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Author Topic: Royal Carribbean Cruise  (Read 2265 times)

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Offline SilverLining

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Royal Carribbean Cruise
« on: April 26, 2013, 12:26:19 PM »
anyone sailed with them?  How was it allergy-wise?
Truly, it should be no problem to delay. Republicans completely blocked the nomination of a highly qualified candidate for a year and a half. They wouldn’t even consider him. It was more than rude—it was an abdication of duty.

So why the rush here? ~~MC

Offline spacecanada

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Re: Royal Carribbean Cruise
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2013, 05:22:03 PM »
We've sailed with them a few times.  They are pretty good with allergies.  Make sure you mark the allergies on your reservation well in advance.  Have your travel agent do it and/or call them yourself to discuss details.  Your server should be aware of the allergy when you first arrive but always remind them.  Be prepared to eat most of your meals in the sit-down restaurants or be very patient with the quick serve and buffets whilst they check ingredients and make your meal.  You can eat at those locations, but you have to ask for a chef and ask for a safe plate to be made in the kitchen and brought out to you.  Some servers and chefs are more accommodating than others.  One chef had a special plate waiting for me each time we saw him (I told him what my favourite food was on the first day), whilst another told me to eat at the buffet (not safe).  If you are persistent and clear (i.e. explain cross contamination is too risky for you), you will get safe food.  When in doubt, the main dining room will make you something safe. 

You can also pre-order meals the night before.  They will give you a menu and you can select what you want for breakfast, lunch, and supper.  They will have your safe meal waiting for you.  It's a pretty good system because you can customise things that may not be safe if ordered on the spot.  (i.e. they can make similar soups or sauces without cream/butter for dairy allergies with advanced notice)

Overall, we rate them as GOOD for allergies - not the best but still pretty good.  They provide safe food but depending on who you talk to, the options vary quite a bit.  One place limited me to plain rice and steamed veggies, but I'd rather have that than something they thought could be unsafe.  We've had good service and we've also had one server who has some misconceptions about allergies and we had to request a new server.  Be sure your server is well versed in allergies.  If they aren't, request a change made before you order.  Use your usual restaurant ordering protocols, double check everything, and you should be good to go.  I also bring a lot of my favourite snack foods with me since so many of the snacks at the quick serve and buffets are unsafe. 

Off the ship, we don't eat much... Unless I've researched places well ahead of time, I'm not keen on experimenting with new restaurants whilst on vacation.  If you have booked a tour through the ship that would normally include lunch, you may ask your server to provide you with some safe food to take with you.  I don't think Royal Caribbean does this, but it never hurts to ask, right? 

Have a great trip!
anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, potato, and wheat

Offline SilverLining

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Re: Royal Carribbean Cruise
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 08:51:36 PM »
Quote
Use your usual restaurant ordering protocols

my usually is....I don't eat in restaurants.  At all.  I haven't eaten in any restaurant in over 15 years.
Truly, it should be no problem to delay. Republicans completely blocked the nomination of a highly qualified candidate for a year and a half. They wouldn’t even consider him. It was more than rude—it was an abdication of duty.

So why the rush here? ~~MC

Offline spacecanada

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Re: Royal Carribbean Cruise
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 04:47:47 PM »
I avoid restaurants whenever possible too, only trusting two local places and those at Disney parks.  All I can say is bring chef cards listing your allergens and their derivatives, ask and verify everything when you order and again when it arrives.  Avoid anything not on your specific plate - like the bread bowl on the table.  I avoid desserts too, sticking to the fruit plate or bowl of berries.  (Disney Cruise had Enjoy Life cookies!  I ordered them every day.)  Pre-ordering is highly recommended too - ask for it if they don't offer it.  If anything or anyone doesn't meet your standards talk to the maitre d right away or guest services before you eat.  We had to do that on one cruise and they were able to help.  Your server should be transparent with everything and be able to answer all your questions or get the chef to answer them for you.  (i.e. I asked what type of soy milk they were using and if it was nut-free - it was a brand I knew that used shared lines, so I requested that they not use it in any of my food and they added a note to my file without hesitation.)  The more you ask questions and the more they get to know you, the easier it gets. 

That brings me to another thing we had trouble with one day on another cruise line (Princess) - avoid "any time" dining.  They have it as an option on Royal Caribbean too.  We were forced to do that one day, everyone was, because of some delay at one of the ports.  It was exhausting explaining allergies all over again to a different server team for that one day.  If you stick to traditional/standard dining, where they assign you a time and table that stays the same every night, it is MUCH better.  That way, you only have to deal with one set of servers and once they know your allergies and you are confident that they understand, you can relax a little (but still be hyper vigilant).  You'll still have to explain things at breakfast and lunch, but even then you can find a few of the same servers to deal with every day. 

