Have you been debating a Disney cruise, but wondering if you’ll survive with your gluten free and vegan diet restrictions? If you have Celiac Disease, eat vegan, or gluten free, or both, I think you’ll be blown away by the options. And the personalized service.
Having Celiac and Graves, I’m worried every time that I travel. It’s common that I cannot find anything that works with my diet. And if I miss a meal, I get shaky, light headed, and my heart begins to race. To say I was a little nervous about being trapped on a cruise ship without food… well it’s is an understatement.
I found promising news about Disney Cruises on google ahead of time, but most gluten free options were meat based. And most vegan options had gluten. I wasn’t highly optimistic, so I jam-packed my luggage with Rx bars and hoped for the best.
And… I didn’t need any of them!
My number one simple tip for vegan and gluten free on a Disney Cruise… ask your server for help as soon as you meet him or her. Or, talk to Guest Services ahead of time. You’ll be squared away.
Keep things simple: Tell your head server you are Vegan & Gluten Free, and ask if he or she will help you plan your meals ahead of time. Done.
My head server, Kurt, was on top of my diet restrictions immediately. And he ended up pre-ordering every meal for me. It was like I had a personal chef on board!
As you know, I try to eat vegan, but I usually struggle to balance all of the nutrients I need. But Kurt told me that his number one tip for the week was: ORDER VEGAN. Because in his words, “there’s a secret “vegan” menu, with awesome options”.
So I chose to go vegan and gluten free all week.
6 Tips I Recommend:
1. When you book (here’s the number to call ahead of time), or when you get on board, tell Guest Services that you need to eat vegan and gluten free on the ship. This will give you the best chance of even your first sit down dinner being good.
2. When you meet your head server, tell him or her about your restrictions. And ask if they can put in an order for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day ahead of time.
3. Follow your server’s instructions for finding your breakfast and lunch. In my case, if I ate in the buffet restaurant, I found a coordinator (easily – they were walking around constantly) and told them my name. I usually waited about 20 minutes for my food. So be prepared to wait – don’t go in a hurry. (Rice chex with almond milk was my “go to” for quick days.) My favorite breakfast was a vegan omelette with cheese and onion. And, the gluten free donuts, warmed up.
4. For me, lunch on Castaway Cay was a special vegan and gluten free burger. You could tell it was handmade. I did have to plan my day ahead of time a bit, to ensure I ate lunch where my server told me to be. (They pre-make the food and bring it to that location.) And don’t get too excited about the french fries. They don’t hold up in the time it takes to get your food to you. But I do think they’re a better choice than the steamed veggies. The steamed veggies get your burger bun wet while they wait for you. So perhaps explore side options with your server. ;-)
5. We ate dinner at Palo one night. This is the seated restaurant with a slight up charge. It’s the perfect opportunity to drop the kids in the Kids Club and have a long, slow paced, fancy dinner. As long as they have your diet restrictions ahead of time, you’ll eat like a king. It is AMAZING.
6. And dessert! So every night at dinner, they’ll make you a special dessert. My recommendation is to ask that everything be chocolate. As long as you like chocolate, you’ll love the vegan and gluten free chocolate desserts.
I think that diet restrictions must be quite common on the ship. Even if for some reason your server isn’t as helpful as mine was, you can ask any Cast Member at any time for help. I found that every Cast Member was prepared to help me, whether it be in the buffet, a sit down restaurant, on the island, or in the ice cream shop. Everyone did their best to accomodate my needs.
If you’re headed on a cruise and have specific questions, let me know. I’d love to help you brainstorm how to make it the best trip ever. We have always had the time of our lives on a Disney cruise. And I think you’ll absolutely love your experience.