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Caviar - The Emperor's New Clothes

Don't like it? Then DON'T eat it. Simple as that!

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Our view has always been that the "giant leap" is from Britannia to Princess Grill and that the difference in the dining experiences between the two Grills is modest.

 

In theory, I agree that the main difference is that off menu ordering is encouraged far more in QG than PG. For example, we often order off menu for lunch in the QG but would feel this would be pushing it a little in PG.

 

That said, a lot comes down to the waiting team you have in a particular restaurant. A couple of years ago in PG on QV we were actively encouraged to order off menu desserts and other dishes that were on the QG a la carte menu. Our first time in QG on the QV Beniamino Acler (since retired) was constantly suggesting off menu dishes and seemed to really enjoy table side cooking. When we were in QG on the QE last December however, this wasn't the case. Off menu requests were always agreed to politely but were no means encouraged and we never once saw the Maitre D cooking table side.

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Wolfie, loads of tableside cooking in QG on QV last year and this year. I think it depends on the maitre'd.

 

Toad, what was your point about caviar then?

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I have done 2 PG and 5 QG - I never really saw a difference except the suite size and I enjoy the vanity in QG.

As for Off menu - the one thing I loved to order off menu are flambe desserts and both restaurants had fun coming up with different things to light on fire for dessert. The only other thing I have ever ordered off menu is risotto once per cruise. Never had any issue with either restaurant - they seem the same to me. It is the flowers, the cabin size and the nice vanity and large closet which make the difference.

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Well it certainly isn’t Beluga, so Toad may have a point.

 

David

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Don't like it? Then DON'T eat it. Simple as that!

 

 

 

Lmao! Simples!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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We really enjoyed the Princess Grill on QE in autumn 2016, and decided there was no need to consider Queens Grill. We booked PG again for 28th November 2017, and when the price plummeted got upgraded to Queens Grill, and without doubt the finest dining experience we have ever had. Certainly, off menu was never offered to us, but knowing about it, I did make a request which was carried out. We noticed lots of table side cooking, and on the last evening had the Romney Marsh rack of lamb, cooked table side, and it was wonderful!

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Well it certainly isn’t Beluga, so Toad may have a point.

 

David

Then he should explain himself better. We all know it's Hackleback or similar(hopefully NOT Paddlefish roe) If in QG, you can ask if they have a higher brand of Caviar. They might.

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Then he should explain himself better. We all know it's Hackleback or similar(hopefully NOT Paddlefish roe) If in QG, you can ask if they have a higher brand of Caviar. They might.

 

 

 

It used to be of a very high quality a while ago- usually sevruga on the QE2 in Queens Grill. QG today vs QG on the QE2 the last 10 years she was in service are similar but it used to be of a higher quality overall than now.

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Then he should explain himself better. We all know it's Hackleback or similar(hopefully NOT Paddlefish roe) If in QG, you can ask if they have a higher brand of Caviar. They might.

 

 

 

Sadly, British irony doesn’t always make it crossing the pond.

 

I don’t suppose the word “Hackleback” appears anywhere on the menu?

 

DAVID.

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Sadly, British irony doesn’t always make it crossing the pond.

 

 

Neither does, it appears, the expression "the Emperor's new clothes" when used as an idiom.

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Looks like it was a waste of time asking Angus Struthers (cunard marketing director ) about this . See Q and A thread

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I don’t suppose the word “Hackleback” appears anywhere on the menu?

No: 'White Sturgeon' appeared on the one occasion it was a listed starter on QE in December. On menu it was accompanied by a stingy portion of blinis, off menu with more than enough dainty crustless squares of toast.

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Oh for the days of SS FRANCE when caviar was served in BOWLS not precious little dollops. And bigger cocktail tables in the Smoking Room, they often just left the whole tin, too.

 

Cunard, in the grim modern world we all inhabit, is far more circumspect. On my one Queens Grill experience on QM2, they claimed to have "run out" of the stuff on day 2 of our six-day crossing. At least then, it was the real thing and beautifully presented. It was a very long, dreary caviar deprived four days until New York.

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I do very much like Cunard, but was not at all impressed with the QG restaurant the one time I tried it (on the QM2). I do like to think it was just a one-off bad experience.

To be honest, I never really felt welcome in the restaurant. The MD barely looked up when we entered (except when we had to fill out the end-of-voyage questionnaire; then it was pointed out that anything but top-grade was too low for the QG), we were never escorted to the table (except for the first day), and we were never asked for any off-menu wishes (not even the usual deserts).

