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Goldilocks Service

Not too hot; not too cold

overcast 60 °F

RUSS_RAFF_crossing.jpegIt is the Goldilocks standard. That is to say, the service aboard QM2 is not too hot and not too cold; it is just right.

I have been aboard ships or in hotels or restaurants where I felt the staff assumed itself to be superior to me—the customer. More recently, I have come to loathe overly familiar service where I and my love are greeted with a hearty, “How are you guys today?” (We are not guys, thank you)

The Queen Mary 2 seems to have found my sweet spot. The smiles are sincere and never sarcastically offered. Eye contact, which I love, is the standard. We are greeted as Mr. Russell and Ms. Raff which is appropriate at our age.

Uniforms match the mood in a way that says, “We are a step above the rest and, so, we dress accordingly.” The butler is dressed well enough to be cast in an episode of Downton Abbey and the Stateroom Steward, a step down in rank, is appropriately attired a step down in formality.

Senior Maitre d’Hotel Osman Pinaroglu was, during last evening’s “formal night” dress code spectacular in his white tie and tails.

Guests are worthy of the crew’s dress and attention; tuxedos and ball gowns ruled the decks last night with only a few gentlemen in less formal dark suits and none—absolutely none that I saw—with open collars or jeans. Our last cruise on Silversea saw dress codes go widely ignored and, I think, the staff service level suffers when guest conduct is unworthy.b5fa6910-cbbb-11e8-a5ce-d761b8f781ca.jpg

White gloves are everywhere. Dishes are cleared in the English way with none being bussed until all diners have completed their meal’s course. Coffee cups sit astride saucers and those are lifted to the serving tray before being refilled and replaced on the starched white tablecloth. Once one’s preference for coffee black with no cream or sugar is made known, the milk and sugar are no longer presented. Once B4’s preference for water with no ice is noted, the water thereafter appears thus.

Stateroom stewards and butlers passed in corridors are quick to step aside and offer both a smile and “have a nice day.” On many ships I have felt that I was in their way but not so here. The room service operator answers quickly with my morning request for a pot of coffee for two and takes note of my admonition of “no sugar or cream is required.” Joel, our butler, brings it promptly but while he is adept at leaving the cream off the tray he cannot seem to bring himself to omit the sweeteners. Oh, well.HighTeaService.jpgHighTeaScones.jpg

I have twice asked that there always be a bottle of our champagne (thanks, Nicky) or prosecco on ice in a bucket and they cannot seem to get that right. The bubbly remains perfectly cold inside our stateroom fridge but the ambiance is not the same. God, I’m stuffy.

If WiFi has anything to do with service, it should be noted that WiFi is horrendous, terrible and combines a high expense with low quality. There would be photographs galore with this entry but I cannot upload them. B4 is screaming at her email. B4PaulLeavingNYC.jpg

Upon arrival at the Golden Lion Pub last evening for the “Eric Clapton History of Guitar” offering from guitarist Paul Garthwaite, I took special note that the wait staff took great pains to find suitable seating for later arriving guests, showing them to the dwindling unoccupied spots that remained. This doesn’t sound like much but it is a great anxiety reliever that fails to occur in the venues aboard other ships. Every man for himself until seated has been the norm in my experience. Not here.LoungeForTwoLetMeCheck.jpgFlowerArrangerClass.jpg

I suppose it is safe to say that we are made to feel at home here properly welcomed and respected by those who have what appears to be a most earnest desire to adopt proper host behaviors to ensure guest comfort. It suits us but might not suit others. I know what we like and you know what you like and it isn’t always the same thing. Our mostly British brethren aboard QM2 have set a tone and it is, to my ear, quite pleasing.

Posted by paulej4 00:17 Tagged queen mary 2

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Comments

Sounds fantastic...enjoy😊

by Laura Greenbaum

Sounds like an amazing 🛳!
We are heading to India soon and I rather doubt that our service will be at the same level that you are enjoying.
Safe travels.
Chris B

by Chris Blumkin

How nice!

by Jeannine Strandjord

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