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View Full Version : Food Allergies and Room Service questions


LazarouMouse
02-15-2012, 07:07 PM
My 3 year old daughter has multiple food allergies. Just some background she has a rare condition called FPIES; her reactions are all gastrointestinal and she does not need an epi pen. She is allergic to: Milk, egg, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, peas, great beans, avocado, banana, watermelon, corn and oats.

We have been assigned the later dinner time which is fine with me, because I had a plan...:rolleyes1 Feed the kids early, go to the show, and then drop them off at the kids club, so that my husband and I can have dinner alone.

My question is has anyone utilized room service for a kid with food allergies?
My thinking was if we plan meals ahead with the chef or dinning manager do they care where it is delivered? Especially if I want it before the main dinning times.:confused3

Does this plan make sense to anyone else?

Also has anyone received help with off ship dinning? I have read that the chef has been known to send a special meal to cast away cay as the grill can not accommodate food allergies.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated because this is of great concern to me!!!

extechie rbd/wdt
02-15-2012, 07:19 PM
Interested to hear how they handle this as well also as room service meal's are usually prepared in a separate galley, the Bell Box.

I wonder if they will prepare room service food for allergy sufferer's in a MDR galley? Might be difficult with the service times in the MDR's outside or normal dining hours though?
As for delivering food preprepared for an allergy sufferer from the MDR's, I think that would not be possible as a server would need to leave the restaurant to take that food to the Stateroom.

How long is your cruise and have you Palo or Remy reservations you can book for the later dining times so that you can be there in the MDR's with the kid's then eat at Palo or Remy alone afterwards?

Ex Techie :)

clten
02-15-2012, 07:34 PM
The room service menu is quite limited and I'm not sure if they will be able to accommodate special orders for allergies. I know when we send our allergy notification to DCL (and ours are no where near as extensive as you've listed) they always qualify it that they can only handle allergy meals in the MDRs. The problem with getting special orders from the MDR is that they cannot accommodate special times. Your special meal would either be ready at early seating time (which would conflict with seeing the show) or at your assigned late dining time.

I'd talk to DCL to see if they have any recommendations for you.

SuzPasq
02-18-2012, 08:04 PM
My 3 year old daughter has multiple food allergies. Just some background she has a rare condition called FPIES; her reactions are all gastrointestinal and she does not need an epi pen. She is allergic to: Milk, egg, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, peas, great beans, avocado, banana, watermelon, corn and oats.

We have been assigned the later dinner time which is fine with me, because I had a plan...:rolleyes1 Feed the kids early, go to the show, and then drop them off at the kids club, so that my husband and I can have dinner alone.

My question is has anyone utilized room service for a kid with food allergies?
My thinking was if we plan meals ahead with the chef or dinning manager do they care where it is delivered? Especially if I want it before the main dinning times.:confused3

Does this plan make sense to anyone else?

Also has anyone received help with off ship dinning? I have read that the chef has been known to send a special meal to cast away cay as the grill can not accommodate food allergies.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated because this is of great concern to me!!!

Our daughter has multiple food allergies, and after speaking to one of the chefs in the dining room and a room service attendant (order taker), I decided not to chance it. I didn't feel comfortable that they would prepare her food properly. We ate in the dining room every night for breakfast and dinner. At breakfast, we would touch base with the chef and make a plan for how and where to get her lunch. SOmetimes he would deliver it to us at the pool, other times my husband or I would go to a restaurant and get it, and bring it back to wherever we were spending the afternoon.

For Castaway Cay, you definitely do need to pre-order food to be delivered. Make sure you clarify whether you're picking it up at Cookies or Cookies II (or maybe it's Cookies Too...can't remember!); we waited for a long time last year, and then found out it had been delivered to the other restaurant, and by the time we got it, the food was ice cold.

kcashner
02-18-2012, 08:14 PM
Honestly, I wouldn't chance it. We had a hard enough time communicating to room service that DD wanted 2 boxes of Rice Krispies but we only needed one bowl. They have made all kinds of "silly" mistakes on our orders over the years, nearly all due to mis-communication. They have their way of doing things, and as long as you don't "mess" with it, you are fine! Ask for anything remotely out of the ordinary and they do their best.

