Recent experience with nut-free foods on Magic - Help!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by clawmachine, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. clawmachine

    clawmachine DIS Veteran

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    Hi everyone! I was kind of bummed today. I had promised DS6 (who gets a lot of anxiety about food because of his peanut and tree nut allergy) that I would find out ahead of our January Magic cruise if they would be able to have safe versions of chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, pizza, etc...basically his favorite treats. I emailed special services and Corey called me back right away with a nice message, but all it basically said was to only eat in the dining rooms and to call him back to ask specific questions. I did call back and he was busy at that time so I got a lady instead. While she was pleasant, she kept firmly repeating that she could not tell me anything specific about foods that would be safe or not safe and that our only recourse was to always eat in the dining rooms. :( I asked her what shall we do about snacks between meals and all she suggested was that we bring along some pre-packaged snacks of our own. IMO, she knew more than she would tell me and while I was very nice and calm, I could not get any info. It seemed like a serious CYA.

    This does not change at all my opinion about DCL, but it does put a damper on my son's excitement. Like I said, he is a very anxious kid and I was really hoping to be able to tell him something concrete. I will indeed bring our own food and hope it travels ok, but a big reason I booked DCL in the first place was because so many here had reported being able to find out some of this info ahead of time..and having great food experiences.

    So... if anyone here can please help me out - OF COURSE I will also double check once on board, but can anyone with peanut or tree nut food allergies share any recent experiences with availability of nut-free foods on board, specifically things he might want for a snack such as choc chip cookies and ice cream? Thanks a lot!!
     
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  3. 5lilfish

    5lilfish DIS Veteran

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    I cannot give you specifics, but we recently cruised with my peanut allergic nephew. My sister, naturally, is very nervous about what he eats. I can say that DCL was wonderful in dealing with this allergy. My nephew was so happy to be able to enjoy many food options. As a peanut allergy kid, he is used to missing out on many treats in the name of safety. On this cruise he was able to have special treats that were guaranteed to be safe. I wish I could give you more details but my sister was the one who dealt with the allergy.

    Jess
     
  4. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    We sailed with some dear friends who have a son with severe peanut and apple allergies. Granted, this was several years ago, but the service was wonderful.

    My friend asked in advance if she could bring the only chocolate chips that are safe for her son (seems there is only one brand made in a factory with no peanut products made there) and have DCL make him some choc chip cookies. They asked her to provide the company info and said they would get the chips for him and make cookies! We were at a "just our group" table. At boarding, the head server walked the mom thru the buffet line advising on safety. Each night at dinner, they were given the menu for the next night and chose his meal; it was then specially prepared for him. They could alter almost any item on the menu to make it safe. They advised her about snack foods, etc. For instance, one of the ice creams on Castaway was "unsafe."

    She did tend to stick to the dining rooms for breakfast and lunch because she felt better that way, and gave instructions that he was not to eat anything in the programming. If she wanted to do one of the buffets at lunch (on the Magic they have themed buffets in Parrot Cay), again the head server walked the line with mom and son. It takes a bit longer, but again, they will prepare a special meal for him at breakfast and lunch.

    Did you ever wonder why they ask for your room number when you enter a dining room? It's because it flashes up on the computer with a warning designation for any allergy issues...so when you give the number, they know who and what the issue is. When you call for room service, they have the info also.

    The Dream will have a special allergy kitchen. The Magic and Wonder have special preparation areas, but not a totally separate kitchen.

    So...no, they didn't go to Pluto's. However, they had a Magical cruise.
     
  5. gfolchick

    gfolchick DIS Veteran

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    They have Divvies chocolate chip cookies and Enjoy Life cookies (I think the Divvies are better). My son had a milk allergy along with peanut/tree nuts. They had Jello (not very exciting, but it's something). Our head server made a birthday cake for a member of our party who didn't have an allergy but so that my DS could eat it too. He would give me packs of cookies at a time so I carried them with me at lunch or other snack times.

    I used to bring my own chocolate coins from Vermont Nut Free for the stateroom host at turn down so he wasn't left out.

    I would double check the ice cream at Scoops. It should be safe; they only use vanilla or chocolate and there are no nuts at the station (it's soft serve). Mickey Bars are available in the dining rooms or room service. One year they stocked popsicles for him and he'd have that at dinner. The soft serve on Castaway Cay rotates the flavors so there could be cross contaimination issues there.
     
  6. clawmachine

    clawmachine DIS Veteran

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    Thanks so much everyone! So the Mickey bars were safe and they freely offered Divvies? I wish she could have just told me that at least. When I asked about them being available, she acted really funny, as if it was a very strange question. I'm really not understanding why she could not just tell me whether or not they stock them, given that they come in individually labelled bags that I could check myself. If I knew for sure they'd have them, there would not be so much pressure to make sure I bring a lot of our own pre-packaged cookies. It's not like I let DS chow down on cookies 24/7 at home, but on a cruise I'm sure we will all be eating more treats than normal and I just would love for him to feel included too..

