Enjoy food, enjoy travel and enjoy life. You're listening to Travel Gluten Free by Elikqitie.
Hello, my friend and this is Elikqitie; welcome to the Travel Gluten Free podcast where you my friend, listen in on how to lead a gluten free lifestyle with more fun and ease just as promised. This is the other episode I missed last week, so I am giving you two episodes this week, and this is episode 40 'How to cruise Gluten Free'. So, remember my friend. I'm going to be getting a listener shout out to an Instagram follower in our community on each episode. If you're a listener who tagged travelglutenfree on Instagram, you will be mentioned on the Travel Gluten Free show. I'll give a shout out to a gluten free friend on every episode type Travel Gluten Free on Instagram at travelglutenfree.me and I'll give you a shout out at the end of my show.
This is how to cruise gluten free and our last episode was cruising 411, just the basic episode on cruising and answering general questions about cruising. But before I get into this episode, I have a special thank you to you, my friend and the guests who have been on my show as I am celebrating my one-year anniversary of the Travel Gluten Free podcast. That was on February 28th so I'm super excited to be celebrating one year and I'm really excited to share the celebration with you and want you to know how much I appreciate you listening to my show. Thank you for making Travel Gluten Free, a great show, and thanks for listening and I would love to hear from you on any of my social media platforms. Thank you again for listening to Travel Gluten Free.
Okay, in this episode, like I said before, we're going to dive into how to cruise gluten free and yes, how to eat as much delicious gourmet food in one week without ever getting sick on a cruise. If you've ever been on a cruise line before, the really great thing about cruises is that they have really good gourmet food. Even the food that's included in your cruise ticket is really good gourmet food. You will not be-- I'm impressed with the food on a cruise. It's really great, even if you're a foodie like I am, you will love the food on the cruise.
And again, if you want to just check out the basics of cruising, check out my episode 39 where I do go over the 411 on what to expect when cruising. I've only been cruising in the past five years and I didn't cruise before that as the person that I was with was extremely opposed to even trying to cruise. So, we never went on one; and my current partner loves to cruise. We have gone on several cruises and our last one we went on together was this past January to Mexico, which I mentioned in my last episode. From couple cruising to families, there is definitely a cruise for everyone. There are all different types of cruises out there, almost all the cruises I've been on are very family friendly except for one. And cruises are really great because you get to do a lot of things on the cruise for sure.
And you get to spend a lot of time together, especially days at sea. So, cruising before when I could just eat anything, obviously it was super easy, but when I found out I couldn't eat gluten, I was kind of scared about my next cruise and was dreading getting sick because as you know, it's never fun to get sick on vacation, especially if you're on a ship. Also getting seasick because I've gotten seasick on my first cruise and I was pleasantly surprised at how knowledgeable cruise lines are and how well they train their staff on food allergies. There's one thing you're going to find out on your first cruise is that the staff are very service oriented. You're going to be spoiled beyond belief and when you come back from your cruise, you'll be wondering why you don't want to live on a cruise ship because, well, I pretty sure everybody would want to live on a cruise ship. Not everybody, but it would be fun because they basically wait on you hand and foot the whole entire time and get you lots of things. Whatever you want- extra desserts, I mean, you name it and it's there; it's so cool. So, when every time I come home from a cruise--
You kind of go through a cruise depression, a post cruise depression because you're like, 'now I have to cook all my meals and I don't have gourmet food to eat three meals a day and I can't get as many desserts as I want'. So, it's a little bit of a harsh reality check when you do come back from a cruise for sure, especially on the food part. But, there's always more cruises out there to do and there's some really great deals on cruises on my travel deal page. So definitely check those out at travelglutenfreepodcast.com. Check out the travel deals page and look for the different affiliates we have on cruising cause we have some really great specials on there--
If you love food and you're a foodie like I am, and even if you're gluten free, you are going to be so surprised about how much food you can enjoy eating on a cruise ship. The first topic we're going to talk about is when you book your cruise, what do you need to do if you are gluten free or, have a food allergy. So, when you book your cruise, you definitely want to book online through the cruise line or your favorite website travel agent. And then after you book your ticket, you need to make sure to cause a call the cruise line directly, make sure you have your itinerary cruise number and tell them you're gluten free or dairy free or whatever food allergy you have. And so even if you do make reservations through a travel agent, double check follow-up and make sure that they have told them that, that way they will be prepared.
