Ever since my first cruise in 2012, I haven’t been able to curb my appetite for the sea. Sailing has become a part of me and I wouldn’t give it up for anything! I have never felt anything but complete excitement when it comes to planning a cruise with my husband. That is, until I recently discovered that I have a gluten allergy…
This past January was my first ocean cruise since finding out about my problem with gluten and I was more than a little nervous about it. On top of my already nervous state, I read a few comments from cruisers on other lines about the gluten-free options being terrible and that they lost weight on their cruise. (That is appalling!! No person should ever come back from a cruise weighing LESS than when they left!!) So many thoughts raced through my mind…”Am I going to starve all weekend?” “Is what I’m served going to be disgusting?” “Am I going to have a reaction while at sea and be miserable the entire trip?”
Well, I have to say that these questions became nothing more than distant memories our first night aboard the Disney Dream.
I feel like I can’t give enough credit to the amazing waitstaff of the Dream. The first night at dinner when I informed our Assistant Waiter of my allergy he took it very seriously, recognizing the seriousness of it, and immediately informed all those who needed to know. (Brownie points for him: the next day at lunch when I entered the buffet he recognized me and went to find someone to assist me with picking out gluten-free options.) They were all very well informed about it and understood the care that needed to be taken.
I was pleasantly surprised at how Disney made it as safe, convenient, and enjoyable as possible for me when dining. The menu has marked next to the gluten-free options to make it simple to choose. Then, they have the Head Chef check the meal to make sure it is prepared properly and safely to avoid cross-contamination.
In order to avoid there being a delay for my meal that would have me waiting while the rest of my table was already enjoying their meals, the waiter took my order for the following day’s breakfast and dinner before we had dessert each night. When we arrived for dinner they would immediately serve warm, Gluten-Free rolls to the table for me. It felt great to know that they took it so seriously as to make sure I was served without any delay. You could tell by how attentive and thorough they were that making sure I was taken care of was important to them. They did such a great job of making me feel safe and cared for while enjoying my cruise.
The day that we were going to be at Disney’s Private Island, Castaway Cay, we had strong winds and swells that prevented us from being able to dock until later in the day. The original plan was that lunch would be served on shore and our waiter had taken a pre-order down for me the night before. Since the plan changed and lunch had to be served on the ship instead we decided to go to the buffet. When I met with the member of the staff about checking on if I still received my pre-order or if I needed to go over the buffet with a staff member again they had me go ahead and have a seat while they took care of it. After a little bit of a wait he came back to apologize for the wait but let me know that they meal that was going to be served on shore was being prepared in one of the restaurants but they would be bringing it up to the buffet as soon as it was ready. I was definitely impressed that they chose to have me be seated in the buffet and served me my meal there rather then telling me to go to the restaurant for it.
Dessert…this was something I was worried about! Not that I really need a dessert but…I NEED it! And a scoop of ice cream every night wasn’t going to satisfy my sweet tooth. Thankfully, I didn’t have anything to worry about at all. Every night there was one different gluten-free dessert on the menu and each one was fantastic!!! From Creme Brulee to Flourless Chocolate Cake, the dessert were wonderful and melted in my mouth!
All I have to say is, if you have a gluten allergy and are worried about going on a cruise then Disney is definitely a great option for you! Sure, they may be a bit more pricey but the magical atmosphere, first-rate entertainment, DELICIOUS gluten-free meals, and peace of mind make it entirely worth it!