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Cruising as a Diabetic


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Hello!  I am a Vegetarian Diabetic.  How difficult is it to cruise while being a Diabetic?  The next time I cruise, will be my first time as one.  Please do not say "just eat meat", because I don't and I won't.  Will I have to special order my meals in the dinning room each night?  What about eating at the buffet?  I also have Neuropathy and eating white pastas, breads, and rice makes the pain worse.  Does / Did Princess have wheat alternatives?

 

Thank you for your help.

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I am a vegetarian-not diabetic-and I NEVER have a problem eating on a cruise! Too many good options. I do eat pasta, bread, and rice, but you always have salads, fresh vegetables, cheese, etc. I don't know about wheat alternatives, but the coffee bar has soy milk (not sure about other non-cow milks) and in the dining room they are always willing to accommodate whatever needs you have. I have never asked for something and not been able to have it. They can pretty much make anything. Sometimes you will have to request for the next night so they have time to prepare. The nightly menu in the dining room ALWAYS has at least one vegetarian option in each category. 

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You should not have a problem They are so good at helping you with special

diets. Typically, the dining room staff will visit you at your table and get your order

for the next night. We have seen this many times and it is very helpful.

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37 minutes ago, nini said:

You should not have a problem They are so good at helping you with special

diets. Typically, the dining room staff will visit you at your table and get your order

for the next night. We have seen this many times and it is very helpful.

OP - be sure to complete the information on your Personalizer regarding your diet restrictions. That triggers the dining room staff to visit you with the next day's menu.

Also, traditional dining (TD) makes it easier for them to assist you. If you choose anytime (ATD), you have to notify the waiter when you're seated so he/she can notify the head waiter. Slows it down.

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With your restrictions, it will be much easier in the dining room than in the buffet. By ordering with the head waiter the day before, they can modify menu items to meet your restrictions.

 

Although traditional dining may be easier, there is no problem with special diets in anytime dining. If you choose anytime dining, I recommend you eat in the same dining room every night so that you are dealing with the same head waiter every night.

 

If you eat in the buffet (for example, for lunch on sea days when the dining room is closed), ask to talk with the chef. He can tell you what meets your restrictions and what doesn't. Also he can serve your plate from the kitchen. I do not recommend serving from the buffet (even if you think you know what is in the dish) because of cross-contamination from other passengers moving serving utensils from one dish to another. (This last comment may not be applicable in the pandemic world if passengers are no longer serving themselves from the buffet.)

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For dinner I would reserve traditional fixed seat dining. That way you will have the same waiters and head waiter each evening. The head waiter will show you the menu the day before if you like, or you can just place a standing order for a selection of veggies. The DR is open for breakfast each day and lunch on sea days. You can choose from the menu, or just ask for what you want. On port days you will have to select from items in the buffet area or order room service. There are plenty of veggie options to choose. Ask for the buffet chef who can guide you.

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4 hours ago, JF - retired RRT said:

OP - be sure to complete the information on your Personalizer regarding your diet restrictions. That triggers the dining room staff to visit you with the next day's menu.

Also, traditional dining (TD) makes it easier for them to assist you. If you choose anytime (ATD), you have to notify the waiter when you're seated so he/she can notify the head waiter. Slows it down.

 

I think this is the best advice offered so far.  The Personalizer is your friend in this regard, it sets a flag which is generally well followed up on.  Traditional dining is undoubtedly the way to go, your waiter and head waiter will be aware of your restrictions and can take measures to assist.  

 

Menu's for the following day (breakfast / lunch & dinner) are always available a day ahead.  A conversation with the headwaiter will make your preferences known.  One thing I'll add is that you needn't  feel obligated to make a definite choice the night before, if you're torn between two entree's, ask whether both can be prepared to your specification - for selection on the night of - you'll be surprised how accommodating the staff can be, especially if requests are made in a timely and kind manner.

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Following up on what others posted.

