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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Ask the Barkeeper!
« on: Aug 25, 2011, 09:21 PM »
We have quite a number of ex-QE2 crew members in this Forum, and thought it might be a good idea to let them host an open session of questions and answers. All kinds of questions are welcome!

The first crew member who has volunteered as the target for such questions, is Louis, whose "QE2 My Home" is the most read thread of the whole of this Forum.

Louis will introduce himself, tell us what he did on board, and from when to when, and he will invite our questions.

If other ex-QE2 barkeepers wish to contribute in answering the questions, you too are very welcome.

And now, thank you Louis, and over to you :)  .

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #1 on: Aug 26, 2011, 06:23 AM »
Hello all QE2 fans my name is Louis i joined the ship in 1990 at the age of 19 and stayed on until 1998
I worked during this time only in the Bar Deparment, first job was Deck Steward i used to work on Heli Deck and Boat Deck the other team worked One Deck Aft by the pool and the Sports Area.

When i returned for my second contract i moved inside to Public Rooms here we are known as Public Room Steward or PRS for short.I never worked in the Queens Grill Lounge or Casino and of the rooms that i worked the best was the old Yacht Club and Midships Bar sadly both removed during the 1994 refit.The worse was the Grand Lounge and Queens Room.

In 1993 i got promoted as a Barkeeper apart from only a couple of Months that i worked in the Pavillion Bar i never worked in any of the Public Rooms as a Barkeeper.I was a so called Restaurant Barkeeper and i got to work in all Restaurants Dispense Bars.

Louis
« Last Edit: Aug 27, 2011, 12:40 PM by Louis De Sousa »

Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #2 on: Aug 26, 2011, 09:21 PM »
Hello Louis,

Thank-you for giving this opportunity to ask you some questions about your career onboard QE2.  I have a few questions which I would like to ask:

Did you feel that working in the Public Rooms was a promotion to working as a Deck Steward? 
Would you have liked to worked in the Queens Grill Bar?
What was your favourite area of the ship that you worked in?
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #3 on: Aug 26, 2011, 10:09 PM »
Quote
Did you feel that working in the Public Rooms was a promotion to working as a Deck Steward?  


Yes of course no doubt money wise and getting to know passengers better the Public Rooms are a better place to work.

Quote
Would you have liked to worked in the Queens Grill Bar?

If i was asked too do it i would have to do it, but i am glad it never came to that.So my answer is no.

Quote
What was your favourite area of the ship that you worked in?

The Midships Bar with no doubt a nice relaxing bar to work and with plenty regulars, no piano then also so it was a very quiet room.
« Last Edit: Aug 26, 2011, 10:14 PM by Louis De Sousa »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #4 on: Aug 26, 2011, 10:10 PM »
Hello Louis,

Thank you for your introduction and the chance to ask you some questions that come to mind.

I remember seeing (probably on pictures!) notices asking QE2 crew to speak only English to each other when in passenger areas.

Did this rule already exist when you were working on QE2?
Was it difficult to comply with it?

What language was used in crew areas? I suppose I can guess  :D  !

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #5 on: Aug 26, 2011, 10:24 PM »
Quote
I remember seeing (probably on pictures!) notices asking QE2 crew to speak only English to each other when in passenger areas.

Did this rule already exist when you were working on QE2?
Was it difficult to comply with it?

Thank Isabelle, no during my time there was no notices but the crew in Public Rooms and in near of passengers must speak only English.When you come across other speaking passengers like Germans, French etc English still has to be spoken if other passengers are close by.Its not that difficult to comply.

Quote
What language was used in crew areas? I suppose I can guess

Which every you want no rules here

Offline Andrew Collier

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #6 on: Aug 26, 2011, 10:35 PM »
Hi Louis,

Couple of questions from me:

You say in the post above that you had to speak English in front of the passengers, which makes sense as a general rules, but what about if a passenger comes to your bar and speaks another language to you, knowing that you are of the same nationality as they are, would you then be allowed to speak to them in their tounge rather than you both have to speak in a language, English which isn't your first?

