Allergies and Dining on DCL

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by mom2msb, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. mom2msb

    mom2msb Earning My Ears

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    I have a daughter with soy and peanut allergies. Does anyone have experience with dining on a Disney Cruise with these or other allergies? I've read on these boards that my daughter will not go hungry, but my fear is that she will have nothing fun to eat. No ice cream or desserts, etc. One of my main reasons for wanting to go on a Disney cruise is that I for once wouldn't have to worry about the food for my daughter while traveling. Am I just dreaming that Disney will be able to make her dining experience enjoyable too?
     
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  3. Rob S.

    Rob S. DIS Veteran

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    You are not dreaming. The chefs will go out of their way to make something that your daughter will enjoy, even for dessert. My wife has a restricted diet and they have always been excellent about making special dishes.
     
  4. reimero

    reimero DIS Veteran

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    I don't have first-hand experience, however, many, many, many people have stated that DCL is very good about accommodating those with allergies. The key is that you notify DCL in advance - the more in advance, the better, and the more specific, the better. If they have advance notice of special dietary needs and requests, they can make sure they have appropriate food available to you and can take care of any special orders that might need to happen. I would also recommend reminding your waiter and head waiter of the requirements once you board. But advance notice really is your best friend.

    I know, for instance, that there are certain dairy alternatives they don't typically carry on board, but can get if they know a guest is going to need it.
     
  5. KAR3600

    KAR3600 DVC Member since 1996 - Cruising is the best part!

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    I just sailed on the Dream 2 weeks ago....I too have peanut and fish allergies, I did NOT inform them prior to cruising. The first night at dinner the Head Server addressed the entire table inquiring about any food allergies. If he had not I would have spoken up.

    Every night my dinner was prepared separtely from everyone elses. For the first time in many years I had no stomach issues at all, so what they said was true.

    Each night the server would address me separtley as to what I would like to eat from everyone else and each night he re-assured me that there would be no cross contamination.
     
  6. kuhltiffany

    kuhltiffany DIS Veteran

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    The Dream and the Fantasy have separate kitchen were special allergies and requests are accommodated. Each night you are given the next night's menu so you can pre-order your meals. if you eat at a buffet a chef will come out and point out which foods are safe for you. My DS has a peanut allergy and my DH a wheat intolerance. DS told our server one night that he would really like to have some chocolate cake for dessert, and even though it wasn't on the menu, one appeared for him the next night. Disney is awesome for allergies!
     
  7. mom2msb

    mom2msb Earning My Ears

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    Thank you so very much for responding and alleviating some of my anxiety about traveling with my daughter. I love this board now, I will have to visit more often. Although, that could get expensive because I will always be encouraged to plan another trip.

    We are actually considering a cruise on the Wonder since we can drive to the port. It will be a long drive, but it is doable. Do you think the Wonder will be as well equipped to handle the allergy issue as the other ships mentioned?
     
  8. foohpah

    foohpah Mouseketeer

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    We cruised on the Wonder with my DH who is allergic to legumes (soy, peanut, beans, peas). We did tell them in advance. Sadly we did not have a great experience. His dinner options were very limited and they would not give him any desserts because of fear of cross contamination. Even though we told them he has had Mickey bars and other items without issues. Thankfully his issues are not life threatening so the cross contamination issues were not critical but I guess they did not believe us. They never offered to make anything special. It was our first cruise so we did not know what else to do.

    For subsequent cruises we just do not tell them. DH will ask if certain items on the menu have nuts, beans, etc if he cannot tell from the menu. I realize it is not an option for everyone but it worked far better for us and this way he actually gets to eat.
     
  9. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    Yes, the Dream and Fantasy have separate allergy kitchens, but don't panic on the classic ships. The Wonder and Magic have a special preparation area for allergy meals; it just isn't a totally separate kitchen.

    They are EXCELLENT with arranging whatever your DD might want. All of her food will be prepared individually for her; depending on the specific allergies involved, you may meet with the chef and/or head server so that they both totally understand your needs as well as her likes and dislikes. They can make an allergy safe version of almost anything! They are amazing.
     
