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phillipahain

Worried about drop in Food Quality and service

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We have always enjoyed Cunard and were on QM earlier in 2019 ...40 days start of World Cruise  this year with little cause to grumbled

However relatives have just on 7th Sept got off Baltic QE and having been on QV 2 years ago they were very disapointed indeed by the drop in quality of food generally especially meat and desert dishes in the dining room  and sadly service too.plus apparently both sides of the buffet were  closed at same time and when one of them was particularily seasick on afternoon of  6th with rough seas the only bread roll the buffet mid section could conjour up was rock hard .

 

Has Carnival cost cutting reached such depths ?   Because we had planned /reserved the 2022 World Cruise but maybe we need to rethink 

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Hi

 

WE may have both  been on that same world cruise  40 day segment on QM2 this past Winter 2019 (New York to Singapore.)  I thought it was a great voyage although nothing is perfect.  Especially enjoyed the drama group on board.  And as with any Cunard voyage there were plenty of things to do during the day and night.  While a t first I found the service in the dining room a bit erratic and uneven a change of tables solved that problem.  I found the food to be largely wonderful and we could easily order off menu within reason.

 

I love the hardworking crew on the QM2!!!

 

This past Summer I was again on QM2 for the fashion crossing and then back on the ballet crossing.  I found the food and service really good.  I can tell you the programming on both crossings was very well received by the passengers. The ballet crossing was fantastic with the  English National Ballet.  I hope Cunard brings them back next Summer. The service throughout the ship especially in the various bars and lounges was superb.  Of course, it helps to be a regular passenger who has gotten to know many of the crew members.

 

The weather going over was better than the weather coming back.  I love the sound of the fog horn.

 

I have booked the upcoming Canada New England 14 day cruise departing October 4.   I have also booked a 46 day world cruise segment departing January 3.  New York to Hong Kong.  What does THAT tell you my friends?

 

I can't comment on the QE.  It is not a favorite ship.  I think you would come to regret not booking the 2022 world cruise based on the experiences of a few people.   Good luck and hope I see you on the beautiful Queen Mary 2 soon!!!

 

Deck Chair

 

 

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I often read complaints about the quality of the food on board before I sail and get I start to get worried that maybe standards have deteriorated since I was last on board , however, when I'm actually on board, I've never found anything to complain about and have always enjoyed everything served. In fact, on my recent QV cruise in June 2019, I thought that the food was the best I've had yet on Cunard.

 

Perhaps I'm easily pleased, but I've never been disappointed the food I've been served. With regards to service, my only complaint would be is that it is a little challenging sometimes to order a drink in the Lido or Britannia Restaurant at lunchtime.

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I’m currently on board QM2 and the food is outstanding.  Portions are good-sized and everything I’ve ordered over the last week has been excellent.  

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As others have reported, I've also seen these complaints (over 20-ish years) and wondered what was going on.  Of course, food is perhaps the most subjective aspect of a cruise, so variation is to be expected. Likewise, I've found on Cunard, as on all lines, on all ships, there are up periods and down periods, Whether it's the particular budget and supply availability & pricing at the time, the particular head chefs on board, or my own mood and perferences at that time.  Over the past 11 years and six voyages, my experience on the QM2 is that the meals may have varied a bit, but were within the expected range, with the past two trips since 2018 among the best.

I have noticed the change in courses and portions, but they've stayed easily within my needs as to variation and quantity. (Although I do usually wind up with one of the always-available items on one of the meals, at least for starter). 

Same as it ever was.

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Just got  home few weeks ago from btob QM2. All fantastic. Food superb. See photos3102950E-BB65-4C78-A62F-D340A4219D0A.thumb.jpeg.b45b09de483c0694bc5f76a6f416ac73.jpeg 

C3217DB5-BD97-4DFC-A1B4-BFB7F74CAED8.jpeg

C71A19EB-EDE3-4EFB-ABCE-015C4601A87B.jpeg

31B26C96-1F20-4B22-B2D2-C7F624C05431.jpeg

0A76B644-D04C-45D4-AF8A-664DCC4C5D44.jpeg

9CAD197B-705B-453D-A968-7059C0C5606E.jpeg

187BF370-A78D-44F1-98E6-E399906EE0CE.jpeg

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Not one of those meals appeal to my taste buds, but I have 

1 hour ago, fizzy1 said:

Just got  home few weeks ago from btob QM2. All fantastic. Food superb. See photos3102950E-BB65-4C78-A62F-D340A4219D0A.thumb.jpeg.b45b09de483c0694bc5f76a6f416ac73.jpeg 

C3217DB5-BD97-4DFC-A1B4-BFB7F74CAED8.jpeg

C71A19EB-EDE3-4EFB-ABCE-015C4601A87B.jpeg

31B26C96-1F20-4B22-B2D2-C7F624C05431.jpeg

0A76B644-D04C-45D4-AF8A-664DCC4C5D44.jpeg

9CAD197B-705B-453D-A968-7059C0C5606E.jpeg

187BF370-A78D-44F1-98E6-E399906EE0CE.jpeg

s

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 none of these meals appeal to my taste buds, I enjoy plain english food, the ones in the photos look  mainly from the Asia. 🍷🥃

