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  #21  
Old February 16th, 2011, 08:00 PM
MagnoliaBlossom MagnoliaBlossom is offline
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I have found this discussion very enlightening.
When we were on the Sun last August there was a very large Israeli group on board and I was fascinated watching them in the dining room.
In spite of freestyle we often time ate in the same area of a dining room about the same time as several of the Jewish families.

There meals were brought to them in what appeared to be foil pounches (I was trying to watch but not stare) and they brought several vegetables (seemed like it was usually salad ingredients) and the gentleman at the table unwrapped special utensils and his wife cut the vegetables.

The staff appeared as though they were quite comfortable and knowledgeable about the needs of their Kosher passengers.

Thank you for sharing the information and if some one feels so inclined, I would like to better understand the tradition for having your vegetables whole.

Thanks - and enjoy your cruise, I'm sure they will do their best if they know ahead of time.
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  #22  
Old February 17th, 2011, 01:08 AM
badatz badatz is offline
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Originally Posted by newmexicoNita View Post
ok, that makes sense, I just thought the responder made it sound like it is an everyday occuranace and with my esperience I would have to say, this isn't the case. As for entire cruises being chartered for this, I think that is done rarely and if there is a rabbi, and special chefs aboard, i am a little confused about asking how the food is handled when NCL caters to specialty dining rooms. If there are special chefs aboard wouldn't they be able to handle this. I guess I am just confused. again, thanks for the information you provided.

Nita
Usually when there is a chartered organized group aboard with all their attending personnel as described above, they will all eat together either in a seperate room or in part of the MDR. The menu is basically special and fixed for the group. The "Kosher chefs" (one or two) will assist the regular NCL staff in preparing the enormous amount of food that is consumed, making sure that Kosher rules are followed.

  #23  
Old February 17th, 2011, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by MagnoliaBlossom View Post
There meals were brought to them in what appeared to be foil pounches (I was trying to watch but not stare) and they brought several vegetables (seemed like it was usually salad ingredients) and the gentleman at the table unwrapped special utensils and his wife cut the vegetables.

The staff appeared as though they were quite comfortable and knowledgeable about the needs of their Kosher passengers.

Thank you for sharing the information and if some one feels so inclined, I would like to better understand the tradition for having your vegetables whole.

Thanks - and enjoy your cruise, I'm sure they will do their best if they know ahead of time.

Kosher laws are very extensive and include not only the ingredients (no pork, shellfish, kosher slaughtered meats and poultry etc) but also the way it is prepared (meat and dairy separate), the utensils, pots and pans, dishes and cutlery, cooking procedures etc.

The idea behind the whole vegetable is that if it is cut in the kitchen then there is a distinct possibilty that the knife that was used was also used to cut unkosher ingredients thus rendering the knife unkosher and any item that was cut by it. This also holds true for the cutting boards, work surfaces etc. and even the fact that it might have been washed together with unkosher utensils would make the knife unkosher.

Therefore to solve the problem the vegetables, fruits etc are served whole and are cut by the traveller with his own utensils which he knows is kosher. The Kosher Traveller is very well versed in this type of DIY operation.

This is only a very very basic overview of some of the problems of Kosher food preparation. It is much more complicated then what is generally thought of (i.e. no pork or shell fish) but that is out of the scope of this discussion. If you like you could look up "Kosher" on wikipedia to get a good explanation.

Last edited by badatz; February 17th, 2011 at 01:25 AM.

  #24  
Old February 17th, 2011, 10:07 PM
MagnoliaBlossom MagnoliaBlossom is offline
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Thank you.
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  #25  
Old March 9th, 2011, 10:03 PM
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Thumbs up Our Kosher experience

My wife and I sailed on the NCL Sky 12/6/10. We preordered our Kosher meals. we were surprised by the variety that was offered. Upon boarding we went to the Crossings DR. The MDR Head waiter, Richard Bul showed us a framed menu with choices of 4 appetizers, 4 soups, 8 or 9 entrées and 4 deserts. We would select the Weberman meals a day in advance. Additionally wrapped fish and a sealed whole glatt kosher chicken, double wrapped in foil was available. He gave us plenty of disposable cutlery, cups and plates. He fussed over us like we were royalty. We will definitely sail NCL again. These meals were available for lunch and supper. he even arranged for kosher meals to be delivered to the private island for lunch.
We did not bother with the breakfast meals, but they were available.
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  #26  
Old March 10th, 2011, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jdough789 View Post
My wife and I sailed on the NCL Sky 12/6/10. We preordered our Kosher meals. we were surprised by the variety that was offered. Upon boarding we went to the Crossings DR. The MDR Head waiter, Richard Bul showed us a framed menu with choices of 4 appetizers, 4 soups, 8 or 9 entrées and 4 deserts. We would select the Weberman meals a day in advance. Additionally wrapped fish and a sealed whole glatt kosher chicken, double wrapped in foil was available. He gave us plenty of disposable cutlery, cups and plates. He fussed over us like we were royalty. We will definitely sail NCL again. These meals were available for lunch and supper. he even arranged for kosher meals to be delivered to the private island for lunch.
We did not bother with the breakfast meals, but they were available.
Glad to see that you managed nicely, and enjoyed the food. I will be on my first NCL cruise on the Pearl in two months and already arranged for the meals

Did you see anything about a special room service menu? I heard that there is one.

