One of the most important parts of a cruise vacation is the food then of course there’s the drink packages, onboard entertainment, and a working cooling and sanitation system close behind. Onboard Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas there are 14 kitchens, 156 Chefs, 88 Greeter staff, and 9 members of Management – all working to ensure that over 20,000 – 30,000 meals get prepared each day.
Dharmesh Badani, the head supervisor for our dinning room was kind enough to set us up with a private behind the scenes tour so that we can see where the magic happens before the food makes it to our table. So, Saturday morning the girls and I met with one of the executive chefs.
The first thing I noticed upon entering the kitchen area is how clean and organized everything was, and chef informed us that the ship had is last health inspection on August 25, 2013 and they scored a 97 out 100 which outstanding. Often times scores are reduced due to human error when you are working with new crew members each voyage, so the amount of training that is involved in ensuring all of the proper safe precautions are taken is extensive.
Nothing leaves the kitchen without being inspected. Dinner is reviewed and taste tested everyday for quality and flavor, and any changes needed are made prior to the main dinner seating at 6pm.
Those yummy rolls and breads that they bring out before your appetizers, they make about 30,000 of those daily. Holy Carbs! The chefs do have some assistance in speeding up the process though. We watched as the sourdough was kneaded, spread out, and placed in a machine to form the rolls – ready to go into the oven in a matter of minutes!
We watched as lunch service was going on and diner service was being prepped, and everything ran smoothly and flawlessly. It was awesome to see everything that goes into ensuring that you have an excellent dinner while onboard. I had a few nights where there wasn’t anything particular that I liked on the menu, so they were willing to prepare me something to my liking and I had a vegetarian Indian meal on two separate nights. And I was pleasantly surprised to see a vegetarian meatball entree and a sweet and sour vegetarian chicken entree on the menu towards the end of the cruise. As a pescatarian I like to have options and I don’t want to eat just carbs for dinner.
One of my favorite things about meal time on a cruise is the opportunity to try to try new foods. Just watch out and make sure you don’t gain the “cruise ship 5” :) Do you like dinning on a cruise ship? Did you try anything new?
Happy Cruising and Safe Travels! -xo AGT