Since we couldn’t change our destination, I revisited our original plan to take a cruise. The hurdle would be our younger son’s refusal to sail, since he apparently has sat through one too many Shark Weeks on TV. My wife and I ultimately convinced him that all would be well, so I booked a three-night cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas departing out of Port Canaveral, Florida.
First up, though, would be an abbreviated stay in the Disney area, about 50 minutes west of the port. With thunderstorms delaying our flight out of Philadelphia, we ate lunch at Vino Volo in the D/E Connector. (There are other locations throughout the airport.) The four of us munched on variations of the braised pork tacos after sharing a plate of imported cheeses served with Glutino bagel chips.
|27 Palms Pool Club at the Lake Buena Vista Sheraton|
|Elephant Bar's Macau Shrimp and Noodle Soup|
(photo courtesy of Elephant Bar)
We ate breakfast the next two mornings at Zest, the hotel’s in-house restaurant. During our first visit, I spoke with the chef, who walked us through the safe options (scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon and sausage, along with fresh-cut fruit).
|The Crush 'n' Gusher water slide at Typhoon Lagoon|
(photo courtesy Walt Disney World)
Disney parks on both coasts are well known for catering to gluten-free guests, and Typhoon Lagoon was no exception. Gluten-free pizza, hot dogs, burgers, chicken tenders, brownies and chocolate chip cookies were available at Leaning Palms, the water park's main dining facility. I asked to speak with a manager, who came out, took our son's cheeseburger-and-fries order, and handled the preparation from start to finish.
|Even sports merchandise sold|
in Downtown Disney has a
Mickey Mouse influence
|An assortment of sweets at Babycakes|
|DisneyQuest has multi-player racing and sports games|
Disney recommends that guests note the requirement of gluten-free foods when making reservations at resort restaurants and request a current list of gluten-free options at the resort at least 14 days prior to arrival. For more detailed information, I recommend two excellent blogs: Allergy Free Mouse and Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Walt Disney World. (As for ways to save money on Disney and Orlando vacations, MouseSavers.com is a great resource, as is Undercover Tourist and Visit Orlando.)
|Gluten-free chocolate chip Pizookie at BJ's|
On the way to Port Canaveral the next morning, we stopped for breakfast at a familiar spot. We've been to First Watch on prior Florida trips and are comfortable with the chain's gluten-free food preparation. Our son enjoyed a bacon and onion skillet hash, made with eggs and seasoned potatoes and blended with bacon, onions and cheese.
Next: Smooth Sailing