Did you notice very different trends in the types of drinks served in each of the different bars? Each has its own charector for sure, and each attracted those who suited it, but about the drinks themselves I need inside info!

Thanks  8)
The Virtual Staff Captain

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #7 on: Aug 27, 2011, 09:28 AM »
Louis, It would be great to hear how you actually prepare for the various cocktail parties. l know where l work if we are catering for a wedding party of say around 100 the preparation starts long before the start, even pouring out the welcome drinks takes a while, when you multiply that figure for a Captains Reception it must be a fine tuned operation onboard so that everything fits into place by the time the passengers start to arrive.
When your aware of what goes on behind the scenes its makes you appreciate even more what the staff do out front.

What job did you least enjoy and perhaps why..
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #8 on: Aug 27, 2011, 11:02 AM »
Quote
You say in the post above that you had to speak English in front of the passengers, which makes sense as a general rules, but what about if a passenger comes to your bar and speaks another language to you, knowing that you are of the same nationality as they are, would you then be allowed to speak to them in their tounge rather than you both have to speak in a language, English which isn't your first?


Andrew the situation is always tricky, some passengers dont speak English at all and some do but dont want to speak in English (the Germans are very good in that).If the dont speak English at all then another language has to be used.If you have German and you know he speaks English but he speaks in German if no passengers are around ill speak German to him if passengers are near by ill answer him back in English.

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #9 on: Aug 27, 2011, 11:07 AM »
Quote
Did you notice very different trends in the types of drinks served in each of the different bars? Each has its own charector for sure, and each attracted those who suited it, but about the drinks themselves I need inside info!

Andrew each Barkeeper makes the same cocktail different, and each bar is different a Pinacolda for example will taste better drank in the Golden Lion than in the Crystal Bar you know what i mean.

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #10 on: Aug 27, 2011, 12:45 PM »
Just a reminder to all who ask questions, my answers will just be from my time onboard and how it was then.I can not answer for how things were done before and after.

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #11 on: Aug 27, 2011, 05:17 PM »
Quote
Louis, It would be great to hear how you actually prepare for the various cocktail parties. l know where l work if we are catering for a wedding party of say around 100 the preparation starts long before the start, even pouring out the welcome drinks takes a while, when you multiply that figure for a Captains Reception it must be a fine tuned operation onboard so that everything fits into place by the time the passengers start to arrive.
When your aware of what goes on behind the scenes its makes you appreciate even more what the staff do out front.

Myles, every evening a list is put up in the Public Room Managers Office for all the functions for the next day and who is working n them.Who all those that work on these functions get 10 dollars on their pay check.

Regarding a preparation for those big functions like Captains Reception etc is easier than it looks.The bar in charge of the function is the Chartroom the Barkeeper here is in charge of ordering the champange and during the function this bar plus the Lido Bar hand those cocktails drinks out that passengers order.Another team is in charge of the tables, table cloths, the snacks and glasses.The set up of the function is done by the Public Room Stewards.The champange glasses are set up in the Lido pantry and poured by the Deck Stewards.

Offline Jeff Taylor

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #12 on: Aug 27, 2011, 06:27 PM »
OK Louis, what's your recipe for a Manhattan cocktail.  Personally, I make a "perfect" Manhattan with blended (rye) whisky, and a combination of sweet and dry vermouth while I believe a regular Manhattan uses just sweet vermouth.   Many bartenders seem to confuse it with an Old Fashioned and use bitters.  Anyhow, what's the official QE2 recipe?

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #13 on: Aug 27, 2011, 10:57 PM »
Quote
What job did you least enjoy and perhaps why..

I hated been on Cleaning Gang nothing worse like the ship been in New York and you have to clean around.

Offline Andrew Collier

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #14 on: Aug 28, 2011, 12:53 PM »
Interesting responses Louis, many thanks  8)
The Virtual Staff Captain

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #15 on: Aug 28, 2011, 02:35 PM »
The Midnight buffet, was it only the wine waiters who covered this shift? or was it on a rota system?