I had been looking forward to trying the caviar. When asking the waiter, I was told that was not something I could order but I could try to speak with the HW. The HW told that was not something he - but only the MD - could order and he did not really think it was available. When talking to the MD I was asked if I was aware that was an off-menu request. He did agree to it - which was good - but when served the waiter did not hesitate to let me know, again, it was an off-menu item I had ordered and they hoped I would enjoy my off-menu item. The second time I tried to make an off-menu request - nothing out of the ordinary - I was simply told that was not on the menu. I gave up after that. Should probably have talked to the MD and I am certain any misunderstandings would have been sorted out, but did just not feel like it at the time.

Again, do not get me wrong. I love Cunard and do believe it was just a bad day (week) for them. But my one QG experience was bad. All my PG experiences have been absolutely outstanding.

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Agree. My wife and I enjoyed our Britannia and Princess Grill experiences on QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 more than Queens Grill on QM2. But that was many years (25 and 20 respectively) ago back when Cunard was still Cunard and while things have improved markedly in other classes frankly since Carnival, the grill experience has been diluted. And you didn't need special grill decks when you had the incomparable Dennis Dawson to look after you, tucking you into those old QUEEN MARY steamer rugs, brewing real darjeeling tea in real pots and serving wonderful tray snacks and lunches. No one made a thing about special orders, either. I mentioned my fondness for curry for lunch and could have the most wonderful full curry meals anytime I wished. And kedgeree for breakfast, too. The maitre d' back in 1993 was the former butler at Chequers. And this wasn't even Queen's Grill. And you dressed formally.... every single night except sailing day, Sundays (few remember when that was the tradition on British ships not to dress on Sundays) and the day before arrival. I don't even remember a "dress code", it's what ladies and gentlemen did back then without giving it a thought let alone being told to do so.

 

Queen's Grill on QM2 was thoroughly satisfactory, of course, and we had superb service especially from one lounge steward who was extraordinary. But it's alas nothing like the "old days". Then again, nothing much else is either.

 

We are looking forward to our first Princess Grill experience in QE this late August immensely.

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Queen's Grill on QM2 was thoroughly satisfactory, of course, and we had superb service especially from one lounge steward who was extraordinary. But it's alas nothing like the "old days". Then again, nothing much else is either.

 

We are looking forward to our first Princess Grill experience in QE this late August immensely.

 

 

You can even see it when you compare a QE2 QG menu from a little over 10 years ago to a QM2 QG menu today. Back then the menu items each night were very different from those being offered in the other restaurants vs today some of the items on the menu in Britannia and QG are nearly the same with maybe some more upscale ingredients and a la minute preparation.

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True. Then again, the menu, quality and service in Britannia Restaurant on QE, at least as we experienced last August, was infinitely better than Britannia on the QE2. Indeed, I would rank it comparable to that in the Columbia/Caronia. But you are right to compare the actual dishes offered in all of the restaurants on a given night... distinction without a difference comes to mind in much of it. For us, the private decks and facilities of the Grills appeals at least as much as the dining. And why we think it's better than QM2 on that score at least.

 

To be honest, I am not sure how many folks are that versed in dining to available themselves of the old grill experience anyway. And not just on Cunard. I sailed First Class from Rio to Genova in Costa's magnificent EUGENIO C. years ago and her cuisine put the grills to shame.. and almost no one ordered from the menu. The maitre d' would circulate at luncheon to discuss what you'd like for dinner and the menu was a mere suggestion for many. And so much of it was prepared a la minute tableside. Dinner took the best part of two hours! This was serious business for some and I can't see too many avail themselves of that nowadays. Everyone seems determined to rush off to see... The Show. I am content to have missed the beginning and order another glass of port.

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Why are people so intimidated by a service person wearing a tuxedo? If you want caviar in QG TELL them you expect it every evening and not to bother arguing with you.

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I completely agree with wipro .

 

I see a lot of replies from people who are not seasoned QG cruisers who have been fobbed off when they ask for something extra. That is where this forum is useful, it informs new QG cruisers what is available.

 

Of course you should ask politely for something off menu. However if a waiter tries to deny this is available /allowed , he/she is being rude and disrespecting a passenger who has paid a lot for a cruise. It is not being rude to politely insist on getting what you have paid for. I've always found it pays to be polite , but this does not mean accepting poor service.

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I completely agree with wipro .

 

I see a lot of replies from people who are not seasoned QG cruisers who have been fobbed off when they ask for something extra. That is where this forum is useful, it informs new QG cruisers what is available.

 

Of course you should ask politely for something off menu. However if a waiter tries to deny this is available /allowed , he/she is being rude and disrespecting a passenger who has paid a lot for a cruise. It is not being rude to politely insist on getting what you have paid for. I've always found it pays to be polite , but this does not mean accepting poor service.

