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One of the things you have to remember about joining a Cunard Round The World Voyage, is that the people who can spare the time and money to take a trip like this are likely to be retired and spending the kids inheritance. This means that many of them have had decades to perfect their rudeness. On this, my third Cunard cruise, I was amazed at the sheer number of bad mannered people with sharp elbows determined to be first in any line up. It was I admit the first time I had seen a woman use her husband in a wheelchair as a battering ram to get a window seat in the buffet. However it was not the first time and not unexpected when passengers “booked” chairs on deck with hats, books, towels etc. despite signs asking them not to. I would have loved to see the threat of possessions being removed to the purser’s office carried out. I am sure that the staff must take courses in how to deal with the rudeness of guests who for some reason think shouting at a waiter is the way to go. When one gentleman not looking where he was going fell over a waiter, he compounded the act by swearing at him for being in the way. And it is no use telling people not to video the shows in the theatre if one man repeatedly does so in the front row of the balcony. So enough about my fellow passengers, most of whom I must admit did not treat the staff as second class citizens. What about the Cruise itself? The food was excellent. Probably the most imaginative menu I have seen so far. One recent review complained about precooking food. Exactly how did that reviewer expect 2000+ guests to be fed? Individual portions cooked to order? It was all well cooked and often beautifully displayed. However, where it all went wrong was in the management of staff. Waiting 20 or 30 minutes for that first cup of coffee at breakfast never puts me in a good mood for the day. Nor does a wait of 40 minutes for my starter while watching other tables having their main courses cleared and desserts served at dinner in the Britannia Restaurant. Complaints resulted in little or no improvement, and on one occasion I actually left after the 40 minutes and went to the buffet. Profuse apologies from the Maitre d’ in my section resulted in improvement for three days during which time we hardly had time to finish a plate before it was cleared. However on the last night at sea, was it really a good idea to have me as the only person on our table who did not get his desert? For the first time ever, I did not tip the staff. The problem obviously was with management. On one evening we were treated to an officer I took to be the reserve captain sprawling at a table and entertaining two obvious VIPs. A pity he could not be bothered to introduce himself to the people next to him. Nor did he take the slightest notice when a wine waiter and food waiter managed to push past either side of a lady with a walking stick right in front of him rather than waiting a few seconds for her to pass. Obviously the crew had no control over the Norovirus outbreak, but I felt that it was treated efficiently and did not spread out of control. Staff cleaning efforts must be complimented. One of the problems in having so many people isolated in a tin can at sea, is that infection can spread like wild fire, that it did not is entirely down to the staff. Oh yes, several of us got a cough or cold. Not surprising, and calling it the Cunard Cough is merely facile. What was surprising was that the entertainment staff made no attempt to provide additional amusement for the passengers incarcerated for eight days at sea, due to not being able to visit Salalah and Jordan. In fact the on board entertainment was abysmal. The jazz trio, solo cocktail jazz pianist and the professionals in the bands were excellent. Visiting artists with two exceptions were not even third rate. I am sure I was not the only one thinking Hi De Hi whenever the entertainment director walked on stage. And only three Cunard singers and dancers shows in three weeks. Were they on a work to rule? When we did at last manage to get a couple of Captain’s cocktail parties, was it really a good idea for the entertainment staff and other officers to stand around talking to each other? I was always taught that the staff’s function at occasions like this is to circulate, talk to the guests and even, shock horror, encourage them to talk to each other. Good management in the entertainment industry is all about the customer, not the bottom line or tick boxes. You are better than this Cunard. Get your act together.

Not the Usual Standard

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Review by RhinoRunner

22 people found this helpful
Trip Details
One of the things you have to remember about joining a Cunard Round The World Voyage, is that the people who can spare the time and money to take a trip like this are likely to be retired and spending the kids inheritance. This means that many of them have had decades to perfect their rudeness. On this, my third Cunard cruise, I was amazed at the sheer number of bad mannered people with sharp elbows determined to be first in any line up. It was I admit the first time I had seen a woman use her husband in a wheelchair as a battering ram to get a window seat in the buffet.

However it was not the first time and not unexpected when passengers “booked” chairs on deck with hats, books, towels etc. despite signs asking them not to. I would have loved to see the threat of possessions being removed to the purser’s office carried out. I am sure that the staff must take courses in how to deal with the rudeness of guests who for some reason think shouting at a waiter is the way to go. When one gentleman not looking where he was going fell over a waiter, he compounded the act by swearing at him for being in the way. And it is no use telling people not to video the shows in the theatre if one man repeatedly does so in the front row of the balcony.

So enough about my fellow passengers, most of whom I must admit did not treat the staff as second class citizens. What about the Cruise itself?

The food was excellent. Probably the most imaginative menu I have seen so far. One recent review complained about precooking food. Exactly how did that reviewer expect 2000+ guests to be fed? Individual portions cooked to order? It was all well cooked and often beautifully displayed.

However, where it all went wrong was in the management of staff. Waiting 20 or 30 minutes for that first cup of coffee at breakfast never puts me in a good mood for the day. Nor does a wait of 40 minutes for my starter while watching other tables having their main courses cleared and desserts served at dinner in the Britannia Restaurant. Complaints resulted in little or no improvement, and on one occasion I actually left after the 40 minutes and went to the buffet. Profuse apologies from the Maitre d’ in my section resulted in improvement for three days during which time we hardly had time to finish a plate before it was cleared. However on the last night at sea, was it really a good idea to have me as the only person on our table who did not get his desert? For the first time ever, I did not tip the staff.

The problem obviously was with management. On one evening we were treated to an officer I took to be the reserve captain sprawling at a table and entertaining two obvious VIPs. A pity he could not be bothered to introduce himself to the people next to him. Nor did he take the slightest notice when a wine waiter and food waiter managed to push past either side of a lady with a walking stick right in front of him rather than waiting a few seconds for her to pass.

Obviously the crew had no control over the Norovirus outbreak, but I felt that it was treated efficiently and did not spread out of control. Staff cleaning efforts must be complimented. One of the problems in having so many people isolated in a tin can at sea, is that infection can spread like wild fire, that it did not is entirely down to the staff. Oh yes, several of us got a cough or cold. Not surprising, and calling it the Cunard Cough is merely facile.

What was surprising was that the entertainment staff made no attempt to provide additional amusement for the passengers incarcerated for eight days at sea, due to not being able to visit Salalah and Jordan. In fact the on board entertainment was abysmal. The jazz trio, solo cocktail jazz pianist and the professionals in the bands were excellent. Visiting artists with two exceptions were not even third rate. I am sure I was not the only one thinking Hi De Hi whenever the entertainment director walked on stage. And only three Cunard singers and dancers shows in three weeks. Were they on a work to rule?

When we did at last manage to get a couple of Captain’s cocktail parties, was it really a good idea for the entertainment staff and other officers to stand around talking to each other? I was always taught that the staff’s function at occasions like this is to circulate, talk to the guests and even, shock horror, encourage them to talk to each other.

Good management in the entertainment industry is all about the customer, not the bottom line or tick boxes. You are better than this Cunard. Get your act together.
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