How Cruise Lines Cater to Special Diets and Food Allergies


If you’re booking a cruise with Global Connections Travel and you have dietary restrictions, do not fear. Most cruise lines take these kinds of needs into account, and strive to make your travels as perfect as possible.

Anyone who has taken a cruise has likely heard their waiter ask them if they have any special dietary concerns or food allergies prior to ordering because cruise lines take accommodating them very seriously, but one might wonder just how they do so.
Jason Leppert for TravelPulse

Dietary issues have become less the exception and much more the norm in today’s society. According to this article, an estimated 15 million Americans have food allergies while others are on no/low fat, no-nut, vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free and a myriad of other restrictive diets.

Fortunately restaurants, particularly those aboard cruises, are more prepared than ever to cater to special dietary needs.

Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA [Cruise Lines International Association] notes that “In the cruise industry, we pride ourselves on offering the perfect cruise vacation for every type of traveler. People with food allergies or restrictions are no exception. There have never been more culinary options available on cruise ships, and this includes choices for those with food allergies and restrictions.”

Some cruise lines take time to personally consult with passengers with dietary needs, and will answer questions about menu items as well as alert passengers to those dishes that might be off limits, such as anything prepared with nuts for someone with a nut allergy.

Most cruise lines now provide food for vegetarian, vegan, low/no fat, low/no salt, lactose intolerant/dairy free, gluten- or wheat-free (celiac), low cholesterol, diabetic, Kosher and Halal diets, and also for allergies, but it’s best to give your cruise line a heads up before you cruise.

Salad is ready to be served. Chef ding last second decoration

On the healthy front, cruise lines like Uniworld and Avalon are catering to those seeking healthier eating in general with entire vegetarian menus. Viking offers an exclusive Kitchen Table experience, wherein a select group of guests joins the chef to pick out fresh local ingredients ashore to cook and serve on the ship.

Travelers and experts seem to agree, cruising might be one of the best vacation options for people with food restrictions, so don’t let that need stop you from booking your next at-sea adventure!

Have you had experiences with cruise lines catering to a dietary need? Tell us who you traveled with and what they did.

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