I have celiac and will have symptoms with even a tiny speck of cross contamination. I must also avoid dairy. My husband must also avoid gluten.
I am siting on the pool deck enjoying my freshly prepared gluten free pizza, without cheese! This is the first cruise where we have been able to eat at all of the dining venues on the ship.
For the sit down dinner, we are given the menu the night before. We make our selections and provide the information to our butler or the restaurant manager. When we show up for dinner, our safely prepared food is served. We can also select our lunch if we wish to eat in that dining room.
In the buffet dining area, chef Alex is told when we arrive. He walks us through the items, showing me what fits our dietary needs. At breakfast all of the breads are separated out at an isolated area to dramatically reduce the risk of cross contamination. Gluten free bread is provided and is strategically placed for protection.
The restaurant manager, Jorge Caeiro has trained his staff well. When I mention I am gluten free and dairy free the waiter will stop in their tracks and make sure the order is correct. The waiters have advised us when we have started to make an order that would be a problem. On the buffet, they are willing to remake a dish that contains soy sauce and make it with gluten free soy sauce. The variety of the food has amazed us. With Chef Alex, from Austria, providing guidance in the buffet, we have been able to eat most of the food. 24 hour room service is available. The depth of the training of the wait staff is amazing. They even offer complementary packed meals for when you are off on excursions! With that said, don't be afraid to try the food in Italy! They are gluten free experts. We spent 3 days in Rome before boarding the ship. Our son prepared gluten free and dairy free language cards for each of the countries we visited. They were invaluable at each location. We ate well and freely in Rome. The food was excellent; it was Real food, freshly prepared. The owners of the restaurants in Rome, stand in their doorways inviting you in for a meal. We ask one owner if he could do gluten free pizza. He said no, but assured us he could make us great gluten free food. He said, "your problem is my problem". We enjoyed a great meal! Gluten free pasta was in many restaurants. Gluten free pizza we couldn't find. We enjoyed other meals in Rome of gluten free spaghetti. The only meal that I reacted to was a buffet in our hotel. I did not show them my gluten free dairy free cards. I made good selections, but obviously there was cross contamination.
After booking our cabin, I filled out the profile on line with Silverseas and requested gluten-free and dairy-free food. I then followed up with an email. Upon boarding the ship, we met with Jorge Caeiro, the Restaurant Manager.
Since being diagnosed with celiac, we have cruised previously to the Scandinavian countries and to the Mexican Riviera. Although we have always been accommodated on cruise ships, Silverseas went above and beyond to totally take the stress out of eating. We did NOT have any reactions to the food we were served! For those of you with food allergies and celiac you understand the celebration.
When we arrived at the cruise port, mid afternoon, we were the only passengers in the port! We felt so very pampered as we checked in without a line!
The cabin was a bit small, but had a spacious bathroom (at least for a cruise ship) and a nice closet.
The service was wonderful with staff that called us by name. One morning I made a mistake and didn't turn in my dinner selections. This was brought to our butler's attention, who came to see us, ask for our selections and took the information to the restaurant! We loved that tipping was included in the price.
We had 3 shore excursions canceled due to not enough people. The cruise was an older group and we had signed up for the active excursions. Although other excursions were offered, we ended up navigating well without a group. There was a local expert that the ship brought aboard for each port. We would talk with them and go out on our own. Since we are able to navigate on our own, it was great!