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Staying Gluten Free on your Cruise Holiday

gluten free cruises

Gluten in foods can be a health problem for many individuals. This culprit is found mainly in grains and flours made with barley, rye and wheat and some surprise foods such as bouillon cubes, soy sauce and luncheon meats. At first, eliminating items for a gluten free diet may be frustrating but many foods already eaten are gluten free.

Initially, those who switch to this type of diet feel deprived by the restrictions, especially when travelling. When away on holiday, looking for food free of gluten becomes even more difficult than it does at home.

The cruise industry has recognised that more and more passengers are seeking gluten free menus and they have listened and are meeting the needs of their guests. The large majority of cruise lines now are catering for those with dietary requirements and the list of cruise ships that offer this is ever increasing.

Watch the Video: Royal Caribbean’s special dietary options

Let’s take a look at some of the other major cruise lines offerings

Carnival Cruise Lines

Well known for their stance on entertainment and enjoyment, this line has also branched out into catering to culinary restrictions. There are no forms to fill out or advance notice needed. When being seated in the ship’s dining room, request the head waiter to explain what’s on offer. Don’t be afraid to ask the dining team when heading  over to the buffet either. They can guide you to the items that are safe for this diet.

Costa Cruises

This Italian based cruise offers a plethora of foods free from gluten, to the extent that they have their own special gluten free menu. Besides knowing that the menu meets an individual’s dietary restriction, Costa has gone one step further and provides gluten free take-away lunches for those taking their shore excursions. Gluten free snacks will always be found in the cabin’s mini-bar. This is a truly innovative option offered by Costa when it comes to their clients well being. However, it is a good idea to make sure that dietary preferences are made clear at the time of booking.

Cunard Line

Cunard is also top notch when it comes to providing foods with no gluten. Passengers can speak with the waiters prior to ordering their meal. There are also separate sauces available as well as plenty of other products in the form of biscuits, pastas and cakes. For those wanting to remain gluten free on a Cunard cruise, passengers need to give advance notification at least six weeks before departure.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Lines offer some gluten free cuisine on the menus each evening. However, to be assured that everything eaten meets the dietary requirement, you should get your cruise agent to contact the Disney Special Reservations Department. A form will be required and needs to be filled out at least 30 days before departure. The form is then processed and will ensure that the entire food staff aboard the ship will be aware of all restrictions.

MSC Cruises

Similar to Costa Cruises policy, MSC also caters to dietary restrictions in as many ways as possible. Meals without gluten are available on most ships including the Divina, Fantasia, Magnifica, Musica, Orchestra, Poesia, Preziosa and Splendida. Other ships in the fleet offer pre-packaged products for personal enjoyment. Before embarking on your cruise, make sure that you fill out and submit the Special Requirement Information Form available on MSC’s website.

Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines have similar policies in place amongst others. Switching to a diet free of gluten is a huge lifestyle change but happily, a cruise holiday will give you lots of options.

Had any experiences regarding dietary options on a cruise ship? Please share below.

Written by Veronica Shine

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