And they know when you come in that you cannot eat certain foods. They can also modify your food for multiple allergies, which airlines usually do not do. And that's really nice, so if you have multiple food allergies or sensitivities, one of my Maitre'ds once told me that the, he had modified a dinner for someone who had nine food sensitivities and that was pretty challenging. And they were all different things too, so they'll definitely go out of their way to make sure that you have a good food experience on a cruise. Make sure the agent on the phone reads back the notes they put under your name too when you are calling to make the reservation or when you follow up to make sure that they have that information so that the notes are correct because sometimes you get people who, do not speak the same language as you do.
So, you want to just double check and make sure that they did understand you correctly. And then also follow up about a week or two before the cruise to confirm that they have notes in their system. Because one time I did call, and they said they put the notes in their system, and I called two weeks before the cruise and they did not find the notes in their system. So always follow up a week or two ahead of time just to make sure they have those in there. So, the next thing you want to do is choose a dining room. Now there's lots of different types of dining rooms. There is the anytime dining or the general dining room, which is a really large dining room. All of the food on the cruise is great; you can't go wrong with whatever dining room you choose and the regular dining rooms are included in the price of your cruise.
So that's one of the nice things about cruises, there's not a lot of things to pay extra for unless you're buying alcohol or you're buying drinks and things outside of regular dinnertime. What I would suggest is just to pick an anytime dining room, which is included in the price of your cruise ticket, or a general dining room and just walk around and look at the different dining rooms and the dining rooms for the regular dining have the same menu. They don't have different menus the difference is they just have a little bit of a different ambience so just walk around. They usually have about two or three of them and check them out and see which one you liked the best. And I would definitely suggest, dining at that for the rest of the week or the rest of your cruise time because then the people there know you and it's less likely that they're going to make a mistake and bring you something you can't eat.
Definitely meet your Maitre d' before the crew starts. You can ask them at the desk to see the Maitre d', tell them you have a food sensitivity or allergy and talk to them. As soon as you board the ship for sure. And that way they will recognize you and know who you are when you come back for dining and be clear with him that you are going to be dining in that room all week for dinner. So they understand that you will be returning every night and also see if you can reserve a time slot because if you can reserve a time slot to dine that's also really helpful to get your food out when everybody else has their food as well. So those are definitely my suggestions for, booking your cruise and choosing your dining room.
My next suggestion is 'Pre-order'. So now that you've established with dining room, you want to go to and you've met your Maitre d' always ask about pre-ordering and if your wait staff does not bring you one, just go up and ask for the Maitre d' and he will bring you the pre-order. I always pre-order with the Maitre d' because one time I pre-ordered with a wait staff and they forgot to put it in. So, I always ask the Maitre d' to pre-order with them. They are very accommodating to and the Maitre d' always make sure that it gets done. So, they're going to ask you before you finish your dinner, if you'd like to pre-order, say yes, they're going to give you the dinner, for the next night. And then also ask them if they have gluten free bread. Because sometimes the wait staff may, forget to ask you if you want some, but always ordered the gluten free bread as soon as you order your meal.
And then also when you are dining, remind them that you would like some gluten free bread. They bring you tons of gluten free bread at a cruise. And if you're on Princess, Princess Cruise makes their own house made gluten free bread, which is insanely good. I sat with another girl and her sister and she was Celiacs and we shared probably, I dunno, maybe 30 pieces of bread during the week between the two of us. It was so yummy. We just kept eating more bread all the time. So definitely asks for gluten free bread and then when you get your order for the next night, choose what you want. And then some dishes are already gluten free they're usually not marked on the menu, but just choose what you want and ask them if it's a possibility to make it gluten free.
Most items on a cruise, they can make gluten free. There are some exceptions like Beef Wellington or some other things they can't. Princess does make all their soups gluten free except for their French onion soup and you can just get that one modified. So, they just put a piece of gluten free bread on the top with cheese instead of the croutons. And their regular base for their French onion soup is gluten free so I got to eat French Onion Soup, which I hadn't done in several years. So, that was really super awesome and exciting, and I loved it and it was really delicious too. And then make sure you review your order with the Maitre d' or the head chef before they put it in to make sure they have your correct order. And remember from the last episode when I told you, you can order two of one thing.