In your position as Bar keeper did you ever want to try another position onboard ?.
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #16 on: Aug 28, 2011, 02:38 PM »
OK Louis, what's your recipe for a Manhattan cocktail.  Personally, I make a "perfect" Manhattan with blended (rye) whisky, and a combination of sweet and dry vermouth while I believe a regular Manhattan uses just sweet vermouth.   Many bartenders seem to confuse it with an Old Fashioned and use bitters.  Anyhow, what's the official QE2 recipe?

Jeff in the official recipe of a Manhattan bitters is used, though on the QE2 i never added the bitters to the cocktail.

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #17 on: Aug 29, 2011, 02:23 PM »
Quote
The Midnight buffet, was it only the wine waiters who covered this shift? or was it on a rota system?


Yes Myles only the winestewards covered the shift

Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #18 on: Sep 03, 2011, 07:38 PM »
Was there ever a QE2 cocktail created in honour of the QE2?

If not and you were asked to create a cocktail in celebration of this famous ship what would it be?
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #19 on: Sep 04, 2011, 12:04 PM »
Quote
In your position as Bar keeper did you ever want to try another position onboard ?.


No Myles my place is behind the bar ;)

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #20 on: Sep 04, 2011, 12:23 PM »
Was there ever a QE2 cocktail created in honour of the QE2?

If not and you were asked to create a cocktail in celebration of this famous ship what would it be?

Lynda i dont think any cocktail was created to the honour the ship.

I have my own creation to honour her its is a cocktail called "The Grand Lady"

1 oz Coconut
1/2 oz Creme De Bananes
1 oz Dark Rum
4 oz Pineapple Juice
1 one dash of Orange Curacao

On your trip o the QM2 you should order this.

Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #21 on: Sep 04, 2011, 12:28 PM »
Thank-you Louis. 

I will order this cocktail when onboard the QM2 and toast the QE2.  It will remind me of the Caribbean or a warmer climate as we sail round the top of Scotland.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline cunardqueen

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #22 on: Sep 04, 2011, 10:15 PM »
Quote
Was there ever a QE2 cocktail created in honour of the QE2?

 
I do recall seeing on the bar lists a drink The QE2 cocktail away back in 1986.
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #23 on: Sep 28, 2011, 06:15 AM »
Quote
I do recall seeing on the bar lists a drink The QE2 cocktail away back in 1986.

Yes true the cocktail was still on the bar list when i left in 1998.But here we were refering to a cocktail created to honour her after her service life.

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #24 on: Sep 28, 2011, 06:16 AM »
Anyone else with more questions?

PS - Isabelle maybe we should starting looking for the next crew member for this question session.
« Last Edit: Sep 28, 2011, 06:18 AM by Louis De Sousa »

Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #25 on: Sep 28, 2011, 08:44 AM »
Anyone else with more questions?

PS - Isabelle maybe we should starting looking for the next crew member for this question session.

Louis, thank-you very much for hosting the crew member questions and answers sessions for the month of September.  Looking forward to the next one!  :)
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #26 on: Jan 12, 2012, 01:33 PM »
Isabelle, have we no more crew in line for the next question session?

Offline Davina

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Crew "Domestic" Duties
« Reply #27 on: Mar 09, 2012, 02:35 PM »
Replying to Isabelles post on the other topic.The Hotel Crew live on the Forward section 4,5 and 6 Deck, along 6 Deck and Aft 3,4 and 5 Deck, all been accomadate into departments section and of course there is the sections for the female cabins.

Only a hand full of theses cabins have private facilities.The crew have no cabin stewards though there is a phillipino crew that go around daily hovering the corridors and cleaning the toilets.If you willing to pay the phillipino crew to clean your cabin thats ok otherwise you have to do it.

The crew eat in the crew mess no food from here is allowed to be taken to crew cabins.

As for the laundry both 2 services are available you can bring it away to wash and pay for it or you do it your self, self laundry areas are available.

The bedlinen and towels can be changed ever morning when the ship is at sea.You have to bring the dirty stuff to the laundry room.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #28 on: Mar 18, 2012, 12:30 PM »
Thank you, Louis -- it is fascinating to see how the crew lived, and how best they organised themselves.

