Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Island Venturer

The “Carnivalization of Cunard” continues…

Recommended Posts

I don't see much point in having a dozen different cruise lines in a portfolio if they all gravitate toward the same cost-pared and culturally homogenious offering.

 

We thoroughly enjoyed Carnival when the kids were young but wouldn't set foot aboard one of their ships now.  We enjoyed P&O when all they had were medium sized vessels but had no interest when they started rolling out mega ships with thousands crammed aboard cheek by jowl.  Cunard was always that bit special for us but it's now several years since we were aboard. In the end it just didn't seem acceptably good value anymore and wasn't special enough to be a first choice.

 

The on-board entertainment was never in the same class as, say, Celebrity but always seemed to match the general tone of the Cunard offering.  Personally, I'd gladly manage without a British comedian if I could be assured of not being exposed to mac & cheese.  I don't care if it comes with shrimp or even caviar, it's an abomination that needs to stay on the Carnival barges.

 

Our next cruise?  Sadly, we've booked Regent Seven Seas, and have no immediate plans to re-visit Cunard. We don't miss QE2, could never afford it, but I'd happily re-book with the Cunard of 5-10 years ago.

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello

 

I have sailed on Cunard about 40 times on various ships.  Just returned from and Eastbound and Westbound Queen Mary 2  crossings which included the Fashion week and the ballet  voyage.

 

Since the refit of the QM2, the Carinthia lounge has been wildly popular.  At lunch time there is always musical entertainment.   IN the evening there is always musical entertainment.  Perhaps Cunard can schedule more involved production shows in the this space the budget allowing to give passengers another choice for after dinner entertainment beyond the strings or harpist etc.

 

As far as the Queens Room is concerned it was my impression that it was  usually packed with dancers in the evening, various parties and various activities during the day such as dance lessons and line dancing.  And of course, afternoon tea including the once a voyage tea dance.

 

With respect to cutbacks there have been a few but none that seriously detracts from the experience.  I did notice that the string group has been reduced from four to three musicians but that was to make room for an additional singer with the  Queens Room Orchestra.  I have noticed that the type of music played by the orchestra has been updated a bit and as a result the room seems to attract more patrons.  And the orchestra and singers are amazing!!! And its fun to dance in there.

 

While  there have been some minor cutbacks such as no more ink pens (Replaced by pencils.), they have  returned the complimentary biscuits and pastries in Sir Samuels.  The canapes in the various lounges pre-dinner have declined in quality but to me no big deal..

 

I have been generally pleased with the food and choice of offerings and the service is excellent generally.  I have found over the  years that it is always possible to order off the menu within reason.  My red line is if Cunard began to  cut back on the musicians.  It is all the live music that keeps the Queen Mary 2 so special and keeps me coming back.

 

And it is clear that the special programming Cunard is famous for continues such as fashion week and ballet.  NO cutbacks there!

 

Finally, it is so clear that without Carnival there would no more Cunard Line and no Queen Mary 2.

 

Be well.

 

Deck Chair

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3rd Generation Cunarder- I can not agree more- I felt exactly the same- " Thank god, there is still Cunard", when debarked the Nieuw Statendam!

Both the Dutch Cafe- a bit like the Carinthia Lounge- and the Explorations Cafe ( that would be the place were the Commodore Club would be placed) are self servie- in my book- NO GO!

Papercups - in our time and day on boad a Premium Line ship? You got a propper tea cup - but you have to ask for it!

All those music revenues- dark lounges- almost no connection to sea...! The list could go on...! So, again- thank you Cunard!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, deck chair said:

...

 

 

Finally, it is so clear that without Carnival there would no more Cunard Line and no Queen Mary 2.

 

 

 

I am grateful that Carnival bought Cunard. Whilst there are many changes (downgrading in my mind) that I regret, I always think the positive: that without Carnival – or another saviour – I wouldn’t be enjoying the current Cunard fleet. Without Carnival, it is possible that I would not have been able to have a crossing on the QE2 as late as 2008, almost 40 years since its first voyage.

 

There have been some positive changes since our earlier Cunard voyages in the 1970s and 80s. A brochure issued at the time of our first Cunard crossing in 1973 mentioned: there are no violins on the QE2. There was always at least one classical performer, but no string orchestra or harpist or pianist at tea time.  We had a long gap in our ocean travels, so I’m not sure if it was under Carnival that this civilised addition to tea time was added, but certainly I am pleased that it has continued. The current Cunard ships offer a much wider range of entertainment. There is something for all tastes. 

