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Grills Afternoon Tea - in the Lounge or the Restaurant?

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On previous QV cruises we've really enjoyed the personal service of afternoon tea in the Grills lounge, and were disappointed in August this year to find that it had been replaced by a tea plate stand of sandwiches served in the Princess Grill restaurant.

 

I've just received an email from Cunard stating that:

 

"Our chefs create hand-decorated cakes served daily as part of the Grills Lounge Afternoon Tea" and

"Your exclusive lounge provide the perfect setting for a pre dinner drink or an indulgent afternoon tea"

 

So are there any recent travellers who can vouch for this advertising?

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Just got back from QE to Canaries in a Q1.

Afternoon tea now served in Princess grills restaurant.

Served on an individual cake stand. No sandwich or roll choice given

( until asked for), then we were begrudgingly given a choice.

Scones were served cold.

Got the impression they would prefer us to go to Queens room.

Obviously they are trying to reduce service further.

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Just got back from QE to Canaries in a Q1.

Afternoon tea now served in Princess grills restaurant.

Served on an individual cake stand. No sandwich or roll choice given

( until asked for), then we were begrudgingly given a choice.

Scones were served cold.

Got the impression they would prefer us to go to Queens room.

Obviously they are trying to reduce service further.

 

We have also just returned from the same cruise and thought the afternoon tea in the Princess restaurant was excellent 4 different sandwiches, 4 cakes and a scone each with clotted cream, not whipped as in Queens Room. Served on a 3 tier cake stand and tea of your choice from very attentive staff.

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Frankly, we preferred the afternoon tea as served in the Princess Grill restaurant on our recent Canaries Island cruise. The cake stand approach is what is now offered in many of the best hotels. My only memory of the Grills Lounge version (admittedly a single cruise back in 2011) was an unreliable service of the various components so that we didn't always see everything and sandwiches which, although "fingers", were more bread than filling and qualified as "doorstops". We thought the new version a great improvement. Which just goes to prove that different people see things differently!!

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Since I am vegetarian, having sandwiches allocated would be of no use to me, but any Afternoon Tea we take, is usually served at sunbed in the Grill’s deck. I hope that remains?

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Very disappointed. We are on Queen Victoria for Christmas and enjoyed our afternoon teas in the Grills lounge. We too are vegetarians and would enjoy the egg, cucumber and the odd salmon sandwiches. A cake stand with ham, beef or whatever would be of no use to us. As we daily have afternoon tea in the Grill wonder if it is possible to arrange for a vegetarian selection. Think I’ll contact Cunard.

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Very disappointed. We are on Queen Victoria for Christmas and enjoyed our afternoon teas in the Grills lounge. We too are vegetarians and would enjoy the egg, cucumber and the odd salmon sandwiches. A cake stand with ham, beef or whatever would be of no use to us. As we daily have afternoon tea in the Grill wonder if it is possible to arrange for a vegetarian selection. Think I’ll contact Cunard.

Why contact Cunard before your cruise? I say this with QG conviction rather than from experience as I rarely bother with afternoon tea as such apart from a mug of tea on deck but surely, this is what the Grill's service is all about. A quick word to the wait staff or the Head Waiter in charge on the day will ensure you'll be offered a veggie selection.

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I am confidently expecting that all we will need to do to get suitable (vegetarian) sandwiches is ask on the day - and hopefully just the first day with our preference being remembered thereafter.

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A quick word to the wait staff or the Head Waiter in charge on the day will ensure you'll be offered a veggie selection.

 

I would be confident that a vegetarian option of some sort would be available. The scones served to us at first were fruit scones with sultanas. Our preferred plain scones swiftly appeared on request. And just to prove once again that we are all different majortom10, we prefer cold scones. Warm scones melt the clotted cream and result in a soggy mess!

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Froxfield. You should put the jam on first.

 

Touche. ( Help, I can't find the accents!!!!)

 

Well, now, that has always been a matter of opinion and a never ending debate:). In the south-east, it seems jam first may have a majority and in Cornwall. But in Devon (and Dorset as far as I can observe) it is cream first. Of course, for the truly "wicked" there is always butter, then jam, then cream.

 

I find that if the scones are truly warm it doesn't make much difference: all ways, it becomes a soggy mess. But then I am a messy eater!

