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Food Allergies with HAL


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This will be our first cruise with HAL, sailing on Nieuw Amsterdam in the Mediterranean. My husband is allergic or intolerant of wheat, dairy, tree nuts. I see that accommodations can be made in the MDR with a menu the previous night and that the buffet has a gluten-free section but we have one night included at the Pinnacle Grille and we will want to try the Tamarind.  How does one manage the specialty restaurants? And can anyone will food allergies tell me how successful (or not) they have been?  Even ordering a salad for him can be a struggle - no croutons, no walnuts, no shaved Parmesan!

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My brother has severe Celiacs.....he found that things were wonderful on our cruise on the Koningsdam in 2019.  Yes, they give you a menu in the MDR the night before that you order from. Never had a problem with anything served to him.

 

We never did the Pinnacle, but we did have a dinner at the Tamarind. We spoke with them the night before, and we were told not to worry, that they could accomodate his Celiacs.  When we arrived for dinner, they were able to tell him what he could and could not have, and how they would make dishes that were gluten free.  

 

Can't speak to dairy, but I'm sure someone else can!

 

L.

 

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I have a shellfish allergy.  I notify ship services before departing.  My waiter always gives me the menu for the following night.  In the Lido, I always ask for the people cooking my pasta to use a clean pan so no cross contamination. HAL could not be more accomodating  for my allergy.  

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Be extra careful with room service.  We were on the NA last February, and despite filling out the form pre-cruise advising of food allergies, room service served food containing the allergens.  It was peach yogurt, (peaches being the allergen), but it was still sealed in a cup, so no harm done.  It could have been much different if we had not looked at the label first.  We contacted the room service manager, and they had not received the allergy alert for us. All the restaurants had, so it was on record, however room service had missed the memo.  They were very apologetic, and we had no issues after that.  I would suggest writing the allergens right on your room service card if you choose to use room service.

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Following along, as I have multiple food allergies/sensitivities and will be on the NA this summer as well! I have already filled out the online form to inform HAL, and our TA noted them as well during booking. I was very impressed with Carnival’s ability to adapt dishes for me last summer on a family cruise and am hoping for the same with HAL. 

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My husband has a shellfish allergy.  When we dined at Tamarind, that was one of the first questions they asked us.  They were able to tell him what not to order, and also if they could make any substitutions.  They executed on it flawlessly and we had a wonderful experience.  

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We sailed on the Koningsdam this month and in each of the specialty restaurants, we were first asked if either of us had food allergies? We don't fortunately so were good to order whatever we wanted.

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On 1/20/2020 at 1:57 PM, BashfulBeki said:

This will be our first cruise with HAL, sailing on Nieuw Amsterdam in the Mediterranean. My husband is allergic or intolerant of wheat, dairy, tree nuts. I see that accommodations can be made in the MDR with a menu the previous night and that the buffet has a gluten-free section but we have one night included at the Pinnacle Grille and we will want to try the Tamarind.  How does one manage the specialty restaurants? And can anyone will food allergies tell me how successful (or not) they have been?  Even ordering a salad for him can be a struggle - no croutons, no walnuts, no shaved Parmesan!

Be sure to ask about desserts too. My husband has tree nut allergies so preordered all his meals However the desserts are not on those menus and twice he received a dessert with nut garnishes!! 

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Our son (mid-20's) has an anaphylactic allergy to peanuts, and has sailed with us several times with no issues (although I don't believe he's ever been to the Tamarind).  My sister is Celiac and a 4-star Mariner with HAL, and again no issues, including dining at the Pinnacle Grill and the Tamarind (and also Canaletto, although obviously the menu choices there are more limited for her).  As others have mentioned above, the MDR staff and the specialty restaurant staff have always been great regarding food allergies.

 

The only other caution I would add is to keep a close eye on the Lido Market staff, as sometimes they need to be reminded to use clean (non-gluten) tongs when handling food in allergy situations.

 

Oh, and on the Westerdam last month, plastic stir-sticks (olive spears) at the bar had been replaced by dried pasta; I asked and was told it was gluten-free pasta.  But you might want to check that again.

 

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  • 1 month later...

I was recently on the Volendam and had pre-informed HAL via our TA about my food intolerances.  As everyone has already said our waiter and his assistant in the MDR were extremely conscientious about bringing me the menu for the next night's dinner so I could select what I wanted.  I was told there is a special chef who prepares the food for those who have food issues/allergies, etc.  This worked well for the MDR and Pinnacle.  It did not work with Canaletto when I was ill and had to be confined to our cabin.  We had reservations and I had pre-ordered my meal so I thought it would nice to have it delivered.  That absolutely did not work.  I got a regularly prepared meal that made me feel worse.  On a second visit to Canaletto, my pre-order worked, probably because I had informed Guest Services about the bad experience I had had.  I also found in-room dining to be dreadful for me and my issues.  They could not even provide broth while I was ill and plain white rice or plain chicken when the medical center said I could try having a bland meal.  While I was ill, I circumvented the lack of food on their menus that I could eat by ordering 3-4 hard boiled eggs, toast, and dry cereal for breakfast and eating that off and on all day until I could order a peanut butter and jelly sandwich off the children's menu for my supper.  Fortunately we had a refrigerator so I could keep the eggs cool and safe to eat.  I informed Guest Services about the difficulty I had in even getting food recommended by the medical center and was told that changes had been so people could order broth.  Sure hope other items for a sick person were also added.  As for the concern about salads, they were able to accommodate me in the MDR because they knew my intolerances.  I found the salad bar in the Lido was fabulous.  I could tell/point out the items I wanted and the person behind the counter would add them to the salad.  This was the only thing I could eat in the Lido for lunch since I had no way of knowing if other foods had my problem ingredients.  Since my problems were not gluten or dairy, I was able to get food from Dive-in as long as they did not give me the sauce or the frizzled onions.  I was lucky that our assistant waiter in the MDR worked at Dive-in at lunch so he knew my issues.  Obviously being restricted to these two options made lunch pretty boring so we went to the MDR for lunch when it was open and I pre-ordered my meal the night before for that just like I did for dinner.  Since our dinner waiters weren't there, I had to remind the Maitre'd and the waiters that I had pre-ordered.  That worked fine every time.  So based on my experiences and those of the other folks on this thread, I would say that HAL does make it possible for people with food allergies, etc., to avoid those foods or ingredients.  I had been worried about this beforehand and was very pleased that pre-ordering worked out so well for me.  

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HAL has always taken good care of me with my food allergies.  I've never had a problem.  In fact, the first day, when I check in with the maître d' and give my cabin number, he'll usually say, "Oh you have the mushroom and MSG allergies."

 

I alert HAL of my allergies through the Special Needs Department.  Now, when I book a cruise, they automatically send me the form (via email) near final payment.  I fill it in and email it back.  (I also print a copy just in case.)  They confirm in a subsequent email. 

 

I order the night before in the MDR per my waiters' insistence.  As for specialty restaurants, I check in with them shortly after boarding and confirm my allergies with them.  I've never received a response that they didn't know.  They have it confirmed too, but it never hurts to check.  When the waiters arrive at my table, I again mention my allergies.  If you take the proper precautions as mentioned above, your husband should have no problems. 

 

BTW, when I order room service, I remind them again.  They usually respond, "Thank you.  We understand" or "Yes, I see you have these allergies."  I've never had a problem on any of the ships.  The last thing HAL wants is a passenger who suffers an allergic reaction because of their negligence.

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