I’ve never been on a cruise, but if I were to find myself stuck on a massive ship with thousands of other people and no exit other than leaping into the sea, I’d hope there would be enough food and drink to keep everyone entertained, lest it devolve into apocalyptic anarchy-at-sea. Thankfully, the cruise operators make sure to pack a lot of booze and snacks along for the trip.
More precisely — according to an Associated Press look at the behind-the-scenes operations at Royal Caribbean — that cruise ship will have 5,400 lobster tails, 21,000 ice cream cones, 14,800 pounds of potatoes, and 31,900 bottles of beer. And all of that is stowed on the ship in a matter of hours.
While cleaning state rooms and emptying the trash are all major parts of the cruise ship turnaround, making sure there’s enough food, booze, and just-in-case items is one of the most important aspects of the cruise ship business.
The AP reports that each week while the soon-to-deboard passengers on the Oasis of the Seas are still asleep, the crew members of the ship are busy at work unloading 25 trucks full of goods in preparation their next week at sea.
Because many of the islands that the ship will eventually visit don’t have products that meet the cruise line’s standards, it must take everything with it when it leaves port in Florida, Raimund Gschaider, associated vice president for hotel operations at Royal Caribbean, tells the AP.
“In a hotel, you get your supplies on a daily basis. You’re never tied into a limited timeframe,” he said. “For us, we only have one go at it.”
And so while the passengers sleep, the ship’s employees bring aboard 10,272 new rolls of toilet paper, 1,000 new light bulbs, 30 replacement TVs, and 23 gallons of hand sanitizer.
As well as, 820 bottles of vodka, 293 bottles of scotch, 765 bottles of Rum, 16,900 cans of soda, 3,360 bottles of white wine, 2,776 bottles of red wine, and 2,622 gallons of milk.
To ensure that guests don’t go hungry at the Oasis’ 25 restaurants, workers stock 46,800 eggs, 19,723 pounds of chicken, 7,070 pounds of fish, and 5,400 bananas.
Just what goes on the ship, and how much of it, is determined by past trends and tweaked to account for the age and nationalities of those setting sail, the AP reports.
So if, for example, a college basketball tournament is taking place during the voyage, the ship would increase the typical 31,900 bottles of beer stocked, along with snacks like hot dogs (10,680), beef (18,314 pounds) for burgers, and other game day fare.
“I’m amazed every single time you do it,” Gschaider says. “It’s an orchestration of all different operations. Everything needs to be fine-tuned down to the last minute.”
32,000 bottles of beer, 10,680 hot dogs, 5,400 lobster tails: Stocking a cruise ship [The Associated Press]