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Do they still serve afternoon tea outside on deck 12?

 

They did on QE recently and they came around with water /orange juice and ice cream.

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If accommodated in the Grills I've always preferred afternoon tea while onboard Queen Mary 2. The grills Lounge is more spacious and lends itself more to the occasion than does the 'limited' Grills Lounge on either Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.

 

Indeed, on a number of occasions on the latter two Queens I have noticed they've been in danger of 'queuing' to get a seat.

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Overspill?

 

No new policy the restaurant was very quiet on most days during afternoon tea and was not served in the lounge. There was a sign on a table in the foyer between Princess and Queens restaurants stating that afternoon tea was now served in Princess restaurant.

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I have yet to experience afternoon tea in the princess Grill restaurant as opposed to the lounge and to me it seems a good idea. The lounge on QV is too small to accommodate the Grills passengers en masse so the space of the restaurant appeals. Also I'm not that keen on low tables (iirc) where food is involved. Will hold judgement until after our January cruise.

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We were crammed into the Lounge area on the QV. I was on a winter TA. There was no option for the deck due to the weather. You had to get there early. I did like the sense of camaraderie the tight quarters created. It made meeting your fellow shipmates a little easier.

 

My DH is gluten free. Tea is my great pleasure and his nightmare. They have GF cookies in the King's Court. We appreciated it.

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Oh well, when we're next afloat, if this new afternoon system comes across as yet another lowering of the standards of service, then we'll do our own thing. Hoping that we will get a kettle etc in our suite, we can easily beat a path to the self service and get what we want to go with the tea. ALTERNATIVELY, we can make our own hot drinks in the suite and bring our own much loved bikkies from home.

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Oh well, when we're next afloat, if this new afternoon system comes across as yet another lowering of the standards of service, then we'll do our own thing. Hoping that we will get a kettle etc in our suite, we can easily beat a path to the self service and get what we want to go with the tea. ALTERNATIVELY, we can make our own hot drinks in the suite and bring our own much loved bikkies from home.

 

There is no lowering of standards the afternoon tea for Queens/Princess suites is excellent and there are tea/coffee making facilities in all Cunards staterooms and if in QG they also have coffee machines.

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We're used to sitting in the Grills Lounge on comfortable seating for afternoon tea when we are on a Cunard ship. I get the impression that we are going to be provided with a selection of cakes etc chosen by somebody else, and sit on restaurant chairs at a restaurant table - that's not what we expect. If the changes are true, then it's another lowering of standards. I do prefer to make my own selection of cakes etc. Maybe my idea of excellent is different from yours. We'll have to wait and see, we'll give it a go, though.

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We're used to sitting in the Grills Lounge on comfortable seating for afternoon tea when we are on a Cunard ship. I get the impression that we are going to be provided with a selection of cakes etc chosen by somebody else, and sit on restaurant chairs at a restaurant table - that's not what we expect. If the changes are true, then it's another lowering of standards. I do prefer to make my own selection of cakes etc. Maybe my idea of excellent is different from yours. We'll have to wait and see, we'll give it a go, though.

 

It isnt a lowering of standards when the grills lounge is not big enough to hold afternoon tea which is very popular so therefore to avoid disappointing people by turning them away because of no available seating they have rightly transferred it to Princess Grill on QE. They serve you tea of your choice scones plain or fruit whichever you prefer real clotted cream not the whipped as in Queens room and a good selection of tea sandwiches and cakes which if not to your liking I am sure others would be offered. If you still insist on choosing your own sandwiches and cakes then there is nothing stopping you going to the Queens room.

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On our one voyage on the QE in PG I noticed that when the Grills Lounge was full the restaurant was used, but only if necessary. Often there were only two or three tables needed for tea. This made sense. But I admit most of the time I preferred tea in the Queen's Room, as I do on the QM2, when the string quartet or harpist is playing. The ambience is irresistible - even if we don't get clotted cream.

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The standard of service of afternoon tea in the Grills Lounge has been gradually getting lower - honest! We've had to wait for ages to get our hot drink/s, and also we've sometimes been provided with our hot drink/s in various stages, and then the drinks have gone cold by the time a waiter bothers to actually stop and serve food. The much celebrated clotted cream is served in a tiny china pot, and is in all truth about a level dessertspoon between two people, and if you want butter or spread that's a proper performance to get.

