Having a food allergy or intolerance is often considered a hindrance, an annoyance, and can be discouraging when eating out and knowing that your meal options are very limited. On a Disney Cruise Ship, it’s practically considered a privilege to have a food allergy! Here’s how to go about achieving successful allergy-free dining with Disney Cruise Line.
Note the food allergy on your Reservation. When you book your Disney cruise, make sure it is noted on your reservation that you, or someone in your party, has a food allergy.
When you board the ship, visit the Dining staff. As soon as you board the Disney Cruise Ship, you can either find a head server in one of the main dining rooms to make your dinner order ahead of time, or you can simply wait until you are first seated for dinner to put in your order (keep in mind, if you choose the latter, your dinner may take more time to prepare as they will be checking all ingredients during that dinner hour.)
Pre-select your meals for the next day. At the end of dinner, your server will hand you the dinner menu for the next evening. You will then be able to pre-select anything you want off of the menu, and the Chef’s will prepare it without the specific allergens that you cannot consume. The Head Server will then come visit you to pre-order your breakfast and lunch meals. You’ll also choose where you’ll be eating, so that your meals can be sent to the correct location. Doing this will allow for less wait time at each meal, as your meals will be pre-made and ready to go whenever you request them.
My experience. I recently had the pleasure of sailing on the Disney Dream (Sept 13 – 16, 2012 to be exact.) I have sailed with 3 other cruise lines, and I must say that Disney Cruise Line handled food allergies beyond all expectations! I felt spoiled due to the servers bringing out more and more gluten-free foods that I hadn’t even asked for! My husband even noticed the special treatment I was receiving and remarked how well I was taken care of.
I was able to pre-select all of my meals for the next day at dinner each night. My breakfast and lunch meals were ready in each restaurant when I showed up (restaurant location was chosen the night before). The surprising thing was, each server brought out extra food for me! For breakfast on our first morning, I had ordered gluten-free pancakes with bacon. Apparently the head server didn’t think that was enough, so he added in fresh fruit, yogurt and gluten-free muffins. I enjoyed it all! This happened at every breakfast – it didn’t matter who my server was, they would bring me a few fun extras that I hadn’t requested. They sure do know what those of us with allergies like to eat!
We ate our lunches in Cabanas – the buffet. Each time I entered, I happened to ask a server what might be gluten-free. They proceeded to walk me through the entire buffet line pointing out what was safe for me to eat, and what I should avoid. They were extremely helpful – and I was surprised that some items were gluten-free! If I hadn’t been shown what was safe vs. not safe to eat, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy such filling meals!
If you’ve got an allergy or food intolerance, rest assured, you will do just fine on a Disney Cruise – certainly nothing to worry about!
In addition to writing for Chip & Co., Terri writes for her own blog Walt Disney World Hints. Terri has had Celiac Disease for 4 years and maintains a strict, gluten-free diet. She finds that Walt Disney World is the best place to vacation at that understands and can properly prepare allergy-free meals. You can find extra fun Disney hints on her facebook page, WDW Hints.
- AllergyFreeMouse.com and Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW Blog Present: IllumiNations Dessert Party (chipandco.com)
- Travel & Leisure Names Disney Cruise Line No. 1 for Families in the World’s Best Awards for Fourth Consecutive Year (chipandco.com)
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