 

a) On the first evening, speak to your headwaiter whether in traditional or anytime dining. He** will arrange for you to each evening receive the next day's menus (B,L (if applicable), D). Then each evening he will work with you to select items that either are already what you can eat or can be modified to be what you can eat. Your requests are kept by your cabin number so if you are in anytime for dinner or at breakfast or lunch, you just tell your waiter that you have pre-ordered and give him/her your cabin number.  The first evening you will need to do the best you can with the regular menu.   **Sometimes if you are in traditional dinner dining, the headwaiter will have your table waiter do this.

 

b) If you want to dine at a specialty restaurant, go there the evening before to work with the headwaiter there.

 

c) If you want to eat at the buffet for any meal or snack (on sea days the dining room is not open for lunch), when you go there speak with the buffet headwaiter at that time. Do not rely on anyone behind a counter serving food to truly know what each item contains. If the headwaiter does not know, he will go into the galley and speak with the chef.

 

d) If you will be on any Princess shore excursions that include a snack or meal, on embarkation day go to the shore excursion desk and ask them to contact the tour providers to inform them of your dietary restrictions.

 

e) Although you might indicate your dietary restrictions in the Personalizer, for your restrictions Princess will just tell you to contact the headwaiter on the ship as they will not be loading any special foods just for you.

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I am diabetic and I am always given the menu the night before to pick for the next night. We also go Anytime Dining and have never had a problem.  The Guy giving out the menus has always remembered me and anyone else we have seen getting special menus from after the first night. Also when you are given your table it must show up on the computers somewhere as the waiters seem to know, even if you haven’t had them before, and only give my husband a menu and even tell me what I am having. We normally stick to the same anytime dining room but have used another one once, they just had to look it up and no problem.

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I have sailed many times as a diabetic. I usually eat in the buffet specifically because I have so many choices and can always find plenty for a great variety.  Princess will always get you whatever your want that they may have [for me, every morning is smoked salmon, but vegetarians will see plenty to choose too]. No other cruise line I have sailed is as good as Princess about going out of their way to help you.

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1 hour ago, generichandle said:

I have sailed many times as a diabetic. I usually eat in the buffet specifically because I have so many choices and can always find plenty for a great variety.  Princess will always get you whatever your want that they may have [for me, every morning is smoked salmon, but vegetarians will see plenty to choose too]. No other cruise line I have sailed is as good as Princess about going out of their way to help you.


Actually I have found P & O are better with the Diabetic Menu, but am still more than happy with Princess.

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Thank you everyone for your tips/suggestions.  I have requested special meals from the dinning room as a Vegetarian.  Yes, they are very helpful with this.  But as a Diabetic and only being able to eat WHEAT pastas, breads and brown rice (white versions make my Neuropathy - pain & burning sensations in my feet - worse 😔) my selection may be very limited.  I've seen wheat rolls on the table and toast in the buffet in the morning, but have never seen wheat pasta or brown rice.  Not even sure they carry that on the ships.  

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Speak to the Maître 'd when you first board. They will be able to show you the menus a day ahead so you can figure out how to accommodate your special needs. 

 

If the wheat rolls are you biggest issue, grab some off the buffet before dinner and bring them.

 

My table mates thought it was very unfair that I wouldn't share, but might drop cryptic hints at the end of dinner. Even for my wife...

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On 11/19/2020 at 10:39 AM, Denali2003 said:

Hello!  I am a Vegetarian Diabetic.  How difficult is it to cruise while being a Diabetic?  The next time I cruise, will be my first time as one.  Please do not say "just eat meat", because I don't and I won't.  Will I have to special order my meals in the dinning room each night?  What about eating at the buffet?  I also have Neuropathy and eating white pastas, breads, and rice makes the pain worse.  Does / Did Princess have wheat alternatives?

 

Thank you for your help.

I am a diabetic. When I am on a cruise, I do not go out of my way to make sure 100% of my food meets a diabetic criteria. I order regular menu items and make decisions on what and how much to each. E.g., if there is a big pile of mash potatoes on the plate,,,, maybe a few bites. I'll order an NSA ice cream and maybe seek a taste from my husband's dessert. And if there is something "good" (i.e., "bad") that I want, I will tweak my meds to accommodate. 

