Usa & Canada Cruises

Where did the FOOD go from the EMPTY CRUISE SHIPS?





Talk to anyone who has been on a cruise ship, and chances are they’ll mention the food. With food, in most cases, available around the clock aboard a cruise ship, and multiple options of where to eat and what to eat, cruise ships usually have A LOT of food on board.

So, with the ongoing cruise pause cancelling thousands of cruise holidays in 2020 – what has happened to all that food?

When cruise lines order food, they order big! For example a ship the size of Queen Mary 2 will serve up enough tea in a normal year to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool, use over 1.5 million eggs, 8,000 bags of flour and almost 372,000 packets of cereal!

To manage the storage of food cruise ships generally have multiple food storage areas. These areas take up huge spaces within the ship – often below the waterline and away from the eyes of passengers, the stores consist of huge walk-in refrigerators & freezers as well as dry store rooms.

These stores remain well stocked and organised at all times, thanks to a dedicated team and specialised computer systems that are responsible for ordering supplies.

But as we all know, this year hasn’t been a good example of what is ‘normal’ as in March 2020 the cruise industry entered into a voluntary cruise pause in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

300 cruise ships around the world being laid up could have led to huge food waste, so an alternative use needed to be found.

Dealing with such large quantities of food requires a supply chain and forward planning to ensure the right goods and quantities are available and delivered to the cruise ship on time.

When the cruise pause came into effect, not only was there food aboard the ships, but plenty of stock also waiting to be loaded aboard. Furthermore, orders for subsequent voyages had already been processed and in many cases was en-route to cruise ports around the world.

There was far too much left on board the cruise ships to be eaten by the officers and crew who remain on board, so cruise lines looked to shore side charities who were happy to take on tons of produce to help feed people in need.

Donating to charities isn’t new to cruise lines, with many lines pledging money to the Australian Bushfire relief, as well as offering financial and logistical support to hurricane devastated regions – such as the Bahamas in the wake of hurricane Dorian.

And while donating produce isn’t entirely new to some cruise lines, the scope of the donations following the cruise pause certainly is.

When ships are sailing on longer duration voyages (such as world cruises) or when they are based somewhere other than their homeport, produce is taken aboard at various international ports.

If you’ve been on-board a ship that does longer duration voyages, you may have noticed that things that are served in their original packaging such as cereal boxes and canned soft drink or soda are often from unexpected places.

It’s possible for a group of friends to all order a can of soda, and each person will get a can that originates from a different country.

As the cruise pause happened at the tail end of the northern winter season – there were a high number of ships undertaking itineraries away from their usual base of operations. This meant that there were also a number of food orders that were no longer needed – in places other than the usual homeports of these ships.

The immediate and knock on effects of Covid have negatively impacted many people around the world, including those working in or with the travel industry. Even though donating the excess food doesn’t fix those problems – it is nice to know that not all of the food that was originally destined for cruise passengers was wasted.

Fact Ref [1]: QM2: A Photographic Journey (Book) / The History Press & Cunard Line QM2 Information Sheet.

Fact Ref [2]: Available from multiple sources quoting the UN – for more info visit

Audio and Sound FX: YouTube Audio Library

All images and video footage in this video are Chris Frame & Rachelle Cross.

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27 comments

  1. Thanks for watching! Whats your favoutire food aboard a cruise ship?

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  2. Enjoy your posts Chris, very professional and well researched. Although I am not a fan of modern cruise ships (floating apartment blocks and shopping centres) I still enjoy your posts. I am a fan of days past, Chandris Lines, Sitmar, Cunard, P&O etc and the days when merchant ships took passengers, Blue Star Line and Royal Interocean Lines.

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  3. Well done and kindness cruise lines, fore caring about people who are in need.
    QM2 the fennel never had it before, so good and Pecan nut pie, and Sun Princess, every cruise
    I have 2 breakfasts but am, a vegan,

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  4. Queen Mary 2. Favorite food Creme Brulee

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  5. I’m cruising stopped I always wondered what happened all the food that was going to be left behind. Good to know it all didn’t go to waste

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  6. Thank you for this info. I do have a question tho. I have seen videos where an elderly person pretty much STAY onboard year round. They no longer go home. The ship has actually BECOME their home. During this time of shut down, what happed to them ?

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  7. I know the cruise ships stopping increased the egg and beef supplies in greater Los angeles. You wouldn't believe how cheap roasts (beef) were going for after a few weeks of pandemic. There wasn't enough meat at suppermarkets (0verall), but HUGE roasts were going for $80 and you could get eggs at Sam's club (& walmart) as long as you took a 72 eggpallet intended for the cruise ships. Fish was also plentiful (amazing what people won't cook at home). Once the beef was (locally) repackaged in 10lb ground beef tubes, the local meat shortage was over.

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  8. Chris you are such a cutie and as always i love your videos.

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  9. I'm one of the crew. You can't even imagine how much food is thrown away by the crew or the passengers.

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  10. Great song about cruising soon and food fhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBny7UklEJgood...

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  11. Most logical thing is they just served it to the crew

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  12. We love the food on Seabourn and Oceania. Cannot wait to get back on a cruise again.

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  13. Second Breakfast? Gotta watch the Lord of the Rings again.

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  14. Best over all food Id give to Celebrity Cruise Line. Best cake…… Princess Cruise line Love Boat Cake. I had that 3 of the 7 nights. The Chocolate Flight in the Steak House on Carnival is good also. Worst food award out of the 6 lines I have gone on goes to NCL. I have not tried Cunard yet, it is on my Bucket list to do QM2 Transatlantic (I'm just not a fan of formal dress every night, after Covid I don't know if I could fit into my Tux)

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  15. another great video Chris!!. a big hello from Angela and Andrew Yates

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  16. And I would easily imagine the potential tax write-off from donating all that food would help cover at least a small part of the loss the lines are taking for this year.

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  17. Great video, Thank you!

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  18. Hey Chris! Can you make a video about how cruise ships are being cleaned and how the staterooms are looking right now or how it is maintained?!

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  19. I’d pick Holland America’s bread pudding. Yum! (But don’t look up the calories.)

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  20. Thank you Chris very informative. I like a toasted salty bagel with extra cream cheese, capers, smoked salmon, sliced tomato – in that order.

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  21. my favourite liner is cunard and my best cruise ship in cunard is queen maryy 2

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  22. thank great information chris , it was fantastic to do a ships galley tour on queen elizebeth amazing and crew was wonderfull

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  23. Good on the cruise lines for donating their food so it would not go to waste

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  24. food is the main activity on all the 30 cruises i have been on. i am happy no more midnight buffet

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  25. OMG 😍💋 💝💖❤️

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  26. Really interesting thank you. A favourite of mine is Celebrites Creme Caramel. End up having it every night!

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  27. Interesting! I also wonder about all the alcohol on board, especially the varieties that have a shelf life such as beer.

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