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Author Topic: Ask the Barkeeper!  (Read 20487 times)

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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 Louis De Sousa

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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 »

Online 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 Louis De Sousa

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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 Louis De Sousa

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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

Online 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 Louis De Sousa

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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 Louis De Sousa

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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 Louis De Sousa

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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 Louis De Sousa

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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 Louis De Sousa

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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

Online 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 Louis De Sousa

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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 Louis De Sousa

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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

Online 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 Louis De Sousa

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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 ;)