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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:56 am
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I wanted to know if anyone had experience going on a cruise with a child with food allergies and how to prepare for a safe trip. I have called once but can only talk to Disney Cruise reps and want to talk to the Dream people. Any advice? We go in September. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:26 pm
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We haven't been on the Dream (yet) but have been on the Disney Wonder and Magic. Both cruises we had good service from the waitstaff regarding allergies and special diets. Some tips we've learnt over the years:

- After boarding, go to the 'Dining Changes' (or whatever it's called where you can change reservations) and talk to the dining team members there to ensure you have an allergy flag on your file. They can answer any questions you may have.
- For lunch ont he first day, go to the dining rooms, not the buffet. Ask to speak to a chef and tell them your allergies. They will make a special plate for you. (Expect to wait a long time for it...)
- In the main dining rooms, they should already know of your allergies. The head waiter will (must!!) come talk to you and explain how they will order safe meals with the pink tickets.
- They can modify things so that they do not contain your allergens. For instance, cream soups can be specially made without cream for those allergic or sensitive to dairy. If you really want something, don't be afraid to ask. (They will get creative. The chefs I talked to were all genuinlely concerned and wanted me to enjoy everything I ate... so I wouldn't have to eat a fruit plate every night for dessert, or since the cookies were all unsafe, they made me a special batch of allergy-free cookies, just for me... a huge pile of cookies on a plate to take back to my room!!)
- There are some allergy-free options not on the menus, like dinner rolls, waffles and pancakes and chocolate cake that are all free of gluten, egg, dairy, peanut, and nuts! Selection varies it seems, by ship and by date.) Ask the head server for details.
- Silk soy milk is used onboard - not safe for those with tree nut allergies. They should also have rice milk.
- Tofutti, Rice Dream, or other non-dairy ice creams are available in the dining rooms only. None are safe for tree nut allergies though. :(
- At the buffets you can tell the person handing out plates that you have allergies and need to speak to the chef. The chef will take you through the line and tell you what is safe. They can then go to the kitchen and get you the items you request, ensuring no cross contamination.
- For the quick service places on the pool deck, you can ask for ingredients on everything. If they don't have the list, they can find out. You may want to bring your Wave phone with you the first day or two so chefs can call you back about quick service ingredients.
- Hmmm... what else... if you do have the unfortunate experience of a reaction, find the nearest staff (cast) member and let them know you need a doctor right away. All phones have the emergency number written on them as well. A doctor will come to you, not the other way around.
- Oh, right, ordering meals... you will probably order your allergy meals the day before. This could include breakfast, lunch, and supper. It's not required, but it does make for quicker service and better selection.
- Always double check the ingredients for everything brought to your table, particularly the bread and spreads/dips. They were overlooked on the first day of our last cruise - prompting us to have a new assistant server from then on.
- When dining in the dining rooms for lunch and breakfast, the person checking you in will print off a card that will have your allergies listed on it. Remind the servers that there are allergies and they will bring the head waiter over to your table to take your order on the pink tickets. That is, if you didn't pre-order your meal the night before.
- Ack... sorry this is getting so long... on Castaway Cay (pronounced KEY) they can bring a special allergy meal to the restaurant on the island for you. Otherwise, you'll have to go back to the ship to eat. Talk to your head server the night before for options.
- Disney only guarantee allergy-friendly food in the dining rooms, but buffets and quick service places have been really good to us and my relatives with multiple food allergies who cruise with them far more often than we do.
- Lastly, if you are not convinved that your waitstaff or chefs understand you completely go to Guest Services immediately and express your concern. They will take your concern very seriously and either change your waitstaff or your table.

Hope that helps. If you have any other questions let me know and I'll see if I can answer them. The people on the phone aren't nearly as good as the staff onboard when it comes to allergies.

_________________
anaphylaxis to tree nuts and peanuts; asthmatic, dairy intolerant, vegan
other family members allergic to to dairy, egg, peanut, peach, banana, sesame, environmentals


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
Spacecanada, :huggy :huggy :huggy :thanksign for making that post so long! :happydance :happydance I LOVE DISNEY and wished we would have went much earlier than we did and now, that's what us kids :wink: like but never even considered a cruise, now maybe? Only one problem, is there somewhere for DH to golf on those ships?