  10. GatorMomInNC

    GatorMomInNC DIS Veteran

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    I just got off the wonder 3 weeks ago and I informed them ahead of time of my gluten allergy. Almost everything I had was wonderful. They would have me order off the menu the night before and make me a GF version for the next night. They would even make me desserts that weren't on the menu since none of them were GF. Even at the buffet, the chef would come out and make me something so that it wasn't cross-contaminated. They would ask my name and room number, so I think it is important you tell them ahead of time when you register online. The only place I didn't try it was with room service - I wasn't sure if they would be able to accommodate.

    I only had one "bad" meal experience - that was on the last day, the GF pancakes were terrible. They literally tasted like glue and sawdust. But everything else was really good.
     
  11. EeyoreIsMyName

    EeyoreIsMyName DIS Veteran

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    I have allergies and have never had a problem on DCl until my most recent cruise. I ordered dessert and apparently it had an item in it I was allergic to so the head waiter brought out something the chef had made "special" for me. It was a chocolate type cake and it was not good. I asked again to have the Sweet Temptations I ordered or those parts of that did not contain the item I was allergic to and still did not get it. Left a bad taste in my mouth (literally & figuratively!)...So I can sympathize. I felt deprived of dessert the entire cruise (the rest of my party ate their dessert and I was still waiting for the first try/chocolate cake to come out!). Hope your daughter has a better experience than I did.:sad1:
     
  12. DDuckdude97

    DDuckdude97 Earning My Ears

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    I have a peanut allergy and have cruised several times, I have never had a problem because if you have an allergy when you order they check with the chefs to make sure it's ok to eat.
     
  13. atmail35

    atmail35 Mouseketeer

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    We just got off the Wonder days ago :( and our DD who is 7 has peanut and tree nut allergies. She was fine, no reactions and we ate in MDR and buffets. Overall the experience was good.

    In the MDR our server always assured us when the bread course was okay and if it was not, they brought a separate basket of safe bread. They did not recommend she eat the corn bread on pirate night, because it had nutmeg, which is not a nut, but I read other stuff about the cornbread on the Fantasy (?) and I opted to have her skip it.

    On the Wonder they did not ask us to order her meal the previous night. She had chocolate pudding most nights for dessert (which was a treat for her). The last night she had the caramel "flan" like dessert. I typically do not allow her to eat commercially made ice cream such as Edy's, Hood, Breyer's since none of those are made on dedicated lines and that is not within my comfort level so we did not inquire about the ice cream at the lunch buffet at Parrot Cay.

    The MDR did not make her a special dessert, but I never asked.

    Buffets each time I told someone that I wanted to see the chef. The chef would walk us through the buffet and tell us what was ok. Generally they would get it from the back if I asked. Embarkation day at Beach Blanket, the chef walked us through. There was mac and cheese on the buffet. I asked if she could eat it from the buffet or if we could get it from the back. The chef assured us it was fine (she was fine, but after that I got most food from the back).

    On several occassions at Parrot Cay buffet and BB, the chef asked what she wanted and made it for her (mac and cheese, chicken tenders - these are the things she wants to eat anyway and I did not see at the buffet). I does take time though so you may have to wait. Sometimes they had to go to another part of the ship to get it.

    One night for dinner we skipped MDR to watch a movie and had dinner at Beach Blanket. The Chef was awesome, brought her a fruit platter, mac and cheese, bread and a special chocolate cake (which she said was good, I did not try it). He did not want her to take food from the buffet itself. Same for one or two lunches at Parrot Cay (buffet), the chef took her order and brought it over.

    Dessert - she had a lot of jello which was safe, not exciting, but safe. Cookies are not safe (I believe Nestle chips).

    At breakfast the pastry "tray" is tricky as everything is together. The chef would bring her donuts (safe) from the back.

