My Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Ruby Princess featured an option to partake in the ship’s amazing galley tour. The information was listed in the Princess Patter along with trivia facts about the Galley Tour, which I thought was worth sharing. It is mostly useless facts, but I love being entertained by trivial nonsense and numbers. Hopefully you will enjoy as well. Have you ever visited a cruise ship’s galley?
Fresh & Flavorful cuisine
“As the Consumate Host, we’re honored to invite you behind the scenes for an insider’s look at how each ingredient is selected and skillfully prepared to create the mouth-watering dishes you’ve come to enjoy.
No visit to the Galley would be complete without a brief description of the chain of events that culminates in great tasting food, freshly prepared and served to you each night by our friendly waitstaff. On Ruby Princess, we have 2 main galleys, one for each of the specialty restaurants and 1 fully equipped Lido Galley which produces the variety of offerings you have enjoyed in the Horizon Court.
It all starts with a shopping list, not unlike the shopping list anyone would prepare at home. Our shopping list consists of food from all over the world: fine cheeses from Italy, England, United States, Scandinavia, and France, choice selected beef, as well choice selected fresh fruit and vegetables from California and Florida. On a single cruise, the list usually consists of between 110-115 tons of food that must be delivered to the ship.
Different menus are offered each day in the Dining Rooms, out on deck and in the Horizon Court, which also features an ‘a la carte’ menu every night. A team of storekeepers, butchers, fish,& vegetable preparation specialists exercise their skills against a tight time schedule to carefully ensure that the proper items and amounts are prepared and transported to the galley on time. In the galleys, teams of chefs, cooks and pantrymen use their skills to turn the raw food into the delicious meals for which Princess Cruises is renowned.
GALLEY TOUR TRIVIA
Fish Preparation Area– In the fish prep area, 3 butchers clean the fresh catch and cut the fish into tender portions before it is sent to the galleys where chefs will carefully complete its preparation.
*average amount of fish prepared daily: 1,700
Meat Preparation Area– 5 butchers, three assistants and helpers slice and portion choice selected beef and poultry in this area before sending it to the galley where a team of twelve artfully complete its preparation.
*average amounts of meats cooked daily: 1,400 lbs poultry, 1,700 lbs beef, 1,400 lbs pork/pork products, 300 lbs veal, 200 lbs lamb
Garde manger (cold kitchen)- This is the french name given to the area where all cold dishes and salads are prepared, from crisp salads to the fresh fruit and vegetable displays that adorn the buffet tables. 11 crewmembers work in this area, which contains mixing and slicing machines and refrigerators where all prepared dishes are kept.
*average amount of salads served daily= 1,600 lbs shrimps used daily= 400 lbs mayonnaise used daily= 13 gals sandwiches made daily= 1,500
Soups, pastas and vegetables– 13 members of the galley crew work here to prepare seasonal vegetables, fresh pastas and flavorful soups for passengers to enjoy.
*average amount of pastas made daily= 500 lbs potatoes cooked daily= 2,700 lbs vegetables cooked daily= 2,500 lbs soups made daily = 550 gals
Bakery– Enveloped in the aroma of freshly baked bread, 10 bakers utilize dough mixers, ovens, refrigerators, and special proofing ovens, which create the perfect environment for the dough to rise.
The following fresh breads are baked from scratch daily:
sweet rolls, bread sticks, pizza, croissants, bread rolls, biscuits, vol-au-vents (puff pastry shells used in canapés and desserts)
*average amount of flour used daily =1,500 lbs
Pastry shop– The pastry shop is flurry of activity at all hours. During the day, 13 people perform their craft here, while 4 work steadily at night to prepare sweets and pastries. High quality almond paste (marzipan) is kneaded and formed into shapes while skilled hands form curlicues and swirls for the special touch that transforms a cake into a work of art. The pastry shop contains ovens, refrigerators, and even ice cream machines.
*average amount of assorted pastries prepared daily= 6,000 ice cream prepared daily= 100 gals cakes and pies served daily= 300
Fruit and cheese pantry– Assortments of fine cheeses and a variety of crackers are arranged here by 6 members of the galley crew. In addition, they wash, slice and prepare all the fresh fruit that is presented and served daily.
*average amount of butter used daily: 400 lbs fresh fruits served daily: 6,000 lbs
Coffee pantry– A team of 3 keeps the automatic coffee and espresso machines working during meal times.
*average amount of coffee consumed daily: 470 gals coffee cream consumed daily: 62 gals sugar consumed daily : 400 lbs
Dishwashing Area– Who cleans up after the meals are served? A total of 57 people work continuously throughout all the ship’s galley pre-washing, sorting, and feeding a constant stream of china, glasses, silver, pots, and pans into the dishwashing machine. In the sculleries, 10 workers scrub and polish all of the specially constructed oversized pots, and sauté and braising pans to make them ready for the chefs and cooks. Silverware is cleaned and polished through the night so that the surfaces achieve a fine finish for the following day.
*average amount of dishes washed daily: 70,000 glasses washed daily: 21,500
Is this all? Well, not quite. You see, after our passengers are served, then it’s time to feed our family of over 1,100 crew members!”
As you can see, maintaining and overseeing the ship’s kitchen(s) is a major job to ensure that the guests are happy; the workers take great pride in their jobs. Food is a major part of the cruise experience and it is nice to know we have this massive team taking care of our culinary needs. Have you ever taken a galley tour? Do the cruise ships you’ve been on offer the galley tour?
Like cruising? Check out my other Princess cruise posts:
9 Reasons You Should Pick Princess Cruises
Cruising Scandinavia with Princess
The Gorgeous Princess Cays: Private Island at Bahamas