So one of the things I really liked on the cruise was they had like a pear yogurt, chilled soup, but it was so good and I got two of them because you can, and they don't charge any extra for getting double of one. So, if you want to get like two pear yogurt soups and then get one main entree, you can do that. You don't have to get one from each course. If you want to get two appetizers for your dinner, you can do that too. That's one of the great things about cruising.
All right. The next topic we're going to talk about is when you are dining, so when you are actually dining and you get there for dinner, make sure your waiter knows you have a 'pre-order' because of a food allergy because if you tell them Celiacs of course we know they don't always understand that, but they do understand food allergy. Talk to your Maitre d' and get to know them on a first name basis and you usually end up becoming pretty decent friends with them by the end of the week. I always get a picture of me and my Maitre d' because they always helped me out, they're really great. They usually come to your table to talk to you to make sure everything is going okay because that is their job and they're very service oriented and make sure to feel free to tell the Maitre d'-- and your food should come out with the rest of the food at your table.
You should not have to wait a long time for your food, I did that on one cruise and I definitely will not go back to that cruise line again. But if your food doesn't come out or something is not right, tell the Maitre d' and they will definitely fix it for you. And if you have a question about the food, you can ask your wait staff, but I just generally default to the Maitre d' and he always knows what's going on. So definitely do those tips when you are dining. Alright, my friend, we're going to stop here for a short break and when we come back we are going to talk about the 'Buffet, other food around the ship, and food off the ship when you are cruising gluten free'.
Now let's jump back into the show. Alright, so buffets can be kind of scary, especially when you have food allergies, sensitivities and or you are Celiacs. What I would suggest for the buffet is to just take a walk around to look to see what choices are obviously gluten free, such as fruit or salad without dressing. We know that there's obvious ones that are gluten free. Look at the heated dishes and when you find one that you like, ask the server if it's gluten free. Now the reason why I'm telling you about heated dishes is because the heated dishes are always right next to all the servers and the chefs. So, a server, will get the chef and come out and show you around to which ones are gluten free.
So just tell them you have a gluten allergy and they will show you. When I was on Princess, the head chef actually came out and I was on a first name basis with him as well. And you can ask him to come out every day. They're there to help you don't be shy, definitely ask them to come out and just tell them you have a food allergy and you'd like to see which foods are safe for you to eat. The head chef will give you a tour of the buffet and let you know what foods are safe, which is really great. Again, ask everyday if you need to because you want to say safe on your cruise. They, they like helping you out and they are really helpful on the ship. And my head chef was always very nice and asked me if I had any questions about the food and that was at the buffet.
So, the buffet, if you have not cruised before is usually on the top, not the very top deck, but it's on the top deck in near the pool. And there's usually a buffet area then it's closed off and then some of it opens out in the pool area as well. So, it's really nice we usually eat there in the morning for breakfast cause it's a great place to get a quick breakfast. Especially if you are having a day at port and you're going to hop off the ship. You don't want to take a long-time eating breakfast at the dining room. Alright, other food around the ship. So, you may find some things like popcorn ice cream, drinks around the ship you have bars, with food venues there. And they have all different types of food usually around the swimming pools and the kids' areas and things like that.
And also, in the main area where they always have like a main staircase area which is in the center of the ship. They'll also have little things that you can eat there. That are included in the price of your ticket. And if they are not labeled 'gluten free', definitely ask them what food is gluten free. And if the staff is not sure, you can ask them to see a head waiter or someone who knows which food is gluten free. Usually the staff does so they can point you in the direction of the food you can eat, which is really great. And definitely remember being an advocate for yourself and always asked they're very service oriented and they will love to help you out. So, food off the ship, if you are going off the ship because you're going on a shore excursion or you're just at a day at port and you're walking around and you want to get something to eat, what I would do is check food blogs to see gluten free and then put the name of the city that you are going to be at and see what information you can find out from food blogs.