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If you mark in the Cruise Personalizer that you have special dietary needs you will get an email response from the "dietary coordinator" asking for more details regarding your needs. Make sure to do this sooner than later as it can take time for them to arrange supplies.

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3 hours ago, brisalta said:

If you mark in the Cruise Personalizer that you have special dietary needs you will get an email response from the "dietary coordinator" asking for more details regarding your needs. Make sure to do this sooner than later as it can take time for them to arrange supplies.

 

Based on what the OP says the dietary needs are, the response from Princess will likely be to tell the waitstaff on the ship.

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On 11/23/2020 at 12:22 AM, caribill said:

 

Based on what the OP says the dietary needs are, the response from Princess will likely be to tell the waitstaff on the ship.

 

That has not been my experience. They actually need to know in advance what the requirements are so they can have the appropriate ingredients delivered to the ship before the voyage that the passenger is sailing on.

When I did this they contacted me via email and asked for more details and proposed a number of alternatives that could be stocked on the ship. If you do not do this then you only have the standard items that they have in the pantry on board.

 

 

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16 hours ago, brisalta said:

 

That has not been my experience. They actually need to know in advance what the requirements are so they can have the appropriate ingredients delivered to the ship before the voyage that the passenger is sailing on.

When I did this they contacted me via email and asked for more details and proposed a number of alternatives that could be stocked on the ship. If you do not do this then you only have the standard items that they have in the pantry on board.

 

 

 

Wow, that's impressive that they contacted you for more details.  I have filled out my personalizer for next year (Dec 2021).  I know it's WAY too early to be contacted, especially with the virus going on and not sure if we will be able to cruise by then.  However, when the time comes, I hope they contact me.

 

A couple of years ago, each night in the dining room, I asked for the next night's menu.  I am a Vegetarian.  I was able to tweak some of the items or order something different.  They were very accommodating with this.  My table mates liked seeing the next night's menu as well.  Last year I made a special order for dinner.  I went to the dinning room at breakfast to order my dinner.  They said it was no problem.  When we went to dinner, they had no record of my order.  The head waiter (female) asked me what I would like, I told her.  She had the kitchen make it.  It was simple -- white rice with vegetables.  When she (the head waiter) brought me my dinner, she told me that it looked so good that she had the chef make her a small plate.  She loved it.  Her name is Andrea.

 

That same cruise, in the Horizon Court, I noticed that there were not too many Vegetarian/Vegan options.  I asked to speak to the chef.  A man came out and I talked to him.  He went to get the paperwork of all the food that would be served in the Horizon Court for the week.  Even he noticed that there were not many options.  He too was a Vegetarian.  Then, each time I went to the HC, he saw me, came out from the kitchen and showed me around the buffet and pointed out what my options were.  One day he made spaghetti wrapped in Eggplant slices.  OMG, it was AMAZING!!!  I told him it was.  He was very happy that I liked it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/20/2020 at 1:39 AM, Denali2003 said:

Hello!  I am a Vegetarian Diabetic.  How difficult is it to cruise while being a Diabetic?  The next time I cruise, will be my first time as one.  Please do not say "just eat meat", because I don't and I won't.  Will I have to special order my meals in the dinning room each night?  What about eating at the buffet?  I also have Neuropathy and eating white pastas, breads, and rice makes the pain worse.  Does / Did Princess have wheat alternatives?

 

Thank you for your help.


I am diabetic and have been for 30 years and have done 20+ cruises on either P&O Australia or Princess and have never had an issue with getting the food I need. I’m not vegetarian but my Dad prefers a lot of these meals as well as he needs low fat as well as preferring the wheat alternatives he’s never had a issue in getting what he needs or wants. Believe me I’m a picky eater and still been able to find meals that I really enjoy.

 

I have always found those looking after us in the restaurant very obliging. Also, have also enjoyed the buffet food as well. For me, I just prefer the restaurants.

Edited by Loki S
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