Friday 1st February

Today was a day at sea as we crossed the Gulf of Tonkin and the South China Sea on our two day journey to Hong Kong. We have travelled so far that as you will see we have left the map and are on the carpet!!

We have experienced overcast skies, rain and Force 6 winds for most of the day, but the Westerdam keeps on going smoothly.

We concluded our ship’s ‘behind the scenes’ tour today by working our way through the food preparation areas with the Executive Chef who explained how standards were maintained over the 16 days and how photographs were used to ensure all dishes reached the guest looking the same. It appeared to be a simple and seamless operation despite having to serve nearly 2000 guests.

We saw fresh bread being baked and fresh sauces prepared. Everything is on a massive scale but arrives at your table as if it had been prepared solely for you.

In the food storage area we saw boxes, bags and sacks of absolutely everything needed. The Chief of Provisions has a map to enable him to keep check on where each item is stored. We walked through the sealable watertight doors and into refrigerated and chilled areas. In the butchery department we saw meat being prepared having been defrosted for the past three days.

The Waste Management area was interesting and already had packaged waste for offloading tomorrow.

We saw how food waste was pulverised into wet pellets that were disposed of in deep waters as fish food.

The Laundry was interesting as it processed thousands of items in a short time. There was even a 4 deck spin drier which held 400lbs of towels and sheets.

We ended the tour by going backstage in the Theatre but were unable to walk centre stage as a lecture was in place. We ended with a reception as the storm continued outside.



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