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2 hours ago, fizzy1 said:

Just got  home few weeks ago from btob QM2. All fantastic. Food superb. See photos3102950E-BB65-4C78-A62F-D340A4219D0A.thumb.jpeg.b45b09de483c0694bc5f76a6f416ac73.jpeg 

C3217DB5-BD97-4DFC-A1B4-BFB7F74CAED8.jpeg

C71A19EB-EDE3-4EFB-ABCE-015C4601A87B.jpeg

31B26C96-1F20-4B22-B2D2-C7F624C05431.jpeg

0A76B644-D04C-45D4-AF8A-664DCC4C5D44.jpeg

9CAD197B-705B-453D-A968-7059C0C5606E.jpeg

187BF370-A78D-44F1-98E6-E399906EE0CE.jpeg

What restaurants were these meals in.

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1 hour ago, majortom10 said:

What restaurants were these meals in.

 

Looks like some of the standard fare in the King's Court (or Lido) Alternative Dining, and Verrandah.

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I think, as with most things in life... 99% of people are happy, info more so with the food and service they receive onboard... And, as such, get off the ship and get on with their lives having had a great time on their holiday or sailing... 

 

But, you always get the 1% who pick fault with everything and think that everything is getting worse and cost cutting is abound, and come on forums like this one and pour their bleeding hearts all over the keyboard about how they perceived something to be lesser than previously experienced, when, in fact, it likely was not, but they feel they need to put some form of negative spin on everything. 

 

You were happy previously with the service and food, so, go with the same open mind that it is what you will get when you board ship again, and enjoy your trip. Don't let keyboard warriors cause you worry before you even get on the ship. 

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1 hour ago, PORT ROYAL said:

 

Looks like some of the standard fare in the King's Court (or Lido) Alternative Dining, and Verrandah.

Yes

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4 hours ago, luckymal said:

 none of these meals appeal to my taste buds, I enjoy plain english food, the ones in the photos look  mainly from the Asia. 🍷🥃

There is plenty of choice in the main Britannia Restaurant and in the Kings Court, Lido, for all tastes    

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2 minutes ago, fizzy1 said:

Yes

Disappointed to see that photos show meals available in extra charge restaurants. You should expect and get excellent food in Verandah but I think those in the thread who are worried about drop in food standards are considering meals in Britannia restaurant and not in restaurants that you have to pay extra for.

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Speaking of Britannia, yes I have noticed a decline in food quality and variety.  Nothing dramatic and nothing that would make me stop sailing Cunard, but it is noticeable.  Even the menus offer less variety.  Just ordering shrimp cocktail one night required permission from the head waiter and seemed like a big ordeal ... and it wasn't good at all.  Lesson learned on that one.  So yes I think there have been cutbacks, but nothing horrible and you certainly won't starve.  I think the King's Court is better than ever.  So an improvement there and you can also have a nice lunch in the Carinthia Lounge.  It's mainly Britannia where I've noticed the difference.  

 

I personally never thought the Veranda was very good, nor Todd English which is what it was before.  Certainly not compared to speciality restaurants on other cruise lines like Celebrity.  

Edited by eroller

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Very minor personal example:

DW sometimes likes a Bloody Mary in the morning at breakfast. We got some concerned looks and excuses in advance a couple of times in June about how long it would take to scare one up so we began passing thru the Carinthia Lounge on our way to breakfast (which also enabled us to calibrate the staff on how a properly spicy Bloody Mary should be made).

 

Don't give me excuses. Just make it happen.

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36 minutes ago, fizzy1 said:

There is plenty of choice in the main Britannia Restaurant and in the Kings Court, Lido, for all tastes    

 

True, what you say, but we have done over 50 cruises with Cunard and noticed cuts on every cruise we go on now, food, we think the Head Chef is given less to spend per passenger, so that means less choice, quality and amount, I do not blame the crew,

orders come from Head Office and this also applies throughout the ship. New cruisers 

I think , think everything is great, but they do not know what it was like. I have also said many times the only thing that never changes are the wonderful crew members on ship.🍷🥃

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yes but that goes with everything all over the place. I remember flying Delta first class over seas and having a 7 course meal including caviar for a starter, soup served in a silver terrine,cakes on stands to choose from, etc. Got a Bottle of Champagne and a large tin of Caviar in a brown bag from the flight attendant going of the plane. As for crew be very happy, a ride on the Concorde back to NY was like riding coach on Air Russia (very bad service!) So yes enjoy your VACATION and don't wine.

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2 hours ago, majortom10 said:

Disappointed to see that photos show meals available in extra charge restaurants. You should expect and get excellent food in Verandah but I think those in the thread who are worried about drop in food standards are considering meals in Britannia restaurant and not in restaurants that you have to pay extra for.