    I'm wondering if maybe I just got someone new and should try to call back...anyone here get more details than I did by calling Corey's number?
     
  7. gfolchick

    gfolchick DIS Veteran

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    I don't remember if they told me ahead of time about the Divvies, but when I sent the medical form in I told them that dessert time is when he feels most different and left out. I knew that Divvies were available at the parks so I asked if they could be available onboard. The first day I went into Rockin D Bar and spoke with my head server because I needed to know what options were available immediately (buffet not a good choice for him being a somewhat picky eater. He also has a sesame allergy and I wasn't sure if the rolls at Plutos would be ok for a hamburger) and he went and tracked some down for me right then (I did have to wait a while because they weren't unpacked yet). The Mickey bars may be a judgement call, but my son was able to eat milk this year and we let him have one in Disney with no side effects (and we're usually very cautious). I'm pretty sure there has been discussions about the Mickey bars if you do a search.
     
  8. JenKatt

    JenKatt Geek in training

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    When in doubt with DCL, call back. This time wait for the guy you wanted to talk to initially. It's your money, your family, DCL needs to at least provide the information to you.
    Enjoy your cruise!!!
     
  9. kkmcan

    kkmcan Official Mouse Fan

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    So, are there nuts in the the choc chip cookies on board or is it a contamination thing from being made near other nut products? My niece is going to cruise with us next month and she has a nut allergy. I just thought that she could have anything that didn't have nuts in them but I didn't think about them being made where they could come in contact with nuts.:confused3
     
  10. clawmachine

    clawmachine DIS Veteran

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    My understanding (from this board only since DCL wouldn't tell me) is that the chocolate chip cookies normally served on board have some kind of nut cross contamination issue but HOPEFULLY they do stock pre-packaged alternatives (Divvies, Enjoy Life) which are fine. Ask your niece's parents about her tolerance of cross contamination. Our allergist does not want DS eating any high risk food that has a nut "warning" of any kind (made in a factory, may contain, etc etc.) but not everyone is the same in that regard. With certain low-risk foods, such as non-desserts, we occasionally will allow him a food that has a factory warning, but rarely.. I couldn't believe it when recently we came across a frozen cheese pizza that said "may contain peanuts." I was dumbfounded as to how that could happen in any factory which adheres to normal cleaning protocol, but it's a good reminder to always ask/check labels..
     
  11. princesskenziesmom

    princesskenziesmom Mouseketeer

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    My ds has severe peanut/tree nut allergy and we never let him eat anything with chocolate in it due or cookies due to the fact that most of these products are made in a facility that processes peanuts/nuts and it could cross contaminate. There is a great website peanutfreeplanet.com that offers a lot of chocolates and other foods that are completely nut free. We are going to book a Disney cruise just because I know how wonderful they were to us at WDW when we went. I am interested on what desserts are nut free and love reading that the Dream is offering an allergy kitchen.

    Wow-I never would of thought to look at a pizza box,,,I am very good about reading ingrediants but changes that I need to look at EVERY box now. Good to know!

    Hope you have a wonderful experience on your trip and you can get more information. I would keep calling to talk to someone who can alleviate your sons distress. Please post any new information you get. :hug:
     
  12. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    The chocolate chip issue is a cross contamination one. My friend insists that there is only one company that makes chocolate chips that does not also make peanut products in the same factory. As her son's allergy is very severe, she needs to be very cautious.

    It has been my experience that shore based services do not always have correct information about what happens on the ship (can you see that I'm trying to phrase that in a very politically correct way?)
     
  13. bridget

    bridget DIS Veteran

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    In our experience, the head waiter talks with the chef, and determines which menu items are "safe". If they can't verify that where it was produced was in a safe enviornment, they will not say they are safe.

    My husband missed out on lots of desserts!!!!
     
  14. clawmachine

    clawmachine DIS Veteran

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    Thank you and yes, I will definitely post all the details I can when we get back!! The cheese pizza was at a Halloween party we went to and we ended up letting DS have it because there was literally nothing else he could have (lots of homemade baked goods) and he was so hungry. I THINK it was Costco or maybe Sam's club, and it had been frozen but perhaps was sold as refrigerated. The hostess felt so bad but she hadn't thought to look either. Crazy! Our allergist's opinion is that companies who liberally put warning labels on like crazy are not to be as trusted in general as companies who conscientiously label or not label according to real identified risk (Hershey comes to mind as a great one to deal with...)

    I was told that they can make almost anything from scratch on the ship with a little notice. Obviously this does not apply to chocolate itself so that is why I was so interested in knowing if they had Divvies..
     
  15. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    True, and with the allergy kitchen on the Dream, it will be even better!
     
