RIVER CRUISE TIPS #11: HOW TO RIVER CRUISE WITH DIETARY RESTRICTIONS
Interested in river cruising but concerned your dietary restrictions will cause you problems?
You can relax. With a little bit of planning, you can set your worries aside.
Traveling with food allergies or food sensitivities can be a struggle.
Hey, I get it. I grew up with a brother allergic to chicken, fish, and turkey.
If his meal accidentally mixed with one of these items, his throat would close up and my parents were on their way to the ER.
He learned early on which foods to avoid for possible cross-contamination. My brother still has the allergy but the trips to the ER are few and far between. He happens to be a fabulous professional chef and makes the most fantastic chicken, which is completely weird since he can’t taste it. When my brother is working out a new chicken or fish recipe, my entire family fights over who gets to be the taster.
But you know, I would have no problem sending my brother on a river cruise with his food allergy. I know he would be in good hands.
And, you will be too. Here are some tips to ease your worries.
Dinner is typically a three-course sit down affair. On one side of the menu will be the chef’s recommendations of the day. In addition, there will be items that are always available if the Chef’s Special doesn’t work for you. Every menu has a detailed listing of allergens to help you with your personal dietary needs. You will easily know what meal to choose and which ones to avoid.
A list of allergens is listed next to buffet items too so you have options here as well. I befriended a woman with a wheat allergy on my last river cruise. At lunch, she was ecstatic to see gluten-free noodles on the buffet. Our waitress came to serve our drinks and noticed that my friend had selected a noodle dish from the buffet. I watched the waitress go back to the buffet to double check that my friend’s choice was indeed gluten-free.
It was a bit freakish, really. My friend had never sat at this waitress’ table before, but the entire waitstaff seemed to be aware of her allergy and were always on the lookout to ensure her dietary needs were handled. One night the chef surprised her with her very own gluten-free dessert. My friend was beyond thrilled.
Don’t Be Shy
If I am assisting you with your river cruise, tell me the specifics. The more I know, the more I can assist. I can ensure the ship crew is aware of your dietary needs ahead of time.
Always remember: No one wants you sick. Everyone wants you to enjoy your trip.
Tell your waitstaff of your dietary restrictions. They will accommodate you to the best of their ability. I’ve seen them in action. They really do this.