Q – There are four of us interested in doing a Rhone/Saone river cruise. The available itineraries and the experience of river cruising appeals to us but one of us has numerous food sensitivities that, while not life threatening, would make for a very uncomfortable, unenjoyable trip if certain foods are not avoided. these food sensitivities have been handled successfully by Holland America on Caribbean and Alaska Cruises. Are any of these river cruise lines likely to be able to feed me if I give them a list ahead of time of which foods need to be avoided and which ones are OK?
A – You were on extremely large ships with huge galleys and areas where cross-contamination of food could more easily be avoided. We would be concerned that the tiny galleys on a river boat would be able to meet your very specific needs, creating special dishes just for you.
The way this would work is that you, or your doctor, would prepare a memo regarding what you can and cannot eat. Your travel consultant will then forward it with a personal note to the special op office that handles such requests at the line. Your agent would then get a response, usually within two weeks, detailing whether or not the river cruise line will accept you for passage and exactly what further documentation they will require. These decisions normally boil down to issue of liability. Also remember that Holland America carries a physician on every sailing with nurses and a fairly well-equipped emergency treatment center. River boats don’t even carry band-aids. Should anything happen you would be sent ashore. So how good is the best doctor in Les Andelys? Pretty good would be our guess.