If you didn’t already know, I love organising! I love working with people, problem solving, focusing on what is important, and attention to detail. You may know that I spent many years in event management, organising huge conferences and I still love to see how things work from behind the scenes. I can’t help myself at concerts or stage shows from looking at the lighting, the staging and the logistics that you don’t normally see. If you don’t see them, that is usually a good thing as it means it is working.
As I enjoyed our long-awaited cruise, my curiosity was peaked by the shear awesomeness of the floating hotel with multiple restaurants and bars and entertainment venues – ok, my organising geek came out! The logistics of managing all of these things seamlessly and creating a positive guest experience is a huge task. The crew numbers are nearly one to every two guests and I can see why – maintenance crews, cabin staff, food and beverage staff, entertainers, the all important crew who ensure we travelled safely between ports, and the list goes on.
How do they know how much food people will eat without wasting food?
What about fresh water?
I can only imagine the team required to manage staffing rosters alone.
And where do they store everything?
I had the privilege to speak to the Food and Beverage Manager about the workings of the ship and he shared some mind-blowing statistics about the Chef’s weekly shopping list for the ship’s 2450 guests:
- 50,000 eggs (and he promises there are no powdered or other types of eggs mixes to be seen)
- 25,000 pounds of protein (chicken, beef, lamb, seafood etc)
- 174 gallons of ice cream
- 18,000 pounds of fruit
- 28,000 pounds of vegetables
- 408 loaves of sliced white bread (they make wholemeal and other specialty breads onboard)
- 771 gallons of milk
The huge team of chefs and kitchen staff work 23 hours per day in shifts to produce the 12,000+ meals daily.
They also have their own de-salination plant and anti-osmosis facility onboard for production of fresh water and they top up supplies at each port as required.
I was particularly interested in food storage and wastage. As you can imagine, food safety is of huge importance so they have very strict protocols for food storage, production and treatment. Everything is temperature controlled and has a defined retention time. Once that time is reached, whatever remains is pulped and stored onboard until it can be disposed of properly. The same goes for all waste, yes including that kind of waste.
A key message overall though was the value of a strong team, delegating and tooling people up to do what they need to do. The same message applies to a well functioning home and the team that is your family. With the structure in place (that is the shared vision of how your home should function, having an identified home for everything in it and some guiding principles), the right tools available (knowledge, storage spaces/containers etc.) and supporting and trusting people to look after their own things and take a shared role in looking after shared spaces and items, your home will be well positioned to support your lifestyle and a place you will look forward to coming home to. It will be a well-oiled machine, just like our cruise ship.
I loved my holiday and didn’t wish it away, but when the time comes, I am always happy to be home and back at work doing what I love.