My Gluten-Free Honeymoon
When my husband and I were planning our honeymoon in 2009, my only request was not to have to worry about food. We knew we wanted to travel somewhere new and we were looking for a warm-weather destination. Other than that, we were open to exploring a variety of options.
As anyone experienced with living gluten-free knows, traveling can be somewhat stressful because of a variety of different issues. Planning and preparation are key to successful gluten-free traveling, but even an unexpected delay at the airport can throw off your intricately planned food strategy.
We knew we wanted to minimize the possibility of unexpected food emergencies. Therefore, our top choices were quickly narrowed down to an all-inclusive resort or a cruise. In our experience, any restaurant or hotel with an executive chef can usually accommodate my gluten-free diet. In addition, I had heard that most cruise lines were already well-versed in managing food allergies and intolerances.
Our desire to travel to different locations helped us make our final decision to take a cruise. Neither of us had been on a cruise before, so we knew we needed to confirm their ability to accommodate a gluten-free diet. Thankfully, we have close relatives who are travel agents and well-versed in the art of planning cruise vacations. They were able to help us plan our trip to maximize fun and minimize food-related anxiety.
Everyone involved in the planning process assured us that once we stepped on the cruise ship, I would not need to worry about finding a tasty and safe meal to eat.
I was cautiously optimistic.
I was pleasantly surprised how easy it really was for me to find enough options to eat something different at every meal. We elected to have room service (which is included in the price of the cruise) for breakfast and enjoyed eggs and gluten-free toast on our balcony every morning. Lunch was usually a gluten-free pizza or salad. Dinner was eaten in the main dining room (with everyone else!) or at one of the specialty restaurants on board (we visited both a steakhouse and Italian restaurant).
In the main dining room, we were appointed a special server just for us who was well-versed in managing food allergies. This server was extremely attentive and at one point even cut my meat for me. My husband jokingly referred to me as “the Duchess” throughout our entire honeymoon because of this special treatment.
We ate almost entirely on the ship because 1) it was easier and 2) I felt more comfortable eating on board than when were docked.
Overall, it was a fantastic experience. Somehow, I felt both normal and taken care of during our cruise, which is something I rarely feel when it comes to eating.