In February 2017 I went on a great trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic at the Majestic Elegance Resort!
Overall the resort was great. Beautiful beach, great service, lots of drinks. The resort was all inclusive food and drinks.
However, for severe food allergies the resort just didn’t cut it. Luckily I had no reactions, but I definitely could have if I were less careful or if I were majorly sensitive to cross contamination.
My allergies are tree nuts and shellfish. Tree nuts being way more serious than shellfish, which is lucky since they use a lot of shellfish in the Caribbean. I also don’t really eat meat. Luckily I’ve never had a problem with cross contamination.
When we got there I met with guest services so they could make me allergy paperwork in Spanish that I could give to the waiters at every meal. Because of the language barrier, it took a long time to describe my food allergies and get the correct words down on paper. We settled on writing “all nuts” or “todos nueces” for my nut allergy. Then for my shellfish allergy she did not understand that it was to include shrimp too. They use the word “seafood” or “mariscos” like we use the word shellfish.
I was told to make dinner reservations with guest services so that they could notify the staff of my allergies first. Finally I had my paperwork and we were ready to eat!
We tried out the steak restaurant for dinner. I showed the paper to the waiter, he read it and understood, and knew not to serve me bread since some had nuts in it. A good start. We ordered and I asked if they needed to show my paper to the chef but the waiter says no, no problems. I took my chances, but obviously they were not serious about cross contamination. We also had multiple different waiters serving us, so it caused confusion after I repeated my allergies.
All of the other restaurants were pretty much the same. The waiters knew the ingredients in the dishes, and everything was well labeled, but there were no concerns about cross contamination in the kitchen. The only restaurant that seemed to go above the others was the French restaurant. The waiter knew every ingredient in the dishes, and pointed out the ones that were safe. He even brought an alternative dessert that I could eat.
The buffet was really bad for food allergies, but so is every buffet. There were many things I avoided because it was clear that people had mixed up the serving spoons. I didn’t use any of the made to order stations, since most served shellfish or nuts. Everything was very well labeled, but I still avoided certain things that could have hidden nuts or shellfish.
The other concerning thing was that a lot of the bars had bowls of nuts, sometimes mixed, sometimes just peanuts. Again I was lucky to not run into any problems.
Overall this was not the best resort for food allergies. If I were more sensitive then I could have had many reactions from cross contamination. I feel like there was too much of a language barrier to really communicate a severe allergy. There was no understanding of cross contamination either.
This was my first trip to a huge all inclusive resort in the Caribbean. It definitely wasn’t the best place for food allergies, but I’ve had plenty of great experiences elsewhere in the world. If I were to go to an all inclusive again I would definitely choose a smaller one, and possibly a more expensive one with better food service.
Have you ever been to an all inclusive resort with food allergies? What was your experience?