 

I am not pleased with the “dumbing down” of dress standards, but it hasn’t been as bad as on other lines. (I don’t need to be reminded that the standard of dress has changed everywhere; I am well aware of that.) We noticed on a Holland America cruise a few years ago that even on formal/gala nights the dress standards were quite shabby in comparison with Cunard.

 

I give an extra thank you to Carnival for allowing Dr. Stephen Payne to design the Queen Mary 2 his way. Of course there are some aspects of this fine ship that most of us do not appreciate, but overall it is a great ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Several posters have observed that the Queen's Room is generally not crowded with dancers in the evening.  This certainly has not been my experience, at least not when the band is playing.  Sure, maybe it's a bit sparse at 8:00, or after midnight, but I have always found it well patronized, if not absolutely packed, during the prime hours of the evening on QM2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, 57eric said:

Several posters have observed that the Queen's Room is generally not crowded with dancers in the evening.  This certainly has not been my experience, at least not when the band is playing.  Sure, maybe it's a bit sparse at 8:00, or after midnight, but I have always found it well patronized, if not absolutely packed, during the prime hours of the evening on QM2.

Here, here. And on our last two cruises on QV, one of the singers (there have been 2) has stayed when the band has their break and sings to a recording of the band. This has meant the floor has stayed busy all night. 

 

In contrast, when there has been a 'party night' with the international band playing, there has just been a few members of staff dancing on their own on the floor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Camgirl said:

Here, here. And on our last two cruises on QV, one of the singers (there have been 2) has stayed when the band has their break and sings to a recording of the band. This has meant the floor has stayed busy all night. 

 

In contrast, when there has been a 'party night' with the international band playing, there has just been a few members of staff dancing on their own on the floor.

As I said I think Cunard are making improvements, I remember the orchestra playing for extended times simply as backing for the ballroom dancers. It was very noticeable on this voyage that there are now two singers and they are mixing in many more contemporary songs. It was one of the main reasons I spent extended times there. I have on numerous occasions sat in the Queens Room on all 3 of the current queens and I really don’t remember hearing so much contemporary music and so much vocal backing. 


It was also the first voyage I have been on where the headliners (the Flyrights in this case) has a second show in the Queens Room with their mix of Motown and Soul. The Party Band Changez I have seen before as they are always used to fill in when the orchestras are combined for the “Singers in Concert” I was very impressed by the line up of this band and the vocals of the lead singer. 


It would be brilliant to have seen Ben Mills (who did actually did a second split show in the theatre) perform that show in the Queens Room as he’s a superb vocal talent and Lisa Harman the Cocktail pianist, who stepped in at the last moment to perform a wonderful show in the theatre as a regular evening. That would allow people to dance along to their performances which is something that you can’t really do in a theatre environment. Princess do this highly effectively with their Crooners pianists, who put on delightful shows that are different in style to their nightly bar show. 
 

I just really like the idea of there being two show options per night to cater for a range of tastes. The human resources are basically there already, it’s mainly just a case of some scheduling changes. The Queens Room, should be a place where people enjoy music and dance. I can tell Cunard are listening and are evolving and I’m grateful for that 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/20/2019 at 1:47 PM, Island Venturer said:

We just returned from an 18-day Queen Elizabeth voyage New York to Southampton.  It’s been a couple of years since we’ve sailed on Queen Elizabeth, so we were very disappointed to see the major “cut backs”.

 

 

 

 

 

I tend to agree with you to a certain extent.  I'm not sure I would call them "major" cut backs, but I have noticed a decline in the overall quality and variety of cuisine, and even some of the special touches that have made Cunard special.  Nothing major, but enough that I have noticed.  I think part of the problem is that Cunard tends to lack its own dedicated management team, and more and more of the business and operations are combined with P&O.  They operate out of the same headquarters in Southampton.  In the US, Princess Cruises pretty much runs Cunard although it's just marketing and sales on this side of the pond.  Of course it's natural for any large company to combine synergies among their various brands, but the key is that the customer never notices.  I'm seeing more and more of P&O leaking into Cunard.  Hopefully nothing more than what has already occurred, but time will tell on that.  I do think all cruise lines go through cycles.  I sail on pretty much all of them, and they all tend to have great years and not so great years.  One thing is for sure, they are always evolving and sometimes that benefits the customer and sometimes it doesn't.  

