Author Topic: Kevin James, QE2 Waiter, Mauretania 1987 -  (Read 3671 times)

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Offline Kevin James

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Kevin James, QE2 Waiter, Mauretania 1987 -
« on: Feb 20, 2013, 07:57 PM »
Memories well this letter / telegram I got was the best memory of the QE2 along with my pay slip and the photo of me.
I am the the waiter to the left of the picture in the Mauretania Restaurant.
For me I just simply liked the ship, working on the ship was one way of getting to be part of history, this iconic ship its design back in the 80's was a great feeling.
But I did enjoy serving the passengers especially champagne cocktail party.
I got the chance to have a quick and secret sip of champagne back stage.
I hated staff accommodation bunk beds a round window hehehe two drawer unit thats it.
I had a magician as one of my passengers Shaid Malik he is still performing and noticed him a few times on Paul Daniels magic show back in the 80's.
I was a chef before working on the ship as a waiter, as I found it much easier to apply for a waiters job, picked it up quite quickly and the rest is history.
Any way I love talking about the QE2 but I just wanted to post a memory which was the pay slip to those who also worked on the ship.
Will continue my chat later
« Last Edit: Jan 10, 2014, 07:37 PM by Alan Snelson »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: What remains a strong memory for me...
« Reply #1 on: Feb 20, 2013, 08:29 PM »
Hello Kevin, what wonderful memories those must be -- and thank you too for those pictures, which tell a great story...

I can just imagine the effect that that telegramme must have had on you when you opened it, and would love to hear more of the story! Looking forward to the next instalment of your chat  ;D .

Offline Kevin James

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Re: What remains a strong memory for me...
« Reply #2 on: Feb 20, 2013, 10:07 PM »
When boarding the ship for the first time I was given passenger accommodation which I thought was a mistake and my job was a mistake too as I was delivering mail I told them I am a waiter and I was quickly reinstated to the Mauretania Restaurant.
At first I was a commis waiter and after 3 weeks I applied for chef de rang which I got and had some fun times serving the americans who hated having all the posh cutlery hehehe guess they just wanted to use a fork only.
Loved the passengers birthdays as we all got to sing.
Opening the brown envelopes at the end of each voyage was like having all your christmas's at once until you felt the heavy ones guess we knew what they were full of.
The chefs were full of themselves and every morning when you went to collect your pastries they would hurl abuse at me even to this day I do not know what I did wrong.
Can someone tell me if they ever experience that.
I was a chef before going on the ship but I was never rude to waiters back in London when I was the head chef of the Golden Nugget Casino on Shaftesbury Avenue Piccadilly Circus.
The boat drills were a boring and tedious having only 3 hrs sleep and then being woken by the alarm, shifts were long and to be honest I loved them, every day was different especially when doing the Med, Transatlantic bit boring though 5 days at see before seeing land and then you hit New York wow the sun hit the twin towers what a sight. So you see there are sights which no one will ever see again and we have them locked in our hearts and mind.
QE2 you gave me a feeling of importance and it will stay with me forever.
I hope the QE2 will be brought back to the UK.
More stories to follow

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: What remains a strong memory for me...
« Reply #3 on: Feb 20, 2013, 10:55 PM »
Thank you so much, Kevin, for writing up your stories! I have moved them here, so that you can continue to introduce yourself and tell your QE2 stories in your very own thread -- and I am already looking forward to the next instalment!

It makes my day to hear that you enjoyed singing birthday songs for the passengers -- it was such a lovely touch and I am delighted to read that this was not a chore, but a moment of fun for the waiters.

I know I am very ignorant -- but could you please explain what a commis waiter is?

