SeaDream outdoor diningA raw-food program has turned out to be very popular aboard the two SeaDream vessels, according to Thomas Carlson, vice president of hotel operations for SeaDream Yacht Club. Developed with Hippocrates Health Studio of West Palm Beach, the raw food program refers to the style of preparation, according to Carlson, and has no fish, meat, eggs or dairy products. Nothing is heated beyond 118 F in order to retain all of the healthy micronutrients.

“It is about eating healthy,” he said, noting that the cruise line’s owner Atle Brynestad is a strong supporter of healthy nutrition. The daily dinner menu has a section offering a complete five-course raw-food menu.

SeaDream also offers desserts with no sugar, flower or eggs.

“We have upgraded our pouring wines,” Carlson continued. “Often, the giveaway wines mean bottom-feeder quality, but our wines were always fine and now we upgraded further. We have many wine connoisseurs among our guests, so we also have some beautiful wines for sale.”

 “On the whole, our guests are healthy,” Carlson said. “They tend to eat light lunches with a light wine. Otherwise, they drink a lot of water, and we bottle our own water onboard – still and sparkling. Of course, we also carry commercial brands if someone should request them.

“Our menus feature few heavy dishes or fatty foods, and we are very careful about how much salt and sugar we use.

“And this goes in line with our guests who are healthy and active. They will join the captain on bicycling and hiking tours."

Caviar continues to be served generously, including the line’s traditional champagne and caviar splash in the surf in the Caribbean and on the pool deck in the Mediterranean.

Carlson added that the chef has complete freedom to adjust menus as necessary and that there are no preprinted menus. Each day, however, a portion of the dinner menu features standard items, so-called comfort items, such as steak, Norwegian salmon, lamb chops and pasta. Adding further color to menu selections, the chef may go ashore to visit local markets, and guests are welcome to join in, and the sommelier may pick up local wines.

In terms of cost pressures, Carlson said purchasing is concentrated, which helps keep costs down, but the line will also adjust its purchasing and find alternative ingredients if need be. “We are vigilant about our consumption. We are small and work closely together, so it is easier for us to monitor consumption to avoid waste.”

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Summer 2012