What you CAN do--the MDR people will make "special" choc chip cookies or other treats that will meet her dietary needs and you can take them back to your room. Obviously, this is good for cold food only, but it does mean that you can have something in the room for her.

On Castaway day, be sure you know which restaurant will have her special meal and what time it will be delivered. Yes, it will be specially prepared for her and sent to the island (if that's what you wish).

LazarouMouse
02-18-2012, 09:32 PM
Thank you Suzpasq and kcashner! It is wonderful to hear personal experiences. I'm starting to understand the room service is likely out of the question. It is nice to know that I could go and get a meal for my daughter and doing that maybe she could still eat earlier. My kids are always in bed by 8 o'clock; I just can't see them waiting until 8:15 to be seated at dinner and even longer for my daughter to get a special meal.

SuzPasq
02-18-2012, 09:50 PM
Thank you Suzpasq and kcashner! It is wonderful to hear personal experiences. I'm starting to understand the room service is likely out of the question. It is nice to know that I could go and get a meal for my daughter and doing that maybe she could still eat earlier. My kids are always in bed by 8 o'clock; I just can't see them waiting until 8:15 to be seated at dinner and even longer for my daughter to get a special meal.

Also, feel shy about asking for food to take with you if you leave the ship in one of the ports. I always travel with food for my daughter, who is allergic to milk/dairy, eggs, and wheat, so we would have been ok without the food from the ship, but it was nice to have extra just in case. I packed things like nuts, Kind and Lara bars, Justin's individual nut butter packs, rice cakes and tortilla chips, and then each day would pack a little bag of snacks for her to take with us where ever we were (even at the pool, because sometimes the wait for her food would be longer than she was happy with and it was nice to have things to tide her over with).

kcashner
02-18-2012, 10:01 PM
If you need early dining to suit your DD's medical needs, call your TA and have that noted on your reservation--you WILL be moved. Medical needs are always met. That's not a request, it is a necessity. DO NOT tell them that it's optional. Tell them that she has multiple food issues and needs main seating...and then start listing the allergies. They won't argue with you!

extechie rbd/wdt
02-18-2012, 10:12 PM
If you need early dining to suit your DD's medical needs, call your TA and have that noted on your reservation--you WILL be moved. Medical needs are always met. That's not a request, it is a necessity. DO NOT tell them that it's optional. Tell them that she has multiple food issues and needs main seating...and then start listing the allergies. They won't argue with you!

So sorry to disagree with you kcashner, but the OP doesn't NEED early dining to suit her daughter's Medical Needs.
The OP desires early dining to suit her daughter's dinner pattern/time.
The daughters dietary need's can be met at either the early or late dining time.
The daughter's dinner time need's to be adjusted unless DCL can accommodate the early dining time (unless I'm missing something?).

Ex Techie :)

kcashner
02-18-2012, 11:12 PM
Respectfully have to disagree, techie.:goodvibes Rare, I know.

This is a 3 year old who is normally in bed by 8pm. With 90% of the kids on the ship, if the child falls asleep in her dinner chair, mom can carry her to bed...and if she wakes up hungry in the middle of the night, mom can call room service.

This is not a mother who can trust room service to meet her child's medical needs. I'm sorry, but in my experience room service is the "weak link" in special needs dining on the ship, and I wouldn't trust my child's health to their getting things perfect. Why??? I've been handed the wrong tray (the one I was handed had a special allergy tag on it!) The man who brought it was a couple doors down the hall when I ran him down to tell him we had the wrong tray. They can't handle simple requests like 1 bowl, 2 boxes of cereal.

SO...if her child falls asleep and doesn't eat at 8:00 dinner, mom has no way to safely get any food before MDR breakfast opens at 8 am. Also, she has a difficult time safely getting snacks to carry child from noon lunch to 8:00 dinner. Again, most of us can go to the fast food outlets.

The issue is not just what might be IN the food. The child can also be affected by cross contamination. This is why the Dream and Fantasy have special "allergy kitchens" where the food for people with special needs is prepared away from the general population's preparation.

extechie rbd/wdt
02-18-2012, 11:27 PM
delete

marshmellow86
02-19-2012, 11:35 AM
i agree that room service is out of the question - too much risk.

