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I've read HAL has different tea services. I grew up in England where tea service is a way of life, and would love to experience this on HAL. Which tea service should I expect on a 7 day cruise, and what is that experience like? TIA.

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We found only one type of tea service on our cruise on the Amsterdam this past summer. Although the food was nice, it was the only time on the whole cruise that I got warm water (rather than hot) for tea! Service was very rushed. We only went once, so perhaps this was unusual.

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Not a tea expert, but on my Caribbean cruise on the Eurodam in April, they have tea service every day at 3pm-ish. Two of the days are high tea (I think?) where they give you the tiered trays. The remaining days they just have people walking around with different pastries. The tea offering is the same every day.

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My experience has been that Tea Service varies from ship to ship. Sometimes it is served in the MDR with the tiered tray of goodies and pots of hot water and the Tea Chest brought by the Stewards. Other times, it has been served in a Lounge, sometimes the Ocean Bar, with trays of goodies being served by Stewards and the Tea Chest and pots of water being delivered by other Stewards.

 

Dutch High Tea is a totally different "animal" and is the best that they offer with this service, in my opinion. Many enjoy the Indonesian Tea when it is available as well.

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What HAL calls "Classic Afternoon Tea" in contrast to regular afternoon tea now is quite nice with sandwiches, pastries and cakes on a tier which is replenished if empty. Still I smile when the waiters walk around with their tea chests and the same tea bags you can get in the Lido Market buffet to put into the hot water. I always greedily ask for two bags because otherwise the tea is much too weak!

Indonesian and Dutch teas weren't offered any more in 2017 and I think they have gone for good which is an absolute pity in my opinion.

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If you're looking for high tea, this is not the place to find it. But if you are looking for a nice low tea, HAL provides. Afternoon tea has some nice treats, scones, and a decent selection of teas. The water isn't properly hot, but it's not bad.

The closest HAL came to high tea was the Royal Dutch Tea, but I haven't seen that in a while. The Indonesian Tea also used to be interesting, as it had unusual treats. There also used to be a cupcake tea, but that is also (thankfully) gone; the cupcakes all tasted the same---blah.

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There is a different between tea setups for some days. Not sure if they're named correctly, but.....

 

 

The Ocean Bar where the Afternoon Tea takes place (April 2017):

2yllg05.jpg

Afternoon Tea:

15f0wwi.jpg

 

 

Classic Afternoon Tea:

iy1vr6.jpg

Edited by GateGuardian
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A question about Tea Service that I have had for some time: Why are the 3 tiered trays arranged the way they are with the sandwiches at the bottom level and the sweets at the top level?

 

I start with the sandwiches and "work my way up". Am I doing this incorrectly?

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A question about Tea Service that I have had for some time: Why are the 3 tiered trays arranged the way they are with the sandwiches at the bottom level and the sweets at the top level?

 

I start with the sandwiches and "work my way up". Am I doing this incorrectly?

 

Great question. I'm not sure this answers it, but it certainly suggests a protocol.

 

https://www.theceltictimes.com/index.php/orgin-of-afternoon-tea/three-tier-curate-stand

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What HAL calls "Classic Afternoon Tea" in contrast to regular afternoon tea now is quite nice with sandwiches, pastries and cakes on a tier which is replenished if empty. Still I smile when the waiters walk around with their tea chests and the same tea bags you can get in the Lido Market buffet to put into the hot water. I always greedily ask for two bags because otherwise the tea is much too weak!

Indonesian and Dutch teas weren't offered any more in 2017 and I think they have gone for good which is an absolute pity in my opinion.

 

Is this true, the videos of these online, look outstanding!

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Great question. I'm not sure this answers it, but it certainly suggests a protocol.

 

https://www.theceltictimes.com/index.php/orgin-of-afternoon-tea/three-tier-curate-stand

 

Thanks for the link. Interesting and I never knew what the stand was called. The setup of the curate stand in the link is different from what HAL uses. Sandwiches on the bottom, scones on the middle level, and sweets on top.

 

I wish I could remember what setup Cunard uses.

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Thank you for sharing your experiences. It sounds like high tea is what I'm interested in. I'd appreciate anyone sharing their experiences with high tea.

 

Having lived for a dozen years in Singapore, I am so fond of High Tea! Miss it so much!

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If you're looking for high tea, this is not the place to find it. But if you are looking for a nice low tea, HAL provides. Afternoon tea has some nice treats, scones, and a decent selection of teas. The water isn't properly hot, but it's not bad.

There also used to be a cupcake tea, but that is also (thankfully) gone; the cupcakes all tasted the same---blah.

 

You got that right!

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Having lived for a dozen years in Singapore, I am so fond of High Tea! Miss it so much!

 

Maybe the "high tea" in Singapore is different, but in my experience, high tea (english) is a meal like a supper would be...something like shepherd's pie or some sort of casserole or a hearty soup and bread. I believe it is the meal when the working class folks had their evening meal so it was something fairly simple and inexpensive, but filling. :)

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I went for tea once on the Veendam. It was ok. I’ve been spoiled by afternoon tea on Cunard, and there’s no comparison.

 

Indeed, Cunard's afternoon tea (note, not "high tea" which I have never seen served on any ship other than at 5:00 p.m. for children on P&O) is as good as it gets at sea.

 

The food in the photos looks significantly better than we had on our HAL cruise two years ago. The teabag sitting in a cup of probably warm water brings back not-so-fond memories. I brought my own strong teabags, but getting recently-boiled water - if indeed it is ever boiled - was a challenge. The Neptune Lounge was the only place we found water suitable for making a decent "cuppa."

Edited by david,Mississauga
punctuation correction
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