Q2 2020: How Happy Are You About Food Onboard

6.32 down 6.64

Stuck on board, no idea when leave will be allowed or when reliefs will arrive. Food is often the comfort that seafarers turn too. Well that would be the idea, if it was fit for purpose. All too often it is not, and the mood onboard deteriorates as a result.

Those who have been given good food marked consistently higher than others, and there was a real sense of the importance of meals in bonding crews. Where internet access is bemoaned as having a negative impact on the social life onboard, it seems that the difference between good and bad food is far more telling.

Where there are good meals, a sense of structure and a place for seafarers to come together to eat well and punctuate the day, then these tend to be happier. One respondent commented, “We are so lucky to have very nice meals, good variety, healthy on occasion and with some treats.”

Food is hugely important to the sense of wellbeing onboard. It was also stressed by some seafarers that where their companies told them to “stay healthy and boost immune systems” to stave off the effects of COVID, then they did so without investing any additional funds on feeding rates, and without providing any better quality food.

The standard of ingredients is of course important, but the skill of good chefs is recognised and celebrated. One respondent said, “We are so happy to meet a chief cook that’s served onboard passenger vessels”, and the effect of quality meals meant a big rise in happiness.

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