Definitely stick to the main dining room whenever possible and ask your head server or the maitre d for their suggestions on eating elsewhere on the ship.  They were the ones who told me to ask for a chef at the quick service places, and which ones may have safe options (i.e french fries made in a dedicated fryer). 

Shortly after boarding on the first day, we went to guest services or wherever it said to change dining options to make sure allergies were flagged on our file and that our servers were all trained in allergy ordering.  That may be a wise thing to do as well.  I am not sure if they can check this from shore (at check in or over the phone), but it's worth asking or at least noting on your reservation ahead of time too.  If your server isn't there at breakfast or lunch, be sure to ask for a server with allergy training for those meals. 

Oh, what else... stay away from room service.  On every cruise we have been on (Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Disney) they have told us that they couldn't guarantee allergy-free food from room service.  Instead, we ordered some safe snacks at the dining room to take back to our room.  (One chef made me a huge plate of safe cookies to bring back to my room, we found whole fruits at the buffet, which we washed before eating, and we found a few other little things as well.) 

Cruises can be stressful for allergies, much like any vacation, and I bring a lot of my own food with me - prepackaged snacks mostly.  Most cruises will have a great chef who will work with you and make incredible things for you.  (I'll never forget an elegant dessert one Disney Cruise chef made for my husband and I!)  Others may limit you to the bare basics like steamed rice and vegetables.  We've had both experiences with Royal Caribbean.  Needless to say, I never end up gaining weight on cruises like most people do...   We go on a cruise every two years or so, two of which have been with Royal Caribbean, and we don't have anything bad to say about them.  Some days were frustrating trying to find safe food that I wanted to eat or having to wait an hour for them to prepare a safe meal or snack, but most of all I remember the fun activities we did and places we explored.  Eating on the cruise ship was less stressful than trying to visit all of those ports on our own and trying to find safe places to eat in each place.

I hope you have a great vacation.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 04:50:48 PM by spacecanada »
anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, potato, and wheat

Offline BensMom

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Re: Royal Carribbean Cruise
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2017, 01:21:55 PM »
Raising because ds just told us he might go on a cruise in January with a friend's family. Cruise line is Royal Caribbean. From here, and from what I'm reading elsewhere, it seems the advice is to eat in the main dining room as much as possible and have a scheduled seating time. I'm not sure how that will work with his group, but hopefully they'll be ok with that option. I'll have to talk to him and show him some of this info, especially about buffets and other dining options. I told him to do some research, but of course I have to do my own too or I won't be able to relax. We've always had a pretty lax comfort zone and he doesn't ask a lot of questions in restaurants. The one reaction he did have in Israel, he asked, but apparently the answer was wrong. Hopefully he'll stay away from desserts.

Now I need to research how good their medical facilities are just in case.

Offline spacecanada

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Re: Royal Carribbean Cruise
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2017, 01:42:46 PM »
Yes, absolutely main dining rooms and scheduled dining!!  Anytime dining is very frustrating as you have to explain your allergies every single meal. 

Some RCL ships are better than others for allergies and medical facilities.

PM me if you want.
anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, potato, and wheat

Offline BensMom

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Re: Royal Carribbean Cruise
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2017, 01:56:23 PM »
I really can't find anything about their medical capabilities for this kind of emergency. And also, I don't actually know what the protocol is. DS has only had one reaction, he epi'd, went to the hospital, and I'm not even sure if they just watched him or if they did something. They would give IV benadryl or something? I would imagine they'd be capable of that on board.

I'm going to have to pound all this into ds's head. He doesn't like to make a fuss about things. I've read that for buffets, you can have the chef come out and go over everything with you, but I feel like ds would just try to stick to things that seem safe, rather than asking. And he's going with a friend's family, so it'll be up to them about whether they have flex dining or an assigned time, and I would think people would tend to go with flex. :/ I'll talk to him about it all when he's home in a few days.

There was a reddit thread where a guy posted that his gf is nut allergic and told the waiter, but got served a bowl of fruit with pine nut oil on top and had a reaction. There were a lot of things wrong with the scenario, including that he said his gf's allergy isn't life threatening, but that her throat can start to close up. Wtf? And that when she started having the reaction, she ran back to her room for her meds. Ugh. But a bowl of fruit--you'd think that would be ok, especially when the wait staff knows your allergies.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 02:00:53 PM by BensMom »

Offline Macabre

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Re: Royal Carribbean Cruise
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2017, 05:13:17 PM »
I’ve never received a Benadryl IV at a hospital after anaphylaxis. That’s not to say others would not.  I have had a second Epi in the ER when I started to go downhill again.

