Author Topic: What is luxury ?  (Read 469 times)

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Offline Rob Lightbody

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What is luxury ?
« on: May 05, 2024, 01:23 PM »
I've seen a few of the Youtubers and newspaper reviews of Queen Anne say repeatedly that she is "luxury" and Cunard is "luxury".

But what does this actually mean?

How is Cunard more "luxurious" than P&O for example?
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: What is luxury ?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2024, 08:58 PM »
There is no way that I can compare the two cruise lines, as I lack experience once QE2 had left the seas.

But... in normal life... I would regard luxury as the special treat that we normally could not afford or would normally not gift ourselves :

-- the new villa or the new swimming pool or the latest Tesla bought on a whim,
-- or the upgrade on a long haul flight from Economy to Premium Economy or even Business Class,
-- or the special meal out for a special occasion,
-- or the visit to a café when normally we would be having a cup of tea at home,
-- or slathering our slice of toast with butter when we know we should go easy on fat.

So, to my mind, whatever constitutes luxury is different for each of us, but it is a step beyond what we would normally give ourselves.

Perhaps, if we want to compare the two cruise lines, a first question to be asked is : Which of them is the more expensive? It is possible that the more expensive one would be considered by most people as the more luxurious one. The one more out of reach of most.

Offline Tony

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Re: What is luxury ?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2024, 06:41 AM »
In the Queens room passengers were greeted, after shaking hands with the captain, and escorted to the main part of the room to be seated or meet the officers. At embarcation, first class passengers were also greeted by a gloved bellboy and shown to the cabin. Never on P&o.

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: What is luxury ?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2024, 10:23 PM »
Luxury, to me, is a higher degree of comfort, convenience and service over and above what the typical, normal, everyday levels would be.

All three factors have to work together to make the experience - they are all interlinked in this context.
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Online cunardqueen

Re: What is luxury ?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2024, 02:12 AM »
Quote
But what does this actually mean?

How is Cunard more "luxurious" than P&O for example? 

Luxury is often confused with great service, but Luxury is defined as something adding to the pleasure but not necessary

 An inside single  cabin on 5 deck on QE2 was never luxury as was a second sitting in Mauritania was never luxury, But what about uptop in The Grills

Hospitality is a marvelous world for experiencing luxury . Staying in a 3 star property will give an experience, but to go upto 4 star you leave the world of average service  or comfort and go up to multiple room options all of which must be ensuite have a TV daily housekeeping phone. and gym facilities  4 star is considered Luxury , Travelodges are classed as 4 star.  But move up to a 5 star and you have all that a 4 star provides but to a much higher standard. Yes even thicker towels   but you need a certain sized reception with multi lingual speaking staff and 24 hr hot food service . Even that corby trouser press used to make or break a grade, and who uses them ! 
 London has around 70-80 5 star properties . The past couple of years lv enjoyed staying at Grosvenor House on Park lane a number of times. They have a nice way of doing things and what l like , you have the option of pulling up at the front door under the grand facade and will be met by a door man who will offer luggage assistance and then the checkin process begins. But what l do is pull up on the Park Lane entrance, l stayed last month and as l was exiting the taxi the doorman who l know from previous visits was there, he has a wonderful personality and he greeted me with "Welcome Home"  we always have a joke and a laugh. The checkin process , they send you a welcome email with various options , designed to speed up checkin, so at the desk your room is generally ready, you know that because they are not hammering way on the pc getting your name added to the inroom tv , you just present the physical credit card for confirmation and your keys are handed over. the nature of my rate l confirm if breakfast is included , its generally not, but they tend to add it . They do a nice turndown service with personalized hotel water bottles (chilled) the weather forecast nice slippers pillow mint and in room breakfast menu by the bed with tv remote and the room will have been part serviced.  all the bedroom stuff is branded from the laundry bags pens stationery set etc, they use premium tea bags for the tray and theres a bottle of milk in the fridge for your tea. what really tickled me the last trip was walking along the corridor going to the lift , another member of staff walking the opposite way called the lift and waited by it till l was there, its doesnt sound much, but it was a beautiful thought. Housekeeping for me are the gems, when they know your one of them they can drop their guard slightly and l know appreciate the interaction and sharing of stories.
 The Sheraton at Picadilly again a 5 star place but they are more intensive at checkin , no pre-arrival email , but tins of water in the room with twinning tea bags and the shitty uht milk cartons but a well appointed mini bar and the pillow mint at night with a room service breakfast menu on the bed as their turndown service. But then they do the buffet hot breakfast , which is nice but ordering from the menu l think always gives the edge.

 One of the Hotels in the USA lv stayed at a many times  , The Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego is a place that always amazes me for the small things , you can cross on the bridge by uber or what l always do is catch the ferry over , theres a hotel car waiting to pick you up , Its one of the rare times im travelling light  and your bags are placed in the boot and you are taken a 2 min drive to the hotel up Orange Avenue. Your encouraged to leave your bags as you exit the car and the check-in process begins, lm usually trying to upgrade or stay in a certain part of the hotel but when l get my keys and get to the room, not only are the cases in there waiting , which is a thing l marvel at anyway, but they are on the suitcase racks , with the locked padlock facing you. l know it doesnt sound much but its these little things that for me define a bit of luxury. Mind you it can be scary just how much information is held when you checkin at hotels. While it can be a good thing that guests can leave comments, l think its long overdue that staff should be able to rate guests , we have a few that are simply not welcomed on past behavior.

