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Old 02-03-2013, 12:11 PM   #16
franluvsbubba
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Wow! Tht IS very disturbing and interesting! My DD, now 10, is allergic to soy, wheat and dairy. We've been on 2 cruises and go to Dis at least once, sometimes twice a year. We've NEVER had a problem. On the cruise, both at the sit down meals, and the regular times whn we wanted to catch a bite, the staff was helpful and she never had any problems. So sorry to hear u had this experience.
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:33 PM   #17
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We were on the Dream last Aug - me and my two sons, one who has FPIES with dairy. FPIES is a rare delayed allergy, he has to ingest dairy to have the reaction which occurs about 2 hrs later and is very severe. We have been to WDW a number of times and have always been impressed with their handling of the food allergy. I would say that our Disney cruise experience was so-so. This was our first cruise ever and I had read on these boards that I should go to one of the restaurants upon boarding to find our head waiter and let him know of the allergy and that he would help us throughout. Upon boarding and asking someone where to go to do this, I was basically dissuaded from this and sent to Cabanas to eat. Cabanas was actually probably the best place for my son because a chef came out every time to go through the buffet or to take his special order. The restaurants were another story. I thought the head waiter was to help us but he basically did nothing for us the whole cruise. In fact, I think we only spoke to him once. Our poor server, who was always running around like crazy, helped us order food for our son for the next day after every dinner. The choices were pretty limited, especially for CC. Because the server was always so busy, we were always left in the restaurants when they were cleaning up from our dinner service - that was just the only time he had to spend with us to get the food ordered. One night the server was so tired and exasperated he just told me that he would order my son "chef's choice" for the dinner the next night. That turned out to be a huge hunk of prime rib which he would not touch. (It really did look kind
of gross) DS could not have any of the bread or rolls and he was very upset by that. We spent 4 days after the cruise at WDW and DS was happy again - he could eat the bread at GG and the Wave and he was ecstatic.
Admittedly I did not know exactly what I was supposed to do to make this work better. We are taking another cruise in Nov and hopefully we will figure it out by then!
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:25 PM   #18
budwmn
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I just returned yesterday from a 3 night cruise on the Dream. I have a life threatening dairy allergy and had no problems. I preordered my meals each night and they were not only safe to eat, but delicious. They offered me dairy free doughnuts, pancakes, and desserts. I'm trying to watch my weight, so I avoided those items, but it was nice to know that they offered choices. I ordered Rice Krispies and soy milk for breakfast. I honestly enjoyed my dairy free meals.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:01 PM   #19
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Seems as if it very much depends on the skill and willingness of your head server. One year ago on The Magic our head server was not really interested, so although my DDIL's meals were pre-ordered sometimes all she got was the meal minus any sauce or flavour. One time she literally got a bowl of plain pasta. However, last week when we got on The Fantasy she found out that Fitz a head server who she remembered from 2008 was on there, and therefore she requested him, and her wish was granted.
Oh my goodness what a difference! Fitz was so onto it, and he sat down after our meal every night and went through every item on the next days menu to say what she could have , what she couldn't have or what could be adapted. When the server was taking care of us Fitz was watching and overseeing every move so that nothing slipped through the net. He was amazing.
So the experience can be handled smoothly or not, but if it isn't being handled well don't hesitate asking for a change in head server to someone who makes the experience magical. It can be done.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:14 PM   #20
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So, I hate to be a downer, but this fall we went on our first cruise with Disney and our youngest daughter (3 years old) has a severe dairy allergy. Honestly, it was a bit of a nightmare. In full disclosure, our daughter's allergy is so severe that she will break out in hives from merely touching dairy (as opposed to ingesting it when she will have more severe symptoms). Normally, that isn't that hard to do, but on the Dream, there are ice cream stations on Deck 11 and on our first day on the cruise there was literally ice cream dripping everywhere. I swear 80% of people were eating ice cream on the deck. My daughter broke out in hives within a few hours on the ship.

Also, while they are very good about making allergy-free meals in the dining rooms, it can be very hard finding allergy-free meals at other times -- for example if you are out on an excursion and miss the standard sit-down meal. Room service will NOT even try to accommodate an allergy. Also, they won't provide allergy-free meals on the excursions themselves. (At least they did not on ours.) After my daughter had not eaten anything since breakfast and we missed lunch because of an excursion, I tried to order her a hot dog and french fries through room service and they wouldn't let me (even though neither contains dairy). Then I said, fine, I know you can't guarantee it is dairy-free because it isn't made in a separate kitchen, but please just send me one anyway with no mayo or any other dairy-based accompaniments. I kid you not, it came with butter dripping on the bun and coleslaw all over the plate. My daughter eats out at restaurants all the time that don't have an allergy-dedicated kitchen, but with some basic common sense, we have never had a problem. Disney, however, was completely inflexible to the point that my daughter had to eat cereal with soy milk for an entire day because the order through the main kitchen wasn't placed early enough.

Then at Castaway Cay, they had supposedly made a dairy-free meal for her, but she ended up breaking out in hives all over and spent the afternoon in the medical building. It was very stressful.

