Pride of America Cruise Review by atb27
- Sail Date: December 2017
- Destination: Hawaii
- Cabin Type: 2-Bedroom Obstructed View Family Suite
However, from my perspective, one of the most surprising and exciting aspects of the cruise was my dining experience onboard. I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in June 2016. As such, I am relatively new to dealing with dietary requirements, especially when travelling. Due to the fact that I have never visited America, or Hawaii, I had no idea what to expect in terms of dining. I did some research before I left, however did not find much information on the subject. I was very nervous about how much gluten free food would be available to me, as well as the extent to which staff would be aware of Coeliac Disease and what is required when preparing food. For example, cross contamination is one of the most concerning aspects for those with Coeliac Disease, and even in Australia (where I am from), is often overlooked and not adequately understood.
I am happy to say that my experience was excellent. The staff went above and beyond to accomodate my requirements, and did so with a smile on their face. On the first day of the cruise, I received a letter acknowledging my dietary requirements, and it also provided the number of a Restaurant Manager if I wanted to discuss my requirements further. I also received a separate letter from the Shore Excursions staff explaining the process for food on the excursions (this did not apply to me as none of my excursions included food). Already, this was a comforting start to my cruise.
I then made my way to Aloha Cafe, as I mostly concerned about how I would identify gluten free foods in a buffet setting. This is where I met Daniel (Assistant Restaurant Manager). He took me through all the options they provide at breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as where I can ask for bread, waffles, bagels, cereals etc. He also provided tips for other restaurants onboard, including the best places to avoid cross contamination (e.g. Cadillac Diner is not the best for someone with Coeliac Disease). He was very helpful and offered to assist whenever I was at Aloha Cafe. I also spoke to Alain, the Head Chef. Alain was absolutely wonderful. Not only did he explain my options, he took me around the buffet on multiple occasions to point out every dish I could eat. He also took the time to explain what foods were not suitable and would even bring up deserts from other restaurants if they had no gluten free deserts available that day. Both Alain and Daniel were very aware of cross contamination which was music to my ears!
The other restaurants were also great. At Skyline, one of the executive staff members allowed me to pre-order meals to ensure they had all of the necessary ingredients for me. Cagney (steakhouse) had great gluten free options for breakfast and dinner, as did La Cucina (Italian food). At the Key West Bar and Grill, the fries were gluten free, and they also offered gluten free hamburgers and hotdogs. The chef at Key West was also very knowledgeable about cross contamination (informed me that the fries have a separate fryer to all other food so they were safe for me to eat).
Overall, the options were endless! They had fries, burgers, hotdogs, waffles, bagels, bread, cereal, pasta, pizza, deserts etc. I ate food that I never thought I would be able to eat again! I was extremely happy with the awareness of the staff and the number of options available. As Alain, the Head Chef of Aloha said, "we don't want you to just eat salads while you're here."
I would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone with Coeliac Disease.
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