I will be going on a cruise. I know that some cruises have Kosher menu selections that are actually verified Kosher, not just “Jewish Style meals”. My question is that how can these be kosher without a mashgiach? I am assuming that they don’t have one, does anyone know? Also, I doubt they have a separate kitchen for kosher food, or do they? If anyone can let me know how the Kosher food on cruises work, please let me know. Thanks.
Based on our experience on three such cruises in the US and Europe (and many religious friends doing the same), there are two options. Sometimes both are on the same boat at the same time.
- Airline-style (somewhat improved) meals which you can choose from a large selection. They come double wrapped and under supervision of a national kosher agency (e.g., Norwegian used OK in 2016-2018). In addition, the boat will often have other kosher products served and you can ask to see the hekhsher (classic examples: bagels, cream cheese, some ice cream, fruit).
- A separate kitchen with a mashgiach who supervises food preparation the whole time and waiters/cooks trained by the mashgiach.
Both can be impeccably kosher but you need to check arrangements in advance to be sure they will be there on the boat you take and make sure you are comfortable with them.