You can always check my food blog as well on travelglutenfreepodcast.com. I've been to many cities so if you just want to contact me through my website, travelglutenfreepodcast.com, just go to my contact and share feedback section and just put in your contact information and let me know where you're going and if I have any suggestions for you, cause I've traveled through a bunch of different cities also, you can use the 'Find Me' gluten free app, which is really great you can use that worldwide. You can also use, if you're going up to Victoria, British Columbia, you can check out ‘The Celiac Scene’ with Ellen Bayens and she has amazing resources on there for Victoria, Vancouver and that area of Canada. And I found a lot of great places to eat from her site as well.
So, there is specialty sites in different cities where you, they will direct you towards some really great places to eat. You can also Google map restaurants. Make sure you call ahead and find a food option early, make sure you grab a food card in the language of the nation that you're visiting. That's also really important, another way you can do it is if you, you just write out what you want and then find somebody who can translate it online, maybe at Fiverr or if you know someone who speaks that language and they can translate that for you and then you can put it on your phone as a photo. And that way you don't have to worry about having Internet to show it to somebody. That's another great way to make your own Celiac safe card as well. Ask if you could have wait staff that is English speaking.
If you don't speak the language, if you're visiting another country or another place that doesn't speak English or your native language. Or you can find a local who will translate for you, if you come across someone who speaks your language and the local language, that would be awesome. And then you can just tell them what is up and then they can translate it for you. You can also use Google translate. I’ve used that before and that's turned out pretty well. I haven't gotten sick from using Google translate luckily and just be careful with that because Google translate doesn't always translate really well and you may get some words that you can't, translate well into another language. Alright, my friends. So here are the end questions for every show that I go over. So, my guilty gluten questions are, "When was the last time you cheated eating gluten?"-I actually have, I can't remember the last time I accidentally got glutens. It's been awhile. Thank goodness. And the food I'm missing most right now are croissants because I've heard lots of people talking about croissants and I was just in Austria a little while ago and saw croissants everywhere of course. And I didn't find any gluten free ones, but croissants are definitely all my hit list. So, if you know a good place that sells croissants, or a place you can buy them frozen, I think sharp does, but I haven't found them where I live. Please let me know through my website traveledglutenfreepodcast.com I would love to pick up some croissants or tag me on an Instagram photo of your gluten free croissants because I would love to get some.
"What is the best gluten free food I'd eaten lately?- I've actually gotten some Daiya Burritos which were really good because not only are they gluten free, Daiya makes all dairy free stuff and they were actually really great lunches I've been eating lately and I really enjoyed those. So Daiya gluten free and dairy free burritos I had, there Tex Mex and another one. And I really liked those a lot, and I believe there are also Vegan. I know they're definitely vegetarian but they're really good and they're a great easy lunch.
So, my wrap up questions are "What are my future plans?"- I am coming out with a book and I'm not going to tell you guys anything else and I will give you some more information as I go along. I will be at the Nourished Expo on May 4th and 5th, so definitely look for me there. I'll be running around at the Nourished Expo, I'm super excited about that, and I am hopefully going to be at the Nourished Expo in Denver in the middle of May. So, look for me at Denver and in Sandy, Sandy's May 4th and 5th and Denver is-- May 18th and 19th, so I will be at both of those Nourished Expos. I am super excited about both of those and also another thing I'm going to be doing in the very near future is Gem City and also, the women from the 'My Gluten Free World Expo' are going to do a bakery tour again at Gem City fine foods where you can sign up. So, go to Gem City, fine foods website and sign up for the bakery tour. They only have 15 places, so sign up early. It is $10, but you get a swag bag full of Travel, Gluten Free stuff, you get a free dessert in that swag bag I believe as well. And then also, the women Elisa and Jamie from 'My Gluten Free World Expo' are going to be giving away some tickets for their expo. So, it's going to be pretty awesome and look for more information on that, on my website travelglutenfreepodcast.com and my social media.
And that wraps up another tasty episode of the Travel Gluten Free podcast. Thank you my gluten free friends who are listening. I appreciate your patronage of the Travel Gluten Free show.
Remember, you can enjoy food, enjoy travel, and enjoy life. This is Elikqitie signing off for this show and I'll See you at the next one.
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