'pre-order' my meal from him - they are often my favorite members of the staff :-)  - so you do have to decide where (and ideally approximately when) you are going to dine for the following day.  They will bring you the menu from that restaurant and you can choose something to eat that they will adapt to gluten free. Occasionally there are things that they can't adapt but largely they are very accomodating. At dinner every night ask to see the specialist to pre-order for the next night. This has worked very well for us. My celiacs is not 'silent' and if there was significant cross-contamination I would have noticed, I've only had an issue once (someone at my table ordered the same dish as I did and the waiter gave them the gluten free version and me the gluten-full version), I will be on my 9th cruise this summer. 

I don't eat at the buffet except for fresh fruit and pre-packaged yogurt sometimes, althought if you speak to a staff member they will identify if something is gluten free for you, but the issue of cross-contamination is high there.  You can pre-order lunch and breakfast but I typically find the waitstaff accomodating and knowledgeable if you indicate your issue and the crowds are less then in the dining rooms so I've never had an issue just ordering directly. Just prepare that your meals will take a little longer due to the need to accomodate. 

Four different NCL ships, and we have never had to seek out the dietary manager, or tell him where and when we were eating the next day. He (once she) has always found us. Dd could pick something from the menu, or they would make her pretty much anything she wanted.

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On 5/11/2019 at 9:07 AM, diamondbear said:

I have celiacs and have cruised ncl for a number of years, specifically because they handle the celiacs so well. THere is typically a dedicated member of the service staff for guest with allergies/food intolerances. When you get on board find him or her by either by going to guest services or asking at one of the restaurants.  Every night I would need to 'pre-order' my meal from him - they are often my favorite members of the staff :-)  - so you do have to decide where (and ideally approximately when) you are going to dine for the following day.  They will bring you the menu from that restaurant and you can choose something to eat that they will adapt to gluten free. Occasionally there are things that they can't adapt but largely they are very accomodating. At dinner every night ask to see the specialist to pre-order for the next night. This has worked very well for us. My celiacs is not 'silent' and if there was significant cross-contamination I would have noticed, I've only had an issue once (someone at my table ordered the same dish as I did and the waiter gave them the gluten free version and me the gluten-full version), I will be on my 9th cruise this summer. 

I don't eat at the buffet except for fresh fruit and pre-packaged yogurt sometimes, althought if you speak to a staff member they will identify if something is gluten free for you, but the issue of cross-contamination is high there.  You can pre-order lunch and breakfast but I typically find the waitstaff accomodating and knowledgeable if you indicate your issue and the crowds are less then in the dining rooms so I've never had an issue just ordering directly. Just prepare that your meals will take a little longer due to the need to accomodate. 

Thank you this is what I. needed to know. SHe's been Celiacs for 3 yrs now so I am well versed in it, just not this cruise line and how it works.  We were wondering about everything but the main dining room. I know they will help us but it's the other restaurants.  She's only 6 so a picky kid lol.  What about off the ship? Have you been to Bermuda? We are headed there and nervous about lunch for her

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On 5/11/2019 at 9:31 AM, mjkacmom said:

Four different NCL ships, and we have never had to seek out the dietary manager, or tell him where and when we were eating the next day. He (once she) has always found us. Dd could pick something from the menu, or they would make her pretty much anything she wanted.

Did it matter where you ate? We plan on feeding our kids first, then they go in camp and we go eat later on.  She's 6 so picky, so chicken fingers and ff lol.  Can they deliver to us anywhere we are? I am thinking the buffet for my other 2, so if we are there will they bring her food there?

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, corjuly said:

Did it matter where you ate? We plan on feeding our kids first, then they go in camp and we go eat later on.  She's 6 so picky, so chicken fingers and ff lol.  Can they deliver to us anywhere we are? I am thinking the buffet for my other 2, so if we are there will they bring her food there?

Absolutely, you just call when you leave your cabin, and your prearranged meal will be delivered to you. Dd16 is not picky, but an adventurous eater, and loves that she’s not stuck eating grilled chicken and salad.

Edited by mjkacmom

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Thank you. I just meant they can make it from anywhere. Not just stuck to the main dining room or buffet. 

Thanks. I’m feeling a bit better about this. 

