Cooking with Alison

Tour of a Cruise Ship Galley (Kitchen)

In Random on January 25, 2011 at am

Here’s the link to the video of the tour.

To see my review of the Princess Cruise line food in comparison to the Royal Caribbean line, see here.

In August, 2010, Krystal and I traveled to the East coast of Canada and USA with the Princess Cruise line.  We were on the Caribbean Princess ship.  There are three galleys (kitchens) where food is prepared for 3100 people (more than 1100 of which are crew members).  The ship has one main galley for each restaurant and a third galley for the buffet lines.  On the day at sea, the executive chef put on a cooking demonstration that was followed by a tour of one of the two main cruise ship galleys.  I was very excited about this rare opportunity and got up early for it on our only day to sleep in.  Krystal wasn’t quite as excited as I was.  😉  I took a video of the walk through (link posted at the top of this page) and as you can see, the huge kitchen is spotless.  The ship was launched in 2004 and the staff have clearly taken very good care of the appliances and surfaces.  I wish I could have witnessed the organized chaos of this galley during service.

Most of the initial food preparation is actually done outside of the galleys.  Below is a list of those areas and a few interesting numbers:

  • Fish Preparation Area where 4 butchers prepare about 1,500 lbs of fish each day
  • Meat Preparation Area (including a defrosting room) where 11 people slice and portion the meat that is sent to the galley where twelve other employees complete the preparation.  About 2,100 lbs of beef, 1,800 lbs of poultry, 1,000 lbs of pork, 460 lbs of lamb, and 400 lbs of veal are cooked daily.
  • Garde Manger (Cold Kitchen) where 12 people prepare all of the cold dishes and salads.  Approximately 28 gallons of mayonnaise are used each day.  An average of 1,600 lbs of salads, 300 lbs of shrimp and 1,500 sandwiches are made daily.
  • Soups, Pastas and Vegetables Area where 16 people work.  Approximately 2,000 lbs of potatoes, 2,500 lbs of other vegetables, 500 lbs of pasta, and 550 gallons of soup are made each day.
  • Bakery where 8 employees use an average of 1,700 lbs of flour each day.
  • Pastry Shop where 16 people prepare an average of 6,000 assorted pastries, 300 cakes and pies, and 90 gallons of ice cream every day.
  • Fruit and Cheese Pantry where 6 employees arrange assortments of cheeses and crackers and prepare all of the fruits.  The average amount of fresh fruits served daily is 7,000 lbs (this doesn’t surprise me… you should have seen how much papaya I was putting back haha) and the average amount of butter used daily is 500 lbs.
  • Coffee Pantry is where 4 people are responsible for keeping the coffee and espresso machines working.  Approximately 470 gallons of coffee, 62 gallons of coffee cream, and 400 lbs of sugar are consumed daily.    [Note:  When we were there, we saw a crew member refilling the coffee station at the buffet with a dark brown coffee syrup.  So be warned that the complimentary coffee from the buffet and dining rooms is not brewed from beans.  It is, however, freshly brewed at the cafes and lounges, but you have to pay extra.]
  • Dishwashing Area is where 52 people wash approximately 70,000 dishes and 21,500 glasses each day, using 58 gallons of detergent.  In the sculleries, 9 other people scrub and polish the giant pots and pans.


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