Cruising Carnival With Food Allergies

Carnival With Food Allergies

Traveling with food allergies is HARD! We usually pick a destination we are 100% sure of like Disney World. Sometimes we pick someplace like the beach where we can rent a house / condo with a kitchen to prepare our own meals. Taking a cruise and leaving the US was one of those things we thought about doing. However, the logistics of being on a ship in the middle of the ocean with two kids and myself with food allergies seem daunting. We did it and here’s what I learned cruising Carnival with food allergies.

Travel was compensated by Carnival Cruise Lines, all opinions are 100% our own.

Before Our Cruise

First thing I did was inform Carnival about our allergies. I may have contacted them more than once about this, so sorry because I was a nervous momma. I also searched Cruise Critic and the Carnival Fun Boards for every post in the last five years that had to do with food allergies. At three o’clock in the morning those posts where what calmed this nervous momma down.

The week before our trip I emailed the special diet people at Carnival to be reassured that they could handle our multiple allergies. As we packed to leave I packed 6 Auvi-Q auto injectors and tons of Benadryl. I also had a carry on full of snacks for the kids just in case! I was as prepared as we were going to get.

After Boarding Our Ship

Once we boarded and unloaded out carry on bags in our room, we headed to the Lido Deck for lunch. I stopped one of the assistant Maitre Ds who found the chef who helped us figure out what was and wasn’t safe for us to eat. The hot dogs, ice cream and pizza were safe, so we were able to eat lunch happily. Just FYI, on the Lido Deck of the Carnival Dream and some of the other ships, the pizzeria will make gluten-free pizza when asked and the Deli has gluten-free bread. We were so busy exploring that we missed the time to meet with the Maitre D  about dinner so we waited until that night when we went into the dining room.

Dinner On Night One

We were on your time dining, however with the allergies,I felt it was probably better to get in early to get a chance to speak to a hostess and our waiter. When we got to our table, we told our waiter about our allergies and he got a hostess. She came right over and went over what we could and couldn’t have on the menu the first night. She took our order and delivered the food to our table. When dessert came around she brought over the next day’s menus for breakfast and dinner. We look through them and placed our order for the next day, she did this every night.

By the way on the Dream, the Main Dining Room  is open for brunch on sea days and breakfast on port days and the debarkation day. Also the last day at sea was the Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast (so worth the $5 a person). We ate breakfast daily in the dining room and it was wonderful and relaxing!

Our Dining Hostess

From this point on, every time we went to the dinning room, at the hostess stand was a print out of our special order. If Erzerbet wasn’t around, another hostess took care of our food. If she was around she would personally handle everything, ensuring the meal was perfectly safe for both kids. It was great having her be attentive to our meals all week, we got to know her and by the middle of the week, she knew exactly what the kids wanted for breakfast and dessert. She was absolutely amazing and we couldn’t have made the week without her help!

Eating In Port

Now we didn’t eat in port because of the language barrier.

In Roatan, we stayed at Mahogany Bay, we ate breakfast before leaving the ship, then ate lunch on the ship around 11am and then ate dinner at our normal time.

In Belize we only went to port for an hour at most so again breakfast, lunch and dinner were on the ship.

In Cozumel, we ate a big breakfast on the ship. At our excursion, we ate chips we were familiar with and water to snack on. As soon as we returned to the ship, we ate dinner.

Camp Carnival and Circle C

The kids also enjoyed time on their own at Camp Carnival and Circle C. During registration, I filled out a food chart of allowable foods for the staff.

There was only one time, I wasn’t comfortable leaving Chase at Circle C, due to there being cookies with M&M like candies on them. I’m sure he would have been fine. However, it was safer to go swimming and hang out with me watching movies on the Lido Deck. Every other time, things went great.

Camp Carnival was wonderful. On the back of Caitlyn’s name tag it listed her allergies.  I also noticed that her name tag was one of the few written in red, the rest were in black. I can only assume that was due to her allergies, I forgot to ask. When they played a game with balloons, they called our cabin to inform us of the game due to her possible allergy to latex. When there was a movie night, they fed her chips instead of popcorn. They didn’t give her any food that wasn’t listed on her food chart as allowable.

They both loved their individual camps and it made me relax knowing they were in good hands.

Everyone had a great time.  Carnival ranks up there with Disney when it comes to dealing with food allergies. Not only did the staff of the Carnival Dream make sure we were well fed, I had an easy time ordering and eating on the Carnival Sunshine. We are so thankful no one had a reaction or got sick! It was a great week and one of the main reasons we will sail Carnival again in the future! Thank you Carnival for giving us a way to travel the world safely!


42 Comments on "Cruising Carnival With Food Allergies"

  1. That’s great that they are so accommodating. I am sure it made the trip so much better knowing you could relax!

  2. This is awesome that that were so willing to accommodate everyone’s needs I know not everyone does that. I have a son highly allergic to turkey and in the last few years so many company throw turkey meat in a lot of things so we are constantly having to ask. Without having to stress over food this had to have been a great trip for the whole family.

  3. I have always heard great things about Carnival’s customer service. I think it is wonderful that they were so accommodating of allergies.

  4. What a relief to know that day in day out you had safe meals for everyone. Sounds like Carnival has it together that way.