 

I do hope we don't see anymore dumbing down of the Cunard dress code and menu selection.  I fear when the new Cunarder comes online, we will see changes to the brand to increase market share and ensure they can fill a 4-ship fleet.   I'm thinking an even more relaxed dress code, and less structure to the onboard programming (open dining, etc).  Hopefully those changes, should they occur, don't make Cunard like every other line out there.  Structure and formality are exactly the traits that set Cunard apart from every other line.  I realize that both go directly against the trend that most cruisers desire these days, but take that away and I might as well sail on any number of other lines.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gazroberts80, thank you so much for sharing the menu's from your sailing.  We're doing 21 nights on QM2 next summer, round trip NYC and there isn't one night where I couldn't find something that I would like (seafood and vegetarian).   We're in Brittania Club so I know there will be a couple of other choices as well.  I can hardly wait!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 8/20/2019 at 1:47 PM, Island Venturer said:

 

And then, of course, the “sale tables” outside the shops… which on QE are outside the Queen’s Room.  Now… there is one full table set aside to sell Pringles and M&Ms. Wow.

 

 

 

That is SUPREMELY tacky. Sale tables? I wouldn’t expect that on Cunard. It’s disgusting.

Edited by K.S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/22/2019 at 8:35 AM, david,Mississauga said:

 

I am grateful that Carnival bought Cunard. Whilst there are many changes (downgrading in my mind) that I regret, I always think the positive: that without Carnival – or another saviour – I wouldn’t be enjoying the current Cunard fleet. Without Carnival, it is possible that I would not have been able to have a crossing on the QE2 as late as 2008, almost 40 years since its first voyage.

 

 

There have been some positive changes since our earlier Cunard voyages in the 1970s and 80s. A brochure issued at the time of our first Cunard crossing in 1973 mentioned: there are no violins on the QE2. There was always at least one classical performer, but no string orchestra or harpist or pianist at tea time.  We had a long gap in our ocean travels, so I’m not sure if it was under Carnival that this civilised addition to tea time was added, but certainly I am pleased that it has continued. The current Cunard ships offer a much wider range of entertainment. There is something for all tastes. 

 

 

I am not pleased with the “dumbing down” of dress standards, but it hasn’t been as bad as on other lines. (I don’t need to be reminded that the standard of dress has changed everywhere; I am well aware of that.) We noticed on a Holland America cruise a few years ago that even on formal/gala nights the dress standards were quite shabby in comparison with Cunard.

 

 

I give an extra thank you to Carnival for allowing Dr. Stephen Payne to design the Queen Mary 2 his way. Of course there are some aspects of this fine ship that most of us do not appreciate, but overall it is a great ship.

 

Carnival is a mixed bag, a blessing - and a curse. That’s my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, K.S. said:

 

That is SUPREMELY tacky. Sale tables? I wouldn’t expect that on Cunard. It’s disgusting.

 

A trifle vulgar perhaps, hardly disgusting. But it's certainly not new, they've been doing it for years. Enough passengers seem to enjoy them to make them worthwhile. There are plenty of places for the rest of us to enjoy, while avoiding them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, exlondoner said:

 

A trifle vulgar perhaps, hardly disgusting. But it's certainly not new, they've been doing it for years. Enough passengers seem to enjoy them to make them worthwhile. There are plenty of places for the rest of us to enjoy, while avoiding them.

 

In my opinion, they shouldn’t be there at all. I found it tacky, even on Princess. And I expect tacky on Princess. Do people really “enjoy” them? Would people complain if they weren’t there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/21/2019 at 3:57 PM, Chunky2219 said:

Personally, I'd gladly manage without a British comedian if I could be assured of not being exposed to mac & cheese.  I don't care if it comes with shrimp or even caviar, it's an abomination that needs to stay on the Carnival barges.

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

Personally, I love a good gourmet Mac and Cheese. I’ve made some great ones at home with shells and four types of cheese. But no, I wouldn’t expect that on the dinner menu, much less formal evenings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve just had a chat with my mum who has been cruising with Cunard for years. She can see where the OP is coming from but says it’s not enough to annoy her at the moment. On the subject of petit fours she said something about strawberries used to be offered?

