Recently, Cathy and I took our first cruise. We decided that Alaska would be a great place to go, and most people who had cruised before said that this would be a good first cruise. I am quite happy to report that being gluten free on Celebrity Cruise line is easier than I thought it would be.
First, we flew to Vancouver and met our friends Phil and Liora, who we happened to be cruising with. (They are experienced cruisers, who answered many of our questions and we had so much fun hanging out with them.) While in Vancouver, we ate at a restaurant called Cardero’s.
They had many gluten free choices including pasta, which is what I was really in the mood for. Unfortunately, the waitress told me that they had been having some trouble with the supplier who sells them the gluten free pasta, so based on the recommendation of some new friends that we made in Vancouver, Jill and Mark, I chose the Roasted Sablefish. Soft, buttery and delicious. (The fish…not Jill and Mark. I mean, maybe they are, but, ummmm….I was….I was talking about the ummm…the fish…)
Anyway, as for the cruise, breakfast for us was the breakfast buffet. For me, this usually consisted of some sort of fruit, some “breakfast” fish, such as herring, and some eggs, usually scrambled or fresh made omelet. One good thing is these were fresh eggs, not powdered, which can sometimes contain gluten. How do I know they were fresh? Well, Cathy and I signed up for a tour of the galley. The head of food for the ship, an officer named Oswald, talked about the food that is brought on board for a seven-day cruise. He mentioned that on board were 2,400 dozen eggs. That’s 28,800 eggs, kids. Needless to say, we all made yolks about it! Get it???? Yolks….ahem. In addition, they had a waffle station, and if you spoke to one of the Managers, they could prepare you gluten free waffles for the next day. Pretty cool!
Lunch was more difficult, so when we did eat lunch, it was mostly salads for me.
As for dinner, in the main dining room, you are given a menu at the start of your meal. The left side of the menu was always the same, while the right side changed every night. I thought I’d be stuck with steak every night, or maybe some baked chicken. Needless to say, I was wrong. While I did have red meat, I also had jerk chicken, some duck, different kinds of fish, and even some gluten free desserts. You could tell if the items are gluten free, because next to each dish were symbols. Each symbol stood for something different such as vegan, gluten free, dairy free, etc. As for the quality of the food, while not top notch, if you consider how many people they had to cook for, it was quite good. I’ve been to catered affairs for groups not much bigger than 100 people, and the food was not as good as it was on the ship.
In addition, they had a specialty restaurant, which was also quite good and had gluten free choices. There was an extra charge of $45, but it was well worth it. Cathy and I shared the Chateaubriand, and it was cooked perfectly!
Later on, I had the chance to speak to Oswald and thank him for all the gluten free choices. He said that Celebrity was very aware of all food issues, and the cruise line was planning on creating more choices for people with Celiac or other food allergies, along with vegans.
So don’t be scared to go on a cruise if you are gluten free…at least on Celebrity. You will be well taken care of.