 Vegas, is a city l love, The Venetian Hotel there, several years ago had a fragrance that wafted throughout (probably to reduce the cigarette smell ) but the moment you enter the property it was the fragrance that to me defined the smell of luxury, and still does. The  hotels there dont disappoint either but they have their quirks and l think sometimes they blur the lines between service and luxury 

Douglas Ward in his books always maintained  QE2 was a three class ship with the Mauretania being at best in one year as 3 star then Caronia and finally The Grill class .  As for Cunard being more luxurious than P&O  back in the 80s with Canberra , heck even her friendly 4 cabins , you could share a cabin with 3 strangers ! even with the best will in the world you couldn't do that on QE2 even in steerage . Isnt the fact That Cunard was always seen as being more luxurious than P&O down to branding. But in todays age is that still the same story ? 

i wonder Rob, what for you makes Silversea Luxury ? is it the smaller ship experience ? it must be so nice to do a cruise and not have to worry about the extras in a bill at the end of the voyage.   Id love the idea of champagne on tap whenever you want , it does make a bucks fizz just abit more special with the real bubbles and fresh orange juice. If only the Americans could believe that sparkling wine is not champagne.                           
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Online Lynda Bradford

Re: What is luxury ?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2024, 09:47 AM »
I've seen a few of the Youtubers and newspaper reviews of Queen Anne say repeatedly that she is "luxury" and Cunard is "luxury".

But what does this actually mean?

How is Cunard more "luxurious" than P&O for example?

It would be interesting to ask the YouTubers if they could expand on their description.

I'm not sure how I would describe luxury.  The first time I sailed on QE2 it was luxury to me, especially as it was a dream come true to sail on the ship thirty years since the first time I stood on her decks.  I felt I was living the life of luxury as it was such a different experience. 

After sailing with Cunard for 27 years I know what to expect, which is different to anyone who has never cruised before or cruised with Cunard.  It is a bit of luxury in that it is different to everyday life. e.g. I don't get cocktails served every day at home! 

Last year for my birthday I was treated to a meal in the Andrew Fairlie 2 Michelin Star restaurant at Gleneagles a luxurious setting.  It was an amazing experience, the service was exceptional as was the attention to detail.  It is interesting that the word "luxury" is not used in the description of the restaurant or indeed in the hotel description, but it was luxury to me. 

We are fortunate to have the little luxuries in life. I am sure that people who are homeless or living in poverty would describe as luxury what many of us take for granted.

The use of the word luxury is often used in marketing to describe a product that we aspire to own or experience and it is in this context that I think the YouTubers have used the word to describe the Cunard experience.  Perhaps if they were reporting on P&O they would also say it is luxury. 


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Offline June Ingram

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Re: What is luxury ?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2024, 05:33 PM »
Luxury can be the enjoyment of something we like or like to do, no matter how simple, but that we don’t often experience.
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Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: What is luxury ?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2024, 08:34 PM »
i wonder Rob, what for you makes Silversea Luxury ? is it the smaller ship experience ? it must be so nice to do a cruise and not have to worry about the extras in a bill at the end of the voyage.   Id love the idea of champagne on tap whenever you want , it does make a bucks fizz just abit more special with the real bubbles and fresh orange juice. If only the Americans could believe that sparkling wine is not champagne.                         

I've been trying to pin it down myself.  But it was definitely "luxury".  I think its a whole combination of things, which all add up - the same as Myles discusses about posh hotels.  Its a combination of everything, working.

Everything being included is a big part of it.  it means you can just relax and enjoy and live like the brochures advertised, from the moment you stepped out of the house into your limo.  champagne, cocktails, fine wine, single malts, quality excursions (on quality, luxury coaches), the daily gratuities, and then things like obviously very high quality ingredients (ice cream selection to die for at the lunchtime buffet!), caviar canapes etc etc - and as much freshly brewed Lily coffee & hot milk as you want, wherever you want it - and high speed quality internet on tap.  All this means you can relax and end your holiday knowing at the end there will be a £0 bill slipped under the door.  Comparing with Cunard Grills prices (when you add everything up), it appears to make the grills often look like rather poor value...    very limited up-selling, and its done very discretely, not in your face.
the small ship thing meant abundant space anywhere you wanted to sit - whether by the pool, or in the bar in the evening or at the lunchtime buffet, or a nice private table for 2 for dinner - no problem (or right at the back of the ship, sitting by the rail on a comfy sofa, watching the sun set behind the ship).  And discreet, effortless, friendly service where you get to know the crew by name quickly because there's not so many of them and they fulfill multiple roles around the ship (the crew to passengers ratio is very high).  There's a final crucial thing - not having anything to complain about!  I'm not going to drag up past negatives, but on both our Silversea trips, we've not had a single complaint about anything at all, and often the customer service gave us pleasant surprises.  This is in stark contrast to some previous cruises with Cunard.  It has made us realise we're not difficult customers, we just expect things to be right when on an expensive holiday during our limited holiday time, when we could have chosen to be elsewhere.  We do have another Cunard trip booked - and my expectations have changed as a result of the Silversea experiences, and are probably more realistically aligned to what Cunard actually is and what it isn't.  The strange thing I commented on to someone else who asked, was that Silversea appeared to deliver what Cunard was actually advertising in their marketing ...
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Online Chris Thompson

Re: What is luxury ?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2024, 11:57 AM »
"When I were a lad we used to live in t' Shoebox in t' middle of road!"...."Cardboard Box?"....."Luxury!" ;D

 

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