There are CelebrityLife Activities on board, one of which was called Heartbeat of the Operation, a chance to go behind the scenes. Moiya and I and 1,000 other people on the boat signed up see what goes on behind the scenes on the dining room floor. While we waited to get into the kitchen we were taught how to fold napkins. Now how useful is that. I am usually searching just to find some paper napkin. On the ship they provide large linen ones (18” x 18”) and then have classes on how to fold them, even if the folding is always done by the waiters. I did learn how to make a serviette into a mouse, a talent I will use while entertaining a three year old someday.
I also saw the bartender pour 12 martinis at the same time – cool. Twelve glasses, one on top of another, shaken, and then the tower of glasses slowly poured into martini glasses which have been judiciciously placed along a counter to receive the liquid that flowed out of each glass as the tower was tipped. I won’t be putting that into practise. And there was a handout about the average amount of food used on a 7 day cruise. Since Greg goes by the 5th floor snack bar to pick up a cookie or two, occasionally, I did commit that figure to mind: 3,000 pounds of cookies in 7 days. I thought Greg was the only one eating cookies on board.
I did enjoy the trip behind the scenes. Watching the master carver prepare fruit and vegetable displays to decorate the buffets, seeing how the ice cream is made daily, looking at the warming ovens that hold the lamb or the beef, so that they only get 20 orders ahead and when those are done, the next 20 orders go to the warming ovens. Huge boxes of beautiful vegetables and fruits, ready to be made into salads and compotes! Today at lunch someone was telling me that they saw the fresh herbs loaded into the ship, the rosemary and parsley still growing in large dirt troughs, not being picked and put onto your plate until minutes before you eat it.
Maybe not always, but at least on the ship, the kitchen – the heartbeat of the operation.