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  #1  
Old July 21st, 2013, 04:33 PM
balf balf is offline
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Default QueenVictoria 7 July *Mediterranean cruise 13 nights.

Random thoughts on a welcome return to our favourite Cunard ship.

We embarked at 12.15 and progressed quickly until the usual holdup for the security checks, then aboard avoiding the lurking photographers.

Two page boys bedecked in red as page boys should be welcomed us as we stepped aboard: new to me, though boys would be a bit of an exaggeration. The two shortest staff members draw the short straw possibly? *Whatever, a nice touch, and we saw them again looking after the guests in the theatre boxes in the evening.

This was a Getaway deal with an upgrade to balcony on deck 4 just about as far forward as it could be, but we found it fine, if a little bit noisy on port days being so near to the anchor! Also a long *walk to the the restaurant.

So to boat drill. Is the theatre the safest place to seat passengers in an emergency? *Me, I would be happier right by the boat rather than sitting in the theatre *with hundreds of panicky passengers.

The theatre though is a gem, and probably the finest we have seen. The artists were as usual, a mixed bag. It cannot be easy to book top acts *for cruise ships. Two of the performers we had seen before a few years back, *a comedian and a magician. Both told exactly the same jokes and showed *exactly the same tricks in exactly the same order as before. *I suppose it's easier for them that way.

We share a table with a couple in the Lido restaurant. They tell us they are on their first cruise and have loved the whole trip so much that they have just booked another sailing in a years time, at the Cruise Sales office. They have obviously opted for a Vantage deal, though they have never heard of Vantage, but were attracted by the OBC and free parking. And as the rep told them that if the cruise they had booked was reduced in price they would get a reduction they were happy with the deal. *We wished them well, but it is sad that Cunard agents are still not pointing out the Getaway opt out.

We lose room key cards regularly on cruises (and no not because we want a trophy to take home) It was reassuring that all three in front in the queue at the Purser desk were also requesting replacements.

Cunard captains have never been as visible as those on other lines. Hamish Read walked the ship most days when he was captain of Oriana, and you would often see him on the dockside on port days. It is certainly our fault that we passed on the receptions where we could possibly have had sight of Captain *Inger Klein Thorhauge (Olsen as was) So we went finally to the Captan and senior officers reception in the a Queens Room. We collected our drinks, *found a seat and spent the next half hour staring at the forest of standees in the *middle of the room. At a nearby table a gentleman *had bypassed the drink trays and had a chunky glass with what looked like Scotch and a mixer. The waiter appeared with another very generous double as we sat down and that was decanted into the first glass. Almost immediately he called for another one which was dispatched as well. We had not caught sight of the Captain so decided to have a walk round to see if we could spot her. Maybe she was there and we had missed her, but could it be that these parties are not really to her likening, and I can't say I would blame her. As we leave a waiter passes with another glass of Scotch.

A hot sea day, walking through the Lido pool area heading for breakfast. Serried lines of loungers, each festooned with beach towels and topped of with the library book. Brits, have nothing to learn from "Johny Foreigner" these days about staking claim to pool territory.

It's always good to land up at a pleasant dining table. We were all British, three couples and similar in ages. All very different in life rolls and location though. And, as happens when you are lucky, we gelled from the start. Scattered around the dining room couples were sitting at the tables for two staring at each other. None of them seemed to be having the fun we were!

So what about the food then. Pretty good if you avoided the steak. This I think has to be top quality to be good, and good steak is probably out of reach of Cunard's budget in the MD. Soups always good, pasta excellent and puddings also. In the Lido restaurant the food was always high standard. Service in the MD was efficient if a little rushed at first sitting. Generally there was an impression of fewer staff around than our last voyage.*

When did it become custom to kiss the waiters at the end of dinner on the last evening. Thankfully not by the men, but such familiarity would have been frowned on not many years ago. The Dowager Countess of Grantham would definitely not approve, but then she would never have been on QV in the Med.

Has something changed with the dress code while I was not concentrating. There was formal of course, but then just casual,. Cocktail dresses and accessories for ladies who as always interpreted this in whatever way they pleased, *and jacket with tie always optional for men. Is a subtle change coming *in to soften us up for the "fly cruises" in the Med next year. Jacket not required and topless round the swimming pool?

