Weekly Wednesday – 2,100 Pounds of Butter

A couple weeks ago, we dove into the dining options available on the major cruise lines that serve the United States (Weekly Wednesday – Hungry?). Have you ever wondered how much food is actually sailing on your ship? When the ship reaches shore in its homeport, there’s a short window lasting around 8 hours for the crew to remove all of the waste and expiring products that weren’t consumed and to bring on fresh food and beverages for the next sailing event. The entire menu is pre-determined weeks in advance of your sailing and the food is ordered. As you are waiting in the lounge, enjoying complimentary cookies and lemonade, things are bustling just outside the terminal, preparing your ship to sail away.

Things were prepped for offloading the day and night before arrival. Glass has been separated from plastics and cardboard. Linens have been looked over and laundered. The food for the morning rush at the buffet has been gathered and prepared while the rest of the food is checked for shelf-life and staged if it cannot stay onboard. As early as 6am, the unloading of goods begins.

When it’s finally that exciting time and your boarding group gets called to the ship, you’ll see and hear lots of movement. As you walk down the gangway to the ship’s promenade deck, you can’t help but notice the loud noises of the forklifts backing up below and people shouting of where the next palette is located that needs to go on. You cross the threshold to the inside of the ship, and you are overwhelmed by the grand appearance of the atrium. The crew nearby are gently ushering you to move up to the lido deck where food is aplenty and people are buzzing around, exploring the areas that are currently open.

Staterooms become available so you can finally drop off the items you’ve been carrying around, and there’s your room key waiting for you. Time flies by as you are trying new food and discovering that there’s a burger bar around the corner and endless supply of frozen yogurt. You identify your favorite nook to tuck away in on the ship, and then the horn blows: it’s muster station time! You hear the cruise director for the first time over the loud speakers identifying that you must participate in the muster drills to remain compliant with maritime laws and regulations. The bars onboard cease service immediately and the stairwells fill to capacity. Along with the other cruisers, you slowly make your way to your assigned station and inevitably, there’s about 15 people who are “running late” to the drill. All the people in your station are mumbling and questioning how there are missing people already. As the drill is finishing up, you notice movement out of the corner of your eye. The ship has begun to set sail!

Attempting to push your way to the upper decks or your stateroom balcony, you flail your body outward to be able to wave to the ground as it picks up speed, moving away from you. As buildings on land grow smaller and the sea breeze begins to increase, you continue your exploration quest of the ship, discovering even more dining venues on the lower decks and other entertainment options to take advantage of during your sailing. First dining time quickly approaches, and lines are forming outside of the dining rooms and restaurants. The food is served made-to-order and piping hot. Menus are lavish and the offerings are varied from what you find on land.

Multiple appetizers in the Main Dining Room

You order three appetizers, two entrees, and three desserts because all of the food looks amazing and you just have to try it! Do you begin to wonder if you need to ration your dining options in case they run out at the end of your 7-night cruise? The thought never crosses your mind! There are so many options available, and even better, if your ship gets stranded at sea for whatever reason, there’s still extra food onboard to keep all of the passengers happy for at least another half duration of the cruise!

So, let’s dive deeper into the culinary world of a cruise ship. I sailed on a medium-sized cruise ship that was able to carry around 2,600 passengers and almost 1,000 crew.

For the main courses onboard the ship, there was:

  • 1,400 pounds of prime rib
  • 7,000 pounds of chicken
  • 280 Cornish game hens
  • 420 pounds of lobster tail
  • 2,800 steaks
  • 2,100 pounds of shrimp
  • 1,900 racks of lamb
  • 600 pounds of veal
  • 4,000 hot dogs
  • 5,200 hamburger patties
  • 600 pounds of ham
  • 1,000+ pounds of salmon

For breakfast, they brought onboard:

  • 45,000 eggs
  • 1,750 gallons of fruit juices
  • 35,000 slices of bacon
  • 560 pounds of sausage links
  • 1,500 pounds of coffee
  • 850 gallons of milk
  • 3,200 bagels
  • 2,100 pounds of butter
  • 7,000 individual boxes of cereal
  • 16,000 slices of bread
  • 10,500 Danish pastries
  • 3,400 slices of French toast
  • 3,700 pancakes

Mom always told you to eat your fruits and veggies, and that’s no different when on a cruise ship:

  • 12,000 tomatoes
  • 13,600 potatoes
  • 5,800 heads of lettuce
  • 1,300 bell peppers
  • 900 cucumbers
  • 5,000 bananas
  • 3,000 apples
  • 1,200 melons
  • 1,200 fresh pineapples
  • 1,800 fresh strawberries

Lastly, everyone needs to drink something:

  • 12,500 cans of soft drinks (over 1,100 gallons)
  • 11,950 domestic and imported beers
  • 260 bottles of champagne and sparkling wines
  • 1,210 bottles of wine
  • 230 liters of vodka
  • 30 liters of gin
  • 300 liters of rum
  • 85 liters of tequila

Carnival Chocolate Melting Cake

The next time you board a cruise ship and have any hesitation about ordering more than one dish for an entrée in the main dining room, think back to these stats and indulge yourself. No one is going to judge you for not having your veggies before you eat dessert, or for sitting at a table for two with 6 dishes waiting to be feasted upon.

You’re on vacation; you deserve to have your cake and eat it, too!

2 thoughts on “Weekly Wednesday – 2,100 Pounds of Butter”

    1. Thank you for the good laugh. It’s true! Those edible straws do get very sticky. That’s why we bring our own metal straws with us. They even have a carry case so you don’t have to worry about them picking up every other germ nearby.

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