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Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:26 pm
Posts: 420
I'm glad my experience could be useful. We're huge Disney fans too. I did have a reaction on our last Disney cruise but I cannot put all the blame on them as I was brand new to my allergy and didn't ask about ingredients in everything as I should. However, overall, they were great and I felt comfortable and safe eating everywhere on the ships. All the chefs I dealt with were accommodating to no end and truly understood allergies. (Can't say as much about other cruise lines we've been on.)

As for golf... I don't know what the new Disney Fantasy ship will have, but I know that there are no golf facilities on the Wonder or Magic. There is mini golf on the Disney Dream (and hopefully Fantasy). There's usually Wii sports featured a few times on the schedule. ;) I'm sure some ports have golfing on shore as well.

Oh, one more tip I learnt on our last cruise with Disney: If you are scheduled to go on a port adventure (booked through Disney) in which a meal will be served, you can request Disney to make you a allergy-free packed lunch to take with you. This will ensure there will be something safe to eat, as they cannot guarantee safe food on the excursion. (I wish I learnt about this sooner... we had a very hungry 8-hour excursion once.)

_________________
anaphylaxis to tree nuts and peanuts; asthmatic, dairy intolerant, vegan
other family members allergic to to dairy, egg, peanut, peach, banana, sesame, environmentals


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:18 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
gurnage - how was your trip??

spacecanada - loved the detailed response. If we could get over motion sickness the cruise would be an awesome option!

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me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:26 pm
Posts: 420
walooet wrote:
gurnage - how was your trip??


I would love to hear about it too!!

walooet wrote:
If we could get over motion sickness the cruise would be an awesome option!


My mum has the worst seasickness ever and she loves cruises. Add a little Bonine (or equivalent motion sickness medication) and you're all set! The cruise ships stock this like crazy, and give it out for free... they want you to enjoy your holiday too. :)

_________________
anaphylaxis to tree nuts and peanuts; asthmatic, dairy intolerant, vegan
other family members allergic to to dairy, egg, peanut, peach, banana, sesame, environmentals


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 688
Location: Cobourg, ON
Has anyone else been on a Disney Cruise? We are considering one this summer. Spacecanada, do you know if we can request a lunch to take with us at different ports? You mentioned Castaway Cay but what about at other places? I wonder if it will be safe to leave our daughter in the care of some of the clubs on board? Are the staff trained in first aid and epipen use? I will contact Disney to see but I thought that I would ask here.

_________________
13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:26 pm
Posts: 420
I can answer some of your questions. We're going on another Disney Cruise in May and I have been doing lots of extra research. The DIS boards forums have lots of people with allergies sharing their Disney cruise and park experiences also. Allergy Free Mouse is another good place for helpful advice. And there's always the DCL e-mail address - they can contact the ship for you with any specific questions.

As far as I know, the only time Disney will provide a lunch to be taken off the ship in port is if you booked a tour (Port Adventures) through them that would otherwise include a meal. (i.e. Tulum Ruins tour includes lunch) Otherwise, you will have to find something safe in port or return to the ship to eat. (We almost always return to the ship!) Talk to your head server the night before your port days for more information. (For any food questions whilst onboard, your head server usually has all the answers.)

The staff in the Oceaneers Club/Lab (kids areas) are all trained in first aid and EpiPen use. They will flag your child's file with an allergy alert and will require EpiPens to be signed in and out with the child. They also give coloured wristbands to children with allergies to indicate that they are not allowed any food. (At least they used to, as of last year.) Use some of your own judgement, and don't send your kid to the club when food will be served - meal times or activities like baking cookies. (They will be marked on the kids' schedules.) Otherwise, the clubs have new 'open house' hours each day where parents can enjoy the kids areas with their kids.

The Medical centre has EpiPens for emergency use.

Hope that helps!

_________________
anaphylaxis to tree nuts and peanuts; asthmatic, dairy intolerant, vegan
other family members allergic to to dairy, egg, peanut, peach, banana, sesame, environmentals


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 688
Location: Cobourg, ON
Thanks SpaceCanada! Could you send me a link to the forum that you referred to in your message please? I am going to contact Disney directly tomorrow with more questions.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Kate

_________________
13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:26 pm
Posts: 420
Allergy Free Mouse:
www.allergyfreemouse.com

DIS boards (General):
www.disboards.com

DIS boards (Disney Cruise):
http://www.disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=9

Have a great trip!

_________________
anaphylaxis to tree nuts and peanuts; asthmatic, dairy intolerant, vegan
other family members allergic to to dairy, egg, peanut, peach, banana, sesame, environmentals


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