And how long did you manage to stay in the passenger accommodation you were given?  ;)

Offline Kevin James

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Re: What remains a strong memory for me...
« Reply #4 on: Feb 21, 2013, 06:54 AM »
In ref to the Americans using only the fork I did not mention anything to them why we have all the cutlery but they were fun guys and just made a comment that its too much washing up hehehe. At the end of the dinner and all the passengers had left the table I still set the place for them as normal. In the morning when they arrived for their breakfast I went to collect my pastries and when I got back I was so surprised as they had replaced their cutlery with white plastic disposable cutlery I laughed so much and thought hmmm so I am in for a rough crossing with this couple. Watch this space for the next chapter.

joshl

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Re: What remains a strong memory for me...
« Reply #5 on: Dec 18, 2013, 01:57 AM »
When boarding the ship for the first time I was given passenger accommodation which I thought was a mistake and my job was a mistake too as I was delivering mail I told them I am a waiter and I was quickly reinstated to the Mauretania Restaurant.
At first I was a commis waiter and after 3 weeks I applied for chef de rang which I got and had some fun times serving the americans who hated having all the posh cutlery hehehe guess they just wanted to use a fork only.
Loved the passengers birthdays as we all got to sing.
Opening the brown envelopes at the end of each voyage was like having all your christmas's at once until you felt the heavy ones guess we knew what they were full of.
The chefs were full of themselves and every morning when you went to collect your pastries they would hurl abuse at me even to this day I do not know what I did wrong.
Can someone tell me if they ever experience that.
I was a chef before going on the ship but I was never rude to waiters back in London when I was the head chef of the Golden Nugget Casino on Shaftesbury Avenue Piccadilly Circus.
The boat drills were a boring and tedious having only 3 hrs sleep and then being woken by the alarm, shifts were long and to be honest I loved them, every day was different especially when doing the Med, Transatlantic bit boring though 5 days at see before seeing land and then you hit New York wow the sun hit the twin towers what a sight. So you see there are sights which no one will ever see again and we have them locked in our hearts and mind.
QE2 you gave me a feeling of importance and it will stay with me forever.
I hope the QE2 will be brought back to the UK.
More stories to follow
I was a chef on the QE2 in the year 2000 and yes I can confirm there were chefs yelling abuse at others for sure. Not me though I can promise you that..I was one of the poor guys who had to work with those bad chefs...
Other than that I had the best experience of my life but those chefs I had to work with made it tough.
Keep good memories, lose the bad ones..
:)

Offline June Ingram

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Re: What remains a strong memory for me...
« Reply #6 on: Dec 18, 2013, 06:01 PM »
Hi Josh !  Welcome to The Forum and hope to hear more stories about "chef life" on QE2 !
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Richard

Re: What remains a strong memory for me...
« Reply #7 on: Dec 18, 2013, 10:33 PM »
Hi Kevin, sorry I missed your post from earlier this year. I had a chuckle at the fork only passenger too.
 It instantly reminded me of working on board during the Japanese charter (in the Mauritania).

I was serving dinner to a very smartly dressed and well turned out group of Japanese passengers. As the evening went on and I served them and tried to entertain them with my terrible Japanese I had an uneasy feeling, you know when you feel like something's just not right?

Well the evening went on and it wasn't until clearing the main course that my back man said "Where is the cutlery". We had eight dirty (empty) plates on the dumwaiter and no cutlery!
We looked at the table and despite having served starters,soup and main course all of the cutlery was still on the table.

It turned out, with the assistance of one of the very helpful interpreters that the passengers had thought that they where to use their napkin to wipe clean the cutlery and lay it back on the table. And I can't believe that I never noticed!

So it turns out that the fork only passenger is not so strange!

Hi and welcome Josh.
You're one in a million. I tried to stay away from the kitchen, some of the chefs could be a bit volatile but at the end of the day in the crew bar with a beer (or twelve) we where all the best of friends!

Best,
 Richard

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: What remains a strong memory for me...
« Reply #8 on: Dec 22, 2013, 07:37 PM »
Hello Josh,  would you like to start an introduction post to tell us more about your time working onboard?  It sounds like you will have lots of stories to tell.

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/board,34.0.html
« Last Edit: Jan 03, 2014, 07:52 PM by Alan Snelson »
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