A Behind-The-Scenes Look At A Cruise Ship Galley

Have you ever put much thought into what all goes in to feeding everyone on a cruise ship for a week?  These ships are essentially floating cities and are responsible for feeding several thousand people multiple meals per day, for days on end.  As you can imagine, this is no easy feat.  Food must be purchased, stored, prepared, and served under stringent guidelines in minimal space.  We have always been curious and impressed about this aspect of cruising and were lucky enough to get a behind the scenes look at a cruise ship galley!

We toured the main dining room galley of the Celebrity Solstice.  While every cruise line and ship size is different, the premise is still the same.  On the Solstice, it takes 160 cooks, 250 chefs and cleaners, 3 executive sous-chefs, 4 sous-chefs, and 1 executive chef working around the clock to prepare and serve up to 16,000 meals per day!  Can you imagine a work load like this?!


This employee’s job is to carve the intricate designs in the melons for display


Curious about how much food this all equates to?  Here are just some shocking numbers of consumption based on the average 7 day cruise:

  • Pounds of fresh fruit: 32,652
  • Pounds of fresh vegetables: 48,659
  • Litres of milk: 76,540
  • Litres of beer: 35,000
  • Pounds of beef: 14,542

These are some  pretty shocking numbers!  And believe me, there are dozens of other food types that could be added to this list.  Cruises do a lot of forecasting work to determine the most accurate amount of food needed to minimize the amount of food waste.  However, numbers like these reaffirm that it is best not to be wasteful with food choices.  Anything that is left over at the end of each meal service is turned into liquefied waste and put out to sea.


Prep work for dessert

The galley itself was spotless… everything was cleaned and polished to a high mirror shine.  Although space is limited because it is a ship after all, everyone had their proper work area.

It is essential that everything is perfectly planned, prepped, and prepared to the exact specifications so that every single dish comes out of the galley exactly the same.  There can be zero variance in the presentation.


The wall of recipes and presentation guidelines

In addition to the main dining room, most ships have multiple other service areas like the buffet, room service and snack shops, plus all of the bars!  It is truly impressive that they are able to keep up with this fast-paced, high demand work load in such a high quality fashion.

Does anything about this behind=the-scenes look at a cruise ship galley surprise you?  If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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