Food & Drink: How Much Is Too Much?

May 14, 2019

 

Above and below: The final fancy Brunch on the Pool Deck. We had five this trip. That roof is opened when it’s sunny.

 

January 3-May 11, 2019, Around the World — I do know three people who lost weight (a few pounds, 14 pounds, 17 pounds) on this trip. I was not one of them.

 

• 128 days x 3 squares per day = 384 meals (my personal consumption)

• 1,242 passengers & crew x 3 meals a day = 3,726 meals prepared every day 

 

The Sun has 4 guest restaurants (3 sit-down + one large buffet) plus the Pool Bar (burgers and dogs) and 3 official bars (plus wandering waiters who will bring you a drink anytime you catch their eye).

 

But there is also a whole food and drink mess (plus a pool) for the crew. The officers float — they can eat in the mess or with the guests. The crew mess motto: ‘We are the ladies and gentlemen serving the ladies and gentlemen who serve the ladies and gentlemen upstairs.’

 

There are 12 members of this mess staff vs. the 183 cooks, waiters and barmen who serve the guests upstairs. The mess serves as a training ground for new hires. They prepare 2,000 plates of food a day for 464 staff and crew from 39 countries.

 

The captain said the other day, ‘We’re like a United Nations — only this one works!’

 

The mess is famous for the thousands of pounds of rice we watch come on board when we’re re-provisioning in port, because so many of the crew are Asian. Sunday mornings, it’s Eggs Benedict in the mess.

 

So…. Who decides what? And how much? And when can they resupply the Overstone Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand that Susan, Christine and Karen managed to drink the ship out of — twice?

 

Provisioning is handled by a six-man Provision Team, headed by one manager, who must have been the one to tell the Captain, ‘Captain, you can’t leave Ushuaia at 5 as scheduled… the toilet paper shipment hasn’t arrived!’ Constantly monitoring usage, ordering provisions in different countries all around the world, and dealing with Customs is all part of the job. 

 

Food was also created and consumed in Viking Cooking School classes. These are my friends Christine from Santa Fe, on my right, and Mavis, from Whidbey Island, Washington. ​The theme was Moroccan — even though we ended up cancelling our stop there, due to weather. 

 

So… how much?

  • 165,000 lbs of beef

  • 88,000 lbs of fresh fish

  • 41,000 qts of milk

  • 18,700 lbs of French fries

  • 17,600 lbs of rice

  • 55,100 lbs of potatoes

  • 4,200 lbs of strawberries

  • 26,455 lbs of bananas

  • 25,000 containers of yogurt

  • 200,000 eggs

  • 300,000 bottles of water

  • 55,000 rolls of toilet paper

  • 80,000 bottles of wine !

A couple of unoccupied staterooms were turned into Liquor Lockers. Dewar’s appears to be a favorite.

Here’s one group that did its part with liquor consumption — the Solo Travelers, at our final going-away party. A varying assortment of solos met every evening before dinner to decide where we’d eat.

The young faces in the group photo belong to our beloved entertainment staff. Each evening one or two of  ‘the kids’ or the Assistant Cruise Director would come up to Deck 8 to keep us company and sometimes come to dinner with us. ​

​They are: Josh, ​Emily, Ar-Ar, Shaun (prone) and Tina. Don’t know about Ar-Ar, but the other four will be working together again for 7 months aboard the Viking Orion, back-and-forth around Asia and Australia-New Zealand. 

 

​Most often, we decided to eat at the Restaurant so we would be waited on and wouldn’t have to carry our own plates from the buffet. Spoiled? You better believe it. Escargots are always on the Restaurant menu, and I ate my share since I doubt I’ll see them again till my next cruise.

 I also had my share of mussels.

Not to mention scallops. ​

​I will spare you the pictures of desserts. I didn’t go too overboard in that department, though I knew I had to do yoga or pilates every sea day...​ this is the core (get it?) group, surrounding Caitlyn (on my left), our terrific teacher and friend. 

I guess that does it... no more facts or figures to share. Though I’ll probably do one more post to close the book, so to speak.

 

Stay tuned: There is another blog in the wings, to cover whatever comes next: ‘Passepartout Part Four: Other Worldly Adventures.’ #

 

 

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