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Queen Victoria’s White Stars

July 15, 2011

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Updates

We are very proud of how we look after our guests at Cunard Line and of our people who deliver White Star service. But rather than take my word for it, I thought I would share with you a couple of letters I received recently. We checked that they were happy for us to post them, but understandably we have withheld their details. As we say in the UK, ‘It does exactly what it says on the tin’.
 
Best regards to all 
 
Peter
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  1. T. Bozek says:

    While I find it laudable that Mr. Shanks continues to spin Cunard line in a positive way, I find it odd that he has not in any way addressed the failure of Queen Mary 2 in her recent health inspection and what steps are being taken to reassure customers that the problems have been corrected. He has also not addressed the comments regarding the decline in Cunard line and all of the comments and questions that beg answers here in the blog. Once again, not much reassurance to those of us who are regular “Cunarders” and are the repeat “bread and butter” customers of Cunard line. As a regular on QM2 since 2005, she is overdue for a refit and makeover and in need of steps to prevent the continuing series of breakdowns that occur from running the ship to death – I would love to hear about what is planned for the refit and if it is just going to be the minimum or wheter she is going to get what she needs to continue to keep her true to the grandeur and first class standards to which she was built for and which we expect.

  2. Hazel says:

    All very well Mr Shanks publshing two letters congratulating Cunard, what about the complaints letters sent to him personally? We are asked to give feedback on leaving the ships but the bad feedback is ignored presumably in the hope it will go away. My next cruise with Cunard will be the third – certainly if there is no improvements from the staff it will be my last, which would be a shame.

  3. Fred & Shirley Bernard says:

    Dear Mr. Shanks:

    I have been reading your Blog, and Alastair’s before you took it over. Never read a negative comment for the QM2 until the above, AND two more in a previous Blog! (I do not understand how the ship could have failed inspections.) We call the Queen our home away from home, and have commented on the cleaning that goes on inside and out all the time. September 27th will be our 8th voyage on QM2, and I am certain that we will as pleased as always. It should be noted that no breakdowns occurred in seven voyages!!

  4. Bill Bradbury says:

    Peter I would expect all letters about Cunard to be of praise as I would concur with much written above. Indeed Andrew Nelder’s attention to detail is second to none and I hope his many threatened retirement(s) over the years is one of fiction for we will be on the “Vic” on its October Baltic cruise 2012. Just remind him of “Marmite” QE2, a master-class of public relations and calm in the face of extreme demands!!! Yes the QM2 is due for a good makeover especially in the electrical department and you will let us all know what is to be done. I referred it to being “flogged to death” with a few breakdowns on our last cruise-(did not spoil the holiday)
    If it is negative feedback anyone wants then “Cruise line” is the place to visit where you will find myself, Richard Lee on Solent and a few other coming to the defence of Cunard over the “usual suspects” tipping, the price of wine,cold food, the shows, corners being cut etc.etc. Latest was a very uncomplimentary comment on a new cruise director finding her feet, but you can’t win them all.
    Perhaps Peter you will be able to print some uncomplimentary letters and be able to explain that as in all institutions, things can go wrong, especially when you are dealing with hard working over-tired staff giving us a holiday of a lifetime and bolshi customers, when the most serious event is that the steak is overcooked! That would really illicit a strong moan to Cruise Line-I don’t think? As mum used to say “Nowt so funny as people”! Keep the blogs coming Peter.

  5. Tom Morgan and Ken Youngert says:

    Let me add my kudos to Andrew Nedler. We were in QG on the QV for it’s Fort Lauderdale to SOTON crossing last spring and he was absolutely marvelous. His attention to detail, to say nothing of his skill in making one of the best Caesar’s salad, we’ve had was outstanding. It was a real treat seeing him pay great detail to the making of the salad, which he did personally, yet, at the same time, keeping a keen eye on all of the activity in the dining room to ensure that it was running smoothly. To see how he managed to ensure that a particularly demanding guest–who would not sit unless his chair were held– was well taken care of (by a whispered direction and a nod of his head to one of the waiters) whilst Andrew was engaged in the making of the salad was just one of the delights of the voyage and an example of his extraordinary skill as a Maitre d’. My only regret is that he will be retiring soon and we won’t be able to sail with him again. I am sure, though, that he will enjoy his retirement and the dogs he plans on getting at that time.

    As for the QM 2, All right all ready. If you checked the Cruise Critic message boards, you’d know that the QM2 issue was blown out of all proportion and was promptly and thoroughly addressed by Cunard. As for not publishing negative letters, well, this is after all a PR site and one can hardly expect to see such things here. Besides, as is illustrated by the previous posts, negative things can still show up here.

  6. Kenneth Eden says:

    When I last sailed the Queen Victoria the “new Captain” was not on the vessel, apparently she was briefly, and replaced – so I was told – this cruise was only this past March, and the “new Captain”, as announced by Alastair, was to have been in place late summer 2010/early fall.