 

Agree completely. I just take it for granted that one will ask for something politely!

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Agree completely. I just take it for granted that one will ask for something politely!

My apologies wripo I took your comment on the last page as being demanding! and to me it looked rude but it appears written words can be misinterpreted and clearly I was mistaken. :)

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My apologies wripo I took your comment on the last page as being demanding! and to me it looked rude but it appears written words can be misinterpreted and clearly I was mistaken. :)

 

No problem. I consider myself a very polite and courteous person but also one who will not be intimidated. Service staff have been known to be rude as well and I was responding to the idea that they try to refuse to provide what a passenger is entitled to.

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One thought , it may not be entirely the waiter's fault, they may well be under pressure from above , who are under pressure from the bean counters to save money by reducing off menu requests.

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I’ve sailed QG quite a few times and the only time I’ve ever seen anyone flat out denied anything was when they tried to order off menu at dinner. You should at least request by lunch for things that are more common (like beef Wellington or Dover sole or flambé desserts) and they definitely prefer by dinner the night before. Timing might be a big part of how the requests are treated and handled.

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Travelling in Queens Grille for the first time soon. Would love any suggestions of things to try to order “off menu”

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Travelling in Queens Grille for the first time soon. Would love any suggestions of things to try to order “off menu”

 

 

 

A lot of the “off menu” items have made it “on menu” over the years- usual suspects are Dover sole, chateaubriand, beef Wellington, etc. Tableside deserts are fun- the big three are crepes Suzette, cherries jubilee, and bananas foster.

 

It’s a great marketing piece to say you can order whatever you want, but the reality is you are limited to what they have onboard and the pantry is a lot more limited today than it was 20 years ago. Simpler tastes, cost cutting these days, who knows. But it isn’t as wide of a selection as the old days.

 

Capt Nick Bates (then chief officer I believe) always told a great story when he hosted an officers table. Woman got onboard QE2 and told the Maitre ‘d in Queens Grill that she had blown all her money on this trip and she wanted to enjoy herself at dinner. He told her she could order whatever she wanted- sky was the limit. She turned and said “what would make me happier than anything would be an elephant steak” to which the maitre ‘d promptly asked her, “would that be Indian or African?”

 

Have fun with it!

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The mention of Dover Sole reminded me of an amusing moment on the QM2. It was the last time we were in PG and at one dinner I quietly said to my wife that the à la carte menu no longer had Dover Sole Meunière on it.

 

The waiter obviously overheard this because the next day the Maître d' came into the lounge whilst we were taking tea and said: "I understand you would like to have Dover Sole which we can prepare for you tonight." Knowing that we can't order off-menu in PG as much as in QG I would never have made the request. Such service is impressive.

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Travelling in Queens Grille for the first time soon. Would love any suggestions of things to try to order “off menu”

Off menu dishes ordered, either by individuals or as a table on our last couple of cruises on Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. Twenty four hours notice is usually given

 

Garlic prawn linguine

Spaghetti bolognese

Spaghetti scaloppine - all three cooked tableside

Peking Duck -three days notice needed

anything off the Lido pop up restaurant menus -discuss ''when'' with the Maitre 'd

Italian evening which involves table side cooking of the pasta -menu sorted out by the Maitre 'd - warning, the cold appetizer was a meal in itself, wonderful

Indian evening - menu sorted out by the Maitre 'd

a couple of days notice was given for the Italian/Indian meals

Caesar salad - tableside prepared

Caviar as an appetizer as often as you wish - no need to pre order in my experience

Crepes Suzette- usually order at lunch time for dinner same evening but can ask that evening if it's possible and it often is

 

Hope this gives a few ideas for you. Enjoy.

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Off menu dishes ordered, either by individuals or as a table on our last couple of cruises on Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. Twenty four hours notice is usually given

 

Garlic prawn linguine

Spaghetti bolognese

Spaghetti scaloppine - all three cooked tableside

Peking Duck -three days notice needed

anything off the Lido pop up restaurant menus -discuss ''when'' with the Maitre 'd

Italian evening which involves table side cooking of the pasta -menu sorted out by the Maitre 'd - warning, the cold appetizer was a meal in itself, wonderful

Indian evening - menu sorted out by the Maitre 'd

a couple of days notice was given for the Italian/Indian meals

Caesar salad - tableside prepared

Caviar as an appetizer as often as you wish - no need to pre order in my experience

Crepes Suzette- usually order at lunch time for dinner same evening but can ask that evening if it's possible and it often is

 

Hope this gives a few ideas for you. Enjoy.