 

On other cruise lines like Celebrity, at least you get your tea etc brought direct to your suite, so that you have all the comestibles at the right temperature at the same time. We'll give QV one chance, and if the standard is poor, we'll do our own thing. I'd love them to get it right - but I'm not holding my breath.

 

In the past on QV only the late arrivals for afternoon tea have been directed to the PG restaurant.

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The standard of service of afternoon tea in the Grills Lounge has been gradually getting lower - honest! We've had to wait for ages to get our hot drink/s, and also we've sometimes been provided with our hot drink/s in various stages, and then the drinks have gone cold by the time a waiter bothers to actually stop and serve food. The much celebrated clotted cream is served in a tiny china pot, and is in all truth about a level dessertspoon between two people, and if you want butter or spread that's a proper performance to get.

 

On other cruise lines like Celebrity, at least you get your tea etc brought direct to your suite, so that you have all the comestibles at the right temperature at the same time. We'll give QV one chance, and if the standard is poor, we'll do our own thing. I'd love them to get it right - but I'm not holding my breath.

 

In the past on QV only the late arrivals for afternoon tea have been directed to the PG restaurant.

 

Well all I can say the service and experience was spot on when we cruised on QE in Oct/Nov in PG.. You were taken to a table and then withing seconds a waiter was there asking what tea you wanted and then another waiter followed with a 3 tier cake stand with sandwiches, cakes and scones on and jam/clotted cream and on occasions the harpist played.

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Celebrity now offers afternoon teas service in Michael's Club to suite guests, the butler will only serve afternoon tea in your cabin 'upon request'. Available, but not the main way of serving.

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The standard of service of afternoon tea in the Grills Lounge has been gradually getting lower - honest! We've had to wait for ages to get our hot drink/s, and also we've sometimes been provided with our hot drink/s in various stages, and then the drinks have gone cold by the time a waiter bothers to actually stop and serve food. The much celebrated clotted cream is served in a tiny china pot, and is in all truth about a level dessertspoon between two people, and if you want butter or spread that's a proper performance to get.

 

On other cruise lines like Celebrity, at least you get your tea etc brought direct to your suite, so that you have all the comestibles at the right temperature at the same time. We'll give QV one chance, and if the standard is poor, we'll do our own thing. I'd love them to get it right - but I'm not holding my breath.

 

In the past on QV only the late arrivals for afternoon tea have been directed to the PG restaurant.

 

You can get afternoon tea delivered to your suite if you so desire, just give them a little notice and it will be there on time or arrange it with your butler.

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In the past we've either been told that the butler service is too busy and to try and go to the Grills Lounge, or when it has been delivered it's been a real let-down. If I'm not going up to the Lounge, I'll get my own - perfectly capable and I see no shame in not wasting time and not getting messed around.

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I enjoyed prompt, faultless service in the Queens Grill Lounge on Queen Mary 2 exactly a year ago.

The tea and food served was equally superb.

 

Nothing to complain about from me :)

 

My next afternoon teas with Cunard will be on Queen Elizabeth in February & March in the Queens Room.

Very much looking forward to them...

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Ok, I'll wind my neck in - maybe we've just been extremely unlucky, and had several Cunard sailings with disappointments; but it's not simply been a case of what happens (or doesn't) with afternoon tea.

 

So, it's fingers crossed then! Trying to be optimistic, but not holding our breath.:)

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We loved the afternoon tea dances in the Queen's room on our recent QE cruise, great service in a lovely setting and the band was wonderful.

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We really need our next Cunard sailing to be a success - otherwise we might just be moving our loyalty elsewhere; so we'd like to not be given a 3 tier cake stand with a selection made by staff - we'd like what WE want, afterall, that was what we understood would be the situation when we booked and paid for our next sailing.

 

I understood that the service in the Grills Lounge would be 'as normal' with waiters offering us a selection at our table. A pre-selected 3 tier cake stand would leave us with very little choice and a load of waste - and most importantly a waste of our time.

