Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I want to take ya



My husband and I have been talking about taking a nice vacation for a very long time.  It was impossible when we were both working; but now that my husband is retired, the discussion has come up again.

We have been talking Hawaiian cruise, European river cruise, and a trip to the Caribbean. As we are getting older, our mobility is not what it used to be.  And of course, most important of all, can my special diet be accommodated?  Celiac disease is becoming mainstream.  It behooves all vacation cruise lines and resorts to adapt to people with celiac.

We have taken two cruises-both to Bermuda.  I got sick on both.  I think at this point that it was a combination of sea sickness and my gluten and dairy issues.  I had no idea about the food intolerances, so I might never know.  I am over taking cruises with sea days.  Even if it was the diet, I am just not a fan of cruising.

River cruising is different.  There is little to no seasickness-but again, the food options come into play.  So does the mobility.  Long walking tours are out.  And most European cruises seem to include a lot of walking.  Unless you want to spend a small fortune on a very tailored shore excursion option, it is probably out.

Viking cruise line told me that they could accommodate my gluten and dairy issues.  I have not contacted any other cruise lines yet.  But I am sure that they could.

I have dreamed of a Hawaiian trip since I was a little girl.  Norwegian cruise line has the only cruise that begins and ends in Hawaii.  But again, walking could be a problem.  Most shore excursions require some walking.  I have already looked into whether my diet could be followed.  The answer is yes.  Most cruise lines are pretty good at allowing for dietary restrictions.

We talked about going to Aruba several years back.  The conversation came up again yesterday.  The last time we spoke about it,  I did not have dietary restrictions.  Today I started browsing all inclusive resorts.  I had actually been looking at a couple of places back when we first discussed it.  Both Manchebo beach resort and Marriott Aruba resort could give me options. Manchebo is all inclusive, Marriott is not.   But I wonder if the attention to dietary restrictions is the same there as it is here. Granted, there are places here in the U. S. that are sorely lacking in trained staff.  Manchebo did tell me they have special gluten free options, but said nothing about dairy. The Marriott had a review in 2011 that stated they were wonderful with dietary restrictions.  But that was five years ago. Things change.  I have not contacted them as of yet, but will probably do so.

All of these vacations cost about the same.  Decisions, decisions.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Paige says:

    I hope you find the vacation of your dreams! So far I have had quite good luck with the Caribbean. We always stay at All Inclusives and the staff has been wonderful with accommodating gluten free—they even understood cross contamination concerns! I am not sure about dairy–but the staff was well trained so I think it would not be a problem. I have attached my reviews below of the two places so far:

    If you are interested in Jamaica, check out Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton (my review here:

    If you are interested in Dominican republic, check out Grand Bahia Principe (my review of their Esmeralda property:

    Both of these are chain All Inclusive so they have locations around the world! There may be some in Aruba?

    Please let me know if you have ANY questions if you decide to look at Jamaica or the DR. Haven’t made it to Aruba yet, but definitely want to! Planning on Curacao or a European Island this summer.


    1. glutenfreelady says:

      Thank you so much for your reply. It’s good to know that they take it seriously.
      I will definitely look into those resorts

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Paige says:

        Both resorts made all of my meals special. In Jamaica, the chefs went out of their way to prepare me special desserts! It was so sweet. DR had a bit of a language barrier (I speak Spanish, my grammar is not the best, but I was able to communicate easily) but luckily they have an explanation of celiac disease written out in Spanish for the staff so if you don’t speak Spanish, you are fine 🙂 the resort speaks English except for some of the chefs (my boyfriend speaks zero Spanish and he did just fine!). Highly recommend both!! I never was glutened—I did accidentally drink a bit too much pool water and ocean water so got a stomach problem from that! But nothing related to gluten or the food 🙂


      2. glutenfreelady says:

        I really appreciate your information. It’s such a hassle going anywhere. That relieves some of my fears. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Katie Beatty says:

    In Aruba right now. There are 3 of us have celiac and one with nut pea and bean allergy. We are at Manchebo and have not had an issue. The frecnh steakhouse was great! El gaucho downtown ribs are unbelievable and people are so nice. Gianni’s by the high rise also great. We are going to try Marriott tonight for dinner because we have heard great reviews for food allergies. Definitely easiest trip we have had in years. Best of luck!!


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