I would speak to your head server. He may be able to get your daughter's special meal delivered to Cabana's in the evenings at an earlier time, so you can go pick it up there (and the family can eat the buffet there, if you prefer). My dd has Celiac and we frequently had her breakfast and lunch sent there. She was able to hold out for the late dining for dinner (due to snacking on fruit and ice cream, which may not be an option for your dd).

On Castway Cay day, they have always delivered her special meal to Cookies. They have been very specific that we must pick up at Cookies and not Cookies Too. It has always been there (knock on wood) at the designated time and correct. You just have to speak to a head server there to pick it up.

Good luck and have a great time!

Candy Apple
02-19-2012, 09:16 PM
On our 2010 WBTA we had an early excursion which met before any of the MDR's were open for breakfast. We discussed this with our server and head server because DS13 cannot have gluten or milk. He preordered a breakfast to be made in the MDR kitchen and our server personally brought it directly to our cabin at the prearranged time. The rest of us ordered regular room service for our breakfast. Our server was already working at that time of day. They really do have long hours! This worked out perfectly. I'm glad it did because I had been worried about what we were going to do for breakfast for him with the early excursion time. So, if this is an issue for any of you with allergies, bring this up to your head server. They don't want anyone to go hungry!

LazarouMouse
02-20-2012, 06:39 PM
On our 2010 WBTA we had an early excursion which met before any of the MDR's were open for breakfast. We discussed this with our server and head server because DS13 cannot have gluten or milk. He preordered a breakfast to be made in the MDR kitchen and our server personally brought it directly to our cabin at the prearranged time. The rest of us ordered regular room service for our breakfast. Our server was already working at that time of day. They really do have long hours! This worked out perfectly. I'm glad it did because I had been worried about what we were going to do for breakfast for him with the early excursion time. So, if this is an issue for any of you with allergies, bring this up to your head server. They don't want anyone to go hungry!

I hope our server will be half as accommodating.

cyclenut
02-20-2012, 06:57 PM
DD16 is alergeic to peanuts and a few other things ... but mostly we watch out for peanuts. We called ahead and the head server met us every night and helped her pick out something from the menu for the next day. He would check to be sure there was nothing in the dish that would cause her problems and even had special deserts prepared for her. MDR is THE place to be for a food allergy. Don't trust room service for something like that.

Candy Apple
02-20-2012, 08:01 PM
I hope our server will be half as accommodating.

I hope so to! I googled FPIES and this seems like a very terrible thing to have to deal with. :hug:

dovbniak
02-20-2012, 09:02 PM
We just got off the dream in January with one of us with anaphylaxis, severe food allergies.

We took advantage of rom service but made advanced plans with our head server. Everyone was very accommodating. As soon as you get on board talk to guest services and find out where and when the dinner times and special dining requests meeting is. DCL always has an area set up for guests to change dining plans and for special needs people to make any special dining requests.

I am sure that if you pre plan you can take full advantage of room service. Make sure regardless to meet your serving team ASAP to discuss planning your meals, and don't forget you castaway cay day! They will pre plan that as well.

Have a great cruise!

bledsoedoc
02-20-2012, 09:30 PM
At the meeting on boarding day ask for the ingrediants of the food that is available for room service. Then you have some control and a starting point for ordering room service. I have life threatening food allergies and this is how I plan to start to feel safe with room service.

clten
02-20-2012, 11:22 PM
At the meeting on boarding day ask for the ingrediants of the food that is available for room service. Then you have some control and a starting point for ordering room service. I have life threatening food allergies and this is how I plan to start to feel safe with room service.

I am going to preface my comment by saying I am not trying to be disrespectful to you (I already know it's going to sound rude and I am not trying to be). But if this is your plan, please have a plan B. Having an ingredient list will be helpful to you but if you have to communicate any special instructions to room service, you will have difficulty I promise. Very rarely have we gotten exactly what we have ordered (even having them hold the mayo on a BLT can be challenging). If you have to be concerned (and express those concerns) about cross-contamination, trust me it is difficult.

