Hello all! I will be traveling to CSA within the next few weeks (we cannot wait!). Just the other night hubby brought home some fresh flash frozen lobster from his business travels for the momentous occasion of me trying it for the first time. I loved it but my luck within minutes of finishing my tongue was tingling and then a few minutes later I had a lisp and a small amount of swelling in my lower lip. After speaking with my doc he say definitely allergic to at the very least lobster, should have an epi pen, never eat it again and be wary of cross contamination when eating out. This is all completely new to me as I have no other food allergies.
So, obviously huge bummer and nerve wracking when we're about to go to Jamaica where seafood is a plenty I would imagine.
Just wondering if anyone else has stayed at CSA that has a lobster or shellfish allergy and if you found the staff were good about it, if they fry shellfish in separate oils than other foods and if you found there were still lots of yummy things to eat? Outside of obviously looking forward to time alone with my hubby, I have really been looking forward to trying the food in the different restaurants
Anyone that can offer their experience, words of wisdom etc. much appreciated!
I was at CN last week. I have Celiac disease. When you are checking in (or during pre-check in), let the staff know that you have food allergies. They will let the chef know. I was amazed at how well Couples works with those of us suffering with food allergies. The chef came out and met with me during the check in process. During buffets, the chef on duty would take me on a buffet tour to show me what was and was not safe for me to eat. When ordering a la cart, I would let my server know and they would find out from the chef what I could have. I would bet that you will have little to no problems with food at any Couples resort.
Agree with Wally, many people here on the message board have talked about their dietary restrictions and raved about how acommodating the resort was to their needs.
As to whether you will find enough other yummy things to eat...ABSOLUTELY!!! Neither of us like fish or seafood at all and I gained...well, I gained weight on our trip. You will find plenty to eat and you will find plenty of foods to sample that you haven't been exposed to before if you choose to try something new and different. You won't go hungry and you'll LOVE the food, it was incredible.
I would be sure you have at least one epi pen with you though given your allergy...better safe than sorry. I'm the type that would take two on the trip because if you use one you aren't in a good place to get a replacement like at home where you would just go to the pharmacy. If you carry a camera with you to meals that might be a great place to carry the pen...in the bag. If you choose not to carry it with you to a meal I would leave it sitting out in the room so if your husband would need to run back to get it he isn't rummaging through luggage to find it. This may sound crazy but in the hospital we often tape an item to the wall for easy access...you could bring some tape and find a place in the room to tape it where it won't cause damage but won't get lost in the shuffle and would be easily accessible. Obviously carrying it would be best but realizing that people are people and plan A isn't always followed a plan B is always a good idea.
Go, eat, enjoy. I'm sure you aren't the first person to visit with a seafood allergy. It's just new to you so it will be a little different but you'll be fine...and you'll be full!
Thanks everyone! So glad to hear that the resort has been known to do well with this sort of thing (thank you Sherm for sharing your personal experience). Thanks to all of you also for the advice on what to do! Two weeks from today we will be there - our first real vacation together, just the two of us and have been for 8 years this year! Soooooooo excited and knowing that the resort is good about food allergies gives me some peace!
Ok, let me preface this response by saying that I LOVED Couples Swept Away and will hopefully return some day.
My allergy is to fish and shell fish. When travelling this is a tough one to deal with. Here is how it went at CSA.
Each night I would warn my wait staff that I had this allergy. They said, that before I could order anything from the menu that the chef would come out and speak with me personally. This I found to be quite responsible of CSA. I would be told what off the menu I could order and was taken care of.
There was only a one comment that I would make for improvement in this area to CSA. It is regarding BUFFET style dining.
Anyone with a fish/ seafood allergy probably will not be able to eat at the buffet because of the following.
The fish and seafood products are interspersed with all of the typically "non allergic" foods.
Also, even if you had them just in a separate area from the others it, people who do not have allergies, typically do not understand the danger that they are putting people at when they take a spoon from another dish and put it in the fish dish or one that most people NEVER think of is that if you take a spoon from a non fish dish and even touch it to the seafood on your plate, you have now contaminated the spoon and the non - fish dish.
This is extremely dangerous as, (another little known fact) - each exposure to your allergen usually results in a worse reaction, until eventually there is a full on anaphylactic reaction resulting in death. Many people assume that it if they didn't have a "bad" reaction last time that it will be the same the next time. WRONG! This could be very perious in a forigen country for travellers.
All of this results in a fear in people with allergies that generally, if they are smart, will hender them from enjoying buffet style dining, thus cutting down on options like Internationaly night, beach parties and regular even breakfast buffet dining.
So, here is my suggestion/request to somewhat mediate this issue for the typical allergens like fish, shell fish and nuts:
CSA - Please consider having 1-2 stations that are completely separate from the non-typical allergen foods (fish - nuts - those are the ones that affect the largest number of North Americans and post dangerous risks).
Have the buffet set up so there is a definite beginning and end of the buffet line so that people will start loading their plates at one end of the line ehre there is not fish / nuts and end at the other where there is an option for fish or nuts. Put the fish and nut product at a separate station located specifically at the end of the line so that as people load their plates with typically "non-allergic" foods so that they are not touching the spoons to foods already on the plates that are typically dangerous allergy foods. They will not have the opportunity to do so until the end of the line, which will stop cross contamination. You would have to put a rope barrier along the buffets so that people couldn't just walk up to the middle of the line and load products on to a plate that has already been to the fish station with. As far as going up for seconds. Have patrons take a new plate for seconds. That should be a policy anyway, as it will stop cross contamination of germs.
The only other challenge I had was at Lemongrass. I was looking forward to trying Thai food for a long time. The chef came out and said that he would make me Pad Thai without the fish sauce. When it arrived it tasted like oil on noodles. There was no flavour. So, that being said I would suggest more non-fish/seafood Thai options as I know that they do exist.
I loved CSA and I know that they tried. Just a few tweaks and this problem could be licked. Sometimes cultures that are not used to having such allergies, tend not to think about things like the above mentioned re: Buffet. As CSA takes customer service seriously, I'm sure that once they consider my response, they will look into solutions.
I am allergic to seafood, shellfish, peanuts, nuts and a few other things. Pretty much the only meats I can have that they serve are pork and chicken. Obviously this really limits my choices and makes it difficult for me when I travel.
The first two times we were at CSA they were very accommodating. I never got to meet with a chef or anyone else but they would modify foods for me by making it without the food I can't have, provide alternate options during the Repeater's Dinner and make sure my food wasn't contaminated.
The last time we were there it was a huge struggle though. They would not modify anything and I know I was exposed a few times because I had some small reactions. When we responded to the Repeater's Dinner invitation they would not take down any of my allergies and kept saying it would be fine. I knew it wouldn't be fine because that menu is usually really heavy on the things I can't have because everyone else really love that type of food. We kept explaining it and eventually they did make a note of my allergies and I was given a different meal. When I looked at the menu I noticed that the only thing I would have been able to eat was the soup. We ended up eating at the Palms almost every night so I could go to the pasta bar. One of my favorite things had been the shrimp quesadilla without the shrimp but this time they said it was all premade and they could not make one without the shrimp. I was talking to them way in advance and I was under the impression that they made their own food rather than ordering it from somewhere else days in advance so I am not sure what the problem was.
There was almost nothing that I could eat at the Beach Party or the Anniversary Party. I think there was one station with pork but it also had something else I was allergic to so I just ate bread and fruit those nights. Those don't really fill a person up so I really hungry by morning.