 

Now have ave you been to Bermuda? Wondering how to handle lunch off the boat. I called and asked about taking prepared food off and she wasn’t sure on that. Said they would get back to me and never did. I’ll have to call back. 

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We’ve never been to Bermuda, but we’ve always brought prepackaged gf food onboard to take off. Bermuda is not a poor island, I’m sure you can find something. I don’t think you can take non-packaged food off of the ship. Thank goodness Dd has always been a fan of protein and salad, and eggs.

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On 5/9/2019 at 11:45 AM, GeezerCouple said:

 

As others have said, do contact the Special Needs/Access Desk ASAP.

They take food allergies VERY seriously.

 

Now, the "good news" is - IF there is good news about celiac disease - is that in the past several years, there has been so much more awareness and understanding of celiac disease and "gluten free" (for celiac disease or otherwise) that there seem to be GF products almost everywhere.

 

Just make sure that they understand about the "cross-contamination" issue, as not everyone who requests "GF" is that sensitive (not all have the actual disease, or are that sensitive).

 

And then, every time you speak with a server, emphasize the special diet.  Just double check, to avoid any misunderstandings or mistakes.

 

We have found them to go out of their way to help you plan ahead if necessary (each evening for the next day), but there may be GF choices at each meal anyway.

 

And yes, avoid buffets, as others may have "cross-contaminated" the food, ahem...

 

Enjoy the cruise!

 

GC

 

I totally agree : we have found NCL best of the cruises we’ve done in recent years for dietary issues. We were assigned a special diets waiter and he or she handled my needs. You will be able to dine in the mdr and specialty restaurants but the buffet and the pub are probably best avoided. There is, I think, some variation in how it is handled on different ships, but following the advice above, and mentioning to every waiter you deal with the seriousness of the issue (my husband has a standard message “she needs gluten and dairy free food and she will get very ill if she eats gluten or dairy”. Also, if it’s not the special diets waiter bringing the food check that she is receiving the actual meal ordered etc etc. No doubt you are already very used to this. 

GF choices on the menu obviously won’t be suitable for coeliac you’ll need to specify gf for coeliac so it is prepared separately. I would also take some snacks for excursions.

But we have had great cruises since we switched to NCL , it really takes the worry away to be able to eat nice food on holiday safely,. 

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On 5/8/2019 at 10:11 PM, corjuly said:

Hello, this is our first cruise on NCL and looking at the Escape to Bermuda in June. We have cruised RC before.  My 6 yr old daughter has celiac's so she is on a GF diet. I was wondering if anyone with celiacs can chime in on how accommodating they are and the process and if there's food across the whole ship not just the main dining room.  She had celiacs so cross contamination is a huge issue for her, so we can't take a chance with buffets and such. 

 

Thank you

 

Yes, Norwegian is amazing.  There are gluten free and celiac-safe options at most of the dining establishments.  Speak with a maitre d and you can also order dinner the night before.  My daughter 17 has Celiac

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ok so literally got home this morning and had the WORST time with GF food. first day was told no need to pre order just come down and ask when ordering. Go down for breakfast next morning, they asked if I pre ordered.  Went to the guest services got me someone who promised go help and to call him each time and when I did, he said ok no problem. Went to go eat, mentioned we pre ordered, they could never find the order put in. So each time we had to wait for her food. One night, in the manhattan room, she got pasta, they couldn't find her pre order, shes eating, and there's a macaroni and cheese noodles mixed in. She's now sick and complaining of her stomach hurting.  I DO NOT think they are great or even aware of cross contamination.  We had much better luck just ordering her food before anyone else ordered and it came somewhat at the same time as ours.  Very frustrating week with a 6 yr old to eat. 

We went on RC last Feb and she got amazing food, and service. So disappointing.

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6 minutes ago, corjuly said:

ok so literally got home this morning and had the WORST time with GF food. first day was told no need to pre order just come down and ask when ordering. Go down for breakfast next morning, they asked if I pre ordered.  Went to the guest services got me someone who promised go help and to call him each time and when I did, he said ok no problem. Went to go eat, mentioned we pre ordered, they could never find the order put in. So each time we had to wait for her food. One night, in the manhattan room, she got pasta, they couldn't find her pre order, shes eating, and there's a macaroni and cheese noodles mixed in. She's now sick and complaining of her stomach hurting.  I DO NOT think they are great or even aware of cross contamination.  We had much better luck just ordering her food before anyone else ordered and it came somewhat at the same time as ours.  Very frustrating week with a 6 yr old to eat. 