  16. Blueyed Girl

    Blueyed Girl HAKUNA MATATA!

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    Thank you all so much for all the info you have posted here. My son is allergic to peanuts and peas. We cruised DCL in 2009 but did not find out about his food allergy until about 2 months after the cruise!! This will be our first cruise knowing about his allergies and basically a whole new experience for us. I am SO GLAD to find that there will be an allergy free kitchen on the Dream since that is the ship we are cruising on in June. :banana:


    I do have a question for anyone that might have an answer for it..... My main concern is our Nassau day. We are doing Atlantis and don't really want to trust the food there for DS. I would feel a lot more relaxed bringing him a lunch that I know is safe. I spoke to someone with DCL on the phone months ago and was told that I could bring un-opened pre-packaged food off of the ship. Does anyone know if this includes canned goods? I was thinking of bringing him a can of ravioli (one of his faves) for that day. :confused3
     
  17. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    You'll be able to bring your can of ravioli with no problems. Any unopened processed food is fine.

    Actually, we've never been stopped or asked about any food coming off the ship except at Port Canaveral!
     
  18. Blueyed Girl

    Blueyed Girl HAKUNA MATATA!

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    This is AWESOME NEWS!!!! :banana: It was the main thing I had been worried about. Maybe now I can relax a little more and start concentrating on the FUN we will have instead! :thumbsup2 Thank you!!!!!!!!!!
     
  19. gfolchick

    gfolchick DIS Veteran

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    I know you're concerned about finding the Divvies onboard. They've been available when we've sailed in 2005, 2008 and 2009 with our DS.
     
  20. clawmachine

    clawmachine DIS Veteran

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    thank you again for your help! I didn't want to sound like a complainer - my DS is SOOOOO picky that all I really wanted to find out about is if we could get safe ice cream, cookies and pizza for him. I specifically asked about just those 3 things, but again, she just said she could not tell me in advance. I know it might sound crazy to people who don't deal with food allergies, but it has just become the standard for us to "call ahead" whenever we visit a new restaurant, and 9 times out of 10, they will either declare the food item ingredients on their website, or else a manager will be happy to get on the phone with me and let me know which menu items are safe. It really goes a long way in helping DS feel safe and included. I just felt frustrated that DCL could not provide the same info, especially considering once you are onboard, you really have no option to eat anywhere else! I'll likely try to call back and get someone different, but I really, really, really do appreciate everyone's kind advice and info here!! :)
     
  21. MouseinMelbourne

    MouseinMelbourne DIS Veteran

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    I was just googling for WDW resort info and found this thread. I HAD to take a few minutes to share our experience. We cruised on October of 2010.

    For the love of god, please call DCL back and talk to someone OTHER THAN COREY! He also "helped" me the first time I cruised and sent in the medical form. He admitted 1/2 way thru the call that he was looking at 3 different accounts at the same time and kept confusing himself. That must explain why he gave me info that one type of product would be safe for my daughter when, in fact, it was not. Seriously, ditch Corey. I just sent in another med form for our May DCL cruise and if Corey calls me, I am going to insist on someone else.

    OK, that said....yes, you must eat in the dining rooms. It's actually more of a pain than you think at first. VERY time consuming. But, extremely delicious. So, hey, who's complaining? The head servers WILL help you and bend over backwards. I ended up giving ours a $70 tip because of all the work he did (I think the "suggested" was $12 or $20 or something like that). The most disconcerting time was lunch on the very first day. We, of course, did not have our head server yet and the server who seated us scared me. The chef came out and there was a HUGE language barrier, so I was not comfortable that he understood. Another HS came up (Richard) and saved the day. He took care of us and instilled confidence. For the rest of the cruise, he always stopped by our table at dinner (even though he wasn't our head server) and made sure DD was well taken care of. I ended up tipping him too!

    (Typing up the last 1/2 of the above paragraph made me have an idea. I think I will arrange with Special Diets to have a lunch and dessert ready for her on the first day and not have to be concerned about who we get put with.)

    OK, back to dropping Corey.....call them back and (while talking to someone else) let them know you want to have safe chocolate on board for them to cook with. I went thru the DIS boards (there is a great thread on food) and wrote down desserts I wanted her to have. Giving them specifics seemed to help. I did not ask for anything strange - just stuff they would normally serve guests (only with safe chocolate). This worked perfectly and she got to try chocolate lava cake, creme brulee, chocolate fudge cake, and a few more. One night, Peter the HS even brought her 2 desserts as surprise!

    The Special Diet people are scary. I will agree with you there. As long as you are specific and tell them you MUST HAVE SAFE CHOCOLATE on board, once you get there everything will flow like hot chocolate (ha - that was from my DD). :banana:

    Oh, and they told me Divvies would be on board, but I forgot to even ask for them. oops.
     

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