I would have him take six epis.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

Offline spacecanada

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Re: Royal Carribbean Cruise
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2017, 05:57:00 PM »
Many of the LARGE cruise ships have a medical centre onboard that are equivalent to a small-town hospital emergency department, with acute treatment capabilities, x-ray, minor surgery, and temporary life support (until a medevac can arrive).  It would depend on the ship.  I can call and find out what medical centre type is on the ship if you want to send me specific questions - it can take a few days for them to get back to me with precise answers.  They should all have Epi on hand, also.
anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, potato, and wheat

Offline BensMom

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Re: Royal Carribbean Cruise
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2017, 09:27:29 AM »
I don't know what ship yet, but since I can't find any info on medical stuff, I was going to have him call or email and ask. He has 4 auvi-qs. I would hope they have epi on board. Mac, did you just get a shot of epi, like an epi pen or some kind of iv epi? Is that even a thing?

Offline BensMom

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Re: Royal Carribbean Cruise
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2017, 02:08:35 PM »
His reservation has been made. It says Dining request: Traditional 8pm. So that sounds good--sounds like the same time, not open flexible seating. So he'll have the same wait staff. And under the Special Requests section it says "special meals" and has a check by his name. (Cruise was booked together with his friend--I think a BOGO offer or something--so friend's name is listed too, but no check mark.) DS didn't book the cruise, but I guess his other friend's dad did and put in the request. Who knows exactly what he said though--nut allergy, peanut allergy? Did he list both? Who knows.


Offline candyguru

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Re: Royal Carribbean Cruise
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2017, 05:35:57 PM »
Quote
Use your usual restaurant ordering protocols

my usually is....I don't eat in restaurants.  At all.  I haven't eaten in any restaurant in over 15 years.

If you decide you want to try a restaurant sometime I highly recommend Moxies at Fairview Mall. They will custom prepare your food under the manager's supervision and the manager will deliver the food to your table. My younger daughter (milk, egg, nut allergic) and my older daughter (wheat, egg, nut, sesame, legume (pea, bean,lentil) allergic) have both successfully eaten there many many times... they are very allergy alert and allergy friendly and one of the few restaurants my daughters can eat at.  :)
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CANADA, land of maple syrup and poutine
Me:  peanuts, ragweed
DD1:  PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING NOW! peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, eggs, wheat, lentils/peas/beans, leaf mould
DD2:  milk (and avoiding peanuts)

Offline candyguru

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Re: Royal Carribbean Cruise
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2017, 09:03:46 PM »

We have never been on a cruise.. our concern is what happens if there is an allergic reaction?  I know there is a medical centre on the ship, but you are in the middle of the ocean / sea / gulf with no quick way to a hospital and the E/R.....  so we have been hesitant to go on a cruise. Personally, I woild be willing to do a cruise since I only have PA and could avoid anything suspicious (ie desserts), but my daughters have too many allergies (milk, eggs, wheat, legumes, nuts, etc...)  , so too risky for us

I guess the safest cruise might be a Disney Cruise due to their food allergy awareness (we just returned from a week at Disney weher my daughters ate successfully at numerous restaurants)
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CANADA, land of maple syrup and poutine
Me:  peanuts, ragweed
DD1:  PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING NOW! peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, eggs, wheat, lentils/peas/beans, leaf mould
DD2:  milk (and avoiding peanuts)

Offline spacecanada

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Re: Royal Carribbean Cruise
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2017, 09:48:28 AM »
The larger cruise ships have medical centres equivalent to a small emergency department, with full life support and small surgical theatre capabilities. Granted, then they call for an airlift to a bigger medical centre. Most of them are equipped to handle anaphylaxis.

That being said, I only trust a very few cruise lines with food allergies, and fewer for kids - as only Disney has such extensive allergy protocols in their youth programmes.  (Few cruise lines require youth leaders to have first aid and fewer permit them to administer Epi.)
anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, potato, and wheat

Offline BensMom

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Re: Royal Carribbean Cruise
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2018, 11:08:13 AM »
Ds's cruise is a week away. I'm a bit nervous. I told him to read up on cruising with food allergies, but I don't know if he did. I told him to go talk to food services when he boards and he said ok. Don't know if he will. I should probably tell his friends to make sure he does. I think they're really good about his allergy and at least one is probably a bit more outgoing than ds. I've told him no cookies. It's always the cookies that are bad. No desserts, but especially no cookies. Thankfully he's pretty careful and doesn't have a sweet tooth like I do. But he's not careful in other ways. He'll just assume some things are ok (french fries, spaghetti), which might not be terrible at home, but not so great on a cruise ship.