Were you able to check if any items at the buffet had a Hashgacha (Kosher Certification) such as ice cream, bagels, jams, cream cheese etc?

  #27  
Old March 10th, 2011, 11:45 AM
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You cant really go wrong with soup, but you shouldnt expect gourmet food from what is in effect airline cuisine.

Most of the buffet food is "bulk" rather than individually packaged, and youre therefore unable to see the label if there is one.....on many catering packs its often just a short name of the product. Bagels are baked on board as are the other bread products.....I doubt you will ever know if the same trays are used for pepperoni pizzas the day before.

If you are lucky, you might be able to chat with the catering staff, and have a look around the freezers eg the large ice cream tubs/soft scoop mix might be fine.

I think Celebrity are about to start operating a proper Kosher kitchen on some cruises, at extra cost.
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  #28  
Old March 10th, 2011, 12:07 PM
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Most of the buffet food is "bulk" rather than individually packaged, and youre therefore unable to see the label if there is one.....on many catering packs its often just a short name of the product. Bagels are baked on board as are the other bread products.....I doubt you will ever know if the same trays are used for pepperoni pizzas the day before.

If you are lucky, you might be able to chat with the catering staff, and have a look around the freezers eg the large ice cream tubs/soft scoop mix might be fine.
I was told by someone who travelled NCL in the past that the bagels were prepackaged and had a Hashgacha

If they weremade on board I would not eat it as well as any other prepared food, regardless of the serving tray

  #29  
Old March 11th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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I may be wrong. But I cant see them loading ten thousand or so pre-packed bagels into the fridge. I assumed they baked all their bread on board.

And I meant cooked on the same baking tray, rather than serving tray.

I *think* they do airline breakfast meals in the MDR that probably will include pre-packed bagels.
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  #30  
Old March 11th, 2011, 10:37 AM
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I may be wrong. But I cant see them loading ten thousand or so pre-packed bagels into the fridge. I assumed they baked all their bread on board.

And I meant cooked on the same baking tray, rather than serving tray.

I *think* they do airline breakfast meals in the MDR that probably will include pre-packed bagels.
No, they do not serve anything that resembles "airline" breakfasts and my guess, which I could be wrong, the bagels are pre-packaged. I guess to get a true answer one needs to email the food and beverage manager on a particular ship. I will add, much of the bread is baked on board.

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  #31  
Old March 11th, 2011, 12:17 PM
JFontaine JFontaine is offline
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You might be interested in the Kosher food program that Celebrity offers. Their "Premium" program is advertised as made "from scratch" (freshly prepared?) but it doesn't say where. There is a separate menu, and cost, and you need to order a day in advance. I can't vouch for anything about the program, other than they offer it on their website.

http://media.celebritycruises.com/ce...a_la_carte.pdf

  #32  
Old March 12th, 2011, 01:30 PM
badatz badatz is offline
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You might be interested in the Kosher food program that Celebrity offers. Their "Premium" program is advertised as made "from scratch" (freshly prepared?) but it doesn't say where. There is a separate menu, and cost, and you need to order a day in advance. I can't vouch for anything about the program, other than they offer it on their website.

http://media.celebritycruises.com/ce...a_la_carte.pdf

I checked out the link and to be honest it does not make any sense.

Firstly the reference to the "world reknowned NESTOVA CUISINE". If you check google, this is the only reference to NESTOVA. It does not appear anywhere else and there is no company by that name

Secondly, what does "Is the provenience of all our Kosher Premium items" mean? Maybe they mean, provider.

Thirdly the menu is way too extensive to be prepared freshly on board. I never heard to the OU having a Mashgiah on a regular line cruise ship (all products are OU supervised). Also did the USDA send a supervisor onboard to check the preparation?

What this probably is, is prepackaged food food similar to Webermans or maybe even Webermans itself. Someone at Celebrity just copied what it says on the packages without really understanding it, hence the OU appearing next to each individual item on the menu.

The difference between this program and NCL's is that with NCL and most other cruise lines you have to order up to two months in advance and here you can decide one day in advance.

I would love for this to be real fresh food but I dont think it is. And the cost is prohibitive, About $60 a day above the regular cruise fees.

I think I'll be happy with my Webermans on my May cruise.

  #33  
Old March 13th, 2011, 06:12 AM
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Prepared from scratch in Glatt Kosher certified kitchens, dishes are likely to include herb-roasted salmon, barbecue quartered chicken, beef brisket, citrus-glazed chicken breast, and citrus-glazed tilapia. It’s not just the menu that is to receive a make-over - Celebrity’s expert sommeliers now feature a selection of Kosher wines and champagnes on their extensive wine lists. Breakfast too will see the addition of kosher food items, with delicacies such as traditional lox and bagels, Belgian waffles, wild mushroom omelettes and pancakes putting in an appearance on the breakfast menu. The arrangements have been made under the strict supervision of the Orthodox Union and the United States Department of Agriculture.
There is something in-between prepared from scratch in a full fresh kitchen, and airline meals.....where they freshly prepare rather than freshly cook. eg for lunch they take a pre-cooked joint of cooked roast beef out of the kosher fridge, slice six slices off, put it in a bread roll, and serve it with chips and pickles and mayo on a nice plate.

