Giovanni's Table
Giovanni’s Table on Freedom of the Seas

In March I had the opportunity to dine at Giovanni’s Table on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. Due to a medical diagnosis I am required to eat gluten free. This, of course, completely changes the dining experience.

My husband and I scheduled Giovanni’s as our date night. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. But starting at the beginning- I reviewed the menus for the 2 specialty restaurants that I was most interested in trying. The choice was between either Chops Steakhouse or Giovanni’s Table. [I attempted to provide links to pages for each restaurant but as of the time of this writing, RCI changed the website and information isn’t available without logging in to a cruise.]  We chose Giovanni’s based on it’s menu. It had a HUGE selection of offerings available gluten free, or so we thought. It seemed like the perfect choice.  Our assigned head waiter in the main dining room made our reservation for us and indicated that I have gluten allergy. Upon being seated we told our waiter that I had a gluten allergy but that I was interested in trying several different foods. This should have been our first clue, since he seemed to blow it off.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of our meal. I think we were dumbfounded by our experience to remember the blogging aspect of the meal.

So for appetizers I chose the caprese salad, the antipasti and the eggplant parmesan, all of which had the GF symbol on the menu indicating they offered gluten free versions. The caprese was normal and tasty. The antipasti was odd. It had no parmesan and I recalled it being a very odd combination of offerings. It was not what I would consider normal. But it was otherwise fine.  When the eggplant was brought I remember thinking this just looks too amazing to be gluten free. I confirmed with the waiter that it was gluten free. I still was hesitant and requested that he double check with the chef.  [This was the point of the meal that I should have asked to speak to a manager and it was a poor decision on my part that I didn’t.] The waiter returned a few minutes later non-apologetically indicated that my eggplant had gluten. He indicated that they were made earlier in the day. He did not offer to provide me with a GF replacement.

For my main course I ordered the filet of beef with steak fries – since they had a designated fryer. The beef came with a wine sauce and it was tasty. The fries were very similar to those served at Red Robin. My husband ordered the mashed potatoes and they were not memorable.

For dessert they served me vanilla ice cream, and it wasn’t gelato. They had no other GF options.

We left this meal disappointed. I have no idea why we didn’t complain to management. I was not at all please to have spent $50 on this experience. I wish I had a more positive ending to this post.

How has your experience been  dining with allergies in specialty restaurants on Royal Caribbean? If you have any questions about this dining experience or any others I experienced on the FOS, please do not hesitate to ask below in a comment.

Happy Travels!

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