In what appears to be an industry first, Carnival Cruise Line will be offering customized menus based on food allergies using touch-screen tablets at all dining venues on all ships.
Called "Menu Mate," the program will work like this: When you arrive at a dining venue, the server will ask about any food allergies, then enter them into the tablet (or you can do the tapping yourself).
The tablet will then display not the regular menu but one that's specially curated to suit your health needs, highlighting dishes that are safe for your allergies as well as marking items that can be modified. You'll also see which stuff you should avoid altogether.
When asked if this procedure will have to happen at every meal, a Carnival rep said yes. The cruise line is not currently saving guest information so that a curated menu can be delivered each time you dine.
Perhaps that will change, at least for those guests comfortable with having this type of personal information stored by a big corporation.
Or perhaps getting confirmation that the server understands the diner's needs is the smartest approach, especially for those with severe food allergies.
Whatever the end strategy, it's likely that this smart idea will be copied by other cruise lines as well as resorts and other businesses offering high-volume dining.
In addition to keeping guests safer, such systems could significantly speed up service, too.