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We have been on over 30 cruises and are Platinum on Princess In November 2016 we contacted Princess and explained that my wife had recently been diagnosed with Gluten Ataxia, (a rare form of Coeliac Disease where gluten attacks her brain) and that I was gluten intolerant. He assured us that Princess Cruises could provide us with a variety of good quality gluten free food providing we gave them the required notice which we did. Breakfast At breakfast in the dining room we were told there was only one type of gluten free bread and cereal. The rice bread did not toast very well. The cereal was corn flakes but they were sweet and tasteless.. The gluten free muffins were hard and had a horrible taste. Incidentally we also tried the gluten free scones available at afternoon tea which were hard, dry and tasteless so between the scones, bread and muffin afternoon tea was not an option available to us either. We were very upset by the attitude of a small minority of the waiters towards us. One particular waiter offered us pastries on the first morning and pressed us when we said no thank you so we told him we were gluten free. He shouted to all the other waiters, whilst pointing at us, that we were gluten free. Obviously other passengers looked at us. Quite honestly we felt embarrassed and humiliated. The requirements of other guests such as diabetics were not shouted out and they were not pointed at. After we complained about this he still came to our table every morning and said that he did not need to offer us pastries now that he knew we were gluten free so would not disturb us. We felt this was completely unnecessary and that he was being sarcastic Buffet We were advised to avoid the buffet because of the risk of cross contamination and on two occasions I saw food containing gluten in the gluten free desert section. When the ship was in port the only food available was in the buffet. We asked various chefs/staff what food was gluten free and got mixed messages, one person saying something was OK whilst another person said it contained gluten. The only safe items were jacket potatoes, some meat on the carvery but none of the sauces. We usually had the same lunch on port days. The desert section usually only had two options jelly/tapioca or crumble. Even the sous chefs, whilst they tried to be helpful, didn’t appear to understand the risk of cross contamination by other passengers with tongs and spillages. Main Dining On day one the only gluten free food available was fish. It had been overcooked. The head waiter took our order for the next day, again main dishes were limited. We were told that we could NOT choose a desert as these were specially made each day by the chef for passengers on special diets. At dinner we were seated at a table for nine which was a tight squeeze and ordering took a long time. On the first two nights my wife ordered fish but it had been kept hot and was tasteless and nothing was said even though my wife didn’t eat much of it. We complained in writing about the food. We spoke to the Maître d’ about the lack of deserts and the waiting staff at breakfast. He said he would send out an email to the We were moved to a smaller table but problems continued as some courses arrived at different times to others on the table and some items such as gluten free crab cakes were inedible. We had to complain before we were offered a desert choice. One night my wife was served a dish containing pasta which was not gluten free. Some things did improve slightly after we moved tables as we got carrot cake for desert thanks to Roberto along with chocolates and biscuits all on the same night! STEAMERS SPECIALITY DINING - we decided to go to Steamers, after speaking to Claudio the Assistant Maître d’ who escorted us to our table. After 10 minutes the chef told us he did not think he could prepare any gluten free dishes because of the danger of cross contamination in his small galley and it was arranged we could go to Freedom Dining. Once there we waited 45 minutes for our starter but 20 minutes later we were told the rest of our special pre-order had been lost. The waiter said he did not know what to do next so we left. There was almost nothing we could have in the buffet but we tried a jacket potato and some beef both of which were unacceptable, cold potato and tough beef. As a consequence we had some snacks we had brought on board plus fruit from the buffet in our cabin. To say we were upset would be putting it mildly. Most nights we were given a jelly/tapioca type desert. The one on the last night was plain tapioca with 2 berries and a strawberry slice made into a smiley face (see attached photo) which just added insult to injury. We complained to Roberto Roberto lost his temper shouting ‘I have allergies too but I never mention them’ He also said there was nothing he could do other than relay our comments to the chef Summary We were very disappointed and upset by these events which spoiled our holiday. We paid a lot of money for it and expected to be treated the same as all the other guests which did not happen. There was a diabetic on our table at dinner and his special diet was handled sensitively and with no fuss. We felt we were seen as a nuisance and quite honestly sometimes we were just very hungry. We were totally reliant on Princess for food during our holiday as it is not easy to find gluten free food immediately on arrival in other countries.

Don't book a cruise on this ship if you are coeliac

Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by James775

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We have been on over 30 cruises and are Platinum on Princess

In November 2016 we contacted Princess and explained that my wife had recently been diagnosed with Gluten Ataxia, (a rare form of Coeliac Disease where gluten attacks her brain) and that I was gluten intolerant. He assured us that Princess Cruises could provide us with a variety of good quality gluten free food providing we gave them the required notice which we did.