I will give you an example. One of the platinum food choices is shrimp cocktail from room service. They often like to put the cocktail sauce in a mango to make it look nice. My sister has a mango allergy but likes cocktail sauce (which contains no mango) with her shrimp. Communicating this often takes about 10 minutes. 75% of the time, the cocktail sauce is either still in the mango or not provided at all.

If you try your plan, I do sincerely wish you luck and hope you are able to enjoy room service.

LazarouMouse
02-21-2012, 06:31 AM
Ex Techie and clten,

I posted my questions here so that I could have a better understanding of how food service works on the ship. Please believe that I would never put my daughter's health at risk for my convenience. We have not eaten at a restaurant as a family except twice in the past three years! I have had to do a lot of research if this is even a possible vacation for my family, and was always told that Disney would take care of us. I have saved for two years for this trip and I would like it to be as perfect as possible, so please forgive my ingnorance in wanted to enjoy a few dinners alone with my husband.

I will not be using room service to feed my daughter and I will pray that our HS will find a solution what will be acceptable to everyone involved.

Stinkerbe11
02-21-2012, 09:28 AM
We just got off the Magic and received excellent service regarding my son's tree nut allergy. Definitely communicate all allergies to DCL before cruising (we also request a table just for the 4 of us). If there are special cookies/snacks that your daughter likes, bring them with you because I was told they would have Divvies cookies available for DS and they didn't have them.

Our head server was amazing, he personally prepared sandwiches for us to take back to the room and special meals for excursions. Pastry chef Brenton made colossal banana splits for DS's dessert (Mickey bars were declared unsafe) and delivered chocolate covered strawberries to our room everyday. We pre-ordered the next day's meals at dinner and by the 3rd day the server was just ordering everything for my son, since he knew his preferences.

In your situation, instead of room service, just speak with your head server the night before and I'm sure he can arrange for a safe meal to be delivered to your room. Disney really does go out of their way to accommodate allergies and that's one of the many reasons we keep coming back:goodvibes

bledsoedoc
02-21-2012, 10:19 AM
Cltan, I guess you did not read my entire post, ie its a starting point..how to start to feel safer. I have lived with life threatening food allergies for over 20 years. I am not naive, in fact I am quite savvy in dealing with this in both my personal and professional life. I also still enjoy trying new foods and know very well how to communicate to keep myself safe. It is all about communication which is possible. It is also about vigilance in checking, double checking and speaking up when something is wrong. Having an ingrediant list is extremely helpful as a starting place to make safe choices. It helps to know right away that some things are clearly off limits. There are some things that will need to be tweaked. Having the conversation at the meeting on day 1 makes it more likely that I can try the things I want to. Especially soups because most soups start with stock I can't have but Disney is willing to work with me if I have communicated with them. Mant times they can have pre-arranged instructions for both myself and the room service staff as well as working with the head server. I am also prepared and travel with 8 epipens and packets of emergency meds, enough packets for 2 reactions a day...we are out at sea... I have cruised before and am still sitting here breathing and living.

Candy Apple
02-21-2012, 10:20 AM
We just got off the Magic and received excellent service regarding my son's tree nut allergy. Definitely communicate all allergies to DCL before cruising (we also request a table just for the 4 of us). If there are special cookies/snacks that your daughter likes, bring them with you because I was told they would have Divvies cookies available for DS and they didn't have them.

Our head server was amazing, he personally prepared sandwiches for us to take back to the room and special meals for excursions. Pastry chef Brenton made colossal banana splits for DS's dessert (Mickey bars were declared unsafe) and delivered chocolate covered strawberries to our room everyday. We pre-ordered the next day's meals at dinner and by the 3rd day the server was just ordering everything for my son, since he knew his preferences.

