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Hi and welcome back.
I hope you have enjoyed the last two weeks of blog posts. Thank you for bearing with me in regards to my social media. For the last 2 weeks, I have been on board the P and O cruise ship Azura sailing around the Caribbean Islands on my honeymoon. It was a trip of a lifetime and one I will never forget. The staff on board are so friendly and helpful, the ship has incredible facilities (multiple swimming pools, hot tubs, on board Spa, an incredible theater with their own production team and more, there is always something to do. I just loved watching the boat arrive in our destinations, exploring the ship and sitting on top deck in the evening watching the sun go down.
The cruise combined sea days (travelling to different islands in the Caribbean) and days at the islands where you could book a shore excursion or explore on your own. Days at sea were more relaxed and laid back and a time to truly indulge in the vast arrange of food options on board. From the buffet serving a range of hot and cold food almost continually throughout the day and having themed nights so you could really indulge in amazing food, to the Oriental which is the main restaurant on board and included in the price of the trip. The Oriental serves breakfast, lunch and dinner which includes 3 course meals that will blow you away. There are also other places to each such as: Breakers Bar (perfect poolside snacks) or for an extra charge The Ice Cream Spot or even The Beach House ( a fun informal restaurant serving regional special dishes), Sindhu (Indian restaurant serving amazing curries) or the Epicurean (for those truly special occasions).
Over the 2 weeks the opportunities to indulge in gluten free food is endless. I struggled to find much information on the options for gluten free food so I thought I would share my top go-to options when I was on board the Azura for the whole day on a relaxing sea day. Blogs are coming this week on my trip so stay tuned! I hope you enjoy. C. -x-
Breakfast: Oriental/ Buffet
There are a range of amazing breakfast options available for the gluten free on board the Azura. From cooked breakfasts to continental with gluten free chocolate or berry muffins, croissants and cinnamon swirls, cereal, fruit and yogurts are just some of the breakfast items available at the buffet on deck 15. Found at the Verona or Venezia, the chilled food is easily identifiable as gluten free in a separate section. The hot food is served alongside sausages that sadly are not gluten free and it is self service. I would always check with the lovely chefs before selecting any food. They couldn’t toast the gluten free bread so I was often swayed towards the croissant for breakfast on most days.
If the buffet is a bit too intimidating for you, or you just feel like a change and a more formal sitting, I would highly recommend the Oriental restaurant. Located on deck 4, this restaurant also serves lunch and is where you can enjoy a 3 course dinner in the evenings. More on that later. They also do incredible breakfast options; from selected omelettes to fried breakfasts to pancakes, they can adapt most items to gluten free if you can provide a days notice. They even have a special option for the day which includes steak on a Sunday! Too much food for me, but such an indulgent treat if you can manage that in the morning. For me, I was obsessed with the gluten free pancakes. Served warm with syrup, they are truly an indulgence I reserved for the sea days when I could then go and sleep the sugar coma off by the pool.
Lunch: Breakers Bar
After eating such an indulgent breakfast in the morning and with the hot Caribbean sun, I generally opted for a light bite for lunch when lazing around by the pool. My go-to option here had to be the gluten free chips from Breakers Bar – a poolside grill which also serves hamburgers, hot dogs and salads. The rolls aren’t gluten free and as I couldn’t manage much food, I didn’t enquire about if they could be made gluten free. Knowing there is food freely available actually reduces my appetite but the chips were just perfect to me.
In the evenings, we often headed to the Oriental restaurant for dinner. As I have already mentioned, if you have an allergy you need to pre-order the day before to fully enjoy most of the dishes on the menu. The Oriental has a set menu available at all times which includes a gluten free pan fried chicken breast or salmon so with dessert of a fresh fruit salad. However, if you want an item off the day’s special menu, you need to pre-order. The staff are lovely and either hand you the restaurant for the next day once you have eaten or send the menu to the cabin if you do not eat at the Oriental that night.
The options if you pre-order are endless. My personal favorites were: a starter of mozzarella, tomatoes and olives, a lasagne they adapted to be gluten free by using fusilli pasta and for a total indulgence the gluten free matcha green tea and white chocolate brownie – heaven on a plate.
If you get peckish in the afternoon there is an abundance of food available on the cruise. From afternoon tea served in the Venezia, endless portions of chips from Breakers Bar, Ice Cream from the Ice Cream Parlour , fresh fruit always available or sweets and crisps from the shop, there is something for everyone. The ice cream served on board is Judes and I was completely obsessed with the salted caramel tub – perfect way to relax on a hot day.
I hope you enjoyed this new mini-series What I Eat in a Day and it has given you some inspiration on new meal ideas when planning your weekday meals. If you have any go-to recipes, leave a comment below. If you experience any of the gluten free food on board Azura then please let me know by tagging me on Instagram using #livingcoeliac or by sharing photos directly to my Facebook page. Newsletter is now live! Don’t forget to subscribe so you do not miss out on any future blog posts.