While Royal Carribean Wonder of the Seas might be the mega ship of travelers’ dreams, it is more than each neighborhood’s theme, the enchanting shows that mesmerize the eyes, or the ultimate relaxation. For many cruise travelers, the food has them hungry for more. But, Royal Carribean understands that “eater-tainment” might make for the memorable experience, it is the sustainable conversation that ensures the cruise ships will keep traveling from port to port.
Over the past several years, the cruise industry is making inroads to make a more efficient vessel, implementing engineering designs that help reduce emissions, and other structural improvements. While all those items are imperative, there is another conversation that is making big inroads, and it is one that any home cook can appreciate.
Although the endless buffet with a smorgasbord of delicious food is a cruise ship staple, that copious amount of food can lead to the food waste. The home cook might laugh about the forgotten food in the back of the fridge or the “healthy eating” purchase that everyone says they will eat. Food waste can be a major hit to the home food budget, but, for a cruise ship, it is more than seeing that plate of shrimp going uneaten.
Long before food waste had become a culinary conversation, the reality is that cruise ships and their galleys have long appreciated that every piece, ingredient, and morsel should be used. Whether it is the bones, shells, or vegetable pieces used in stock or imperfect bread transformed into bread pudding, the reality is that waste tends to be minimized.
Even though Royal Carribean Wonder of the Seas can control the process in its galley, once that food heads to the buffet table, it is a different story. The old saying about the eyes being bigger than the stomach can often apply to a cruise buffet. Still, there needs to be a conversation about avoiding too much food going uneaten.
During the Royal Carribean Wonder of the Seas naming cruise, members of the media spoke with Royal Carribean staff regarding a new system that helps with food waste before the food even leaves the galley. Granted, the cruise industry has ordering down to a science, they are always interested in seeing how dining patterns evolve over time.
Through an internal proprietary system, the galley has found a way to data source the total weight to determine how much food is actually consumed. Without too much effort, this method helps the galley to avoid over serving and having food waste.
More importantly, it can show how and what people eat. Whether that chicken dish was the star of the buffet or the pork dish missed the mark, the chefs can learn and adapt how much is served. In addition, they can see patterns on what days more food is enjoyed or maybe there are times when people are less hungry. As time goes on, the idea is that an efficient kitchen is a smart kitchen. Less food waste is good not just for the bottom line, but it imperative for that sustainable conversation.
As the cruise industry looks to evolve its sustainability efforts, there are many ways to take conscious cruising to the next level. From sustainable cocktails to eliminating plastics, each aspect helps to make for a more thoughtful travel experience.
With even more ships joining the Royal Carribean fleet in the coming years, the sustainable conversation will continue to evolve. From plugging into port to the food on the table, each step helps to keep the ships traveling from place to place.