How easy is "on the side" in the MDR?

monkeydawn

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
I often cant handle certain spices/ ingredients in sauces/ dressings/ condiments (or sometimes I can if it's very lightly applied) due to Crohn's disease. On Carnival I never had an issue getting stuff "on the side". I was reading someone's TR that mentioned sandwiches come as listed on the menu because they are made in bulk in advance and that you cant, for instance, order one with no mayo. I kind of expected something like this to be made fresh and not a problem to alter condiments so it made me start to wonder what else is an issue for getting it either plain or with sauces on the side. Is this an issue where I am going to need to look at the menu the night before and special order or are most pasta dishes/ salads/ etc. mixed right before serving and so its easy to leave sauces off (and the sandwich incident was a unique situation)? I will bring this to the attention of the head server or my waiter on the first night but Im hoping to hear others experiences so I know what to expect. I am coming off of a flare up so I am particularly sensitive at the moment and need to be very careful with my diet. Thank you.
 

Dug720

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
You could always ask to pre-order your dinners the night before as those of us with allergies do.

Other than ordering a gluten-free pizza on deck, I skip those locations because yes, most of it IS pre-made.
 

monkeydawn

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Thank you.

I can usually do pretty good at a buffet, provided there is undressed salad available and maybe some cheeses and/ or breads. And breakfast is usually my easiest meal of the day so I am really not too worried about those meals. If it comes down to it I will preorder, as I mentioned in my OP. I am just wondering if that is the expectation or if I can order the night of with sauces on the side.
 
  • Dug720

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2012
    Thank you.

    I can usually do pretty good at a buffet, provided there is undressed salad available and maybe some cheeses and/ or breads. And breakfast is usually my easiest meal of the day so I am really not too worried about those meals. If it comes down to it I will preorder, as I mentioned in my OP. I am just wondering if that is the expectation or if I can order the night of with sauces on the side.
    That I don't know as other than the first night I've always pre-ordered my dinners.

    Worst-case there is the lighter fare menu which usually does not have sauces on the meats.
     

    monkeydawn

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2019
    Worst-case there is the lighter fare menu which usually does not have sauces on the meats.
    Except I am vegetarian. LOL

    Thank you again for your thoughts. :) I really am fine with the pre ordering if that's what I need to do. I was hoping for more flexibility but will do whatever I need to do to avoid aggravating my system.

    ETA: I am hesitant to "officially" list the things trigger me with DCL, because its largely situational...how many other things have I had that are rough on me, how well are the items cooked, really a lot of variables. And it seems that once you have something listed as a sensitivity with Disney they are real sticklers about letting you have the item. Which is great for those with severe allergies since it does protect them but isnt so great in situations like mine. Of course the needle should always tilt towards protecting those with life threatening allergies so I understand these precautions, I'd just like to make as little fuss on board as possible so I dont accidentally cause myself more trouble (especially in the future if I really like cruising on DCL and decide to stick with them). I hope that makes sense.
     
    Last edited:

    Strawberry's mom&dad

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2011
    I have special ordered sandwiches at the quick service places out on the pool deck. I just tell them what I want. They make a very good veggie sandwich . It can take up to 20 minutes to get your food. On the Magic EBTA at Daisy Delights I had peanut butter and banana sandwich made. So they will make fresh food. I do try and go when they are not so busy.
     

    lilsonicfan

    <font color=teal>The TF knows Canada VERY well!!<b
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2003
    In the dining room I asked for some sort of substitution like a sauce on the side (I don't remember exactly) and was told it would be very hard to accommodate. As I understand it they pre-plate up to half of the dinners (which is why I feel it's very similar to a wedding reception). Dinners are definitely not made to order, generally speaking. I would say your best bet in the MDR is to pre-order and to discuss with your head waiter how to address these issues.
     
  • DIS_MIKE

    DCL Commodore
    Joined
    Feb 2, 2015
    From what I've seen, Disney goes above and beyond when it comes to guests having special dietary needs. One of my tablemates had a gluten allergy and the head server met with her on the first night and explained the process which even include her very own bread service/rolls. Some of her meals looked better than mine! She was also told how to get her meals on the pool deck and at Cabanas.
     

    shoes99

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 18, 2000
    I usually order from the lighter fare menu so I can chose my sides sometimes Ican get the smaller portion kids entree, there are lots of choices.
     

    BruinEd03

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 23, 2013
    I often cant handle certain spices/ ingredients in sauces/ dressings/ condiments (or sometimes I can if it's very lightly applied) due to Crohn's disease. On Carnival I never had an issue getting stuff "on the side". I was reading someone's TR that mentioned sandwiches come as listed on the menu because they are made in bulk in advance and that you cant, for instance, order one with no mayo. I kind of expected something like this to be made fresh and not a problem to alter condiments so it made me start to wonder what else is an issue for getting it either plain or with sauces on the side. Is this an issue where I am going to need to look at the menu the night before and special order or are most pasta dishes/ salads/ etc. mixed right before serving and so its easy to leave sauces off (and the sandwich incident was a unique situation)? I will bring this to the attention of the head server or my waiter on the first night but Im hoping to hear others experiences so I know what to expect. I am coming off of a flare up so I am particularly sensitive at the moment and need to be very careful with my diet. Thank you.
    I don't think it'll be an issue, just that it may take a little bit longer and some items may not be available. So long as you're ok with that, they will do their best to accommodate. My wife has a food allergy where they have to make items without a certain sauce (or sometimes they can't get rid of certain things).

    However, as you mentioned, it is a good idea to bring this to your host the first day so that they know to compensate for the timing.
     
