What on earth has happened to Senior Officers Party

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#1
UKand USA
1,170 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Just off QE and have been Diamond for many years
The senior officers party was always a nice uncrowded select affair in Commodore Club or Garden Room and the Officers circulated
Now its more crowded than the World Club or Welcome party downright noisy with band blasting out and as for any hope of getting a drink or a canape forget it as the staff are run off their feet and cant cope

Red cards were plentiful and the Officers never moved from the centre of Queens Room talking just to a select few people the entire time

At none of the parties did they announce how many Diamond or Platinum cruisers or any other level were on board and since theres one passenger who practically lives on the ship he takes most travelled passenger status virtually every cruise

I can only assume that a whole load of people are now invited to the event irrespective of their World Club status ...i do know a lot of people were complaining to the Social Hostess and i dont blame them
#2
East Lancashire
2,570 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Every one I have been to has been in the Queens Room, so I think you have been luck in the past. Well that's not counting the Hotel Mangers parties on QE2 which were in the Yacht Club.
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#3
Washington State
1,818 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Hey, at least you were invited. We are Diamond members, and we were invited to one on one segment of the QV world cruise, but didn't get invited to any others, despite the fact that other Diamond members seem to go to all of them. I know they are trying to keep the numbers down, but I hate to miss a glass of cheap sparkling wine and a party!
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#4
Vale of Glamorgan
3,387 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
They have always been in the Queens Room since I have been going.
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#6
UKand USA
1,170 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
i agree they certainly are no recomendation whatever for Cunard

it used to only be Diamond Platinum and suites but now it seems to include half the ship
#7
S.W. England
684 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by phillipahain
i agree they certainly are no recomendation whatever for Cunard

it used to only be Diamond Platinum and suites but now it seems to include half the ship
I think you will find on S'ton roundtrip cruises, it probably is half the ship! They are certainly not what they used to be, when a drink was anything you wanted and easy to get, and beautifully spread seafood buffets or top notch canapés in constant flow.
I suppose this comes down to the management of the WC status, which has been discussed before on other threads.
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#8
73 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
The first time I attended one of the senior officers' parties was in 2009 on QM2 - it was held in G32 and was a relatively small gathering. I did the same itinerary/length of voyage in 2010 on QM2 and there wasn't a party on that trip. In 2011, the party took place in the Garden Lounge on QE: it was probably the best one I've attended - not too crowded, plentiful drinks and some decent canapés. This trip took place during the summer holidays and was at the height of Cunard's discounting in the UK, so I think there were a lot of newcomers on that cruise, which might explain the lower numbers of Platinum and Diamond members.

However, every subsequent party I've attended has been held in the Queens Room, some have been more crowded than others. The food and drink offerings are still better than for the other parties.

Usually the parties take place on the last formal night: one year the party was scheduled for 11am in the morning, which is not really a time I want to be thinking about cocktails - 11am is coffee time in the Cafe Carinthia or similar for me during sea days!

As other posters have already said, the changes seem to be due to the increase in the number of passengers attaining at least platinum status. I reached Diamond a couple of years ago and really enjoy the Verandah lunch benefit, which I usually take in the form of dinner at one of the Lido/Kings Court alternatives. I don't think Cunard should start moving the goal posts for World Club benefits but perhaps they need to review what is offered at each level to add a bit more value, such as offering a discount on the champagne afternoon tea or in the spa. Given that the parties are really the main benefit apart from the Internet, sooner or later Cunard will need to do something as the parties become more operationally difficult to organise. There used to be a single World Club party - now there are generally two - not sure if anyone has heard of two senior officers' party being organised (one for each Britannia sitting) - but that might be a relatively simple way to improve that gathering.
#9
At Sea
5,271 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
I first attended a Senior Officer's Cocktail Party in 2007, held in G32 on QM2 on a Caribbean cruise.

I've attended many since; all in the Queens Room on QM2.

On a crossing, as a Britannia grade passenger, I usually "show my face" at The Captain's Welcome Party, the Cunard World Club Party, and the Senior Officer's Party.
The first is generally crowded, the second less so, and the third usually allows me to easily find a seat, or to move about in comfort to speak with familiar faces; officers or fellow passengers.
(I have been known to skip the welcome party occasionally)

Not once have I thought that the Senior Officer's Party on QM2 was too crowded (the Queens Room is a huge space). Maybe, with smaller Queens Rooms, this party does get a little crowded on QE & QV? Less of an issue on QM2? I've not attended a party on either of the smaller vessels so can't judge.

Of course the Queens Rooms on the cruising sisters have a passageway running through them, whereas QM2's version is secluded, does that make a difference?

I noted that they stopped serving the seafood canapes some time ago. I've always been able to get a second drink at the Cunard World Club and Senior Officer's parties (but rarely at the Welcome on Board version).

