Announcements

Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by Healthline.com and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
Fill out my online form.

Where in the World is Carol?

Carol's in the kitchen, cooking up recipes for her next cookbook and www.CarolFenster.com

Watch for Carol on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden," a PBS-TV show airing on your local PBS station during 2017-2018.

Join Carol at the National Western Complex, Expo Hall level 2 in Denver on April 21,10:30 am during the GFAF Expo Conference. See you there!

Gluten-Free Sailing on the Baltic Sea with Viking

Visiting eight European countries around the Baltic Sea in 14 days is an ambitious goal, but that’s what my husband and I did this summer on a Viking Ocean Cruise.

Viking Ocean Cruise ship

Viking Ocean Cruise ship

From my earlier blogs, you know that I was very pleased with the two Viking River Cruises I took in 2013 and 2015:

a) Christmas Market Cruise on the Main River in Germany from Frankfurt to Nuremberg

b) the Danube River Cruise from Passau, Germany to Budapest, Hungary

The Viking Ocean Cruises began in 2015 and all of their ships are brand-new, luxurious, and offer many amenities (such as a spa, pool, entertainment, heated bathroom floors, etc) that the smaller river ships (barges) cannot offer.

Why Viking?

In addition to my prior experience with the Viking line, the other reasons I chose this Ocean cruise were:

[1] I previously visited only two of the Baltic countries before (Norway and Germany), so this was a chance to also see Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, and Poland in one single itinerary.

[2] Viking Cruises handles my gluten-free diet superbly, so I knew I would eat well and safely.

[3] Every cabin on this ship had its own balcony (no port-hole rooms) so they were open and spacious, not claustrophobic. In fact, our cabin was every bit as large as several hotel rooms in the U.S.

The Itinerary

We set sail from Bergen, Norway and continued to Denmark, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Russia, Finland, and Sweden over the two weeks. This was probably one of the most ambitious European trips that we ever did and yes, we were tired. But, we were also excited about seeing a new city in a new country almost every other day. This excitement made it easier to deal with jet-lag, too.

The Food!!

Sightseeing was fun, but eating was even more fun! Cruise ships have an abundance of food, available in multiple restaurants at almost every hour of the day. In fact, if you miss a meal you can always order 24-hour room service to your cabin.

Early on, I met my hero—Restaurant Supervisor Ljupcho Toevksi, a very handsome young man from Macedonia who spoke perfect English. His job was to make sure I ate well. Thanks to his communications with the kitchen staff (over 100 people work in the kitchen to serve 930 passengers) I had delicious whole-grain gluten-free bread (baked daily on-board) at every meal—both sandwich bread and rolls, made from Schar baking mix. 

Gluten-Free Bread on Viking Ocean Cruise

Gluten-Free Bread on Viking Ocean Cruise

In addition to bread, which could be used as toast or sandwiches, I also ate gluten-free pizza topped with my choice of toppings. It was so good that I ate an entire pizza myself. They used a bread mix from Schar and then modified it.

I also ate gluten-free waffles and pancakes for breakfast and then they turned the sandwich bread into Eggs Benedict—which was so good that I ate it for three mornings straight.

Gluten-free pizza

Gluten-free pizza

There were usually at least one or two gluten-free choices for dessert, often a mousse, pudding, and the usual gelato and sorbets. At Manfredi’s restaurant, I had the most divine Dark Chocolate flourless cake. One of my favorite naturally-gluten-free desserts was the chocolate fondue with fresh fruit. One evening we had chocolate mousse in chocolate cups, which was superb.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

The Process

Every evening, Ljupcho would send the next day’s dinner menu to my cabin. I circled my choices (for appetizer, entrée, and dessert) and returned it to the dining room the next morning. When I arrived for dinner, my server already knew what my choices were and made sure I got the right dish. Of course, I could always eat in the World Café (the buffet restaurant) which was really quite good and had two major benefits: it was super-fast because we could simply choose our food on-the-spot from the vast array of choices and it also gave us a chance to taste a wider variety of different dishes. As we progressed from country to country, the kitchen often featured a dish from that country (e.g., German food when we were in Germany; fish chowder when we were in Denmark).

Yet another advantage to the World Café is that it featured an open-kitchen so there were lots of chefs that I could ask about the contents of any dish. They were all very knowledgeable, but they didn’t hesitate to ask a superior about the dish’s ingredients to make sure I was safe. And, I could watch them prepare my food right there on the spot. For example, they prepared my Eggs Benedict right in front of my eyes so I knew it was safe!

My Tips
The one thing I learned about getting what you want on a cruise ship is that you must pre-order the gluten-free baked goods (except for the bread), because they are not baked unless a passenger asks for it. So, unless you ask for it before-hand (e.g., the pizza, waffle, etc.) you might not get it.

Finally, if you are considering a Viking cruise my advice is to go for it! I found it to be a very comfortable, safe way to see Europe.

 

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>