 

If they dilute the dress code it will be a hard pill for her and my dad to swallow as they enjoy that aspect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

One of the things I find most strange is that people are offended by one of 8 choices of main  course. It may not be the dish you choose to order but there are many traditional mains you can choose. 
 

Would it spoil your experience if someone at your table chose to order the Lobster macoroni? Does that mean any pasta main is unacceptable on a menu for a gala evening? Or is it just the “Mac and Cheese” name. A lobster macaroni can be a far more complex dish to cook than a Steak, Sauce, Potatoes and two vegetables.  If for example a Pasta dish of Chicken, Wild Mushroom, truffle shavings, white wine sauce and fettuccine pasta would that pass the Cunard test?  
 

Where do you stop with what is appropriate to allow one to order on a dining table on a ship as not to offend fellow guests. Is it now offensive to a Vegan table companion for a fellow guest to order a Lamb Shank? 
 

I find these negative comments about the “tacky” Princess line laughable. I’ve enjoyed food on that line that has blown most offerings from Cunard out of the window. I have never sailed on Carnival, therefore I can’t comment on their offering.

 

In my opinion if a menu has dishes that appeal to the range of palates and addresses dietary requirements it’s on the way to being a good menu. If each dish delivers satisfaction to the customer who orders it when it arrives then it’s a winner. 
 

If the menu doesn’t offer anything you desire then I can understand that it’s natural to criticise the presence of other choices on the menu. There is always multiple choices of Meat, potato and vegetable  choices, along with an excellent choice of seafood dishes. If they account for 6 dishes is it so wrong to add a couple of alternatives such as pasta’s or risotto that can also make excellent vegetarian options?

 

The idea that a Cunard customer is above certain dishes is simply ridiculous. The premium Verandah restaurant proudly promotes its Burger for example. Clearly people paying the additional €30 plus extra charge are not too offended. Likewise Cunard charge and extra €19 for Indian (curry), Italian (including pasta) dishes. Would they be charging extra if they thought the discerning Cunard customer would be offended by such dishes, that they would never eat in a formal restaurant environment. The Britannia (MDR) is the free option not the premium extra cost offering, yet dishes served in these additional charge restaurants are inappropriate in the Main (complimentary offering).

 

Cunard would not be offering such dishes in additional cost restaurants if they were perceived as “dumbed down” offerings. They are not stupid these dishes attract customers, who pay additional sums for Burgers, pasta and curry. If there dishes were not ordered they would not be on these menus. 

 

 

Edited by Gazroberts80

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, K.S. said:

 

In my opinion, they shouldn’t be there at all. I found it tacky, even on Princess. And I expect tacky on Princess. Do people really “enjoy” them? Would people complain if they weren’t there?

 

I don't know if "enjoy" is the right word, but people buy things off the tables. So if it's making money, it will continue. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/21/2019 at 2:22 PM, Gazroberts80 said:

Interestingly however the Britannia Club restaurant installed on QV reminds me so much of the more modern British contemporary design of P&O’s Britannia, a ship just as good in many parts as the Queens. I’m expecting we will see this same contemporary design flow through onto Queen Anne. It should never be forgotten that QE2 was a child of the 60’s it was the complete opposite of Victoriana or Art Deco. It pushed Cunard into the modern era and became the greatest ship on the planet. Sometimes it’s forgotten that Cunard did “Cool Britannia” and cutting edge. I have found G32 on QM2 to be one of the craziest places on any ship, I’ve had the craziest of nights there. Cunard has tradition and a legacy but it’s never ever been boring and it better never become so 😀 I love Cunard, I love the ships and the history so much but it’s not about being a time capsule as QE2 would never existed if it was. 
 

 

Is it settled that the new Cunarder will be named “Queen Anne”?

 

I think, today, Cunard IS about being a “time capsule” as you say. It’s what people want. People want to be able to experience the heyday of the ocean liner, the apex of which was the 1930’s before the Second World War brought everything crashing down and played a part in accelerating air travel. The QM2, for the most part, delivers on that desire. In time, even QE2’s “cool Britannia” design changed to become more traditional (except for, in my opinion, the Queens Room, with it’s really ugly “2001: A Space Odyssey” ceiling and support columns).

