Last week, I was reading through the posts at cruisecritic.com, as I always do before I take a cruise. It’s a great resource for the latest in cruise news and reviews.
I was reading updates on the Norwegian Jade; the ship I will be sailing on in March to the Western Caribbean. I came across a post that really made my blood boil. It went something like this:
My boyfriend and I are gluten free by choice. When we go on a cruise, we like to “cheat”. How do I convey this to the waitstaff? I don’t want to go through the Access department by filling out a form on dietary restrictions, as I am not really gluten intolerant.
I had to literally stop myself from going on a rant against this woman. I didn’t want to start a war. But I was really pissed off. What would I have said, had I written a response?
You are the reason I am not taken seriously every time I go out and say I am gluten free. I almost have to say I have celiac disease to prove that I cannot eat gluten, but I do not want to lie, like you. Even then, because there are people like you who say they are gluten-free, then order cake for dessert, kitchen and waitstaff might make me, or someone else, sick because they don’t believe us. They think we are all pretending.
You make my life difficult by pretending to be gluten-free. Cruise ships go out of their way to accommodate food issues, and sometimes serious food allergies. They have to be notified ahead of time so that they have the correct amount of food onboard for those who cannot eat certain foods and will need substitutes. By eating those foods just because “you feel like it is unhealthy” might take the food out of someone’s mouth who really needs it.
Why you would want to be gluten-free by choice is beyond me. It is not healthy, nor is it the way to lose weight. You are sadly misinformed. And you are selfish and think you are entitled. If you want to be gluten-free, please only do so at home. Doing so in restaurants, or in this case, on a cruise ship, is making it hard for the rest of us to be taken seriously. It is hard enough to go out and not get glutened without someone like you screwing things up.
That’s what I would have said, but would it make a damn bit of difference? Probably not.