Celebrity offers a huge number of interesting activities onboard, ranging from interpretive lectures to comedy shows to impromptu performances.  One of the more unique offerings is the “behind the scenes” tours.  As a foodie, I very much enjoyed hearing how the kitchen functioned in the main dining room:  the Grand Épernay Restaurant.

The Ports

On any Alaska cruise, the days slowly cruising through the inside passage are worth sitting on a deck and observing nature.  Celebrity had a very interesting naturalist named Brett Nixon who explained a great many things.

Ports are always fun too.  I previously wrote about two of the port stops so will reference them here.

Ketchikan, Alaska

Rather than taking a cruise line expedition we went on a hike on our own.  This ended up being my favorite of all the stops.

You can read more about the hike here:  Hiking the Deer Mountain Trail, Ketchikan Alaska

And in Juneau, Alaska we experienced a glacier up close and personal which you can read about here:  A Glacier in Alaska

The Kitchen Tour

One of my favorite on-ship activities was the kitchen tour.  The sheer quantity of food that is loaded on the ship is an impressive supply chain.  Everything is pre-planned and posted.

celebrity solstice menus

 

Sample dishes are shown to the staff:

sample plates for breakfast
Three breakfast offerings for that morning and how they should be plated.

Additionally, each meal has all its specifics posted, including ingredients, prep steps, cooking steps, and any specifics such as comments.  For the cannellini beans with the lamb shanks, is it warned: “Cooking the beans in the oven avoids them from falling apart and keep the shape.  If you cook them in the large tilting skillet they will fall apart and overcook.”  Good to know!  Especially good for the cooks to know.

lamb shankchicory apply pear salad

The kitchen is a continuous flow operation with the waiters getting a tray then stopping at the appropriate stations to complete the order.  If you look  closely at the picture on the right you can see the stop of each of the 3 breakfast entrees.  Granted this is like most restaurants except it is the scale, serving maybe 2500 dinners over 2 seatings.

 

Plates are staged and some dishes partially prepped a little in advance like salads.

 

Preplating and carving fruit
Of course space is a premium so one staff member might be pre-plating while nearby another carves decorative fruit.

Cooking Demos

Celebrity also offers cooking and mixology demos through the week showing how they make some of their dishes.

Celebrity Solstice cooking demo

cooking demo

Mixology demos

All and all it was a great form of enrichment.

I highly recommend an Alaskan Cruise and we were very happy on Celebrity Solstice.

Other posts in this series include: