Home Cruise How 6,000 Meals a Day Are Made on the World’s Largest Cruise Ship

How 6,000 Meals a Day Are Made on the World’s Largest Cruise Ship

How 6,000 Meals a Day Are Made on the World’s Largest Cruise Ship


Cruise ships are a variety of mini-cities, together with having to feed 1000’s of individuals in the course of the course of a voyage.

Each week, as much as 7,600 folks trip on Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, which holds the title of the world’s largest cruise ship. That features breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in-between.

There are 23 complete kitchens (known as galleys on a cruise ship) to serve 27 eating places.

On the coronary heart of Icon’s meal service is the Principal Eating Room, which serves 6,000 friends in a 3 and a half hour time-frame. There are 425 cooks onboard Icon of the Seas, with 45 folks working within the Principal Eating Room galley on deck 3 alone.

Supplying, prepping, and serving that many meals each day just isn’t a easy feat. Royal Caribbean has to have sufficient meals so it does not run out with out over ordering and losing meals. Then it has to get provides in place each week, and generally the demographics for one crusing could require completely different quantities of meals than one other.

All the ship’s meals is sourced from the ship’s homeport in Miami. 

Actually, there’s sufficient meals on Icon of the Seas not only for one cruise, however three cruises. The concept is there may be sufficient meals readily available in case the ship must go in a special path so there may be sufficient for further days.

Each week new provides are introduced onboard, however some objects could solely be sourced each two weeks. Cheeses, herbs, and berries are examples of meals that’s introduced onboard each week as a result of these don’t final as lengthy.

Frozen objects, equivalent to prime rib or fish, are brough each two or three weeks.

So what occurs in the event that they find yourself working brief on one merchandise? The ship can name to headquarters to help in re-supplying at one of many ports of name the ship is visiting. 

The precise meals is sourced from all all over the world, together with domestically. Royal Caribbean Vice President Meals & Beverage, Linken D’Souza, describes it as a really complicated operation, “We’re all the time seeking to supply native. And so the final couple of years we have shifted a variety of our buying very domestically inside market.”

“Recent elements have all the time been the case, however now we have actually shifted, whether or not it is right here or in Europe and Australia and China, my crew goes out and we exit to {the marketplace} and we’ll actually go and match merchandise towards our US merchandise and say, okay, what works for us? How can we purchase domestically?”

All of this is not low cost to do.  Royal Caribbean would not share numbers, however suffice to say, Mr. D’Souza referred to the quantity as being, “so much.”

“We have crew members and friends on board. On a full crusing, over 10,000 folks on board the ship. We spend some huge cash to verify we glance after the friends from meals and beverage standpoint and provides.”

Meals is the second highest expense for Royal Caribbean after gasoline. In keeping with Royal Caribbean Group’s monetary disclosures, the corporate spent $307 million on gasoline within the first quarter of 2024.

How a lot meals is introduced on a cruise ship?

Ever marvel which meals are the most well-liked on a cruise ship? 

Icon of the Seas wants sufficient meals for all of its recipes, in addition to meals to be accessible by itself.  A tomato might be reduce up and served individually or as a part of a stew, sauce, or salad.

In keeping with Royal Caribbean’s govt cooks, rice, potato, lobster, tenderloin, filet mignon and particularly prime rib are the most well-liked objects on Icon of the Seas.

About 20,000 lbs of rice, and a pair of,500 lbs of prime rib are used each cruise.

In an effort to raised predict how a lot meals the ship will want, the Meals & Beverage crew appears on the demographic of who’s booked and visitor depend for the subsequent crusing. That means, if there’s extra friends from Mexico on a given crusing, the crew will plan to supply extra Mexican meals onboard.

The precise amount of meals is determined by quantity of friends and demographic.

Icon of the Seas has one of the best kitchens but

One of many advantages of being a model new cruise ship is gaining access to one of the best of one of the best, together with equipment.

Icon has loads of guest-facing improvements, and that pattern applies to the kitchens too, “If you happen to go to the manufacturing areas, the gear that we have launched right here for the primary time, by no means seen on our ships earlier than,” mentioned Mr. D’Souza.

“Issues like machines that may take a complete piece of steak, reduce it into parts, reduce fish into parts, vegetable slicers, issues that we simply have not had traditionally on ship.”

These machines change features that have been historically accomplished by hand.

On the upcoming Utopia of the Seas, Mr. D’Souza indicated may have a laser guided water gun that makes use of excessive stress water to chop items of cake.

This know-how makes the work simpler for crew members, and he believes that strikes crew members nearer to the visitor expertise and that provides worth to the visitor expertise.

“We’re bringing some fairly new and thrilling, progressive know-how to actually take even our again of the home processes up from what we have traditionally accomplished.”

Probably the most extremely regulated meals service operation on the planet

With an operation as massive as Icon of the Seas, meals security is paramount to the cruise line.

Mr. D’Souza mentioned cruise ship kitchens are essentially the most regulated meals service operation that you’re going to discover, “we’re essentially the most extremely regulated meals service operation on the planet.”

America Public Well being Service has a division generally known as the Vessel Sanitation Program, which acts as a cooperative exercise with the cruise ship trade.

“Once we get inspected for meals security, we have now 7 to eight uniformed officers that board the vessel and so they do a full inspection prime to backside.”

Mr. D’Souza is sort of happy with the work his culinary crew does and says there’s nothing prefer it at any restaurant close to you, “You’ll by no means discover a restaurant on land that appears like this. High to backside, chrome steel, spotless flooring, clear. Every little thing is so as.”

“You do not see this on land, as a result of we have now very excessive requirements for our friends, and you’ve got very excessive requirements from a authorities company physique to make it possible for we have now the best high quality execution, cleanest kitchens, prime quality secure meals, hand holding gear, and so on.”

Warfare on meals waste

Decreasing meals waste serves two major functions: it ensures there may be much less meals that results in a rubbish can and it saves Royal Caribbean cash.

The cruise line launched a program referred to as, “Win on Waste”, which serves to judge meals consumption on a cruise ship and make changes so there may be much less meals used that does not find yourself consumed.

Royal Caribbean Group has beforehand introduced it can cut back meals waste throughout the fleet by 50% by 2025. In summer time 2023, Royal Caribbean Group reported it already has been capable of obtain a 24% discount in meals waste by specializing in the entrance finish of the meals system, which prevents and addresses lots of the foremost causes of meals waste, together with stock administration and over-preparing.

With this new program, cooks can see what’s been produced, consumed, wasted, and even repurposed. It helps give higher information to the cooks, to allow them to perceive the right way to make changes for the subsequent manufacturing. 

Royal Caribbean is definitely leveraging AI to consider unused meals scrap weight and predict how a lot meals the ship will want for the subsequent crusing.

Learn extra: Royal Caribbean’s clever idea using AI to get help on the world’s largest cruise ship



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