 

I do think that the style of the Britannia Club on QV is really elegant and is contemporary and yet still reminds of the great Deco style of bygone liners like ILE DE FRANCE, NORMANDIE, and the original QUEEN MARY at the same time.

 

P.S. I have to quibble with you about QE2 becoming the “greatest ship on the planet”. It’s just that somehow, it managed to keep going transatlantic, after ships like the S.S. FRANCE, and the Italian Line ships LEONARDO DA VINCI, MICHELANGELO and RAFFAELLO were pulled from service in the 1970’s. At least FRANCE lived on long as the S.S. NORWAY (and S.S. ROTTERDAM continued a successful long life as a cruise ship).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

I don't know if "enjoy" is the right word, but people buy things off the tables. So if it's making money, it will continue. 

 

Sadly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The “tat tables” really are not in keeping but clearly many a Cunard customer buys from them. What I was most disappointed about on our recent cruise was the behaviour of the retail staff (not Cunard employees) I head some really inappropriate “banter” between the staff members that I would never hear from a Room stewards or Bar/Restaurant staff. Another member of our party also witnessed similar language on another occasion. To be fair in all the years of “tat tables” on all Cruise lines I’ve sailed on this hasn’t been an issue so I put this down to the particular team onboard. 
 

Cunard did drop the Art Auctions, that used to take place in the Winter Garden. It was claimed it was due to negative customer feedback but I imagine it was very much down to it not making money. I do find these events incredibly entertaining as they are just the most bizarrely over the top things ever. Hardly anything seems to sell, despite all the noise created, to make people feel bids are flying in. It actually seems that they are more of an opportunity for customers to show off Art purchases they have already determined earlier in the voyage to their fellow passengers. Clearly however on RCI and Princess they still justify the money. Personally they don’t offend me and I don’t think they lower the brand image and if you haven’t seen one it’s a must for how utterly ridiculous the whole thing is. It’s a live comedy show. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Gazroberts80 said:

One of the things I find most strange is that people are offended by one of 8 choices of main  course. It may not be the dish you choose to order but there are many traditional mains you can choose. 
 

Would it spoil your experience if someone at your table chose to order the Lobster macoroni? Does that mean any pasta main is unacceptable on a menu for a gala evening? Or is it just the “Mac and Cheese” name. A lobster macaroni can be a far more complex dish to cook than a Steak, Sauce, Potatoes and two vegetables.  If for example a Pasta dish of Chicken, Wild Mushroom, truffle shavings, white wine sauce and fettuccine pasta would that pass the Cunard test?  
 

Where do you stop with what is appropriate to allow one to order on a dining table on a ship as not to offend fellow guests. Is it now offensive to a Vegan table companion for a fellow guest to order a Lamb Shank? 
 

I find these negative comments about the “tacky” Princess line laughable. I’ve enjoyed food on that line that has blown most offerings from Cunard out of the window. I have never sailed on Carnival, therefore I can’t comment on their offering.

 

In my opinion if a menu has dishes that appeal to the range of palates and addresses dietary requirements it’s on the way to being a good menu. If each dish delivers satisfaction to the customer who orders it when it arrives then it’s a winner. 
 

If the menu doesn’t offer anything you desire then I can understand that it’s natural to criticise the presence of other choices on the menu. There is always multiple choices of Meat, potato and vegetable  choices, along with an excellent choice of seafood dishes. If they account for 6 dishes is it so wrong to add a couple of alternatives such as pasta’s or risotto that can also make excellent vegetarian options?

 

The idea that a Cunard customer is above certain dishes is simply ridiculous. The premium Verandah restaurant proudly promotes its Burger for example. Clearly people paying the additional €30 plus extra charge are not too offended. Likewise Cunard charge and extra €19 for Indian (curry), Italian (including pasta) dishes. Would they be charging extra if they thought the discerning Cunard customer would be offended by such dishes, that they would never eat in a formal restaurant environment. The Britannia (MDR) is the free option not the premium extra cost offering, yet dishes served in these additional charge restaurants are inappropriate in the Main (complimentary offering).

 

Cunard would not be offering such dishes in additional cost restaurants if they were perceived as “dumbed down” offerings. They are not stupid these dishes attract customers, who pay additional sums for Burgers, pasta and curry. If there dishes were not ordered they would not be on these menus. 

