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My daughter has a peanut/almond allergy.  We plan to tell our waiter, of course, but just want to make sure we don’t have to advise them prior to boarding.  I know they are not a nut free facility which should not be a problem.  Just don’t want to tell the waiter the first night and they tell me I was supposed to notify them in advance or something. 

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It cannot hurt to notify the cruise line at special_needs@rccl.com.

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I have multiple food allergies, fish, soy, blue cheese, mushrooms, and strawberries are the major ones. We always included the list when booking and then email special needs about 2-3 weeks prior, and talk with serving staff and ask the buffet manager for guidance when eating there. Have never been disappointed by on board staff.

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When my son had food allergies and we cruised, we emailed them ahead as well as speaking to them on the ship.  They checked with us on menus each day and it went very smoothly!  I would advise adding it to your reservation/emailing special needs as well as speaking to them on the ship.

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We just sailed on Symphony of the Seas in March.  My daughter has severe tree nut allergies and we absolutely notified them ahead of time.  I noted the allergy in our reservation when I booked and emailed the Special Needs department before we sailed.  Special Needs sent back a very helpful reply, with details about what to do on board.  

 

Make sure you behave the same way you would at any restaurant, and do your due diligence.  I have heard people return from cruises irate that their child couldn't eat XYZ and that no one knew about their child's allergy.  However, upon questioning, it turns out they never notified the ship, or they assumed that notifying the ship was all they had to do and somehow everyone on board would know their child had an allergy.  

 

Hopefully you have regular dining (Early or Late) and not My Time, so you can have the same serving team.  Talk to them and go through everything on the menu with them.  They will give you the menu for the next night so you can pre-order food for your child.  But double check everything that comes to your table.  They brought us bread that was loaded with some sort of nut (yuck!) and had an "Oh yeah, right" moment when I pointed it out to them.  After that they just brought my daughter her own plate of her favorite rolls.  But that's what I mean about not assuming that everything is safe, or that they will be as careful as you.  

 

Oh and we never once ate in the buffet.  I will only allow my daughter to eat in buffets where the food is served by employees, not self-serve.  People are disgusting at buffets and I just refuse to take chances that some idiot used the same spoon for the nuts and the cheese, or that someone dropped the Waldorf salad into the Caesar salad, etc.  Luckily it was super easy to avoid the buffet on our ship as we had plenty of other options.  

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My daughter has peanut, soy, dairy and gluten allergies.  I, too, always email before hand.  When we board the ship we go down and talk to hostess in front of the dining room early in the afternoon.  She never ate at the buffet but her's is a very severe peanut allergy.  They were very accommodating and brought her the menu the night before to choose what she wanted the next day.  One cruise they went above anything we imagined and were making her special desserts each night.  Their tip reflected the wonderful care they took of her to ensure not only her safety but that she felt special.  We also bring a few snacks on board.  

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You can see from my signature that we have sampled most cruiselines, and my son has sailed with all of them while he was peanut and tree nut allergic.  Thankfully those days are  behind us!!

 

I can tell you from my experience, that the  best cruiseline for handling of allergies is Celebrity.  We told special needs, and on the first night (my time dining) - the waiter knew about it.    The maître D told me to ask for him in the buffet and he would make sure we were attended to.  I was blown away by how seriously Celebrity cares for those with various allergies.

 

Yes, fill out the special needs form.  Yes, tell the waiter and Maître D on the first night.  You should be given a menu every night to order the meal for the following night.  Where you may/may not have success is at breakfast and in the windjammer.  You have to be diligent and ask questions.  If you see something in the buffet that you are not sure about ask to speak with a supervisor.  Ask for food to be brought out directly from the kitchen.

 

My experience with Carnival/Royal in the buffet has not been great - for example asking if anything contains nuts and being told "no nuts" when I could clearly see nuts in some desserts.  However this was years ago and I think awareness and diligence has improved since then.

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