I suppose when you write that you could do your own washing, that was in washing machines -- probably hand washing would have been more difficult?

And how about uniforms? Did you have your own personal uniform? How many sets? And was it washed for you every day or did you have to do that yourself?

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #29 on: Mar 24, 2012, 07:31 AM »
Quote
I suppose when you write that you could do your own washing, that was in washing machines -- probably hand washing would have been more difficult?

The washing rooms have washing machines and ironing equipament, sinks are in place if you want to do it by hand

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #30 on: Mar 24, 2012, 11:02 AM »
Quote
And how about uniforms? Did you have your own personal uniform? How many sets? And was it washed for you every day or did you have to do that yourself?

Our uniforms were handed in to be washed this could be done ever day at no cost.As a Restaurant Barkeeper on my last years all i had as uniform was my 3 waist coats.The 3 black trousers, 10+white shirts and dozen socks were my own.I payed to have them washed.

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #31 on: Aug 17, 2016, 02:00 PM »
Thought of bringing this topic back up :)Feel free for questions.

Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #32 on: Aug 17, 2016, 02:12 PM »
Good to have this topic brought to our attention again.  I love having a cocktail before dinner and I am inclined to try different ones, although I usually go back to my favourites - Cosmopolitan or Manhattan.

I have noticed in recent years that when asking for the same cocktail there is a big difference in the taste in various cocktail bars on the ship.  This was particularly noticeable on the Queen Elizabeth last year, where I ended up going to the cocktail bar that made the best cocktails rather than the one with the best view that I would have preferred to go to. 

My question is:

Were you given an instruction book with the recipe for cocktails or was it a learn on the job experience?
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #33 on: Aug 17, 2016, 02:17 PM »
 

My question is:

Were you given an instruction book with the recipe for cocktails or was it a learn on the job experience?

Lynda there is about 50-70 cocktails that are know Worldwide and these a Barkeeper should know of by hard.Then as you move on working in different places more cocktails will be learned.I always had my own cocktail book wherever I went.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #34 on: Aug 17, 2016, 03:18 PM »
My favourites are Kamikaze and Singapore Sling.

How come they can taste so vastly different, depending on place and barkeeper?  Can each barkeeper vary them as he/she prefers? How much can they be varied before they need to be given a different name?  ;)

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #35 on: Aug 17, 2016, 04:44 PM »
Frozen Mudslide is awesome.  Drinks were better on Westerdam than on Divina.  Wines were good on both, obviously, but other drinks were not very potent on Divina.  They were potent on Westerdam !! -  8)
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Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #36 on: Aug 17, 2016, 05:25 PM »
My favourites are Kamikaze and Singapore Sling.

How come they can taste so vastly different, depending on place and barkeeper?  Can each barkeeper vary them as he/she prefers? How much can they be varied before they need to be given a different name?  ;)

 Cocktail will taste different as each barkeeper gives a twist to the original (that will always remain our secret)
A cocktail will change name as soon a new spirit is added.

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #37 on: Aug 17, 2016, 05:30 PM »
Frozen Mudslide is awesome.  Drinks were better on Westerdam than on Divina.  Wines were good on both, obviously, but other drinks were not very potent on Divina.  They were potent on Westerdam !! -  8)

June I for one always made my cocktails depending on the passenger/guest for you as an example I would make the Frozen Mudslide with a touch more of bailyes for a younger person I would add more on the vodka

Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #38 on: Aug 17, 2016, 07:40 PM »
Louis, next year the forum will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the launch of QE2.

If you were asked to make a cocktail for her special year what ingredients would you use so as to reflect the celebration, QE2's vintage and her Scottish heritage and what would be your reason for your choice?
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Davina

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Re: Ask the Barkeeper!
« Reply #39 on: Aug 17, 2016, 08:44 PM »
Louis, next year the forum will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the launch of QE2.

If you were asked to make a cocktail for her special year what ingredients would you use so as to reflect the celebration, QE2's vintage and her Scottish heritage and what would be your reason for your choice?

Never thought about that but I could create something,what should we call it QE2 50?