 

 

 

But Princess IS tacky (not as much as others, but still). Let’s face it. Modern mass-market cruise ships are super tack fests. All chrome and branded venues like “B.B. King” and “Rolling Stone”, for example. And don’t get me started on Royal Caribbean, those aren’t even ships (and I dare say, unsafe).

 

P.S. The Verandah on QM2 is now a grill, so a burger makes sense. Is it available at dinner though? Or just lunch? 

Edited by K.S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, K.S. said:

 

Is it settled that the new Cunarder will be named “Queen Anne”?

 

I think, today, Cunard IS about being a “time capsule” as you say. It’s what people want. People want to be able to experience the heyday of the ocean liner, the apex of which was the 1930’s before the Second World War brought everything crashing down and played a part in accelerating air travel. The QM2, for the most part, delivers on that desire. In time, even QE2’s “cool Britannia” design changed to become more traditional (except for, in my opinion, the Queens Room, with it’s really ugly “2001: A Space Odyssey” ceiling and support columns).

 

I do think that the style of the Britannia Club on QV is really elegant and is contemporary and yet still reminds of the great Deco style of bygone liners like ILE DE FRANCE, NORMANDIE, and the original QUEEN MARY at the same time.

 

P.S. I have to quibble with you about QE2 becoming the “greatest ship on the planet”. It’s just that somehow, it managed to keep going transatlantic, after ships like the S.S. FRANCE, and the Italian Line ships LEONARDO DA VINCI, MICHELANGELO and RAFFAELLO were pulled from service in the 1970’s. At least FRANCE lived on long as the S.S. NORWAY (and S.S. ROTTERDAM continued a successful long life as a cruise ship).


Its a very fair point you make the France and Normandie etc were more palatial than even Queen Mary. QE2 I believe shocked some with some of its 60’a styling and furniture. This 60’s design element was lost fairly significantly over the years and by the end of her time with Cunard there was a lot more Victoriana creeping in. Some say that this spoiled the modernist design of the ship along with the additions of extra staterooms that spoiler her lines to a degree. So I retract that statement and instead should have said that it was seen by many across the world as the most recognisable ship of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and defined Cunard as a luxury brand. 

 

There are documents someone put online that showed the hull is listed as “Queen Anne” on the ship builders inventory. That could be a working title but it would seem strange that they would not use the “Queen” when she is the largest ship in the fleet in terms of passenger capacity. You also want a name that’s easily pronounced by those individuals who are not native English speakers (a growing market). Something that Queen Berengaria would not do. The fact that the new ship is very similar in design to QE/QV as it’s an evolution of the Vista design “Pinnacle class” makes me think they will brand her as a sister. 

 

 

Edited by Gazroberts80

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, K.S. said:

Is it settled that the new Cunarder will be named “Queen Anne”? ...

 

No, not settled to my knowledge. There is one "leak" to be found in a document called "Cruise Ships on Order 2016-2027" available for download from the "Austrian Marine Equipment Manufacturers" (AMEM) which indicates the name for Cunard's new build will be "Queen Anne". But I don't know how authoritative that document is.

 

25 minutes ago, K.S. said:

... P.S. The Verandah on QM2 is now a grill, so a burger makes sense. Is it available at dinner though? Or just lunch? 

 

Yes, "The Cunarder Burger" can be found on the dinner menu for the "Steakhouse at the Verandah". The Verandah lunch menu is actually a subset of the full dinner menu. That is, everything on the lunch menu can also be found on the expanded dinner menu.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, K.S. said:

But Princess IS tacky (not as much as others, but still). Let’s face it. Modern mass-market cruise ships are super tack fests. All chrome and branded venues like “B.B. King” and “Rolling Stone”, for example. And don’t get me started on Royal Caribbean, those aren’t even ships (and I dare say, unsafe).

 

P.S. The Verandah on QM2 is now a grill, so a burger makes sense. Is it available at dinner though? Or just lunch? 


I personally miss the old Verandah restaurant and it’s classical French style menu. However I would say that at $39 per person additional cost it’s very much seen as being a restaurant that offers a premium food experience to the Main dining experience. I think you would be hard pressed to suggest that the majority of dishes on offer here would not be seen as classic traditional dining room dishes that have dominated Cunard menus for years. 

