Trainee Pastry Cruise

Joined Jun 23, 2016
Afternoon lads and lasses,

New to this forum so don't shoot me down!

Long story short, I have recently graduated from college as well as having nearly four years in the trade (3 as a line chef, 1 as a pastry chef) and I'm going to be boarding a small cruise liner as a trainee pastry chef.

I know it's hard graft but the company is regarded as ultra luxury and everything on board is made from scratch, I suppose it will put me in good stead at the very least, with having relatively little knowledge in being a chef this can only be good... Fingers crossed.

Only thing I'm curious on is how advanced should I be.

Any advice is welcome


Joined Oct 11, 2014
Congratulations on the new jobs and welcome to Chef Talk!

If you have taken proper pastry training (as in a pastry only schooling with the two years of pastry on the job apprenticeship work) then they will expect that you will know most techniques and recipes as well as proper ingredient use. If you do not have proper training then they will not expect much and will train you exactly the way they want you. 

It is always best to go into any job with an open and sponge-like mind. They would never have hired you if they felt you didn't have the right attitude and they would not be able to train you.

I wish you all the best and hope you enjoy the job! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

PS: One is not a chef until they are running and managing the kitchen so you are just a cook until then. It is alright to be a cook and a bloody good one at that. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Cruise lines are notoriously hard for employees.  Be prepared for 7 day weeks, 12 hr shifts.  You might a get a few hours shore leave in ports of call.  Accommodations are "fun", usually 4 to a cabin.

Hope this helps....
Joined Aug 21, 2004
Only thing I'm curious on is how advanced should I be.
Seeing as how you were hired as a "trainee pastry chef" and you have 4 years experience in the trade (3 as a line chef, 1 as a pastry chef); you should be fine.

Don't know how long a contract you signed for, but at the end of it you will be much more experienced. Like @foodpump said definitely expect 7 day weeks. My experience 30 days straight, about 16 hours a day, then a week's paid vacation.
Joined Jun 23, 2016
@Fablesable Thanks for the reply! Never ran a place by myself but for two years I started off as a trainee and I worked my way up to sous chef from the age of 19-21 and had a lot of responsibilities when it came to new ordering stock, stock control and new items on the menu...My college education was only one year whilst working 40 hours a week, my duties were moderate however the menu never changed, basics sweet, choux pastry etc chocolate and cream piping meringues, two or three tiered cakes and dressing them basically, nothing fancy but they looked okay (only dropped one when I completed it and was placing it in a fridge to chill!!!) but nothing of the standard of the cruise line I will be on from what I've seen in pictures. Not saying I'm not willing to learn, however I hope I'm not chucked into the deep end... The middle would be okay though haha!

@foodpump yeah, it's seven days a week, 12 hours, 4 hours off the ship. Hard work and no frills compared to the entertaining staff from what I've heard. Can't find anything about what it's like to work for the company online about the cruise line company which is a bit worrying, but I've worked longer than 6 months at a place I detested. Anything but smelly or dirty when it comes to my bunk mates and I'll be happy!

@cheflayne fully expecting to be the whipping boy of the kitchen, as its normal in every kitchen. Just a quick question... Have you heard of Silversea cruises before and if so could you share as I can't arm to find any info online

Cheers guys :) !
Joined Aug 21, 2004
Silver Wind as Chef poissonier (Former Employee) –  ocen cruise – December 22, 2013

a chef on a cruise ship is involved in all operations ( breakfast, lunch, dinner) room service if needed, or extra buffet...
the hardest part of the job : i guess working every day 12 h/day for 6 months.....
most enjoyable; nothing more than guest satisfaction. it is the only thing that matters. that way i know if i did good or not
Great place to work in. Great place to develop self innovative skills

Pastry Chef (Former Employee) –  Monacco – February 27, 2012

A great company to work for especially as unlike other cruise lines nothing comes ready made in terms of food. Everything is prepared on board including whatever the guests may oder for no matter which part of the world they may be from, in terms of special personal orders. We do not say no to a guest even if their requests may involve research.
good experience working for Silversea as is one of the most luxurious cruise line in the world

Italian Chef (Former Employee) –  world wide – July 5, 2013

I learned a lot working at sea as isnt the easiest job around,

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