Important Things to Know When Cruising Gluten-Free
Whether a person has celiac disease that hinders him or her from consuming gluten, or is just highly sensitive to it, the idea of going on a cruise while maintaining a gluten-free diet is simply difficult and in a manner of speaking, tedious.
It might even seem impossible for some acknowledging the stereotype that most of the foods served on a cruise are artisan and delightful, with the consumers’ diet being not the primary concern. Fortunately, this is not necessarily true.
In fact, many cruise lines today now offer a gluten-free experience while cruising, which basically means that you can enjoy your cruising experience while also not compromising your diet and health. Here are things you have to know and remember should you want to go cruising while still sticking to your gluten-free diet.
Let the cruise line know ahead of time
It goes without saying that all cruise lines request their clients to contact them in advance prior to the sailing date if they want a gluten-free experience because there are things the one in-charge of the kitchen will need to consider, such as the ratio of the gluten and non-gluten eaters and the overall meal plan. Once a cruising company is informed ahead of time that there will be gluten-free cruisers, the cruising company will order more gluten-free ingredients from their suppliers as they don’t usually have it on hand.
The Norwegian Cruise Line, as an example, only provide the clients gluten-free foods such as cereals, pasta, pancake, baguettes, rolls, and hamburgers if they are informed ahead of time. Another cruise line that offers the passengers a gluten-free experience while cruising if informed ahead of time is the Holland America. They can serve their passengers a wide range of delightful gluten-free foods while cruising, if informed ahead of time.
Have nightly consults
While onboard, gluten-free cruisers must still report to the ship's maitre d' every night. The maitre d' will serve as a link between the passenger and the chef, and the one who will assure that the dishes that will be cooked by the chef on the next day would be gluten-free and that it is suitable to the needs of the passenger. If a passenger’s gluten-free diet is really strict, he or she can be advised to eat his or her meals in the dining room, or possibly, in some select gluten-free restaurants. High-end cruising companies have gluten-free specialty restaurants made available for their clients.
Informing the cruising company ahead of time about your gluten-free diet really helps in ensuring a more stabilized and defined gluten-free cruising experience. However, if a client forgets to inform the cruise line ahead of time, luckily, he or she can still have a gluten-free cruise experience, but the client must expect that the variety of foods that will be made available will be lesser in number. Truth is, the more high-end the cruise line is, the more likely it will be able to attend to the customers’ special needs even without advance notice. One concrete example of a high-end cruise line that has gluten-free foods on hand is Oceania. Oceania is known to have a great variety of gluten-free food items on hand, ranging from breakfast pancakes and pizza dough to spaghetti.
Even with cruise lines that don’t keep a lot of gluten-free food items on hand, waiters, or even the chefs themselves, can help the passenger pick out something from the menu that is gluten-free. In a menu, there is always a dish that is gluten-free, but you have to look in the right places. When the chef or the waiter is aware of the passenger’s needs, they can coordinate with the passenger well just so they could be able to provide the passenger at least one gluten-free appetizer, one gluten-free main course, and as well as a gluten-free dessert. A few cruise lines just like the Royal Caribbean and Seabourn have indicators on their menu if a dish is gluten-free or not. This helps the clients have more ease in choosing the food that is right for them.