How to Stay Gluten-Free on Your Cruise
Whether you keep a gluten-free diet because you’re allergic to wheat or for the health benefits, you’ll find that just about every cruise line has stepped up its game in order to cater to you. The extent of the accommodations varies: Some lines offer a few simple gluten-free dishes, while MSC Cruises has partnered with the Italian Celiac Association to create an extensive gluten-free menu. Here, our line-by-line guide to your choices:
Overview: After boarding the ship, you’ll receive an invitation to meet with the restaurant manager and executive chef. Passengers with dietary restrictions are flagged in the reservation system, so whenever a passenger checks into the main dining room or a specialty restaurant the server is made aware that you’re gluten-free. As a precaution, remind your server at every meal, too. Meals can be made gluten-free upon request, and many options are already gluten-free. If you wish, you can pre-select your evening meals the night before, too.
Contact: Email a Special Needs Form to the Special Needs Department at least two months prior to sailing.
Overview: Discuss meal options with the head waiter on the first night of the cruise. Gluten-free bread, pasta, cake, pizza, and beer are all available onboard. When dining in the Lido restaurant, speak with the senior dining staff before hitting the buffet.
Contact: Dietary requests are handled onboard the ship.
Overview: Gluten-free dishes on the main dining rooms’ menus — like this sample one — are marked with special icons. As always, let your server know before each meal.
Contact: At the time of booking, email email@example.com and inform them that you’d like to stay gluten-free.
Overview: Costa provides a full gluten-free menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the main dining room. Gluten-free basket lunches are also available for shore excursions, as are gluten-free mini bar snacks.
Contact: Indicate your dietary preferences when you book.
Overview: All dining venues have gluten-free selections, and most other meals can be prepared with substitutes. Also, all Crystal ships bake their own gluten-free bread and make their own pasta.
Contact: Email Guest Services at least 90 days before sailing at firstname.lastname@example.org and confirm with the Food & Beverage staff when you board.
Overview: Gluten-free bread is always available, and separate sauces are made to accompany entrees. There are gluten-free afternoon tea and room service choices, and the line also stocks pre-made gluten-free bread rolls, cookies, pasta, biscuits, and cereals.
Contact: Let Cunard know when you book by calling the Customer Contact Centre, visit their website for contact details, or inform your travel agent during the booking process. Once onboard, confirm your requirements with the Maitre'D.
Overview: Disney offers a selection of gluten-free options on each table service restaurant menu. Waiters will be notified when you sit down to dinner and will inform you what options are available that night.
Contact: Inform the line’s Special Services Department by calling 407-566-3602 as soon as possible, preferably at the time of booking. Once onboard, inform the head server that you would like to stay gluten-free.
Overview: Prior to sailing, guests can pre-request foods that they would like to have gluten-free. Some of the other gluten-free options available upon request are bread, waffles, muffins, hot dog and hamburger buns, pasta, and pre-made desserts. For those who want to sample gluten-free, the lido buffet offers gluten-free pasta and sauces on a daily basis – there’s no need to pre-request those items. Ship restaurant menus also offer a variety of gluten-free dishes.
Contact: Notify the Ship Services Department, or have your travel agent notify them, at Hal_Ship_Services@hollandamerica.com or call 800-541-1576. Once onboard, restaurant staff will be happy to meet with guests to discuss their dietary requirements.
Overview: MSC’s dishes were developed with the Italian Celiac Association. Gluten-free menus are available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner aboard Meraviglia, Preziosa, Fantasia, Orchestra, Poesia, Musica, Splendida, Magnifica, Preziosa, and Divina. Other ships have prepackaged gluten-free products. MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview, and MSC Bellissima will also offer gluten-free dishes.
Contact: After you book, fill out this Special Requirements Information Form online.
Overview: There is no gluten-free menu, but select dishes made with gluten-free flour and other ingredients are always available. You can discuss your options with your servers every night.
Contact: Contact the Access Desk before you book, as some requests may be easier to accommodate on cruises in certain geographical regions.
Overview: A chef or restaurant manager will meet with you every night to review menus and select items for the next day. In many cases, gluten-free options can be provided without notice as well.
Contact: Let Oceania know about your dietary preference during the booking process.
Overview: Once onboard, the head waiter will meet with you every night to review the menu and select items for the next day; most regular menu items can be modified to be gluten-free. Also remind your server at each meal.
Contact: Check the gluten-free option on the Cruise Personalizer. For specific special requests, be sure to let them know 6 weeks before your sail date.
Overview: A chef or restaurant manager will meet with you to discuss your preferences, review menus, and select items for the next day’s meals. In many cases, gluten-free options can be provided at the time of the meal as well.
Contact: Email the line’s operations team at least 90 days prior to sailing.
Overview: Once onboard, meet with the restaurant manager and make sure they are aware that you’d like to remain gluten-free. In the main dining room, there are clearly marked gluten-free options on each menu. To be safe, also remind your server at each meal.
Contact: Once you’re booked, select ‘gluten free’ in the dropdown box under “onboard preferences” on the My Cruises page of royalcaribbean.com. If you book through a travel agent, you can also let them know during the booking process.
Overview: Chefs and servers will work with you to identify gluten-free food and to plan meals; the ships stock gluten-free cookies, breads, cereals, and pasta.
Contact: Complete and email a Special Requirements Information Form.
Overview: In addition to offering the only complete raw food menu at sea (which is also gluten-free), SeaDream’s regular menus all have numerous gluten-free selections.
Contact: Inform the line you’d like to remain gluten-free at the time of booking, or let your travel agent know.
Overview: You can meet with the chef every night to review the menus and to discuss your meal options for the following day; there will be plenty of gluten-free choices.
Contact: Let Silversea know about your allergies on the Guest Information Form at Silversea.com/MyVoyage at least 75 days before sailing.
Overview: After boarding, you can discuss the gluten-free options with the maitre d’.
Contact: Fill out this Special Requirements Information Form at least 30 days before sailing.
*Updated on September 13, 2017.