Breakfast

At breakfast in the dining room we were told there was only one type of gluten free bread and cereal. The rice bread did not toast very well. The cereal was corn flakes but they were sweet and tasteless.. The gluten free muffins were hard and had a horrible taste. Incidentally we also tried the gluten free scones available at afternoon tea which were hard, dry and tasteless so between the scones, bread and muffin afternoon tea was not an option available to us either.

We were very upset by the attitude of a small minority of the waiters towards us. One particular waiter offered us pastries on the first morning and pressed us when we said no thank you so we told him we were gluten free. He shouted to all the other waiters, whilst pointing at us, that we were gluten free. Obviously other passengers looked at us. Quite honestly we felt embarrassed and humiliated. The requirements of other guests such as diabetics were not shouted out and they were not pointed at. After we complained about this he still came to our table every morning and said that he did not need to offer us pastries now that he knew we were gluten free so would not disturb us. We felt this was completely unnecessary and that he was being sarcastic

Buffet

We were advised to avoid the buffet because of the risk of cross contamination and on two occasions I saw food containing gluten in the gluten free desert section. When the ship was in port the only food available was in the buffet. We asked various chefs/staff what food was gluten free and got mixed messages, one person saying something was OK whilst another person said it contained gluten. The only safe items were jacket potatoes, some meat on the carvery but none of the sauces. We usually had the same lunch on port days. The desert section usually only had two options jelly/tapioca or crumble. Even the sous chefs, whilst they tried to be helpful, didn’t appear to understand the risk of cross contamination by other passengers with tongs and spillages.

Main Dining

On day one the only gluten free food available was fish. It had been overcooked. The head waiter took our order for the next day, again main dishes were limited. We were told that we could NOT choose a desert as these were specially made each day by the chef for passengers on special diets.

At dinner we were seated at a table for nine which was a tight squeeze and ordering took a long time. On the first two nights my wife ordered fish but it had been kept hot and was tasteless and nothing was said even though my wife didn’t eat much of it.

We complained in writing about the food. We spoke to the Maître d’ about the lack of deserts and the waiting staff at breakfast. He said he would send out an email to the

We were moved to a smaller table but problems continued as some courses arrived at different times to others on the table and some items such as gluten free crab cakes were inedible. We had to complain before we were offered a desert choice. One night my wife was served a dish containing pasta which was not gluten free. Some things did improve slightly after we moved tables as we got carrot cake for desert thanks to Roberto along with chocolates and biscuits all on the same night!

STEAMERS SPECIALITY DINING - we decided to go to Steamers, after speaking to Claudio the Assistant Maître d’ who escorted us to our table. After 10 minutes the chef told us he did not think he could prepare any gluten free dishes because of the danger of cross contamination in his small galley and it was arranged we could go to Freedom Dining. Once there we waited 45 minutes for our starter but 20 minutes later we were told the rest of our special pre-order had been lost. The waiter said he did not know what to do next so we left. There was almost nothing we could have in the buffet but we tried a jacket potato and some beef both of which were unacceptable, cold potato and tough beef. As a consequence we had some snacks we had brought on board plus fruit from the buffet in our cabin. To say we were upset would be putting it mildly.

Most nights we were given a jelly/tapioca type desert. The one on the last night was plain tapioca with 2 berries and a strawberry slice made into a smiley face (see attached photo) which just added insult to injury. We complained to Roberto

Roberto lost his temper shouting ‘I have allergies too but I never mention them’ He also said there was nothing he could do other than relay our comments to the chef

Summary

We were very disappointed and upset by these events which spoiled our holiday. We paid a lot of money for it and expected to be treated the same as all the other guests which did not happen. There was a diabetic on our table at dinner and his special diet was handled sensitively and with no fuss. We felt we were seen as a nuisance and quite honestly sometimes we were just very hungry. We were totally reliant on Princess for food during our holiday as it is not easy to find gluten free food immediately on arrival in other countries.
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BD B619
We booked a balcony cabin Stateroom B619
The bed was very comfortable and our steward was excellent. There was a speaker in our cabin and we were constantly disturbed because all the ships/sales announcements came over this speaker. We were woken up early every time the ship came into port. Other guests we spoke to did not apparently have this problem which we were told was a technical problem and could not be fixed although it seemed to be fixed on the last two days of the cruise.On the second morning my wife had a frightening experience when her hair got caught in the hairdryer inlet and started to burn. It was dangerous and we were given a replacement but no apology. The receptionist said ‘it happens all the time’. We thought this was unsatisfactory.
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