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guittech

When dietary restrictions get complicated...

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Hey fellow cruisers!

Good news and Bad news, in the good column, 9 days from now I will be getting ready to board for our upcoming Anthem Cruise!  Very excited!

 

On the Bad side, my lovely wife had a meeting with her doc, her Gal Bladder needs to be removed, not critical, so it's not until Feb 2018, BUT he  immediately instituted even more restrictions on her diet...

 

Being only 9 days out, I had to throw a "Hail Mary" email to RCCL to see if there is much we can do.  We had added "Low Fat Diet required" To her profile, but only a few weeks ago (Not the 45 days recommended, as we didn't know until recently)  NOW her Doc has advised that she can have NO FRIED FOODS, NO RED MEAT, and NO DAIRY.  We tend to be "rule followers" especially when it comes to our health, as we have both had health issues in the past.  But this is EXTREMELY difficult!  We are cruising with family, and already have prepaid for 3 specialty restaurant dinners (the BOGO package and one included with our package from our agent) and to be honest, the specialty restaurants have very little she can eat if she follows the restrictions.  AND she has a allergy to Soy, so no Japanese..   

 

After a little crisis management we tracked down a few menus online and tried to find stuff she could easily eat.  I think Windjammer would be easiest, but she does enjoy the sit down meals and the wait staff!  She had already dedicated herself to lower fat options, but was looking forward to a lean steak as a treat... and now no red meat until FEBUARY!  I am showing solidarity and not eating *much* that is off her diet, If I need a burger it will be on my own, but this makes the cruise really difficult for her.  She doesn't want to deprive me of my enjoyment, but I will feel HORRIBLE sitting across from her in the steakhouse, eating a wonderful steak dinner, and dessert, while she eats a salad with no cheese, dressing on the side, a shrimp cocktail, and chicken breast with steamed asparagus.

 

We can't even just make it a "Booze Cruise" since she has to keep her alcohol intake down as well

 

I am hoping my email to RCCL lets them get enough notice to have a couple of items for her.  I don't *EXPECT* it, since we are way late to the party notice-wise.  Just keeping my fingers crossed for the time being.

 

 

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One strategy you should keep in mind is to speak to your MDR head waiter on day 1 and ask for something else for her.  My recommendation is to come up with a few ideas, and see which of them is possible.  

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Well first off, good luck getting a response from RCCL.  I'm still waiting on a response from my cruise in 2015.   I think even in the specialty restaurants you will be able to find something.  Of course since no red meat Chops would be hard to deal with but I think they have other stuff.  I'm sure they deal with this from time to time and can accommodate you with little to no problem.  But be vigilant, they have been known to make a mistake.

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Received a response pretty quickly, asking what specifically she "could" eat.   I understand, the need for clarity, but it's a lot easier to list what she can't!!!   The dairy thing isn't a big issue, as she doesn't drink it.  But finding alternative things like Pasta Sauce that don't have cream or cheese was looking problematic on menus.  My missus does also have some other food allergies, not life threatening, but very unpleasant for her.  I was friend;y and polite in my request and they were friendly and polite back!  YAY for RCCL!

 

We will be spending some time with the MDR Head waiter on arrival day, we are hoping to be onboard earlier in the boarding process so it isn't crazy busy getting their time.  Have to settle that, book our specialty restaurants, hope that the specialty restaurants can work around my wife's issues, and plan it all out with our family!  PHEW!  ONE WEEK AWAY THOUGH! 

 

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The specialty restaurants are actually the easiest with dietary restriction as everything is cooked to order and can be modified. In addition, there are always fish and seafood, as well as vegetarian, options. When at the Windjammer, ask for the chef to walk you around and ask what's "safe" after you explain your dietary restrictions. The chef may even offer to grill you something special. In the dining room, they'll likely have you order your dinner the night before so that it can be specially prepared. 

While this is unfortunate news, I don't think it will disrupt your cruise or your dining. 

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6 hours ago, guittech said:

Received a response pretty quickly, asking what specifically she "could" eat.   I understand, the need for clarity, but it's a lot easier to list what she can't!!!   The dairy thing isn't a big issue, as she doesn't drink it.  But finding alternative things like Pasta Sauce that don't have cream or cheese was looking problematic on menus.  My missus does also have some other food allergies, not life threatening, but very unpleasant for her.  I was friend;y and polite in my request and they were friendly and polite back!  YAY for RCCL!

 

We will be spending some time with the MDR Head waiter on arrival day, we are hoping to be onboard earlier in the boarding process so it isn't crazy busy getting their time.  Have to settle that, book our specialty restaurants, hope that the specialty restaurants can work around my wife's issues, and plan it all out with our family!  PHEW!  ONE WEEK AWAY THOUGH! 

 

@guittech...Do you think you would be able to post a review of your experience after you get back?  I am really curious to see how RC handles your wife's dietary needs.  I don't have any experience dealing with RC and allergies but we are going on a family Disney cruise in one month and my sister and my nephew both have severe allergies.  My sister has a nut allergy and my nephew has a wheat and dairy allergy.  Both carry Epi-pens.  Needless to say, she is extremely nervous about this, not really for herself but for her son.  Disney has been great so far.  We booked this cruise almost a year and a half ago and right after booking they contact her and provided her with a detailed form to fill out.  Then, they also had their special needs dept. contact my sister to assure her and answer questions about their medical facilities on board.  She has been asked to head the the MDR right away after embarkation to discuss all their dietary needs and she has also been asked to dine in the MDR only for all meals because as @DocLC posted, they can cook and modify as needed for my nephew.

Anyway, I'm curious because my sister and I are both RC fans at heart and I know she would love to take her kids on RC one day.  So it would be so much appreciated if you could post your experience with them when you are done.  Thanks!  And good luck!

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2 hours ago, Sabrinaklai said:

@guittech...Do you think you would be able to post a review of your experience after you get back?  I am really curious to see how RC handles your wife's dietary needs.  I don't have any experience dealing with RC and allergies but we are going on a family Disney cruise in one month and my sister and my nephew both have severe allergies.  My sister has a nut allergy and my nephew has a wheat and dairy allergy.  Both carry Epi-pens.  Needless to say, she is extremely nervous about this, not really for herself but for her son.  Disney has been great so far.  We booked this cruise almost a year and a half ago and right after booking they contact her and provided her with a detailed form to fill out.  Then, they also had their special needs dept. contact my sister to assure her and answer questions about their medical facilities on board.  She has been asked to head the the MDR right away after embarkation to discuss all their dietary needs and she has also been asked to dine in the MDR only for all meals because as @DocLC posted, they can cook and modify as needed for my nephew.

Anyway, I'm curious because my sister and I are both RC fans at heart and I know she would love to take her kids on RC one day.  So it would be so much appreciated if you could post your experience with them when you are done.  Thanks!  And good luck!

This is standard procedure to recommend the MDR for all meals because of the possibility of cross-contamination at other venues. However, the staff and the chefs at the other venues will be more than willing to work with you. While I know that Sorrento's has a gluten-free crust, I don't know if they have dairy-free cheese. The chef will help in the WJ; they just can't guarantee that someone didn't put a serving spoon from one dish into the other. However, often times they can get you a fresh serving from the back before it goes out, so don't think you're only limited to the MDR.

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