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Lady Chew

If you have food allergies ...

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I realize that people with serious food allergies are pro-active about their needs, but just in case … 


We were on the Amsterdam in Alaska July 29 - August 12.  Overall, it was a great cruise but we had several issues with the food.  The most serious:  nuts were an ingredient in several soups & appetizers & desserts, without being listed on the menu.  AND our waiters had no idea they were included, either.  As part of our discussions with them, and with the MDR mgrs, we learned that the ingredients listed on the menu are frequently different from those listed in the actual recipes the chefs use to prepare the food.


Never take the descriptions on the menu as gospel, nor what the waiters may tell you.  Please notify the Special Needs Department/Food & Beverage/etc of any allergies BEFORE GETTING ON BOARD, and remind them again at every meal.  If you make reservations for specialty restaurants let them know WHEN YOU MAKE THE RESERVATIONS.



Edited by Lady Chew

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Thank you for the warning. There are people who know what they are supposed to avoid, and ask all the right questions. They are trusting their stewards know what they are talking about when answering, and order based on it. Who would think the stewards aren't getting the right information to give a valid answer.
HAL needs to get their act together on this! Put the correct ingredients on the menus, and give the stewards the correct information to clarify what the passenger asks about. 

It's in everyone's best interest to be accurate on this.

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I have allergies to MSG and mushrooms.  I NEVER board the ship without first having affirmed in writing with Special Needs Dept. of my allergies.  The minute I check in with the maître d' for the 1st lunch on embarkation day, I confirm that they have noted these allergies.  Usually, the minute I say my stateroom #, he immediately will say "Yes, you have allergies to MSG and mushrooms."  


They normally have me order dinner for the first night at lunch.  After that, each night I must order the next evening's meal, so they can be assured no mushrooms or MSG comes in contact with my food.


Having said that, this last cruise, at lunch on embarkation day, even though everyone was aware of the allergies, I must have ingested some MSG because the minute we got up from the table I had to run to the restroom and spent the next hour dealing with the effects.  Not very pleasant, especially since I was traveling with friends who were very concerned.  I reported the incident both to the maître d' and the Front Desk.  After that, no one would allow me to order anything without checking with the kitchen about the ingredients, despite the claims that HAL doesn't use MSG!  


I had no problem during the rest of the cruise.  When we ate in the PG, the waiter asked us who was the mushroom and MSG lady before I could say anything.  


I do not eat in the Lido unless the staff can assure me of the ingredients, which they do.  Same with ordering room service.  Generally they tell me of my allergies before I place the order.  


But, yes, people with allergies, particularly the life-threatening ones like peanuts, must be pro-active.  To get on a ship without having alerted the cruise line could prove dangerous. 

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We were on the Koningsdam in January for a 9 day Caribbean.  My Brother has severe Celiacs, and he did everything SevenSeas did. let HAL know prior to departure, let the MDR know at lunch, then each night afterwards. We ate at Tamarind, and again, no problems. He usually ordered breakfast in his room, and marked the Celiacs on the order card.  We had no problems at all.

Edited by leerathje

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