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Author Topic: Slipping Standards  (Read 229 times)

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Offline andyh

Slipping Standards
« on: Sep 22, 2019, 12:44 PM »
This may be a bit controversial, but having just returned from a two week cruise on Queen Elisabeth we found the standards across the board have seriously slipped.
It has been a few years since we last sailed with Cunard and were looking forward to all the pomp and tradition  that we have over the years come to expect from Cunard, dress codes seem to have been reduced to smart and formal attire,  there is no way shorts and t shirt fit into either of those, would you go to a smart restaurant and then on to a theater in scruffy shorts and t shirts.
The staff didn't seem as friendly, there was no hello from everyone you met, just the occasional staff member.
Cleanliness around the ship was also an issue, there was a lot of dust and dirt in the food areas, where I would expect it to be clean.
I was of the impression, and happy to do so, that you will pay a bit extra for the Cunard standards and experience, but we seriously doubt it is now worth it and it we will use them again.
I would like a trip back on QM2 but concerned It would be disappointing, and therefore a wast of money, or do we wait for the new ship in 2022? 

Offline Twynkle

Re: Slipping Standards
« Reply #1 on: Sep 22, 2019, 01:27 PM »
Hi andyh

Your post is interesting, and hopefully you have  let Cunard's "Guest Relations department" at Head Office in Southampton know of your concerns. They do need to know - cleanliness and their reputation regarding maintaining dress codes too, it sounds from what you write as if both need to be addressed!

We stayed on board Queen Elizabeth for 28 nights earlier this year, it was the ships voyage from Tokyo to Alaska; making many maiden calls to and from Vancouver.
We knew of concerns from Snr officers that the ship had previously taken 1160 +/- Japanese passengers round their country's ports - and that the crew had found it difficult when met with no response from these passengers to the crew's friendly and polite greetings.
There were two very senior officers who had been posted on board for several months, one a particularly experienced hotel manager.   On the whole the ship was very clean - with the exception of the carpet in our cabin! Cabin stewards now have 16 cabins to clean - and this is a steep step up from 11.
Passenger's dress on the whole was as to be expected - we were aware that people were being asked to wear jackets and tie for Dinner in the Britannia restaurant...
We did experience serious problems with disembarkation - that was truly bad, and we did make it known (shore-side) that the system in Vancouver needed to be remedied asap!

We have been sailing on board the ships for very many years - and they are  one of the few places in the world, where if making a complaint is necessary, we are aware that it will be remedied as appropriate / possible as soon as it has been reported to the Guest Relations team on board.
(The US inspectors may well also be involved when in US waters - their strict policies and codes could have been very important for the crew in our case)

Also, it might be a different experience if you were to sail on board Queen Victoria - she is Much Much more like QE2 in very many respects!

All the best
Rosie
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Slipping Standards
« Reply #2 on: Sep 22, 2019, 02:02 PM »
I imagine that the Japanese passengers were also puzzled why they were not being greeted in the proper manner. Makes me wonder whether the ship's crew had received any kind of training in the appropriate body language and greetings? With a significant number of Japanese passengers on board, this would surely have been useful by way of preparation.

Offline Twynkle

Re: Slipping Standards
« Reply #3 on: Sep 22, 2019, 02:10 PM »
Isabelle Hi!
 - There were people from Japan who had been recruited onto the Hotel Staff, the Purser's Office, the Tour Office and Catering departments as well, there were also meal-times and other  changes to suit their preferences for early meal times etc. We made friends with several couples, they were all without exception happy, and well-integrated - the Quiet Daily Origami session in the Dining Room was a good case in point! 
Queen Elizabeth is  staying in the region for long periods next year too.
There was much evidence to show that the ship was catering well for their needs in very many respects.
If anything, it was the UK passengers and others who were feeling rather 'difficult', both on board and online /facebook etc  about the situation regarding the changed meal-times.
Rosie.

QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Slipping Standards
« Reply #4 on: Sep 22, 2019, 05:21 PM »
Paying extra for Cunard service and luxury is what bothered me on our last cruise last year on QM2. None of it seemed luxurious to me, except the price.  From the half hearted buffet, to the absent afternoon tea, to the crush in the dining room with people in terrible clothes, we just came away feeling we might as well have been on P&O.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Online cunardqueen

Re: Slipping Standards
« Reply #5 on: Sep 22, 2019, 05:38 PM »
Quote
I was of the impression, and happy to do so, that you will pay a bit extra for the Cunard standards   

Are we mixing up QE2 standards and Cunard standards, l fear they are not in the same boat/ship/liner
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Andy Holloway

Re: Slipping Standards
« Reply #6 on: Sep 22, 2019, 06:20 PM »
Hi andyh


We did experience serious problems with disembarkation - that was truly bad, and we did make it known (shore-side) that the system in Vancouver needed to be remedied asap!
Having spent a couple of seasons running in and out of Vancouver on the 14 Day Alaska run to Whittier and back, i can offer the fact that Vancouver is, possibly, the worst Canadian port to do embarkation/disembarkation. The stevedores are so Unionised it beggars belief how they do anything without a meeting or extra pay!
So i would offer that it was possibly not all down to Cunard, but more a port problem that they - Cunard - have to live with and work around. Remembering that the ship is back again next week/fortnight and so on for their season there.

Who was the Captain? Inger or Asheem?

Offline andyh

Re: Slipping Standards
« Reply #7 on: Sep 22, 2019, 06:36 PM »
The Captain on our voyage was Simon Love, he joined the ship from the Queen Victoria in January while in Australia.
We did go to the Pursers desk, asking if there was some sort of form to complete about a complaint, we were told to write a letter, and they would forward it to the relevant dept, as this covered several different areas, we elected to write to Cunard on our return

Offline Alex Tarry

Re: Slipping Standards
« Reply #8 on: Sep 22, 2019, 06:50 PM »
We had three weeks on QM2 a couple of months ago, we've sailed on it most years since launch, this time finding it as good as it ever has been, after some very low points a few years ago.

I did have concerns, but mainly over the health/welfare of some of our fellow passengers, I really think Cunard should give a greater focus on healthy food/lifestyles...seemingly a space Virgin are focussing on.

It is certainly true that if you are under 50 you are very much the minority, something I know they are trying to achieve, but with limited success.

However if you want to consciously gain a few pounds, whilst watching the sea going by, it's a pleasant way to do it.  Overall though Celebrity are much better at food, entertainment and service...their ships are beautiful also, without all the 'self-assuredness' of Cunard...

It certainly was nowhere as special as QE2...