In your situation, instead of room service, just speak with your head server the night before and I'm sure he can arrange for a safe meal to be delivered to your room. Disney really does go out of their way to accommodate allergies and that's one of the many reasons we keep coming back:goodvibes

Same here!

kventventx
02-21-2012, 10:53 AM
I have several food allergies, dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, coconut, alcohol (no wine sauces) broccoli, lettuce the list goes on. DCL met all of my food allergies. I was assigned to a Head Server that was new to Disney. It took a few days to learn that Every meal needed to be ordered ahead of time not just dinner. But once we figured that out, we did just fine. I was able to order my lunch for the "assigned" restaurant and either get it to go to take elsewhere or have it delivered to another restaurant on the ship (my DH loves the seafood buffet but I can't eat at a buffet). Disney does go above and beyond for food allergies - so much so that I travel on Disney without kids because I too can enjoy a trip. I was unable to eat any of the bread on board the ship due to the dairy allergy (there is milk in the base mix that they use for all their bread) so getting food to take off the ship (like a sandwich) didn't work for us. We are planning another cruise in 2013 Mediterranean and I can't figure out what I'm going to do during port days lunch. But Disney will meet all your needs if you work with them 24 hours in advance.

clten
02-21-2012, 12:38 PM
Ex Techie and clten,

I posted my questions here so that I could have a better understanding of how food service works on the ship. Please believe that I would never put my daughter's health at risk for my convenience. We have not eaten at a restaurant as a family except twice in the past three years! I have had to do a lot of research if this is even a possible vacation for my family, and was always told that Disney would take care of us. I have saved for two years for this trip and I would like it to be as perfect as possible, so please forgive my ingnorance in wanted to enjoy a few dinners alone with my husband.

I will not be using room service to feed my daughter and I will pray that our HS will find a solution what will be acceptable to everyone involved.

I'm sorry if you took my last post as directed at you or in any way commenting on how you would handle dining with your daughter's needs. I was responding only to the post of bledsoedoc, which is why I quoted it in my post. I had responded earlier in the thread and had seen that you had gotten the information you were looking for.

Cltan, I guess you did not read my entire post, ie its a starting point..how to start to feel safer. I have lived with life threatening food allergies for over 20 years. I am not naive, in fact I am quite savvy in dealing with this in both my personal and professional life. I also still enjoy trying new foods and know very well how to communicate to keep myself safe. It is all about communication which is possible. It is also about vigilance in checking, double checking and speaking up when something is wrong. Having an ingrediant list is extremely helpful as a starting place to make safe choices. It helps to know right away that some things are clearly off limits. There are some things that will need to be tweaked. Having the conversation at the meeting on day 1 makes it more likely that I can try the things I want to. Especially soups because most soups start with stock I can't have but Disney is willing to work with me if I have communicated with them. Mant times they can have pre-arranged instructions for both myself and the room service staff as well as working with the head server. I am also prepared and travel with 8 epipens and packets of emergency meds, enough packets for 2 reactions a day...we are out at sea... I have cruised before and am still sitting here breathing and living.

I did read your post throughly and I did understand what you were saying. I was just trying to give you a heads up that communication is going to be a problem when dealing with room service. You don't meet with anyone from room service. You will however meet with your dining room service team including your head server who will handle any food allergies and special requests. Talking to your head server about the food served in the Main Dining Rooms is a completely different thing and where you will be able to communicate your needs and have things adjusted so you can try new things. Perhaps you referred to room service and that wasn't what you meant. Otherwise, sorry I offered any help and I'll try not to in the future.

extechie rbd/wdt
02-21-2012, 08:54 PM
Ex Techie and clten,

I posted my questions here so that I could have a better understanding of how food service works on the ship.
I hope myself and other's have been able to give you experienced and valuable information

Please believe that I would never put my daughter's health at risk for my convenience.
You putting your daughters health at risk was NEVER something I thought you would do! As a mother you obviously have your child best interest's at heart ALL of the time!

We have not eaten at a restaurant as a family except twice in the past three years!
It can be incredibly hard to find restaurant's that are able to accommodate Guest's with allergies and feel secure that they fully understand the implications of a simple mistake and the consequence.
Unfortunately I know all too well about yes there will be no peas, and the plate arrives with no peas, as the peas have been scraped off when the server see's them or chef is reminded.

I have had to do a lot of research if this is even a possible vacation for my family, and was always told that Disney would take care of us. I have saved for two years for this trip and I would like it to be as perfect as possible, so please forgive my ingnorance in wanted to enjoy a few dinners alone with my husband.

