This is part 4 of my Gluten Free Experience on a Carnival Cruise. If you read the first 3 posts, you would know that the gluten free options aboard the Carnival Pride were surprisingly abundant. This post will now focus on the experience in the formal dining room.
If you have been on a cruise, or are thinking about going on a cruise, you may know that the dining room is available to all cruisers every night with a changing menu of 4 courses. Through our research before going on the ship, my mother and I knew we had to ask the Maitre’ D about our options. After doing this the first day, the dining room hostess remembered our names, table number, and preferences making the process very easy. Each evening, she would come to our table and show us the menu for the next day. We were guaranteed a gluten free alternative to just about everything, making it seem like we didn’t even have Celiac disease holding us back!
When dining out at a restaurant with a gluten free menu, the usual options consist of meat, potatoes, and vegetables…so I thought my options on the Carnival Pride would be similar. I was wrong.
Carnival provides everything from Pasta and Bread, to Chicken with Thai spices. I was offered choices such as Lasagna Bolognese, Beef Stroganoff, and Braised Lamb. The variety of sauces, spices, and side dishes was amazing. I often wish to try something while dining at a restaurant with a gluten free menu, and then find out that the sauce, or spice that makes the dish what it is, is sadly NOT guaranteed gluten free. The chances for me to broaden my horizons while on this cruise were everywhere. Being the picky eater I am, I was able to try a dish without fearing that I would not like it and then end up hungry while wasting money at the same time. Another plus to cruising – it’s like an all-you-can-eat , upscale buffet!!
Another great thing about the dining room was that we were given gluten free bread with each meal. It was nice to actually be passed the bread basket for once, especially when I was STARVING since we didn’t dine until the 8:15 PM. But, I do have a few suggestions for Carnival – get a contract with a different gluten free company! The bread we were given was nice, but definitely didn’t even come close to the quality of other gluten free bread out there. It would have been amazing if we were given Canyon Bakehouse, Rudi’s, or Udi’s products. I would think that these companies would love to have a contract with a brand like Carnival, and it would also make Carnival’s gluten free menu 100x better. If anyone from Carnival is reading this post right now, PLEASE look into this!!! I promise you, if this was advertised to Celiacs and Gluten Free individuals, you would have A LOT more of these cruisers aboard your ships. In light of the recent events in the news regarding cruise ships, I think anything that can help business is worth trying!!!
All in all, the experience was WONDERFUL. It is very nice to know us G-Free’ers are able to enjoy vacations such as this even with our dietary restrictions. I do hope the options get better in the future, and Carnival teams up with some of our favorite gluten free companies. Doing so would make gluten free cruisers rave EVEN MORE about their experience on their Carnival Fun Ship.
Thanks for reading about my vacation, and I hope you look into a Carnival cruise yourself so you can have just as much fun & food as I did!!!