 

So, we'll give it one chance, and then if that's no good we'll diy it; at least then we won't be let down and our time won't be wasted.

 

We've never been in PG, and then only times we've been in the Queen's Room is either waiting to go off on an excursion or for a 'drinks and nibbles' affair. Whilst I think that the musical accompaniment would be lovely, I suspect that there might be just a bit too much background noise in there for us.

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We've never been in PG, and then only times we've been in the Queen's Room is either waiting to go off on an excursion or for a 'drinks and nibbles' affair. Whilst I think that the musical accompaniment would be lovely, I suspect that there might be just a bit too much background noise in there for us.

 

Tea in the Grills Lounge on the QM2 and the QE (we haven't yet cruised on the QV) is very quiet. We wouldn't go to the Queen's Room when there is a tea dance because it is indeed too noisy for us. I have checked that at the doorway. When either the harpist or string quartet or pianist is playing, the noise level in the Queen's Room is low. Whether we are in the Grills or Britannia it is our preferred location for tea.

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We really need our next Cunard sailing to be a success - otherwise we might just be moving our loyalty elsewhere; so we'd like to not be given a 3 tier cake stand with a selection made by staff - we'd like what WE want, afterall, that was what we understood would be the situation when we booked and paid for our next sailing.

 

I understood that the service in the Grills Lounge would be 'as normal' with waiters offering us a selection at our table. A pre-selected 3 tier cake stand would leave us with very little choice and a load of waste - and most importantly a waste of our time.

 

So, we'll give it one chance, and then if that's no good we'll diy it; at least then we won't be let down and our time won't be wasted.

 

We've never been in PG, and then only times we've been in the Queen's Room is either waiting to go off on an excursion or for a 'drinks and nibbles' affair. Whilst I think that the musical accompaniment would be lovely, I suspect that there might be just a bit too much background noise in there for us.

 

Well, best of luck with your next Cunard trip - let us know how get on. We too have watched the gradual erosion of the QV experience (not just QG), so we'll probably go straight to a different supplier. We work hard to make the money for our QG level holidays, and we're unwilling to risk it on yet more service pruning - and inaccurate advertising!

 

 

None of this is in any way a criticism of the on board staff, who have always been Cunard's best advert.

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Well, best of luck with your next Cunard trip - let us know how get on. We too have watched the gradual erosion of the QV experience (not just QG), so we'll probably go straight to a different supplier. We work hard to make the money for our QG level holidays, and we're unwilling to risk it on yet more service pruning - and inaccurate advertising!

 

 

None of this is in any way a criticism of the on board staff, who have always been Cunard's best advert.

 

What different "supplier" are you thinking of as there are complaints on all cruise ship forums that all companies have lowered there standards.

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I am confidently expecting that all we will need to do to get suitable (vegetarian) sandwiches is ask on the day - and hopefully just the first day with our preference being remembered thereafter.

This is exactly what happened (only went in once so don't know about the last bit). Served in PG restaurant only. As well as stand, there was a tray to pick your sandwich/roll from and people were asking for different cakes - we were happy with ours. Service was perfect.

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The latest CUNARDER (December 2017) on page 19 spells out Cunard's plans and the bottom right hand corner ( Grills Afternoon Teas) implies that afternoon tea is likely to be available in both Princess AND Queens Grill dining rooms!! Has anyone seen this yet?

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The latest CUNARDER (December 2017) on page 19 spells out Cunard's plans and the bottom right hand corner ( Grills Afternoon Teas) implies that afternoon tea is likely to be available in both Princess AND Queens Grill dining rooms!! Has anyone seen this yet?

 

Yes on QE in Oct/Nov cruise but was only available in Princess Grill.

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Ok, so we have now tried the afternoon tea in PG, and that's the only venue they open up. They don't like criticism, and insisted on trying to make us use actual loose leaf tea, but we had to make a fuss and then got tea bags. Otherwise they would have poured straight from a ready made pot of tea, and we don't like that. You get a cake stand with scones, cream and jam, a couple of random cakes and then between two people it's a couple of various finger sandwiches and a couple of random very small rolls. Exactly the same stuff was on offer in the Lido ; which made me think what the heck is the point of paying more?

Won't bother with the afternoon tea again, it's a blatant reminder of how things used to be.

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