Dennis Laguisma (39)
I am from the Philippines. Before sailing, I worked in restaurants. I have had some culinary training. I am not nautical trained, but I wanted to sail. Luckily I was able to come on board this way. It was very different on my first ship than on land. I had to get used to the fact that there were only 24 people on board. That was tough. All different cultures and attitudes. You have to be flexible. Eventually I got used to it. I have been sailing for twelve years now.
I have three children at home. They’re doing well. In order not to miss each other, we have contact every day by the free internet on board. That helps me a lot to keep up the travelling. In my spare time I also play games on my tablet. I like strategy games the most.
Working on a ship is different from working in a restaurant. As a chef on a ship you have to accommodate many nationalities. You have to have the knowledge to satisfy all those different taste buds. I think it’s important to make the crew happy. I ask people what they like and if they have a favorite dish. Then I search for it online and try to make it. Then I ask for feedback. Is there room for improvement? Then I’ll make it even better next time.
My specialty was Asian cuisine. Now I am getting better at Indian and also Scandinavian food. You order the ingredients when you enter a port, in consultation with the captain.
What I like most about boating is still the constant interaction with people. People are all different, but being friendly and social will make life on board better.