So an enjoyable voyage all round. We will be back.

David.
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  #2  
Old July 21st, 2013, 05:30 PM
berpat berpat is offline
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Default QV Steak ??

Sounds like you had a great cruise as we did on QV to Norway on June 30th. We too had the same problem with steaks. Beautifully cooked but completely inedible to such an extent that after returning two sirloins to the kitchen I surrendered and had fish.
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  #3  
Old July 21st, 2013, 10:54 PM
Jimsgirl Jimsgirl is offline
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Last year I did one cruise with Captain "Ingar", and found that she did tend to avoid meeting the passengers in a social setting. On my cruise I heard that she also avoided plying hostess at Captains table, weather was not an issue). Cannot vouch for the story as I was not invited any way.

Sounds as though Cunard has thrown out the baby with the bath water as regards dress, or maybe it is just a different set of passengers. I am definitely the Dowager Duchess type so I am not going to be comfortable when I join QM2 next week, for 19 night cruise.
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  #4  
Old July 21st, 2013, 11:59 PM
Louise D Louise D is offline
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[quote=Jimsgirl;39226712]Last year I did one cruise with Captain "Ingar", and found that she did tend to avoid meeting the passengers in a social setting. On my cruise I heard that she also avoided plying hostess at Captains table, weather was not an issue). Cannot vouch for the story as I was not invited any way.

Sounds as though Cunard has thrown out the baby with the bath water as regards dress, or maybe it is just a different set of passengers. I am definitely the Dowager Duchess type so I am not going to be comfortable when I join QM2 next week, for 19 night cruise.[/quote]

Hi Jimsgirl, don't be downhearted. I am sure that with your Black and White ensemble, your muted multi pale pink chiffon dress, your bling and your sensible stoles, you will look lovely as always.
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  #5  
Old July 22nd, 2013, 09:06 AM
Dajo5601 Dajo5601 is offline
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Default Tale of two cruises....

Well balf, having read your review of your recent Med cruise on the QV, and having been on the same ship just a few weeks earlier, my observations are:

- the Getaway deal offers you no choice on stateroom location and if you are not happy with Cunard's stateroom allocation - you can always choose the Vantage fare, you get a cheaper deal and you take your chance on room allocation.

- whilst on board, I too booked next year's cruise with the Future Cruise team and they were at pains to point out the variance between the two fare structure options that we had, pointing out that their deal would not, and could not, appertain to Getaway fares. In my case the agent outlined the two options.

- we saw captain Inger Olson on several occasions walking around the ship and on the receptions in the Queens Room, following the photograph taking, she "mingled" with the guests.

- at the Captain's and Senior crew reception, the Captain stood in the centre of the Queens Room and was available to talk to anybody who chose to approach her - my wife and I included.

- the guest in the Queens Room who chose to drink whisky is quite entitled to do so, he can request whatever drink he likes, as often as he likes at these functions. Don't see what concern or interest it is to anybody else, he probably never realised that he was being avidly scutinised by other guests.

- we always choose a table for either 8 or 10 persons, always meet interesting people and always enjoy the dining experience in the Britannia.

- the sirloin steak served in the Britannia was excellent on our cruise, so much so that my wife commented on the fact that despite other choices, I actually ordered the steak on three consecutive nights.

- first sitting service in the Britannia was excellent, so much so that in addition to the automatic gratuity, for the first time for a while, we gave gratuity envelopes to our dining room team, no evidence of under-staffing.

- certainly observed several of the lady diners shaking hands and giving a "peck on the cheek" to their serving team, can't see that can offend or cause a problem to anyone if they have formed what they consider to be a friendly relationship during their cruise and it's their way of saying "goodbye".

