Simple ways to keep kids with allergies safe on a cruise

Cruising with kids that suffer allergies doesn’t have to be stressful – it’s all about communication. SEE EXPERT TIPS.

Holidays for people with allergies can be challenging but holidays for parents – who have kids with allergies – can be terrifying.

Cruising with kids affected by food allergies is understandably more than a matter of keep calm and carry an epi-pen.

And while there can be no guarantee about not having an allergic reaction, it is possible for mum and dad to take a break from kitchen duties but it’s all about communication.

On the Royal Caribbean, this conversation needs to start 45 days before sailing but Executive Chef Nicola Di Pardo will also meet you on board to discuss your fears … and ease them.

“We do not take any chances … our job is to make everyone feel secure and we find after the first few days going well, they then relax and enjoy their cruise,” Di Pardo says.

“I am notified (by Royal Caribbean) of guests who have severe allergies and we discuss the planning.

“Then when the guest comes on board, I – or one of my managers – go and meet with them and we talk about the menu we can do for them while on board.

“For families with severe allergies, I have even had a chef go with that family to every restaurant to feed them … we will not take any chances.”

Prior to sailing

Contact your travel adviser and request that you are travelling with a passenger that has allergies – this must be noted in your reservation details.

If you made your reservation online at you may add your request to the “update personal information.” section.

You should also send an e-mail request to; include in the e-mail the guests’ names, booking number, ship name and sail date.

Also ask if there is any paperwork that needs to be submitted before the cruise and what is and isn’t allowed in terms of taking food from home/ the cruise ship for shore trips.

Take out travel insurance – declare being at-risk of anaphylaxis when purchasing.

When on board

First, in the Windjammer, any of the made to order items can usually be requested to be made to accommodate any specific dietary restrictions.

Second, if you are eating the any of the specialty restaurants, just make your server aware of any of your dietary restrictions.

Third, in the main dining hall – tell your waitstaff. They are your servers for the entire cruise.

Fourth: Still worried – talk to the chef! Visit the dining room or restaurants and ask to speak to a chef about your allergies.

Always disclose your allergy at every meal and carry more than one epi-pen just as you should at land restaurants.

Originally published as Simple ways to keep kids with allergies safe on a cruise

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