  5. Kudos to you on doing your research. I’m sure your diligence is what makes the difference most of the time. It’s nice to know, however, the the cruise ship staff were able and willing to assist your family in making sure everyone had a safe and fun trip.

  6. I love hearing about companies who “Get it” and make travelling that much easier for those with food allergies.

  7. It’s so great to hear how good they are with food allergies. It makes such a huge difference.

  8. We have a son with a life threatening peanut allergy and I would definitely be nervous to take him on a cruise. It’s great that they handled your family’s allergies so well. I’m really impressed by that. It sounds like they have taken a lot of necessary measures to protect cruisers with food allergies. That’s great to know!

  9. Hi Cara,

    My daughter has severe allergies and we carry an Epi with us at all times. I can only imagine how nervous you must have been during your trip! I am so happy to hear that Carnival Cruise Line was so accommodating to your family’s needs and you were able to enjoy your trip without the worry!

    Mom Does Reviews

  10. I would absolutely LOVE to take my family on a cruise. Or just one with my husband and I would be fine, too 🙂 I Haven’t been on a cruise in about 10 years, so I am due.

  11. If we take the kids on a cruise, we’ll have to look at what they can do regarding dairy intolerances because our oldest has one. He takes Lactaid pills before eating dairy, but it’s always nice to take a break from those and let his body get a rest.

  12. We just took our first Carnival Cruise as a family last month. It was AWESOME!!

  13. Chelle @ Oh Just Stop Already | September 25, 2014 at 9:30 am | Reply

    I love hearing how more and more businesses are accommodating eating restrictions whether it’s medical or personal.

  14. Carnival does sound wonderful for being flexible. I’m so glad you had such a positive experience.

  15. That is so awesome that they were able to work with you and your needs! I am dying to go on another cruise!

  16. I’m so glad you had people that cared and made sure that everybody had a fun and safe trip. I would have wanted hot dogs and pizza often as well.

  17. The food looks pretty amazing. I am am finding more and more places are much more accomdating for special diets than they used to be.

  18. My honeymoon was a cruise. It was heaven. I’d love to go again to celebrate our 25 which will be here in 4 years. Wow.

  19. I’m so glad that they worked with you guys!

  20. Carnival really seems to be accommodating to their guests needs! How wonderful they were able to work with you so you could have peace of mind and relax while on the cruise!

  21. My daughter has celiac and traveling can be such a hassle. I’m glad Carnival is making it easier on people with food allergies to have a great vacation!

  22. It’s nice that they were so attentive to your needs and allergies! It made your cruise much more relaxing, I’m sure.

  23. I haven’t been on a Carnival Cruise in many years, but would love to try them again. Looks like fun!

  24. I think most cruise ships will accomodate those of us that don’t eat like the masses do. I know the last cruise I went on, they went above and beyond making me special food.

  25. I’m traveling soon and just got information about my son’s allergies so I have a whole new level of concern. It’s great to hear that Carnival was so helpful. It makes everything so much easier for you.

  26. How awesome that they could accomodate you! I’d love to go on a cruise.

  27. Cruises these days are very accommodating for the entire family. Looks like a great time and wonderful food

  28. This is wonderful to hear. As a mom to a child with food allergies it’s always nice to hear there are safe trips out there!

  29. Cruising is such a blast. I am glad you decided to go and that Carnival was so nice. A group of friends and relatives joined us for a Carnival cruise years ago, and the same consideration your family received was right there for our group.

  30. Sounds like you had a fabulous experience with understanding and caring staff. I love that you were given the menu for the next day at dinner time and that you were able to enjoy all the fun stuff because you never had to worry about allergies! What a relief!

  31. i love the personal attention with Carnival. We don’t have allergies but our servers catered to my kids whims and moods and brought them whatever they wanted.

  32. Sounds like a great time! It’s so nice to hear the staff was helpful and understanding.

  33. I’ve never been on a cruise but I’m DYING to take one with my husband. I have an allergy to shelled fish, so that does sort of scare me when I’m in unusual or different restaurants. I usually have to ask, sometimes twice, if certain appetizers contain any shelled fish. Once, at Olive Garden I just so happened to ask if their stuffed mushrooms had anything in them because I saw specks of orange. Sure enough, it had crab meat in it. GAhhhhh! I would have never guessed.

  34. Lobster night is always my favorite on Carnival! It’s such a treat.

  35. That chocolate cake was one of my favorite things on Carnival! I would love to take my family one day!

  36. I love Carnival. The fact that they took such great care with your child’s food allergies shows they care soo much about their guest.

  37. We’ve cruised Carnival in the past and loved the experience! We do not have children, so the “adults only” area on the back is just perfect for us.

  38. I’m happy knowing they took such good care of your children. We are thinking of doing a Carnival Cruise next year.

  39. It’s great that Carnival is so accommodating. I haven’t ever cruised with them, but I’m more likely to knowing that they will take care of my family.

  40. Carnival Cruise = my all time favorite place to be!!
    If I could live on the ship, I totally would!

  41. That sounds like such a great experience. It is so hard traveling with children who have allergies. Nice to know that Carnival took the time to make sure your trip was stage stress free and enjoyable.

  42. I really hope one day I can get a cool blogger perk and experience the Carnival cruise! I love the food pics especially the lobster and shrimp!! Yum!

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