One sea day on Holland America Oosterdam the daily newsletter listing all the events for the day had a free galley tour on the schedule. It’s always fun to get a peek behind the scenes, especially when you can do it for free.
We went to the scheduled meeting place in the dining room at the appropriate time and found a long line of people already there waiting for the door to open. I don’t know if anybody actually led this tour talking about the things people saw like they do on a far less crowded paid behind the scenes tour or not because we were far enough back in the line not to see or hear them if there was anybody there. I suppose somebody at least showed whoever was at the head of the line where to go.
The long line of people snaked through a set path through the galley where crew were busy with lunch preparations at all different stations.
Cruise ship galleys have separate prep areas for each different sort of food so vegetables never become contaminated by meat or meat by fish or any other sort of cross contamination.
Baked goods have their own space too, and of course there’s a giant dishwasher for all the thousands of dishes used each day. Actually more than one and a place to wash pots too.
Soups cook in giant vats. Feeding a couple thousand people takes a lot of soup. Of course there’s enough variety of food that not everyone on board eats the same thing, but there’s also enough people that whatever gets cooked a lot of people will want it.
Desserts are an important part of cruise ship meals so of course there are areas for them too.
The walls in the main walkway had all sorts of things posted regarding the menus and how to plate various dishes.
There were big signs posted on the wall showing photos of how each of the dishes on the menu should look. Next to the current menu there was also one showing food for Mexican itineraries, as that was where the ship would go next when it finished the Alaska season.
Next to the menu pictures another sign showed photos of some crazy looking plates, which said they were for the tour.
The tour ended with a walk through the Pinnacle Grill, Holland America’s fancy upscale pay-extra eatery. There set out on some of the tables were those crazy looking plates.