While we thought the cruise was great in other respects, we have decided that we will not do another one for a while -- our daughter is still young enough that she may outgrow her allergies, but even if she doesn't, when she is older I will feel better about her ability to keep herself safe and recognize early when a major allergic reaction is coming on.

FWIW, we have been to Disney World with her many times and never had an issue. I was expecting the same with the Disney Cruise line and was disappointed.
I agree with you actually, especially since you cruised w/a 3 YO. Food options are limited, and some of the servers don't understand allergies. We've cruised on both the classic ships and the Dream and noticed that they are MUCH better on the classics w/allergies (and food in general).

The decks with the ice cream were my worst nightmare.

We've been cruising w/our allergy kid since she was 18 months. On our last 7 day she "ran out" of things she was interested in eating by day 3, and the head server handed us a big bag of Ruffles from the pantry so that we weren't always hunting him down in the afternoon for snacks. They had the same thing for her daily, grilled or pan fried chicken, rice pasta, marinara sauce. There isn't much variety when you're little (she's allergic to dairy, egg, nuts). At age 3 she wasn't too keen on eating rice and salmon. They couldn't think of anything else to make her, so she ate french fries and snacks from days 4-7.

For our upcoming cruise I found a picture of "pad thai w/tofu." She got excited that there would be a different flavor profile for her to try. We've been working on eating salmon at home, but I honestly can't think of anything else besides grilled chicken, oven baked salmon, rice pasta and table bread.

Her allergist is having her do an open food challenge in his office before our next cruise. I will literally have a heart attack w/an epi pen in hand as she takes her 1st bite of peanuts, full on cow's milk and scrambled eggs.

If she could have regular mac & cheese one day---oh to dream!
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:30 AM   #21
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I had a similarly semi negative experience on our April 4 cruise. I had noted that my son is lactose intolerant, and has sensitivities to oranges, carrots and berries. I was assured that they carried lactose free milk on board so I didn't bring any. There was none to be found. As a PP said, most chocolate is made with dairy, so when they brought him a dessert covered in chocolate, I wouldn't let him have it. The head waiter got very pissy about it and basically yelled at me that chocolate wasn't on my list. We were just fine finding things for breakfast and lunch at Cabanas or Flo's, but they wanted us to preorder every time. They wanted us to preorder each dinner as well, but never showed us the next night's menu so I never knew what was available. The final night I gave in to the pressure to preorder. When we got to the dining room, my son was adamant that he did not want what we had preordered, but they wouldn't let me change his order to something he did want. We had to go in search of food after dinner so he wasn't hungry. I was not happy with the level of service we received.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:06 AM   #22
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Another dairy allergy question. I *think* I have read about some people actually requesting specific food items in advance to be on board for them. Is this possible? I prefer chocolate soy milk to regular milk, does anyone know if they have chocolate soy milk on board? In addition, I use Earth Balance "buttery" spread for toast, etc. - would this be available? Or would I be allowed to purchase these items in advance and carry them on? Thanks for any help you can provide.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:46 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by TimonPumba View Post
Another dairy allergy question. I *think* I have read about some people actually requesting specific food items in advance to be on board for them. Is this possible? I prefer chocolate soy milk to regular milk, does anyone know if they have chocolate soy milk on board? In addition, I use Earth Balance "buttery" spread for toast, etc. - would this be available? Or would I be allowed to purchase these items in advance and carry them on? Thanks for any help you can provide.
I've never seen earth balance or chocolate soy milk on board (I've looked but not asked). But they do have regular soy milk and Hershey syrup...
I prefer (unsweetened vanilla) almond milk, so I feel your pain.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:48 PM   #24
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I have lactose intolerance, not as bad as an allergy because I can have dairy in limited amounts. However they were very helpful when I told my head server. They would modify dishes for me, and for dessert they had sorbet.

For an allergy I would let DCL know in advance (just give them a call). Also I am not sure if they will stock up on you. You can carry things onboard with you, you just can not pack it if it is liquid, has to go in a carry on bag.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:52 PM   #25
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Dairy Allergy

We went with our neighbors on the Dream 2 years ago with their daughter who had a dairy and a food dye allergy. They had soy ice cream every night for her at dinner, and were able to make soy milkshakes and also dairy free pancakes. The head waiter met with the mom each night to pre-order the food for the next day, and she even met with the chefs, etc. She raves on the Disney experience.

We just got off the Oasis of the Seas on Saturday. It was NOT the same situation. There was no soy milk - they had to bring their own. The dining room would not accommodate her until she threw a fit for her daughter. They first brought her jello as a dessert (when they were bringing the other kids ice cream.) But after she said no - they had to do better - then they walked across the ship to get sorbet from the ice cream parlor to serve her.

By the end of the ship they were better able to deal with it, but it was rough. Not at all like DCL that was ready from DAY ONE.

Afterwards, we spent a night at Beach club where we ate at Beaches & Cream and she had a yummy chocolate shake made with soy milk and tofutti!

