In the Curious World of Cruise Ship Kitchens

The cruise industry is experiencing strong growth as compared to other travel options. Major cruise lines in the world such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Costa, and Princess are expanding at a very high growth rate. The US cruise business is showing steady growth, whereas the demand in China has risen sharply. The vessels are built to satisfy the lavish tastes in terms of food, ambience and on-board luxury of the travellers.

The kitchen management on these luxury ships is inexplicable! It is really amazing to know how they must be catering to the varied tastes of the passengers coming from different communities across the globe. These cruises normally offer 3 meals a day and some munching is available 24X7 on board. The kitchen not only serves the passengers but also its own staff., The normal ratio of passengers to staff on board is 1 to 1.3. This floating hotel kitchen which sails over days on seas is really a classy example of ingenuity in the hospitality world.

Over the period the cruise liners chefs have perfected this art or skill of storing, cooking and serving sumptuous delicious food while on the sea. An enormous amount of planning goes behind this and the main persons responsible for this are the executive chef, beverage manager, store manager, and purchase manager. The menu offered must be carefully selected depending on the weather. Everything committed to the passengers (during booking) must be loaded on the ship well in advance, normally three days before the date of sailing. All the supplies are very carefully stored in different fridges such as fruits and vegetables in walk-in fridges; fish, meats, and poultry in freezers; and the other food products like food grains that do not require refrigeration are stored in a dry store.

These kitchens have to follow very strict guidelines according to Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) standards, by which the leftover food can be reused or the way it is to be stored if cannot be reused so it can be dumped in the form of garbage at the next port where the ship anchors.

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