I can see the reasoning behind the idea of introducing a higher level in the Cunard World Club, so that, with fewer numbers, it could be held once again in a more intimate room (G32/Yacht Club are ideal venues).
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#10
South Lincolnshire
1,321 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by Glenndale
A total bun fight which we avoid like the plague
Could not agree more! On P&O the first one we were invited to was a Captains 'private' party there were about 20 guests, the last one we attended in 2009 there were more than 100!
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#11
Riding the Ocean Waves
1,276 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
I thought there always were two Senior officers Parties for Late and Early sittings.
Most of my invitations I recollect as being 7.45pm in The Queens Room.
#12
Mississauga, Canada
1,345 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by pepperrn
...

Of course the Queens Rooms on the cruising sisters have a passageway running through them, whereas QM2's version is secluded, does that make a difference?
...
On our voyage on the QE a few years years ago for the Cunard World Club party curtains were drawn along that passage-way. This made it more exclusive yet also a bit smaller. It didn't seem too crowded and we were able to have a chat with Captain Wells.

The senior officers party was held in the small Yacht Club. This room was not crowded so there must have been few platinum and diamond members. The canapés were very good and it was easy to get a drink of one's choice. We sat with two lovely women who told us they always order elaborate cocktails at these events and they encouraged us to do so. But a G&T was fine with us.

At the World Club parties on the QM2 we used to be able to get a G&T but I have given up asking. The last time I asked three different waiters and, although some people got a drink of their choice, we did not. It is still a pleasant social occasion (I always like the speeches) even if a few sips of Pol Acker or other plonk is all that is available. We found it easier to get a G&T at the senior officers party.
#13
Hampshire, England
1,518 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
My wife and I have been attending Senior Officer's Parties for as long as I can remember and never had a bad one.

Sure they have changed somewhat in their venues and formats, from Yacht Club to G32 and from Winter garden to Queens Room: but always good to enjoy different company.

They never have been 'exclusive' to Diamond members, invitations being extended to other passengers who merited them (Top Suite Guests) and the odd visiting entertainer. (worse one ever Lembit Öpik with his then bird)


I would hazard a guess that with the increased numbers of Diamond Members then the venues have to be larger: I have no knowledge of ever being offered a choice of time: always assumed that it was only the one party.

One can hardly complain at Cunard's generosity when on these occasions there are so many more attendees (Diamonds and others) than in the 'olden' days.
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#14
15 Posts
Joined Nov 2016
We are all living longer and able to take more cruises. Consequently there are more passengers in the Diamond category. Maybe a higher tier should be considered for those with more days as Diamond starts at 150 days or 15 cruises.
#15
Mississauga, Canada
1,345 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by Elephant1151
We are all living longer and able to take more cruises. Consequently there are more passengers in the Diamond category. Maybe a higher tier should be considered for those with more days as Diamond starts at 150 days or 15 cruises.
The Senior Officers party is not just for Diamond level members. Those of us "mere mortals" at the Platinum level get the same invitation.

After we reach the mother country next month we will be promoted to Diamond. I hope they don't change the qualification rules before then.
#16
New Jersey
8,915 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by Lanky Lad
Every one I have been to has been in the Queens Room, so I think you have been luck in the past. Well that's not counting the Hotel Mangers parties on QE2 which were in the Yacht Club.
Every Platinum/Diamond party I've been to on QM2 has been in the Queens Room. It used to have lots of nice canapes and a big ice bowl of shrimp and you could get your drink of choice. On our recent crossings, the passed nibbles and drink options were exactly the same as the other parties. If they want us to believe that P/D passengers are special and important to them, they could upgrade that party a bit.

They took a different approach on QE2 by having multiple parties in order to have fewer guests at each one. I have fond memories of Officer's parties in the Yacht Club and also up on Sun Deck. Officers did mingle at those and it was very pleasant. Now they stand around and chat amongst themselves. On our last crossing, there were no speeches or recognitions at the P/D party. Those were all done at the general WC party.
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The THIRD generation in my family to sail on a Cunarder
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#17
Llandudno, North Wales
289 Posts
Joined May 2008
The Senior Officers' Party is simple to organise on QM2 because the Queen's Room is private and at the aft but not so on QE and QV.

At the start, staff will collect admission tickets for a certain length of time at both entrances but then abandon their positions with obvious consequences.
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#18
Lancashier
223 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Elephant1151
We are all living longer and able to take more cruises. Consequently there are more passengers in the Diamond category. Maybe a higher tier should be considered for those with more days as Diamond starts at 150 days or 15 cruises.
I fully agree with you , they do need another category with a minimum of 500 days qualification. We are living longer, so we are cruising more. My wife and I travelled on the QM2 last voyage and the Queens room was quite full with Diamond/Platinum members
#19
47 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
I've just come off Queen Victoria and we didn't have a Senior Officers Party at all. I queried it with the hotel manager who said they haven't had the parties all summer. When I asked her why not, she said she didn't know (??!!).

It's cost cutting of course, I wonder how long they will last on the other ships?
#20
Lancashier
223 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Lilydes
I've just come off Queen Victoria and we didn't have a Senior Officers Party at all. I queried it with the hotel manager who said they haven't had the parties all summer. When I asked her why not, she said she didn't know (??!!).

It's cost cutting of course, I wonder how long they will last on the other ships?
My wife and I travelled on the Queen Victoria in June this year and we definitely went to a Senior Officers Party on the 20th June.