I think the cost is mainly to pay for the added cost of preparation and supervision.

I am sure the logistics of washing the plates etc separately afterwards would be a nightmare.
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  #34  
Old March 13th, 2011, 09:42 AM
badatz badatz is offline
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There is something in-between prepared from scratch in a full fresh kitchen, and airline meals.....where they freshly prepare rather than freshly cook. eg for lunch they take a pre-cooked joint of cooked roast beef out of the kosher fridge, slice six slices off, put it in a bread roll, and serve it with chips and pickles and mayo on a nice plate.

I think the cost is mainly to pay for the added cost of preparation and supervision.

I am sure the logistics of washing the plates etc separately afterwards would be a nightmare.
I do not wish to go into a full blown discussion of the laws of Kashrut which is totally not in the scope of this thread.

However for anyone who adheres strictly to Kashrut, what you are suggesting is completely unacceptable and would probably render what was Kosher food, unkosher.

Is there a Mashgiach (Kosher Supervisor) onboard and in the kitchen at all hours? Is there a completely seperate Kosher kitchen for meat and dairy with ovens, prep and steam tables and dishwashers? I highly doubt it. What do they do on Shabbat?

It still sounds like total prepacked to me although it is not Webermans as they are under the supervion of the OK and not the OU. And we still did not address the question of who the unheard of "NESTOVA CUISINE" is and what is their part in the whole story

Additionally your quote of what is included does not appear on the menu page which I get when I go to the link posted. Where did you see it?

Last edited by badatz; March 13th, 2011 at 09:49 AM.

  #35  
Old March 13th, 2011, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by badatz View Post
However for anyone who adheres strictly to Kashrut, what you are suggesting is completely unacceptable and would probably render what was Kosher food, unkosher.
Not if its
Quote:
under the strict supervision of the Orthodox Union
as it says it is, and of course it would need
Quote:
seperate Kosher kitchen for meat and dairy with ovens, prep and steam tables and dishwashers
which was the assumption I made for the "assembling" of the food.

The quote I included was a link on a cruise TA email I received.
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  #36  
Old March 13th, 2011, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by newmexicoNita View Post
not being Jewish I can not address some of the issues, but I do know NCL as well as most cruise lines do a great job with porviding Kosher foods as long as they are made aware of the need prior to cruising, just like they do with any special diets. This is a wonderful improvement over about 10 years ago when almost no lines provided much if any Kowher foods.

Nita
I read this thread because my mother has to order low sodium meals. All we had to do was preorder her meals with the assistant maitre'd a day ahead of time, and they accommodated her very nicely.
I understand that ordering kosher meals is a lot more complicated than that.
As for years ago.....I saw an old documentary on the Travel Channel on the now retired QE2. Not only did it have a synagogue on board, but it had a separate kosher galley. The captain was taking the TV reporter on a ship tour, and when entering that galley, asked the chef "How's the kosher section doing?"
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  #37  
Old March 13th, 2011, 12:49 PM
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Not if its as it says it is, and of course it would need which was the assumption I made for the "assembling" of the food.

The quote I included was a link on a cruise TA email I received.
I agree with you that if all these conditions were met then it would be acceptable.
What bothers me is that I have searched all over including the OU website and cannot find any reference to NESTOVA CUISINE or the OU directly supervising food operations on Celebrity.
How can it be that they only exist on the Celebrity menu?

  #38  
Old March 13th, 2011, 02:02 PM
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Heres a couple of links......

http://www.gillscruise.com/news/317-...industry-first

http://www.cruises.co.uk/109-cruise_...sher_cost.html

Quote:
Glatt Kosher certified and made from scratch in kosher kitchens under the supervision of the O.U. and USDA
Doing some investigation nestova.com is registered to a Michael Chase (email manddchase@xxxxxx), and a Michael Chase (with a wife whos first name begins with D) is "the hottest young independent restaurateur in one of the three fastest projected growth states".

Unfortunately thats where it goes cold.....his restaurants are more lobster and ribs rather than kosher

Other than that, Nestova doesnt exist.
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  #39  
Old March 13th, 2011, 02:10 PM
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Nowhere does it say that the alternative Kosher meals are prepared onboard. It may just be another prepackaged supplier with more variety.
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  #40  
Old March 13th, 2011, 02:23 PM
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Nowhere does it say that the alternative Kosher meals are prepared onboard. It may just be another prepackaged supplier with more variety.
That was my thought from the beginning

I reread the menu and it says "all items were prepared", in the past tense, and not are prepared in the present tense. The word "onboard" is never mentioned.

It is probably some anonymous caterer providing a different prepackaged menu than the regular one from Weberman's and at a very high cost if eaten throughout the cruise.

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