    Sorry this is very long (it is fresh). Overall DD had a pleasant dining experience. I found you might have to press a little if you need something or are uncomfortable. The night she got the special chocolate cake I asked the chef if there was a dessert she could have and was happy he didn't come out with jello. ;)

    I didn't see a ton of peanuts (there was a peanut butter pancake offered at Tritons and some peanut butter cheese cake), but lots of other nuts (walnuts, pistachio, pecans) on the menu and buffets.

    We do not avoid SOY so I can't help there.

    ETA - I did have it noted on our reservation and did mention it whenever we sat down to eat. Although our serving team seemed very aware, I would occasionally ask if everything was ok for her that we were ordering.

    Feel free to ask any questions.
     
  14. Momma2Jax

    Momma2Jax DIS Veteran

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    DS and I both have peanut allergies. The servers (even those for breakfast and lunch, who were not our regular servers) were very good about telling us what was okay and not.

    They did take our order the night before for dinner. I hoped I wouldn't change my mind before then! ;) but it worked out great!

    Appreciated this for DS, but I have to say, I felt like it kinda haunted me. Haha! I know what I can and can't have.. For instance, I eat pastries that are processed in a facility where they also process peanuts. But they wouldn't offer them to me, or let me have the pastries on the tray they walked around with. While I of course appreciate them looking out for us, especially DS....I kinda wish they would let me judge for myself with that kind of stuff.

    Anyway....we were very pleased with how serious they took ds's allergies, though!
     
  15. HoustonMom1

    HoustonMom1 Earning My Ears

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    We are taking our first disney cruise and DS is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts (and sesame). We do allow him to eat foods that are labeled as made on shared equipment, etc. So based on this thread, will they not give him the mickey ice cream bar, as an example, even if we say it is ok?
     
  16. Momma2Jax

    Momma2Jax DIS Veteran

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    I am not sure that they flat out wont, but I know they told me, that they couldn't offer me pastries. But they did give us mickey bars. For us it is only peanuts.
     
  17. Evi

    Evi DIS Veteran

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    I have lots of food allergies including soy & legumes. I have oral allergy syndrome for many foods and do have anaphylactic allergies to a couple of specific foods that I carry an epi pen and benadryl for. My point you ask. I know few bakeries I can eat at and would even trust to prepare food for me. When I go to disney its a treat to eat bread that I know is allergy free let alone a baked item. I wouldn't expect pastries to be made to accommodate my allergies. I never expect to find something I can eat at counter service style place. When I go to disney I only do sit down restaurants. With that I know I trust disney to prepare my food so long as I give them sufficient notice but would never expect it without notice. I also wouldn't expect items that are mass produced to ever be allergy free. I think Disney does a very good job at trying to accommodate allergies but they cannot make everything allergy free.
     
  18. Blueyedchanel

    Blueyedchanel Mouseketeer

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    My DS has severe allergy to peanuts and eggs and also allergic to soy and milk. His diet is so restricted that I researched Disney cruise and allergies for months before booking. The mom panel on Disneys website was helpful as well as the website allergyfreemouse.com we don't leave for 2 weeks but I'm confident he will be taken care of.
     
  19. aaklang

    aaklang Mouseketeer

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    We just got off the Fantasy. My son is allergic to dairy, eggs, and all nuts. We ate in Cabanas (buffet) most days for breakfast and lunch. We kept it simple, but they were always able to accommodate him. We probably could have gotten more exciting foods in the main dining rooms, but didn't want such a formal meal then.

    We had dinner in the MDR every night. He is only five, but he typically ordered off the regular menu, not the kids menu. He ate like a king! Every night, he got fruit, an appetizer, a main dish, and a dessert. At the end of each meal, we received the menu for the following night and he would choose what he wanted to make sure the chefs could prepare it just right for him. There were a couple of times when we were told that dishes were premade and could not be altered, but he almost always got whatever he wanted and it tasted great.

    For dessert, the first couple of nights they brought him ice cream (not sure if it was soy or rice based). By night three, they were able to start making him real desserts. He got something rich, delicious and chocolately every night and he was in heaven - cake, mousse, etc.

    We were very happy with all of his dining options. Our waiter was awesome and really helpful at finding him great things to eat.
     

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