 

As for calling Princess tacky I think that’s a rather naive comment. I have never seen a “B.B King” or “Rolling Stones” venue. I’ve seen first class service and food that has often far surpassed the quality of Cunard food. The P&O (Another Carnival line) Epicurean restaurant is the equal of the old Verandah. Yet on this perceived less exclusive line this fine dining restaurant continues to prosper. On Princess I’ve witnessed extremely talented musicians in excellent cocktail bars, who are of equal calibre to those on Cunard. On a number of occasions they have actually surpassed the equivalent performers on Cunard, especially in the Cocktail bar. May I add that Lisa Harman on my recent QV cruise was exceptional also. 
 

I prefer the decor of Cunard ships on the whole, although there are elements of beautiful contemporary design on Royal Class Princess ships and on some of the P&O fleet that is just as luxurious but in a more contemporary way than is seen in the Art Deco/Victoriana Queens. But remember that the QE2 was highly contemporary in its design in the late 60’s/70’s, so it should not be seen that Victoriana or Art Deco equate to Cunard ship design. 
 

I’m expecting the 4th ship to have more of a contemporary design based on the furnishings of the newly installed Britannia Club on QV (which many see as a trial to assess Cunard guests opinion)  and due to the design team Cunard have selected for her interiors. 
 

QM2/QE and QV have done a brilliant job of replicating the QE/QM 1930’s era in the modern day but I’d love to see Cunard be brave and try and give us a modern day interpretation on the QE2 decor this time round. Personally I doubt they will go that far as I think the consistency in the brand between ships is something that Carnival will go for. I feel however it will have some similar decor to P&O’s Britannia. That is if the Britannia Club restaurant offers any clues as walking along that corridor and into that restaurant I could easily forget I wasn’t on Britannia. I know many have been very positive in their comments on the quality of the design of this refurbishment, the only criticism is that it doesn’t seem to flow with the rest of QV’s decor. 
   

Cunard is overall my favourite cruise line but there are areas in which others are superior. It’s complete arrogance and snobbishness to suggest that they are not surpassed. 
 

 

 

7DE6E319-87C8-47FD-BC0A-60FDF27DDDAB.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Gazroberts80 said:


I personally miss the old Verandah restaurant and it’s classical French style menu. However I would say that at $39 per person additional cost it’s very much seen as being a restaurant that offers a premium food experience to the Main dining experience. I think you would be hard pressed to suggest that the majority of dishes on offer here would not be seen as classic traditional dining room dishes that have dominated Cunard menus for years. 

 

As for calling Princess tacky I think that’s a rather naive comment. I have never seen a “B.B King” or “Rolling Stones” venue. I’ve seen first class service and food that has often far surpassed the quality of Cunard food. The P&O (Another Carnival line) Epicurean restaurant is the equal of the old Verandah. Yet on this perceived less exclusive line this fine dining restaurant continues to prosper. On Princess I’ve witnessed extremely talented musicians in excellent cocktail bars, who are of equal calibre to those on Cunard. On a number of occasions they have actually surpassed the equivalent performers on Cunard, especially in the Cocktail bar. May I add that Lisa Harman on my recent QV cruise was exceptional also. 
 

I prefer the decor of Cunard ships on the whole, although there are elements of beautiful contemporary design on Royal Class Princess ships and on some of the P&O fleet that is just as luxurious but in a more contemporary way than is seen in the Art Deco/Victoriana Queens. But remember that the QE2 was highly contemporary in its design in the late 60’s/70’s, so it should not be seen that Victoriana or Art Deco equate to Cunard ship design. 
 

I’m expecting the 4th ship to have more of a contemporary design based on the furnishings of the newly installed Britannia Club on QV (which many see as a trial to assess Cunard guests opinion)  and due to the design team Cunard have selected for her interiors. 
 

QM2/QE and QV have done a brilliant job of replicating the QE/QM 1930’s era in the modern day but I’d love to see Cunard be brave and try and give us a modern day interpretation on the QE2 decor this time round. Personally I doubt they will go that far as I think the consistency in the brand between ships is something that Carnival will go for. I feel however it will have some similar decor to P&O’s Britannia. That is if the Britannia Club restaurant offers any clues as walking along that corridor and into that restaurant I could easily forget I wasn’t on Britannia. I know many have been very positive in their comments on the quality of the design of this refurbishment, the only criticism is that it doesn’t seem to flow with the rest of QV’s decor. 
   