  • monkeydawn

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2019
    Thank you for the input everyone. Looks like I will be discussing with the head waiter and going from there for MDR dinners.

    On a side not. Have you ever thought about just eating meat? Cures many things like this. My friend is so much better for the crohns.
    It's not as simple as picking up a burger, I havent purposely had meat in almost 30 years. The times I am mistakenly given meat I get pretty sick (even when I dont realize I have had meat, sometimes I have found out after the fact), I cant imagine reacclimating to meat would be easy on my system and I wouldnt even consider doing it so close to a flare up. You can get adequate amounts of protein without eating meat. I will say I was vegan before my first bout of Crohns and that was much tougher to maintain when trying to up my protein levels, especially 25 years ago when most non meat protein sources were whey based.
     

    Cruise Diva

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2018
    You can note your dietary needs/ allergies when you complete your cruise check in. On the first night your waiter will ask you about your dietary/allergy needs. All of your food will be cleared with the Chef before it is served to you. Prior to the end of dinner your waiter will bring you the menu for the next evening and you can pre select your meal. My husband has an allergy to walnuts and kiwi so we are used to this process. If there is something special you want them to prepare all you need to do is ask and they will prepare it for you.
     

    kiford

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 9, 2012
    Sandwiches at Cabanas are usually pre-made but I've never had a problem with ordering one in the MDRs at lunch time or on the pool deck without mayo (which I think is disgusting unless it's my own homemade one) or slightly modified (usually leaving something off rather than substituting something unless they had it in stock). You'll have to wait a bit longer but it's never been an issue for me. I don't think that it's all completely made up in advance in the MDRs at lunch since there's no set dining time, so they may partially do some things and complete them when ordered but it's also easier for them to do a sandwich that has things left off as it's not quite as busy as the MDRs at dinner, though it might be helpful to go at a time when it's not quite as busy - usually at the beginning or end of the service time range.

    And I've never of them refusing to put sauce or dressing on the side at dinner. I don't normally have a problem with that but I've had people at our table ask for that and they've been accommodated - obviously depending on how the dish is prepared. If sauce is something that's just added at the end, they'll usually be able to get a plate that's close to completion and just leave it off. If it's cooked with or in the sauce, that's a different situation and may not be able to be accommodated.
     

    MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    You also do not have to wait until the night before to view the menus. Scott's blog has all of the menus for all of the ships. I already know what I am going to order each night of our November cruise :D
     

    Shellyred8

    I'd rather be at Disney
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2016
    One other recommendation is to look at the kids menus. On my last cruise, I asked the server to bring me a kids menu each night in addition to the adults menu. There were some nights when I liked the items from the kids menu better. They are usually a little more basic, but still really good.

    Happy sailing!
     

    Bonnie1222

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2016
    @monkeydawn I think you'll be fine. You have the right idea to communicate your situation with the head server and your personal servers. They will do their best to steer you in the right direction and take care of you as best they can. And pre-ordering the night before gives the kitchens ample time to make accommodations without disrupting their hectic dinner time routine.

    I have an allergy to Sage - can't eat it. And that is listed on my reservation. However, I have issues if I eat Bell peppers. Hot peppers are fine, but red and green peppers will give my heartburn for days, even in small amounts so the first day I tell my servers that I really do not like peppers. (they don't usually understand the difference between hot and bell LOL) and ask them to please warn me if there are peppers in anything on the menu so I can avoid it. Have I gotten things with peppers, yes, I've had dishes where the sides had peppers that they missed and I just push that part aside or give it to DH.

    I don't have kids, but I have seen some of the kids meals come out at nearby tables and they usually look like they have little or no sauces. I always say I want to ask for kids sides - they get steamed veggies, and plain salads which I love. I'll have to write that down on my reminder list for the next cruise.
     

    shoes99

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 18, 2000
    One other recommendation is to look at the kids menus. On my last cruise, I asked the server to bring me a kids menu each night in addition to the adults menu. There were some nights when I liked the items from the kids menu better. They are usually a little more basic, but still really good.

    Happy sailing!
    We always ask for a kids menu. DH especially likes the garden salad with choice of dressing and the kids chicken noodle soup. Its not just chicken
    fingers and burgers. They even have salmon and steak, just smaller portions with less gravy.
     

    monkeydawn

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2019
    Sandwiches at Cabanas are usually pre-made but I've never had a problem with ordering one in the MDRs at lunch time or on the pool deck without mayo (which I think is disgusting unless it's my own homemade one) or slightly modified (usually leaving something off rather than substituting something unless they had it in stock). You'll have to wait a bit longer but it's never been an issue for me. I don't think that it's all completely made up in advance in the MDRs at lunch since there's no set dining time, so they may partially do some things and complete them when ordered but it's also easier for them to do a sandwich that has things left off as it's not quite as busy as the MDRs at dinner, though it might be helpful to go at a time when it's not quite as busy - usually at the beginning or end of the service time range.

    And I've never of them refusing to put sauce or dressing on the side at dinner. I don't normally have a problem with that but I've had people at our table ask for that and they've been accommodated - obviously depending on how the dish is prepared. If sauce is something that's just added at the end, they'll usually be able to get a plate that's close to completion and just leave it off. If it's cooked with or in the sauce, that's a different situation and may not be able to be accommodated.
    Thank you for offering your experiences. This is exactly what I was wondering about. I know they cant serve me a sauceless lasagna for instance but I was hoping I could get a spaghetti with sauce on the side. Or salads with dressings on the side.
     

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