Cruise ships schedule a variety of activities for passengers to do each day of their cruise. Some days the ship stops at a port and most people get off. Other days the ship is in transit and passengers have a sea day on board. Staying on board doesn’t mean getting bored. On the floating resort that makes up a cruise ship there is always something to do.
On the first sea day of our 17-day Panama Canal cruise on Celebrity Infinity we noticed in the daily newsletter, Celebrity Today, that they had a galley tour scheduled. Any interested passengers could meet in the dining room and have a chance to see behind the scenes where their meals come from. It’s always fun to see places where passengers normally can’t go.
What we didn’t notice in the Celebrity Today was that the first of several time changes throughout the cruise happened that day. We went to the dining room thinking we had arrived early and ended up barely getting to tag along with the last group through. They had the group set to go before we got there so we just trailed along at the end. The person conducting the tour was at the front so we really didn’t hear anything they said. We did get to see everything though.
The tour started by taking an escalator several decks down from the dining room to the galley. Something the waiters and waitresses on that ship have to do multiple times each day bringing food to hungry passengers.
Cruise ship galleys have different prep stations for different types of food to avoid cross-contamination. Walking through the galley you see different crew members working on a variety of things. Some watch over large kettles of soup, others chop vegetables. Some load dishes into industrial size dish washers, others bake bread or cook meat.
Stacks of clean dishes sit waiting for final assembly of prepared food ready to serve the guests.
Just for the tour they had a couple fancy displays, one with fruit and vegetables and the other with bread.
The tour exited through the SS United States Restaurant, which sits on deck 3 same as the galley. Or at least it did. Infinity went into dry dock just after our cruise and that particular restaurant was scheduled for replacement by an Italian place.
In the restaurant, specialty restaurants each had a display set up to entice passengers to book meals there. The Bistro had an assortment of their signature crepes and SS United States had a display of their upscale meals.
Qsine had not only a display of their whimsical food that makes eating fun, but also a high-energy crew member who probably could have done well as part of the entertainment staff. We hadn’t planned on going to any of the pay-extra places on that cruise, but after his demo we ended up signing on for the special that included all three.
Such amazing displays. People that are that passionate about what they do are very special hey.
Their waiter from Qsine is certainly an asset for them as he was a great salesman. He was just as exuberant in his job as a waiter as well.
I have always thought this would be so interesting to see what the kitchens look like but have never seen an actual kitchen tour listed as an option on a cruise though I haven’t been on celebrity (I’ve only done Royal, Norwegian, Carnival and Disney). Maybe it’s just a celebrity cruise line offering?
In years past free galley tours were standard on a lot of cruise lines, but the one on the Infinity is the only one I’ve seen recently. It was our first cruise on Celebrity so I don’t know if it is standard with them. If you take the behind the scenes tour some of the lines offer now the galley is included, but you have to pay for that tour and space is limited where this galley tour was free and open to everyone. They probably made money on their free tour though with bookings to the premium restaurants that people otherwise would not have made.
We were on Equinox (same class) last fall … also took the galley tour.
Sounds like maybe Celebrity still has that on all their cruises then. The display at the end is definitely good advertising for their premium restaurants and probably makes it worth their while to offer the free galley tour, which then provides something interesting for passengers to see. A win-win situation for everyone.
One thing for sure, the galley fascinates the passengers.
Makes sense since food is a big part of cruising.
Once when I was staying in a hotel they had a fancy bread display with bread sticks standing in baskets near the back of the display on their buffet line. Turned out the bread sticks were just for show, they were very stale.
Lovely display of foods 🙂