Have you ever wondered how the food is planned and where it is made on a cruise ship. Jean went behind those huge silver revolving doors for Doris Visits, but first there is normally an introduction from the head chef and he will introduce key staff. Because he is unlikely to use a microphone, sit towards the front… The facts are quite shocking – so how many cups of tea are drunk on the Queen Victoria in a typical two week period… for that matter what are the numbers? Cunard Chat – our new chat site

In a typical two weeks, on the Queen Victoria which has about 2,000 guests and 900 crew – and we are measuring in naval tons, not tonnes (2240 pounds, about 1016 kg). This measurement is also used in the U.S. tonnage of naval ships.

  • 70,000 Cups of Tea
  • 70 tonnes of Fresh Fruits & Fresh Vegetables
  • 180 Tons of Meat
  • 12 Tons of Poultry (Chicken, Duck, Turkey)
  • 20 Tons of Fish and Seafood
  • 30 Tons of Cheese & Dairy Products
  • 3 Tons of Sugar 
  • 67,850 pints of Fresh Milk
  • 4,666 Eggs
  • 8 Tons of Flour
  • 3 Tons of Rice 
  • 4,000 Pints of Beer
  • 3,500 Bottles of Beer/Cider
  • 5,250 Bottles of Wine
  • 530 Bottles of Champagne
  • 1600 Pizzas are consumed
  • 800 English Scones are served daily during Afternoon Tea in the Queens Room and Queens Grill Lounge
  • Almost over 90,000 meals are prepared and consumed on board
  • Approximately 1 million pieces of china and glassware are used and washed

Most meals are planned two months in advance, with produce being ordered between 3 months and 4 weeks before it is needed. The plans are made by looking at previous cruises and use, sometime exactly a year before. Experience is key. Please share Doris Visits.

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Chef Kunwar from Pokhara, mid—western Nepal, says, “lf God had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers and created good Chefs!”

So, where does all the waste food go? Well, there is a move to reduce waste, and on the Queen Victoria they have done away with trays. Guests take a plate and as normal, take what they wish. We are lead to believe this has cut back on food waste. But, food waste is taken and pumped. Normally about six of the Galley team just deal with waste and passage to the dish washer. Once in international waters (12 nautical miles) MARPOL (the Marine Pollution governing body) states that any cruise ship can then discharge this food waste overboard. The food waste is eaten by fish, then the fish continue the circle of life.

The system is not totally computerised yet on most ships. The waiters still write your order at the table, and it is then entered into a computerised system producing a bar coded check. Two large screens in the Galley show the Chef exactly how many of each menu item is on order, enabling the correct volume of food to be prepared. The chefs work 10 hour shifts and have to have a minimum of 6 hours break between shifts.

If you fancy working at sea, or a cruise ship, see the working at sea section.

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