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rwmartin

Special Meal Prep for Lactose Intolerant Folks

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Hello! I've seen a lot of posts about the Access Desk that helps folks with allergies. It sounds like NCL has it together in this area. My issue, though, is lactose intolerance and not an allergy. So, unlike a shellfish or peanut allergy where the food needs to be avoided altogether, I just need mine prepared differently - with lactose free milk or other lactose free dairy products. In my house, for example, I eat all kinds of dishes with dairy. We just always have lactose free milk on hand for cooking, lactose free ice cream in the freezer, and even lactose free cheese for mac and cheese. (BTW - All Cabot brand cheese is naturally aged and, therefore, lactose free.)

 

My question then is this - will NCL prepare a regular dish which includes dairy but substitute lactose free milk or other lactose free dairy products so that I can enjoy it? I know I can avoid dishes with dairy altogether, but since there's an alternative way to prepare the same dishes, I'd rather enjoy the dishes I want, just prepared with lactose free milk or products.

 

I know I can contact the Access Desk at NCL, but I wanted to see if anyone else has first-hand experience and, if so, if they had any pointers.

 

Thanks!

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You might consider searching this forum for "lactose".  This is asked here regularly, but since it isn't me, I don't pay that much attention to the answers in order to share them. Just a quick search pulled up tons and tons of info.

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I did a search and found many posts but I did not see any that addressed my specific question. If anyone has firsthand experience with my specific question, I would be interested in hearing from you. Thanks!

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44 minutes ago, rwmartin said:

I did a search and found many posts but I did not see any that addressed my specific question. If anyone has firsthand experience with my specific question, I would be interested in hearing from you. Thanks!

Oh, okay. I found several that talked about people using something called Lactaid or mentioning that almond milk is also available and used. Again, I don't know anything about this, and for some reason I'm seeing things you aren't, but these posts were specific to intolerances and not allergies.

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You’re right but the ones I saw were saying you can get Lactaid milk, such as for cereal. But they didn’t talk about whether the kitchens would make the regular dishes that were on the regular menu for everyone but use lactose free ingredients. For example, if a dish with a cream sauce was on the regular menu or mac and cheese was on the regular menu, would the kitchen make that same dish for me but use lactose free ingredients. I hope that clarifies how my question is different than the posts I’ve seen. Thanks!

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"Lactose free" milk does contain lactose - it just also includes lactase (same as Lactaid tablets) to help digest it.  Since you can tolerate that, you should be okay using the tablets as well.  You could certainly ask for special preparation, but carrying along some tablets as well will ensure you can enjoy the foods regardless.  I actually pack two bottles of pills for cruises since the soft serve ice cream machine is one of my very favorite parts of the boat.  😀

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I am lactose intolerant and never have luck with finding alternative milk on my cruises. I do use the Lactaid tablets in my regular life when I am not sure how something is made or has a dairy product in it. I like to purchase the Kirkland brand from Costco as they are cheaper and more in the box than the Lactaid brand. Hope this helps!

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I’m very lactose intolerant and generally stick to dairy free food on cruises by organising this with NCL in the usual way, the only time I’ve had a problem was in the buffet when I assumed something was dairy free or butter only, and I was wrong. They will bring you lactose free milk, but I worry they’ll make mistakes, so I usually stick to soy milk as I can identify it. They don’t have lf cheese, yoghurt or cream. Last year on the Jewel they ran out of soy milk so when I said I worried about mixups with the Lf milk they gave me a carton to keep in the fridge. I bring my df and gf snacks, desserts and sweet snacks that are gf and df are hard to come by on NCL. They are very good in the mdrs about providing safe foods for people with dietary requirements. 

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I always take lactaid with me so I can enjoy whatever I want.  I still can't go crazy, but they aren't 100% in my case if I overdo it.  When I get coffee, I ask for almond milk.  If it's not available I take a lactaid.  

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I feel for you - I’m lactose intolerant too (and I used to love cheese on my cheese -sad really) and Lactaid doesn’t work for me.  I’ve generally found Almond milk (must ask for it) on my cruises as well as soy milk.  I usually carry single packets of powdered coconut milk for coffee JUST in case.  To get an official answer to your question the best thing to do would be to contact NCL:

 

“DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

Special Medical Dietary Requirements and Diabetes

Guests with food allergies should contact the Access Desk to discuss Norwegian Cruise Line's policies and procedures concerning special diets and your specific allergies prior to your cruise. Because the vessels are supplied all over the world, it may be easier to meet your specific food allergy requirements in some countries, but very difficult in others. Special dietary requests should be submitted at least 45 days prior to sailing. Any requests inside 45 days cannot be guaranteed. We can arrange to have no sugar and low sodium meals for guests with those specific medical dietary restrictions upon request. Refrigerators are available in many staterooms for storing insulin.

 

Contact us for accessible travel via our access link, call our dedicated toll free number (866) 584-9756, or have your travel agent contact us.”

 

     If you do that, you should be able to meet daily with someone from dining to see what they can do and to choose a menu.  Because I don’t have much trouble with cross-contamination (and the galleys do have a “safe area” for preparing food for allergies) I just choose carefully.  I check the dining room menus and go to the buffet if it looks like they don’t have anything. For breakfast in the buffet for example, eggs over hard always work, for lunch and dinner, a plain hamburger, hot dog or grilled chicken breast all work. Not exciting, but hey! I didn’t have to cook it!

 

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