In addition, I often order a salad of my choice for lunch and occasionally a simple scallops and steamed veg dish for dinner. You can have anything from Hot Dog and Fries at lunch time, to Lobster Newburg for dinner. If it tickles your taste buds, then order it initially from your Head Waiter who might occasionally defer your request to the Maitre 'd. A request might be very politely refused but I have yet to have that happen to me. There again, I haven't had a yearning for Elephant Steak!

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On longer voyages my tummy (IBS) can struggle with lots of food, which is richer than usual, so I often ask for a simple baked potato, sometimes topped with a little grated cheese, with a mixed salad. Although the waiters appear horrified that it is all I want, it suits me.

 

Or I regularly ask for pasta with a tomato sauce.

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When you order "a la carte" and give notice by lunch time in OG they obviously have spares in case of emergency. On our last cruise on QE we ordered whole duck a la orange at lunch for dinner. The head waiter came that evening with the duck on a trolley to table side so proud and feeling important and then proceeded to cut it in half. One half of the duck decided to try and escape flew off the plate/trolley and onto the floor and which the head waiter then demanded another from the kitchen and blamed the poor waiter because the plate the duck was on was too small thats why it fell off.

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1st time on Cunard, 1st time in PG. Will we also be able to order things off the menu? I love tableside presentation such as Dover sole and Steak Diane. We're on a guarantee, so in my dreams we are upgraded to QG. Wonder what the odds are. We sail May of '19 and in P1 there are 7 cabins left. Any thoughts?

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1st time on Cunard, 1st time in PG. Will we also be able to order things off the menu? I love tableside presentation such as Dover sole and Steak Diane. We're on a guarantee, so in my dreams we are upgraded to QG. Wonder what the odds are. We sail May of '19 and in P1 there are 7 cabins left. Any thoughts?

 

 

 

Don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news but off menu ordering in PG is generally at the discretion of the MD and doesn’t happen very often. That’s not to say it hasn’t happened or won’t happen again- just not part of the normal program.

 

You do however get the a la carte menu which is the best part of upgrading to Grills.

 

In terms of an upgrade we’ve got one once from PG (really Britannia Grill on QE2 but same thing) and were upgraded to a Q3 on One Deck. Has never happened to us on QM2 since. So again, possible, but extremely unlikely.

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Posted (edited)

Although we North American Cunarders "enjoy" about 20% of the Cunard website with NO access to most of it, including the sample menus, you can "break into" the UK site via Hulu and other web workarounds. There are sample and up to date menu samples for all restaurants, room service etc etc.

 

And frankly, the a la carte menu (which changes every seven days btw) for both Queens and Princess Grill is... impressive and covers starters, main courses and maybe (although not listed on the web) desserts. And while you may not be able to special order on a whim in PG, you'd have to be pretty fussy not to find more than enough from the a la carte and the daily menus. It's far better in terms of choice than say Oceania MDR.

 

I was interested that luncheon is the same for Queens and Princess Grills. But as a huge breakfast fan, QG offers an expanded choice including my favourite, Kedgeree.... I guess as a lowly PG passenger I will have to sulk a bit for 17 days come August. Or maybe try a special order at breakfast in PG....!

Edited by kohl57

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I was interested that luncheon is the same for Queens and Princess Grills. But as a huge breakfast fan, QG offers an expanded choice including my favourite, Kedgeree.... I guess as a lowly PG passenger I will have to sulk a bit for 17 days come August. Or maybe try a special order at breakfast in PG....!

 

 

You have 17 days- could always try a hunger strike for Kedgeree for the first two...

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Although we North American Cunarders "enjoy" about 20% of the Cunard website with NO access to most of it, including the sample menus, you can "break into" the UK site via Hulu and other web workarounds. There are sample and up to date menu samples for all restaurants, room service etc etc.

 

And frankly, the a la carte menu (which changes every seven days btw) for both Queens and Princess Grill is... impressive and covers starters, main courses and maybe (although not listed on the web) desserts. And while you may not be able to special order on a whim in PG, you'd have to be pretty fussy not to find more than enough from the a la carte and the daily menus. It's far better in terms of choice than say Oceania MDR.

 

I was interested that luncheon is the same for Queens and Princess Grills. But as a huge breakfast fan, QG offers an expanded choice including my favourite, Kedgeree.... I guess as a lowly PG passenger I will have to sulk a bit for 17 days come August. Or maybe try a special order at breakfast in PG....!

 

 

 

Our experience in PG was that it was very easy to special order things on the QG menu within reason, so I would explain politely to the M.D. that kedgeree is your absolute favourite and see what they suggest.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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