Can I take beef jerky on a cruise?
December 23, 2016 7:32 AM   Subscribe

That's pretty much the question. I'm going on a Caribbean cruise in a couple of days and have run recently into some food allergy issues. I'm pretty sure I can find something to eat most places most days without running into the five or six things I'm sensitive to (and I'm taking my epi pen), but just in case I wanted to take a little bit of beef jerky along maybe some nuts. Is the cruise going to say hell no or customs or something? I have it sealed from the store it's not like it's homemade.
posted by tilde to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
We cruised in August and the ruling was that as long as it was store bought and factory sealed, we could take it. (Mine was all movie theater sized candy, but that's similar enough in packaging that you should be fine.)
posted by librarianamy at 7:39 AM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

If you keep your main cache of it on the boat you shouldn't have any problems. Countries don't like unchecked dried meat products to be imported because there is a risk of spreading certain livestock diseases like Foot and Mouth.
posted by w0mbat at 8:49 AM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Cruise ships are really good with food allergies. My son had a milk allergy and each restaurant and dining room easily accommodated his allergy with absolutely no problems. I would recommend calling Before departure, discussing your allergy with a customer service two. Then, when you arrive at port to board, tell the gate agent about your allergy. Then, once on the boat, talk to the dining room supervisor if the ship has a traditional dining room or someone at the pursers desk otherwise. They will absolutely do their best to make you comfortable.

Bringing sealed commercial jerky on the boat will not be a problem.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 10:19 AM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that might be difficult . Peppers and tomatoes and a few other very common things, too. I can probably eat a lot of steaks and steamed veggies and fresh fruit and be okay, but I worry about enough protein, too. I can handle some cheeses (but carbs so need fiber and more protein too), and I can't do eggs and won't do any fish or shellfish.
posted by tilde at 11:11 AM on December 23, 2016

Never fear, the midnight buffet will fill your needs. They're insane.
posted by bq at 11:29 AM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

As someone with experience helping to manage other family members' food allergies, I think you should both 1.) plan to bring some safe nonperishable food, as you are already doing (and if anyone gives you trouble about it, explain that you have a life-threatening medical condition for which you carry rescue medication and which legally qualifies as a disability under ADA, and that the food is a medical necessity) and 2.) call the cruise line ahead of time, carefully list all of your allergies, and ask what accommodations they can make for you, BEFORE you ever get on the boat (and then repeat your needs once you are on the boat, every time you order food). I have not personally taken my child with a life-threatening food allergy on a cruise yet, but I have a lot of friends who have food allergies or have children with food allergies who have gone on cruises and have been pleasantly surprised at how much more accommodating cruise ship chefs were toward them than the staff at an average restaurant. The thing is, a cruise company really, really, really does not want to have to deal with having you need an emergency evacuation from the middle of the ocean. I know that with food allergies outside the top 8 you might be more difficult to cook for than most food allergic people but I am hoping that if you call ahead the kitchen may even be able to stock a little extra of foods that would be safe for you.
posted by BlueJae at 12:31 PM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

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