Have a great time -
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:56 PM   #26
Stephandy03
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We just got off the Wonder and our dairy fee experience was quite different. They were not as accommodating. Basically we were given the kids menu the night before, asked to pick something, and the next day they would bring out what we picked with modifications. Dessert was usually fruit. We asked for sorbet but th waiter would just say "let me check" and come back with fruit. I don't know if it was just our waiter or if things have changed.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:08 AM   #27
Momof2inCT
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Dairy allergy here as well

We sailed once on the Dream April 2013 and on the Fantasy in October (2013) with our 4 year old (no allergies!) and our 1 year old (severe dairy allergy, including contact). We pretty much are only going to book Disney Cruise vacations now until the kids get older. I agree that the attentiveness of the head server makes or breaks the result you get. If you are not getting the results you NEED, then change your head server and don't worry about hard feelings, the tips, etc.

We pre-ordered for our 1YO for every meal. DCL uses EnjoyLife products, including chocolate, so that's allergy-safe. We got big baskets of "allergy-safe bread" at every dinner. The only real problem we had was that our 4YO wanted the allergy safe food too (everything has to be the SAME...) and our head waiter accommodated that too. Sorbet for everyone! Enough allergy bread for the whole table so no one felt left out because they couldn't have the non-allergy safe bread. It was really great. The nursery and kids clubs are very good about contact allergies - really amazing. I agree that the ice cream machines get out of control on the top deck, but that's going to be everywhere really. We bring a lot of wipes and benedryl with us wherever we go. TIP: Cabanas has an omelet station so you can make your own dairy-free omelet there while you wait for your allergy-safe meal. Also, get a plate of the dairy-free cookies delivered to your room for the whole week. And we took a lot of fruit back to our room as well and stocked our fridge. We also brought "safe" crackers from home and well as some other pre-packaged items for port days and excursions. Nothing that we wouldn't do for any other vacation. Whew. Sorry for the lengthy post. We love DCL - they've done a great job dealing with our LO's allergies so we don't have to! yay! A real vacation!
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:30 AM   #28
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Hi - I just thought I would update as to our most recent experience. We were on the Dream in November 2013 and it was really wonderful for my son with the dairy allergy. This time, they had dairy-free rolls for him each night so he didn't have to sit and stare at the reset of us eating during bread service. In fact, his rolls were way better than the bread service each night! Our server and assistant server (Leslie and Rachel) were awesome, he basically ate whatever he wanted made dairy-free. They also brought him fantastic desserts each night - including a delicious chocolate mousse that he wouldn't eat (he won't eat chocolate, even dairy-free) that I gobbled up. His favorite was a sort of carrot cake with a raspberry coulis on top. He had that the last two nights, including for his b-day celebration dessert. We even were able to get him something at the fast food windows which we didn't expect to be able to do.

I just booked a last minute surprise cruise for me and the boys, we leave Friday. We are on the Magic and I can only hope that they will be as accommodating.
One thing that I found really helpful was that on the Dream in Nov, we were seated alone, just our family. I was very uncomfortable on that 1st cruise because we were seated with another family with very young girls. I got the sense that they were made to wait for DS's food to be ready to get their food (so that the whole table was served together) and their girls got very antsy. This just made me even more stressed about the food thing. I just requested that we sit at our own table on the Magic. We have late seating so it might happen, but I really did do this very last minute so maybe not.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:17 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by MeLaNie9 View Post
Hi - I just thought I would update as to our most recent experience. We were on the Dream in November 2013 and it was really wonderful for my son with the dairy allergy. This time, they had dairy-free rolls for him each night so he didn't have to sit and stare at the reset of us eating during bread service. In fact, his rolls were way better than the bread service each night! Our server and assistant server (Leslie and Rachel) were awesome, he basically ate whatever he wanted made dairy-free. They also brought him fantastic desserts each night - including a delicious chocolate mousse that he wouldn't eat (he won't eat chocolate, even dairy-free) that I gobbled up. His favorite was a sort of carrot cake with a raspberry coulis on top. He had that the last two nights, including for his b-day celebration dessert. We even were able to get him something at the fast food windows which we didn't expect to be able to do.

I just booked a last minute surprise cruise for me and the boys, we leave Friday. We are on the Magic and I can only hope that they will be as accommodating.
One thing that I found really helpful was that on the Dream in Nov, we were seated alone, just our family. I was very uncomfortable on that 1st cruise because we were seated with another family with very young girls. I got the sense that they were made to wait for DS's food to be ready to get their food (so that the whole table was served together) and their girls got very antsy. This just made me even more stressed about the food thing. I just requested that we sit at our own table on the Magic. We have late seating so it might happen, but I really did do this very last minute so maybe not.

Wow, so glad you had a good experience. That sounds nothing like our experience. They only offered up things like plain chicken breast and plain baked potato. I asked for Rice Dream ice cream, which they brought every night, but they never offered to make him anything special.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:49 PM   #30
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Which ship were you on? With only plain foods offered?
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