Disney WILL take care of you!
They will provide your daughter with meal's appropriately cooked to avoid your daughter's allergies 3 time's a day.
Your daughter's age/regular eating times, bedtime and allergies do not equate to getting early dining first above other's that are already wait listed IMO though.
There wil be plenty of other parent's with 3 year old's not wanting a late seating for dinner as well, so the cookie's and snack's would be a benefit.

Have you been asked to be wait listed for early dining?
You are not ignorant in wanting a few dinners alone with your husband, but it is a desire, and hopefully DCL will be able to move you to early dining.
Topsider's or Cabana's is an option for you both afterwards, or Palo or Remy if they are available.
If not, food's allergies determine when and where you can eat unfortunately, kid's and all.

I will not be using room service to feed my daughter and I will pray that our HS will find a solution what will be acceptable to everyone involved.

I hope they can to.
If not, you could also ask for some foil wrapped plain cooked chicken breast's at lunch for your daughter to snack on afterwards, and bring some snack's from home that meet the allergy requirements.

Either way, you might wan't to consider that unless you have already reserved a space in the nursery, you daughter may not sleep well in the Club if it's noisy whilst you are at dinner.



Just a few thought's and I do hope it all work's out for you.

Ex Techie :)

Replies are in RED

bledsoedoc
02-22-2012, 06:20 PM
Cltin, you prefaced yourself saying you knew you were going to come off rude so i am a little surprised of your reaction to my response. I do appreciate input or i wouldnt be on these boards and fyi I am talking about room service. I am aware that I will speak with chefs not just servers on the day we board. I also know that at that meeting I will set up a plan for room service. I understand that you have had difficulty communicating with room service in the past. I will protect myself and go up the ladder while on the phone with room service until I have spoken to someone that makes me feel safe. And again be vigalent when my food arrives. If needed the food goes back and we try again. But again, having that plan
in place from day 1 helps decrease the risks. That first day's meeting I will get ingrediants for everything available including what is in their condiments. Again, it is a starting point in a long list of things I do to keep safe. But by having that info it helps me when ordering and when checking my foods.

extechie rbd/wdt
02-22-2012, 06:43 PM
Cltin, you prefaced yourself saying you knew you were going to come off rude so i am a little surprised of your reaction to my response. I do appreciate input or i wouldnt be on these boards and fyi I am talking about room service. I am aware that I will speak with chefs not just servers on the day we board. I also know that at that meeting I will set up a plan for room service. I understand that you have had difficulty communicating with room service in the past. I will protect myself and go up the ladder while on the phone with room service until I have spoken to someone that makes me feel safe. And again be vigalent when my food arrives. If needed the food goes back and we try again. But again, having that plan
in place from day 1 helps decrease the risks. That first day's meeting I will get ingrediants for everything available including what is in their condiments. Again, it is a starting point in a long list of things I do to keep safe. But by having that info it helps me when ordering and when checking my foods.

bledsoedoc,

Please be aware that when ordering room service the food is prepared and cooked in a different galley (The Bell Box, on Deck 1) to the MDR's (on Deck 3 & 4), so room service to meet your allergy needs may be available when the MDR galleys that are able to deal with food allergies are open and not closed for cleaning, might not be available 24 hr's. (but that depends on your allergies obviously! :goodvibes)

I wish you all the best on your cruise and hope you can find appropriate dining opportunities that meet your allergy requirements.

Ex Techie :)

bledsoedoc
02-22-2012, 07:45 PM
Ex techie...thanks. I do know they make room service food in a different galley. I plan on getting room service, sit down dining, quick service and buffets all in line with specific plans on boarding day. I plan to stay safe. Promise.

extechie rbd/wdt
02-22-2012, 07:52 PM
Ex techie...thanks. I do know they make room service food in a different galley. I plan on getting room service, sit down dining, quick service and buffets all in line with specific plans on boarding day. I plan to stay safe. Promise.

Cool! :woohoo:

Hope you have a fantastic trip and the epipen's go back home unused and sealed!

Smooth sailing and have a great time! :goodvibes

Ex Techie :)