That is why we only eat in the extra charge restaurants in the evenings  on any cruise, any cruise line we travel with . We budget for it and then we know the standard of food and service will be high ,so we are  never disappointed. We are not heavy drinkers so never buy a drinks package but we are foodies .  We eat one night in the buffet  then followed by  night in paid venues and so on .. Most lunchtimes we ate in the Britannia, the food was good but the staff were miserable . QM2 buffet was of a good  standard. Not very artistically displayed as Celebrity buffets are but we could always find good food to eat . The food in the Red Lion pub was good and the small plates in the Corinthia Lounge was excellent . So no complaints from us    

Edited by fizzy1

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Hi all, 

 

I just completed a 2week Ireland and Iceland cruise on Celebrity Silhouette  and came home on QM2. I’ve read many comments about the food on both ships. The Celebrity offerings were varied and well prepared, the wine service was rushed and not one bottle I saw had a cork (all screw tops), and the Wine Waiters juggled several bottles at the same time.  The tours were really superb. Good service and very friendly staff ( sometimes over-friendly), the ship was well maintained, room steward was excellent-overall a good ship experience; I did not like the GA of the ship, I thought it confusing,  and the over amped live music-nearly everywhere- was often overwhelming; and indifferently to badly performed.  That said I’ll go back to Celebrity but on their smaller ships. 

 

QM2 was superb and the food and service were just plain great. I would also note that the menus in Britannia were very innovative and not a selection of ‘the usual suspects’-which was the case on Silhouette. They’re trying different menus and methods of preparation on QM2 - hooray for Cunard!

QM2 continues to be grand, beautiful and superbly managed and absolutely my fave.😁

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Completed a Hamburg - New York TA in June.

 

The food in the Kings Court and Britannia were not great, let alone good. Kings Court had the cheapest bread assortment I have seen anywhere, cheap salad ingredients, bland highly cooked meats and sides. There was 0 garnishing around the food trays - a cheap looking buffet. Rarely patronized it. A fail in comparison to HAL or Celebrity.

 

The Britannia is the most glorious MDR on the seas. The menu however is again cheap - very small portions, minimal garnishes, bland taste, hard and dry proteins. The french onion soup consisted of a dry mix with water, a few onions - a strong chemical smell. It was served with a small round dry cracker with a few sprinkles of cheese. Seriously, it was sent back. All the food was a disappointment and more so when one is sitting in that glorious MDR. A fail.

 

However, the Alternative dining venue option of the Smokehouse, Coriander, Aztec (located in a part of the Kings Court) - was the Best Food At Sea I have ever had - better than anything on Oceania, Crystal etc. For $20 pp, it is a steal. We are astounded with the Alternative dining option and will eat there always on the QM2.

In fact, there were Grill patrons eating there and they said the food was more interesting, tasty, presented with flair than the heavy meat and potato food of the Grill. One gentleman said he will no long book the Grill, rather a veranda and eat at the Alternative option and the Veranda.

 

The Veranda easily competed with Oceania's specialties and exceeded them with no effort.

 

I am actually offended that Cunard would provide such cheap, unappealing, uncompleted food in the general food areas and MDR. It is an affront to the QM2. 

 

Many of the above pictures were from the extra fee venues so in no way should be viewed as representative of the general food on the QM2.

 

The QM2 is outstanding.

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Doubt It said:

The french onion soup consisted of a dry mix with water, a few onions

I think you're incorrect on this count.

Edited by Underwatr

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While I find the quality of food and service on QM2 to be completely satisfactory, I do have sufficient memory to be able to distinguish between today’s completely satisfactory and the truly superior of several years ago.

 

Anybody who does not see a decline in food and service on Cunard (as well as on other lines such as HAL and Celebrity) either has not sailed in the past or is not paying attention now.  It is a fact:  cost cutting has impacted staffing levels, which impacts service;  and cost cutting has impacted quality of ingredients and expertise of preparation, which impacts quality of food served.

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8 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

While I find the quality of food and service on QM2 to be completely satisfactory, I do have sufficient memory to be able to distinguish between today’s completely satisfactory and the truly superior of several years ago.

 

Anybody who does not see a decline in food and service on Cunard (as well as on other lines such as HAL and Celebrity) either has not sailed in the past or is not paying attention now.  It is a fact:  cost cutting has impacted staffing levels, which impacts service;  and cost cutting has impacted quality of ingredients and expertise of preparation, which impacts quality of food served.

We all can but you have to take into account price of fare paid to day comparing to recent years. Our first cruise on QE2 in 1997 was excellent and many things have since disappeared or been dumbed down since then but we paid over £100pp for the cheapest inside cabin on QE2 and taking into account 20yrs of inflation in both food and fuel shudder to think what the price would be now for the same standards. You cannot expect same standards of yesteryear at today's prices unfortunately something has to give.

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It’s interesting to see that a couple of replies indicate the frequent use of the alternative dining options in order to bypass the MDR. How clever of Cunard to persuade us to pay extra for our food by reducing the quality of the food on general offer. 

We have certainly noticed that the quality of the meat cuts onboard has declined, but do accept that the cost of our cruising in real terms has barely increased. We generally now use our obc to pay for the alternative dining venues.

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