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Cruise Ship Super Star Libra

All A Board!
After a 365 days of non-stop work on the Cruise Ship Super Star Libra, Nilai University alumni C.Rueben Pillay A/L G. Chandra Pillay takes 6 weeks off to rest before the next sail. He never misses to spend a day at the School of Hospitality and Tourism with the lecturers to catch up.
After a 365 days of non-stop work on the Cruise Ship Super Star Libra, Nilai University alumni C.Rueben Pillay A/L G. Chandra Pillay takes 6 weeks off to rest before the next sail. He never misses to spend a day at the School of Hospitality and Tourism with the lecturers to catch up. He took some time off to share his experience with Aileen Anthony, Senior Manager Corporate Communications, Nilai University. The experience on the Super Star Libra is invaluable. In no other outfit can you find the experience of preparing meals for 2000 people in one sitting. You also don’t have the luxury of space on a ship so every item and action must be maximized. We are all trained that customer experience is paramount.
 
Working on a cruise ship also gives me the opportunity to interact and work with people from all over the world. For example, only 20 percent of the workforce in the galley are Malaysian. The rest come from all over the world. The first three months were punishing. I almost packed up my bags and returned home. But I persevered and the Executive Chef gave me a lot of guidance and motivation. There is no doubt that if you can handle the pressures on a cruise ship, you can handle the pressure anywhere else. The Industry recognizes this and opportunities to grow in terms of knowledge and remuneration are great. 
 
I have also begun to take part in international competitions and in my free time, I do bar tendering. I missed my graduation this year because I could not take any days off. Thus, I came here to visit my lecturers when I could finally get some time off. The pastoral care that my lecturers gave me played a key role in what I am doing today. They gave me knowledge and most importantly, they have me the confidence to believe in my capability. There may be other institutions which shine in terms of their glamourous facilities, but it does not come close to the personal care and attention that I received here. The confidence and self-worth that you will get will get you much farther in life.

A day on board the Super Star Libra

Time

Reuben’s Task

Reuben’s comments

7.00pm

Wake up an prepare for the 9pm to 9am shift.

 

8.30pm

Arrive at the galley.

The galley is the kitchen on a ship.

Key in provision items for following day’s supper.

Not everyone is given the duty to do this. The Ship’s Executive Chef must be confident in you to allow you to undertake this task. I took two months to master this.

Begin to set up today’s supper.

The preparation for today’s supper begins at the end of yesterday’s shift.

Pick up items keyed in the previous night.

 

To give you an idea of the amounts of food we deal with. We (a team of three including me) collect something to the tune of:-

  • 20 packets of 10 kg rice
  • 100 kgs chicken
  • 20 kgs baked beans
  • 1000 pieces dumplings
  • Etc

11pm- 12.30pm

Supper commences full swing.

A team of 80 people manage food preparations and serving for 2000 guests at one time.

 

The hierarchy in the galley is:-

Corporate chef (may not be on board ship full time) - 1

Executive Chef - 1

Executive Sous Chef

Senior Sous Chef

Junior Sous Chef

Senior Chef De Partie

Junior Chef De Partie

First Cook 1

First Cook 2

Second Cook 1

Second Cook 2

Third Cook 1

Third Cook 2

Stewarding

I started at Third Cook 2 after my Diploma in Culinary Arts and within a year promoted twice to Second cook 2 (this came with a 50% raise in salary (Winks)).

1-1 1/12 hr

Break.

 

3.00am

Begin preparing breakfast.

I am part of the Asian food team which prepares Asian fare such as Nasi Lemak, rendang etc. On average, I slice 10-15 kgs of cucumber amongst a host of other things.

5.30am

Breakfast items are ready.

 

7.30am

Breakfast commences.

 

9.00am

Begin mice-en-place for supper.

 

Mise-en-place (pronounced [miz on plas], is a French cooking term which means having 'everything in its place' so basically, having all the ingredients organzied, prepped and ready to go.

 

10.30am

Knock off for the day

 

 

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