As I mentioned a while back, I recently had the wonderful experience of my first cruise, holidaying on Royal Caribbean‘s Rhapsody of the Seas with Choose Your Cruise. I was utterly gobsmacked with the amount of food that is produced daily on these big ships, so when I was given the opportunity to tour the galley you can bet I jumped at it.
Rhapsody of the Seas is no dinky boat. This ship was built in France, having her maiden voyage back in 1997 and, with an overall length of 279 metres, a width of 32.2 metres and a gross tonnage of 78,491 tons, this is one big, but very elegant, lady. Given that she is certified to carry a total of 3,200 people (passengers and crew) it’s obvious that there is going to be a very serious kitchen tucked away somewhere.
A ship this large requires a massive crew – Rhapsody of the Seas has a crew of 806 people of more than 50 different nationalities. This cultural diversity also extends to the enormous galley which stretches over two levels.
Each section has a designated space over the two levels, with it’s own dedicated brigade. The equipment required to churn out a constant supply of high quality food for this many people is pretty impressive. The massive soup pots have a capacity of 55 gallons each and their idea of a stab mixer takes kitchen gadgets to a whole new level.
If the size of the appliances doesn’t knock you out, then the quantities of food sure will. In one week the typical consumption of food aboard goes something like this –
2,173 lbs of steak
3,200 lbs of chicken
800 lbs of lobster
600lbs of salmon
11,000 lbs of vegetables
15,000 lbs of fresh fruit
9,000 fresh eggs (plus 3,800 lbs of liquid eggs)
Of course, that doesn’t take into account bread, cake, dairy, and the sugar required for their incredible amount of gorgeous desserts.
Despite all of this, there was no sense of agitation or flustered activity among the galley staff during my visit – even though they had lunch ready to go and were well into dinner prep. I’ll be keeping all of this in mind next time I’m getting my knickers into a twist over dinner for 10. A little perspective can be a great stabiliser, don’t you think?
While cruising on the Rhapsody of the Seas Lambs’ Ears and Honey was a guest of Choose Your Cruise.