A Different Kind of “Theme” Cruise

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a plate of food on a table
Chin Chin Aboard Norwegian Jewel was able to make us Salt and Pepper Calamari Gluten Free

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Themed cruises have been growing in popularity for a number of years.  Bringing together groups of people with the same interests on a cruise can be a lot of fun.  There are cruises with 80’s and 90’s themes, country music, The Walking Dead, scrap booking, something called Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager at Sea, WOD (Workout of the Day), a Hallmark Christmas Cruise, and that’s before we even cover (or uncover???) nudist cruises.  But it never occurred to me that there were Gluten Free cruises.  That was until I saw a social media post of someone on a Royal Caribbean cruise touting that everything on the ship was gluten free, including some delicious looking donuts.

Well a bit of searching and low-and-behold there’s a company completely dedicated to organizing cruises for those with Celiac disease.  A group called Celiac Cruise [Not Sponsored] hosts a good number of cruises each year ranging from contemporary “big ship” ocean cruises in the Caribbean and Mediterranean with Royal Caribbean to river cruises in Europe with AMAWaterways.

a large cruise ship in a harbor
Oceania Vista in Kotor Montenegro

In 2025 Celiac Cruises has added a cruise on Oceania Vista.  One of the many things that we’ve loved about sailing Oceania Cruises has been just how well they deal with our Gluten Free dietary needs.  Well it looks like they take it one step further on the Celiac cruise by taking one of the specialty dining restaurants and turning it into a 100% gluten free kitchen for the duration of the cruise.  We ate at Ember twice during our sailing on Vista where we pre-ordered to ensure our food choices would be Gluten Free.

a restaurant with tables and chairs
Ember Dining Room with Open Kitchen
a collage of food on a table
Ember – Tomahawk Ribeye, Chicken and Kale Salad, Spinach Artichoke Dip, and Strawberries and Cream all prepared Gluten Free by request

Here’s how Celiac Cruises describes the sailing on Oceania Vista in October 2025:

Celiac Cruise is excited to announce our exclusive gluten-free cruising partnership with Oceania Cruises, kicking things off with this incredible 10-night sailing across the Mediterranean from the ancient city of Athens, Greece to the luxury of Monte Carlo, Monaco. Along the way, we’ll enjoy three incredible and distinct Greek isles, four unique regions in Italy, and a visit to the French Riviera. With two staff members to every three guests, your every need will be taken care of onboard Oceania Vista, a brand-new ship in the fleet. While on the ship, you’ll enjoy meals prepared and served in an exclusive gluten-free dining room, Ember, dedicated just to Celiac Cruise guests for the entire sailing. 

Rates are available as cruise-only or packaged with airfare/transfers. All Celiac Cruise guests receive complimentary gratuities (valued at $180+ per person), a complimentary $600 shore excursion credit per stateroom, select beverages, and WiFi!

Currently the Celiac Cruise site shows that they’re on a waiting list.  However, the cruise is still showing inventory on Oceania Cruises’ website.  I imagine that Celiac Cruises has capped their guests based on the size of the Ember dining venue on board.

a close-up of a text

Fares are showing to be slightly lower on the Celiac Cruise website, but it’s possible that there has been a pricing increase after they posted.  One unique perk of the Celiac Cruises offer is that they’re including complimentary gratuities.  This is not a typical perk offered by Oceania Cruises.

Not all cruise lines are excellent at handling Gluten Free diets.  Our recent experience on Norwegian Jewel was very hit or miss in terms of communication and accuracy.  They did score well right of the bat by making us Gluten Free Calamari at Chin Chin on our first night on board.  (Photo at top of article)  It’s great that Celiac Cruise works closely with the cruise lines and makes sure everything is as it should be on their sailings.

We love cruising for a lot of reasons, but not having to worry about our dietary restrictions wherever we are the in the world is high on our list.  I’m not sure I would go out of my way to join a Celiac Cruise journey, as the itineraries are limited, but if it’s certainly tempting if schedules permitted.  Have you been on a themed cruise?  Let us know in the comments.  – Michael

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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. My wife (who is celiac) and I were on a Royal Caribbean ship last February, when celiac cruises was onboard. What a treat for her! We couldn’t go to the dedicated events/restaurants they had reserved, but throughout the ship there were dozens and dozens of options for her that wouldn’t normally have been there (pastries, soft-serve ice cream/cones, a dedicated section of the buffet, more extensive choices in every restaurant, etc.) It was a treat for her and a relief for both of us.

    • @Tom – Thanks for sharing! Glad you and your wife overlapped with the Celiac Cruises group to get a taste for what they were able to organize with Royal Caribbean.

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