If your idea of the perfect vacation is a cruise with multiple ports-of-call, you're in luck...cruises are fast becoming one of the better options for gluten-free travelers. Most of the big cruise lines have policies in place to serve people with special dietary needs. If you've never cruised and have been hesitant for one reason or another, consider this...cruise vacations are mostly inclusive (excursions and alcoholic beverages are usually extra, as are spa treatments), and it gives you the opportunity to visit many destinations, while only unpacking once!
On our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite, we have links to many of the cruise lines and their GF policies on our Travel Resources page. Most cruise lines recommend noting your gluten-free needs at the time you — or your travel agent — makes the reservation. It’s a good idea to meet with the Maitre d’ upon arrival on your first day on the ship, too. That should enable you to articulate any preferences to the chef — and find out a bit more about the GF options on board. Some cruise lines may even tell you more about the gluten-free staples they stock on their ships when you first make your reservation — and they might also take specific requests for favorite brands. It doesn’t hurt to ask — you are a paying guest, and you have chosen their cruise line. It is in their interest to make you happy!
It is definitely worth mentioning, however, that many cruise lines don’t seem to be very consistent in satisfying their gluten-free guests. It can vary from ship to ship, region to region — and may have a lot to do with the knowledge of the particular Executive Chef in charge. We have received many reviews of cruise lines on GlutenFreeTravelSite. Most can be found on our Caribbean page of reviews. Generally, the ratings are favorable, with the higher-end lines like Celebrity getting the best ratings. One parting bit of wisdom: Take a bag of non-perishable food like crackers, snack bars, cereal, and even your favorite bread. That way, if you're disappointed in the selection or brands of GF food offered, you'll have a back-up!
Have YOU taken a cruise recently? On what line? Were you pleased -- or disappointed? Please share your comments below -- and then perhaps take a few minutes to submit a more detailed review on our website so other Celiacs searching for feedback will benefit from your feedback!
Have a comment on today's post? If so, leave it below and you'll receive one entry into our giveaway of a $25 P.F. Chang's gift card, to be selected at random from all entries received by May 18, 2012, the last day of our Blog hop. Each person is allowed one entry/comment per day for each of the 10 days of posts (May 7-11 and May 14-18), for a total of 10 entries on THIS Blog. You have the same opportunity for entering a total of 10 times for the giveaways on the other 9 Blogs listed below. The giveaway is limited to U.S. residents who are 18 years or older. The Giveaway begins May 7, 2012, and ends at 11:59 pm Eastern Time on May 18, 2012. No purchse is necessary. Odds of winning are based on the number of entries. The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen.
Would you like to get more great gluten-free tips on baking, dining out, and kitchen tips? Check out today's posts from other Blog Hop participants:
Getting Started - Linda at The Gluten-Free Homemaker
Resources – Wendy at Celiacs in the House
Eating Out – Heather at Gluten-Free Cat
Frugal Tips – Janelle at Gluten Freely Frugal
Cooking – Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl
Baking – Jules at Jules Gluten Free
Kids – Lynn at Lynn’s Recipe Adventures
Lunch Boxes – Tessa at Tessa the Domestic Diva
Shopping – Laura at Gluten Free Pantry