How a Cruise Ship Feeds 4,000



              â€¢ 230,000 bottles of wine, plus 1.5 million other drinks
              â€¢ 55,000 pounds of coffee
              â€¢ 7,000 boxes of strawberries (and I don't mean pints)
              â€¢ 38,000 pounds of smoked salmon
              â€¢ 198,000 pounds of pineapples
              â€¢ Enough beef to supply the city of Southampton (UK) for one year

And did you know that during a 2005 transatlantic crossing, the Queen Mary 2 carried in a locked steamer trunk the first U.S. copy of J.K. Rowling's book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince , autographed by the author? Or that by custom every shipyard employed a dwarf because in photos the smaller the man the larger the engine looked? Or that the most dangerous voyage of any ship is from land to sea?

Three weeks ago, two hours before sailing the ship had no milk, due to an ordering error. Stefan organized an emergency last-minute delivery of 1,200 gallons.

Stefan says it would be boring to go back to working at a land-based hotel after his experience on the Queen Mary. Everyday brings a new challenge and requires you to be proactive and resourceful. For example: A few years ago departure was delayed by five hours because the truck transporting the beef and lobster tails to the ship was in an accident. The passengers were very understanding. Three weeks ago, two hours before sailing the ship had no milk, due to an ordering error. Stefan organized an emergency last-minute delivery of 1,200 gallons.

Even though the ship is very large and the passengers number over 2,700, the waitstaff, maitre d's, and wine stewards seem to recognize everyone and recall preferences and prior conversations. They are eager to please without being in the least obsequious. Quite the opposite of Bemelmans' Mespoulets, one of my favorite fictional characters from one of my favorite (Belgo-Austrian) writers.

I have resolved to find a copy of Hotel Splendide to send to Karl and Stefan, both Austrians who have spent time in the kitchen of grand hotels. [Curator's note: Hotel Splendide is required reading for anyone interested in food and restaurants and general Mitteleuropa naughtiness, and a complete must for a summer porch or hammock.] Traveling in the company of such kind, attentive people makes you want to sail more often.

PAGES :

Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In