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Cruise Diary: Culinary Delights Aboard Noordam – Part 1

Journalist Lou Freed and her husband Jim (who took the photos) are sailing the Mediterranean on Noordam’s Roman Empire Cruise. During their time on board the pair have had the pleasure of experiencing all the culinary delights on board, including a kitchen tour, Cellar Master’s Dinner, Culinary Arts Center and everything in-between. They chronicled their experiences in writing and pictures for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

It had been awhile since our first HAL cruise to Alaska on Statendam, but my husband and I recalled the remarkable service, food and entertainment that motivated us to sign up for ms Noordam’s 10-day Mediterranean cruise July 20-30, 2011. The itinerary included Civitavecchia, Rome; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu, Katakolon, Santorini and Athens, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey, and Messina, Italy. We didn’t realize until we were on board that this would be such an enogastronomic treat as well as a visit to some of the most fantastic ports of call in the Eastern Mediterranean. Compared to our previous HAL cruise, Noordam has impressive culinary programs supervised by Culinary Operations Manager Jessica Schumann and her husband, Executive Chef Thomas Schumann.

Executive Chef Thomas Schumann proudly welcomes visitors to his gleaming culinary domain.

Kitchen Tour
Our first culinary experience began with this program on our first day at sea. Greeting the tour participants were Assistant Culinary Operations Manager Herman Lantman, Executive Chef Schumann, Pinnacle Grill Head Chef Biplab Mondial and the Pinnacle Grill Manager Jenny Impens. Amidst gleaming, immaculate stainless steel counters and machinery, impeccable assistant chefs toiled seriously at different food sections such as Oriental dishes, meats, desserts, fruits and vegetables plus ice and fruit carvings. It was heartwarming to see busy chefs look up and smile at their visitors being provided a glimpse into the major operation of nourishing and pleasing nearly two-thousand cruise guests several times a day. One can’t help but marvel at the dedication and artistry that bring smiles to cruisers when they sample the results. As Noordam Captain Johannes Aart Mateboer pointed out at the “Welcome Gala,” the crew works long hours daily for several months to make sure the Noordam is a cruise of a lifetime for guests. Visiting the kitchen and seeing its crew in action shows this hard work in a way that merely hearing about it doesn’t fully accomplish.

Noordam's fruit preparation center.

Assistant Culinary Operations Manager Herman Lantman welcomes us to the tour of Noordam's kitchen facilities.

Noordam's special breads creation.

Noordam's fruit & vegetable carving section.

Pinnacle Grill Chef Biplab Mondial explains culinary treats available at the Pinnacle Grill.

Stay tuned for more diaries about their cruise…

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