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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:02 pm
Posts: 2
Hi all,

My husband and I have booked a trip to an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana for a week at the end of January. We'll be going to the Melia Caribe along the Bavaro Beach and this will be our first trip of this kind.

I'm allergic to shellfish and this is a huge source of stress for this trip. I'm looking forward to the sun, the relaxation and the ocean, but I'm terrified about the food and the risk of cross-contamination. Breakfasts and lunches will be at the buffet and our dinners will be a la carte. Although I typically stay away from buffets for fear of cross-contamination, I'm not as worried for breakfast and lunch since I can stick to fruit, cheeses, eggs, salads, etc.

As for the dinners, however, I'm afraid that even if I speak Spanish, I won't manage to make the staff understand the severity of my allergies. I'm also planning on purchasing those allergy translation cards to help the kitchen staff. I'm just worried that the way the meat is handled and cooked might be dangerous considering my allergies. Do they use the same grill for meat as they do for shellfish? The same kitchen tools?

I've seen many posts on this forum about peanut/nut allergies when travelling to all-inclusive resorts, but I haven't found anything for shellfish allergies. Does anybody with shellfish allergies have tips and suggestions as to what I should do to reduce the risk of a reaction?

How many epipens should I bring? I was thinking of having 3 or 4 with me.

Thank you for the help! Any suggestions are welcomed!

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:40 am
Posts: 432
Location: Alberta, Canada
I do understand your concern. I had always gone to Maui and had my own kitchen but for just one time I wanted to try Mexico (this was about five years ago) so with about four epi pens we went to an all inclusive. I was also very concerned about the food. Allergy to pn/tn, coconut and shell fish. I did have a suitcase with quite a few items that would "keep me alive" if I had to eat out of my supply! I cannot speak spanish so I thought, I will just have to figure this as I go. I know this sounds very laid back but I figured if I just kept to the basics. I think EVERY DAY for the week I had an omlette, yogurt..for breakfast. When I got back home I did not want one for a long time. :rofl

Now we were at a smaller resort but we still had about four different choices of resturants I am sure you may have that same type of situation, something to look into. Some of these restaurants were of western fair and felt safer. I found the buffet had a lot of items that were hard to know what was in them. A lot of them looked like some kind of stew! :?
I would suggest when you check in ask someone in guest services who should be well versed in english to even go with you to speak to the kitchen staff to ask what will the menu be for the day/evening. When you have a look at it you can get more specific questions answered before they are running around like crazy trying to keep the buffet filled.

Enjoy your vacation.

Me-Allergic to Peanut, Tree Nut, Coconut, Shellfish, ASA and Asthma
My Husband and Children No Allergies

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:35 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:02 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks Paige! I figured I'll probably be eating a whole lot of omelettes and fresh fruit! Haha!!

We did mention my allergies to our travel agent and she'll make sure to put it on our file. But I'd also like to get in contact with the head chef/restaurant manager ahead of our trip and see what suggestions they may have for us.

Our agent also recommended going to the buffets as soon as they open in order to get 'first dibs' on the food and using my own table utensils to reduce risk of cross-contamination.

I realize I'm most likely not the first person with food allergies that will be staying and eating at this resort. I'm just scared that with all the people they have to feed, my allergy won't be at the top of their priority list. I understand I have to take responsibility for my restrictions and be extremely careful, but it's still unnerving. I want to be able to enjoy this vacation!

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