Anyway, that was how we found our cruise on the wonderful QV in June, it's amazing how different a view you can get depending on your expectations and outlook. But like you balf, we'll be back....
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Alaska - Regal Princess - May 1999
Baltic - Crown Princess - May 2004
Mediterranean - Sea Princess - 2006
Canada & New England - Grand Princess - October 2008
Fjords & North Cape - Grand Princess - May 2011
Mediterranean - Queen Victoria - October 2011
Europe, Arts & Craft Cruise - Ocean Countess - May 2012
Fjords & Waterfalls - Queen Victoria - June 2012
Azores & Canary Islands - Celebrity Eclipse - Oct 2012
Atlantic Isles Discovery - Queen Victoria - May 2013
Fjords & Waterfalls - Queen Victoria - June 2013

Future Cruises:
St.Petersburg & Baltic Discovery - Queen Victoria - June 2014
Wonders of the Mediterranean - Queen Victoria - October 2014
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  #6  
Old July 22nd, 2013, 09:16 AM
Summergee Summergee is offline
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We were on the same cruise as balf. The captain was visible at the world club reception and easy to talk to. When she was signing the memorabilia she wrote something different on/in everyones items.
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  #7  
Old July 22nd, 2013, 05:00 PM
Dajo5601 Dajo5601 is offline
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It seems obvious to me that balf was far too busy seeing who was being served double whisky's to see the lady Captain.................
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Alaska - Regal Princess - May 1999
Baltic - Crown Princess - May 2004
Mediterranean - Sea Princess - 2006
Canada & New England - Grand Princess - October 2008
Fjords & North Cape - Grand Princess - May 2011
Mediterranean - Queen Victoria - October 2011
Europe, Arts & Craft Cruise - Ocean Countess - May 2012
Fjords & Waterfalls - Queen Victoria - June 2012
Azores & Canary Islands - Celebrity Eclipse - Oct 2012
Atlantic Isles Discovery - Queen Victoria - May 2013
Fjords & Waterfalls - Queen Victoria - June 2013

Future Cruises:
St.Petersburg & Baltic Discovery - Queen Victoria - June 2014
Wonders of the Mediterranean - Queen Victoria - October 2014
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  #8  
Old July 24th, 2013, 05:59 AM
balf balf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajo5601 View Post
It seems obvious to me that balf was far too busy seeing who was being served double whisky's to see the lady Captain.................
See posts two and three. Wasn't you necking the scotch was it?

David.
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  #9  
Old July 24th, 2013, 09:10 AM
Dajo5601 Dajo5601 is offline
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Certainly not, but you would have seen me "filling my boots" with glasses of red wine, including having a "take away" to the dinner table................
__________________
Alaska - Regal Princess - May 1999
Baltic - Crown Princess - May 2004
Mediterranean - Sea Princess - 2006
Canada & New England - Grand Princess - October 2008
Fjords & North Cape - Grand Princess - May 2011
Mediterranean - Queen Victoria - October 2011
Europe, Arts & Craft Cruise - Ocean Countess - May 2012
Fjords & Waterfalls - Queen Victoria - June 2012
Azores & Canary Islands - Celebrity Eclipse - Oct 2012
Atlantic Isles Discovery - Queen Victoria - May 2013
Fjords & Waterfalls - Queen Victoria - June 2013

Future Cruises:
St.Petersburg & Baltic Discovery - Queen Victoria - June 2014
Wonders of the Mediterranean - Queen Victoria - October 2014
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  #10  
Old July 24th, 2013, 11:55 AM
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electra2008 electra2008 is offline
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Apparently Captains do not shake hands these days to avoid catching "bugs". A bit like the queen wearing gloves, mind you she wears them also to protect her hands from so much useage.
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  #11  
Old July 24th, 2013, 12:22 PM
Wordzz Wordzz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electra2008 View Post
Apparently Captains do not shake hands these days to avoid catching "bugs". A bit like the queen wearing gloves, mind you she wears them also to protect her hands from so much useage.
That certainly wasn't the case on QV to the Fjords on 30 June. The captain shook hands very firmly, and had time for a brief chat with everyone while doing so. She wasn't wearing gloves, and neither were we.

We also found that she seemed more relaxed and approachable in general than the two captains we have experienced on QM2. She was also very available and chatty during the various cocktail parties, and seemed very at ease mixing with passengers - as were all the senior officers, come to that.

We found QV in general to be a very friendly, happy ship.
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