In the early days of modern cruise lines, meals were dreary affairs. They were boringly predictable and consisted mainly of buffets. Today, cruise ships look at dining as a culinary art with great promise.
Many large cruise lines have nearly two dozen restaurants and eateries what with eating one of the most popular activities on board. But despite the many choices, all meals follow a standard description to be considered worthy of being placed in front of a guest.
Without visual appeal, no guest will come back for more. Cruise ship galley staff learn from the beginning to create designs that are literally good enough to eat. One of the most important cruise ship jobs is a food artist who creates sculptures out of fruit and vegetables. But this isn’t all. Each dish must entice guests in such a way that they are impressed even before the first bite.
It follows then that the guest must enjoy the taste of each morsel in their mouth. Ingredients fresh off the market may be hard to come by, but cruise ships often take on stores at each port. Basics such as bread, stocks, ice cream and sauces are sometimes made on the go due to the large volumes required. Taking on ingredients at each port also means offering fare reflective of the port you are in to give guests an interesting travel experience.
Service is as important as the food itself. One of the most important cruise ship jobs is done by service staff since they deal directly with hungry guests. Apart from being polite and courteous, knowledge of food and beverages is key, as well as the ingredients in all the dishes being served. Some guests may have special dietary requests – such as health restrictions, veganism or allergens, and ensuring these are stuck to leaves them with a very pleasant experience.
Above all, hygiene and cleanliness must be maintained at all times. While all cruise ships have galley utility staff to help keep the area clean, all employees are required to maintain the highest standards possible.
Cruise ships are multi-cultural spaces catering to various tastes and offering new culinary experiences to guests. Each dish is expected to speak for itself and be representative of the quality and standards of its cruise line.