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First-time Cruisers Ask: Can I Cruise If I Have Food Allergies?

One of the most anticipated things about cruising is enjoying the food. If you have a food allergy, you may have avoided taking a cruise out of fear of something triggering food allergies. Should you be concerned? Do cruise lines make considerations for people with food allergies?

You might be surprised to learn that every cruise line makes arrangements for people with allergies. It does require some work on your part. Talk to your travel agent to get a form from your cruise line for special needs. You can tell them your specific dietary needs regardless of what they are including gluten-free, low-fat, low-sodium, lactose-free and Kosher.

Because the ship may need to source the correct foods to address your specific request, most cruise lines require that you notify them no less than 30 to 45 days before sailing. 

Now, while cruise ships have or exceed the quality of land-based restaurants, don’t give in to the temptation to bring your own food onto the ship. The kitchen will not prepare food you bring (which wouldn’t be accepted onto the ship anyway) nor will they store it in their refrigerators or freezers.

Keep in mind, these arrangements apply to the main dining rooms. If you go to a specialty restaurant, you can let them know what your needs are. Because they prepare the food for that particular restaurant and not the massive crowds in the main dining room, they may be able to accommodate you. 

If your concern is only an allergy, let the staff know when you enter the dining room. They can work with the kitchen staff to make sure you can enjoy your meal without having a reaction. 

Depending on the cruise line, they may go even further to address your dietary needs. For example, Royal Caribbean will arrange for Kosher Passover meals if done 90 days in advance. 

If your dietary restriction is vegetarian, you actually good. You don’t need to fill out forms or anything like that. The main dining rooms on cruise ships daily have vegetarian options. The same is true with the buffet. Be warned; the selection won’t be as extensive as it will be for your carnivorous traveling companions. But at least you won’t have to take extra steps to enjoy your meals.

So if you’ve held off on cruising out of fear of not being able to enjoy your food, you can put them to rest. You won’t have to take separate vacations from your family or group because of a dietary restriction. 

And if you want to book a cruise as a group, give us a call at 1-877-235-8061. We’ll get your group a discount and handle your dietary restrictions.


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