Cunard is overall my favourite cruise line but there are areas in which others are superior. It’s complete arrogance and snobbishness to suggest that they are not surpassed. 
 

 

 

7DE6E319-87C8-47FD-BC0A-60FDF27DDDAB.jpeg

 

I thought what I was conveying was getting across, but it’s obvious that it hasn’t, so let me clarify.

 

I do not have a problem with the food on Princess. I’ve not said that Cunard are not surpassed. I have a problem with the interior design and decor, and the things they do, and feel that not just of Princess, but of other mass market cruise lines in general: Holland America, NCL, *Carnival*, Royal Caribbean etc. Another member here posted that Mac & Cheese was an “abomination”. I stated that I love a good gourmet Mac & Cheese and have prepared a really good version at home. However, I just don’t believe Mac & Cheese (or burgers) belong on the dinner menu. Lunch, yes. Dinner, no. If I ran the restaurants, they wouldn’t be (on the dinner menu). It’s just a matter of personal style. I also have not criticized the menu of the Verandah. Do I think a burger should be on the dinner menu? No. Do I have a problem with the rest? No. It’s a *grill*. Steaks and chops are what *should* be on the menu. In fact, the original Verandah restaurant on the 1936 QUEEN MARY, was the “Verandah Grill”. On the NORMANDIE, the extra tariff restaurant was simply known as the “Grill Room”. That’s what those restaurants were. So the “Steakhouse at the Verandah” is, no matter what they call it, a Grill. And the current menu is as it should be. I have no problem with it. I never said I did.

 

As far as the mention of “B.B. King” or “Rolling Stone”, those are venues found on Holland America ships (this was discussed earlier in the thread, before I commented). I was criticizing, once again, mass market cruise lines in general, not just Princess. Don’t get me started on NCL or Carnival (and then there is the terrible, ugly design and silhouette of “ships” these days. Sorry, but the “Royal Class” design externally is just hideous. I mean, it’s just a floating apartment block. Come on!)

 

What I *am* saying is that Cunard has an image, style and tradition to uphold. It appeals to a certain customer, a certain audience. They need to maintain that. The dress codes, the menu selections, the interior design, all of it. Tacky tchotchke tables outside the Queens Room is a big, hard NO. Not appropriate for Cunard (and really, in my opinion, not appropriate anywhere (except maybe NCL and Carnival. It’s not like they are the epitome of class and style to begin with). 

 

By the way. It’s not really Art Deco and Victorian. Some of the decorative touches you are referring to as “Victorian” are actually more *Edwardian*, if you want to go there. They echo more the style of MAURETANIA, AQUITANIA, or LUSITANIA, or the White Star Line ships OLYMPIC, BRITANNIC, etc. Queen Victoria died January, 1901. Cunard isn’t going back to the style of late 19th century ships. Also, Art Deco doesn’t equate to “Cunard” ship design. What it *does* equate to is the design prevalent at the apex of the age of the great ocean liners, the 1930’s, and *that* is what people want to be able to experience: that bygone era of style, beauty and grace of the original QM, NORMANDIE, ILE DE FRANCE, etc. Like I said I do like the design of the new Britannia Club on QV. But it’s really not that “contemporary”. Make no mistake. It’s still very much a Deco inspired design (except for the chandeliers).

 

There is one line that used to have really great contemporary interior design: Celebrity. I’m talking back when the Celebrity SUMMIT and her three sisters were sailing. Those ships had contemporary interior design and yet, still felt, somehow like “modern classic” (the squared off, container ship rear ends externally, were another matter).  A contemporary take on classic. Elegant. Stylish. Sadly they’ve now lost their way and given themselves over to gigantism (ECLIPSE ships I’m looking at you. And SOLSTICE et al.) and ugly interiors too.

 

Part of the problem with mass market cruise ships today, is that they are well, “mass market”. That means appealing to the lowest common denominator. You get all kinds of passengers on cruises these days. *All kinds*. Also, another problem (as someone else put it either here or elsewhere, I can’t remember) is that they really aren’t run by shipping lines. They are run by what are essentially *entertainment travel companies*. Hence the Royal Caribbean monstrosities, and others. That, however, is for another discussion.

Edited by K.S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...