We went on RC last Feb and she got amazing food, and service. So disappointing.

That’s awful! We actually had a great experience-pre-ordered every evening and had discussions with the restaurant manager, one time he even called and spoke with the chef and then stopped by that night to make sure everything was okay. The only time we had to wait was lunch the first day, since we were unable to pre-order. The first question they asked me when I said she was gluten free was “Is she gluten free or celiac?” So, it sounds like they were very well trained on the Sun, but maybe not so much on your ship. 

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3 minutes ago, FLcruisergrl said:

That’s awful! We actually had a great experience-pre-ordered every evening and had discussions with the restaurant manager, one time he even called and spoke with the chef and then stopped by that night to make sure everything was okay. The only time we had to wait was lunch the first day, since we were unable to pre-order. The first question they asked me when I said she was gluten free was “Is she gluten free or celiac?” So, it sounds like they were very well trained on the Sun, but maybe not so much on your ship. 

they had no clue.  one waiter was trying to convince us she couldn't have ice cream b/c it had dairy in it.  Talked to several people and order from different people.  the best we had was actually in the buffet and getting them to make her food from a waitress there. We got one a few times and she was like I will come and find you and gave her like a bag of chips to share.but other than that it was far and few between with good service

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42 minutes ago, corjuly said:

ok so literally got home this morning and had the WORST time with GF food. first day was told no need to pre order just come down and ask when ordering. Go down for breakfast next morning, they asked if I pre ordered.  Went to the guest services got me someone who promised go help and to call him each time and when I did, he said ok no problem. Went to go eat, mentioned we pre ordered, they could never find the order put in. So each time we had to wait for her food. One night, in the manhattan room, she got pasta, they couldn't find her pre order, shes eating, and there's a macaroni and cheese noodles mixed in. She's now sick and complaining of her stomach hurting.  I DO NOT think they are great or even aware of cross contamination.  We had much better luck just ordering her food before anyone else ordered and it came somewhat at the same time as ours.  Very frustrating week with a 6 yr old to eat. 

We went on RC last Feb and she got amazing food, and service. So disappointing.

Wow. We have sailed on 4 different NCL cruises with dd who has celiac, and every meal was amazing! The dietary managed met with her twice a day. Everything special ordered is prepared in a separate kitchen. Her food always arrived with everyone else’s, she just called as we left our cabin for dinner to let him know where we would be dining. She even got special desserts, like flourless chocolate cake. She never got sick. What ship were you on?

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2 hours ago, mjkacmom said:

Wow. We have sailed on 4 different NCL cruises with dd who has celiac, and every meal was amazing! The dietary managed met with her twice a day. Everything special ordered is prepared in a separate kitchen. Her food always arrived with everyone else’s, she just called as we left our cabin for dinner to let him know where we would be dining. She even got special desserts, like flourless chocolate cake. She never got sick. What ship were you on?

the escape. what ship were you on? They did have flourless cake, if we asked for it. It was mainly to big so we got ice cream most of the time.  it wasn't even just her stuff. The service was terrible in the main dining room, every meal we did there was over 2 hours long.  but we can eat whatever.  and we are adults, lol, so we can wait.  it was just so upsetting the the pasta was mixed with regular. I even think it was regular pasta that came out but they swore it was GF, but then gave her spaghetti instead of the rigatoni the first came out. Very very bad

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I have only been on the Gem, but they are extremely good about it.  I am extremely sensitive and I have actually felt better and lost weight on the ship.  The ability to eat normal for a week is the big reason we stay with Norwegian.  We are going on the Breakaway in July.  I have heard that "Benedict" is the one who takes care of you on that ship.  Hope it is true as he was on our first trip and was amazing.  Anyone been on the Breakaway recently?

 

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If there is an issue, ask for the chef in charge.  No mistakes will ever be made.  Had small issue second trip and two of the culinary top chefs handled my food for the rest of the trip.  One even cooked our dinner at Cagney's himself on our last night of the cruise.

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