    As for positive and negative letters and comments, I recently took a lovely cruise on a very brand new ship, in the Med, and for all intents and purposes, I will not commit the review to the internet – nor will I likely sail this ship or product again – “smoke and mirrors”, as they say.

    As always, going back many years, Cunard has NEVER let me down – had Cunard offered this cruise at that date I would have been on one of the Queens.

  7. judith sayers says:

    We have just returned from the Baltic trip on Queen Elizabeth. We had a guided tour of the galley, it was spotless, our food was wonderful, the choice was excellent. The service was as we expected, brilliant.Our cabin as we expected, a home from home, as previously described by Fred and Shirley.
    The only fault I found was that the mirror in the bathroom was a single, where on the victoria in the same category cabin, there were small ones at the side, which means ladies can see the back of their heads when arranging their hair!!! I commented on the questionnaire, and will see one day if it has been modified. A previous comment on the questionnaire for the Queen Victoria , by myself and another lady who also spotted the lack of soap dishes was taken up,and our next trip proved it, no more chasing the soap, little dishes were there.
    As for the reference to cockroaches in previous blogs, all ships get them when travelling overseas, most get destroyed, but occasionally some stowaway to be discovered and destroyed when they venture out!Unfortunately in that case when the inspectors were visiting!!.

  8. Trudy Matthews says:

    I absolutely adore the Cunard Queens and always look forward to my next cruise.
    I was wondering, though, why it is not possible (on any of the Queens) for passengers to have access to the area overlooking the bow? It would be wonderful sometimes to be able to overlook the bow instead of only the sides or stern. Why is this, please?

  9. Mikhail says:

    Cunard ships is wonderful but… I just can`t understand one little thing… Many cruise companies compare theirs ships to the size of Titanic, its luxury etc. Because Titanic is a super-well-known brand and so many people are charmed with its story…Why doesn`t Cunard create an identical copy of the Titanic?

  10. Anthony Calabrese says:

    Hello Peter,

    Despite all the flack QM2 has received, I have no doubt that Cunard has always given me and my family wonderful voyages over the past five years. As an ocean liner buff, nothing could keep me away from the history and experience. In fact, I’m looking forward to my 9th crossing on August 22 this year. It will be especially nice to have you aboard to host World Club with the addition of Julliard.

    Here’s hoping that there’s an extra special trip for all of us!

    P.S. I was wondering if you would blog about the tentative changes for Queen Mary 2′s refit. Would you even happen to have some artist’s sketches available? Many are curious about fixing the King’s Court, in particular.

    Kind regards,
    Anthony

  11. Peter Shanks says:

    Dear T. Bozek – thank you for your comments and two questions. I shall be writing about the inspection. We are awaiting a reinspection shortly at which time we fully expect a return to the very high standards that USPH have reported on many prior inspections. The team onboard were devastated as the comments and findings do not represent the very high standards that we deliver. Once I am able to share the findng of the next inspection then I will share our perspective with our bloggers.Queen Mary 2 will be going in for a planned refit at the end of November and we will share our plans nearer the time. We remain very proud of all of our staff onboard Queen Mary 2 – and the way that they work so hard to look after our guests. I hope that answers your points. Our team onboard are seeing very good results and guest geedback from recent voyages and I myself have been onboard a number of times recently to see how they are doing. Best Regards. Peter

  12. Peter Shanks says:

    Dear Trudy – We have to be very safety conscious and that is why we do not allow our guests access to the bow area – as you will have seen it is a working area. On Queen Mary 2 you can walk through the area close to the bow where we store our spare pod blades – they make a unique artistic impression. You can always go up the Commodore Club on all three ships where the view over the bow is spectacular. Kind Regards. Peter.

  13. Linda Schoonover says:

    Dear Peter, I am a true fan of Cunard after several cruises and hope to be on again in the not too distant future. As a single lady who loves to travel alone, may I ask why Cunard is not as “friendly” with single supplements as other lines? It cost me almost as much to travel on Cunard alone as it does for 2 people to take the same cruise.

  14. Kenneth Eden says:

    This comment has nothing at all to do with the dedicted ship staff that embody the Cunard White Star Service and provide such superlative service on the three Queens. It has more to do with a uniqueness that is found within the three ships.

    Whereas the Commodore Club, with commanding views, on the Queens, is a major plus, it not unique. Oceania ships have carried out the room with a view on their new ship, MARINA, and will also have a similar room on the RIVIERA. Their existing ships have such a room on ships that were leased, then purchased. The look and atmosphere on the Queens is just heavenly, and in that it is unique. Also unique is the regimented tone and use of the Commodores’, without an adjacent coffee bar with pastries and coffees’ being spilled on the furnishings, the use is purley for cocktails. Holland America Line has the coffee and pastry set -up, plus PC nook and afterthought library.

    What makes the three Queens so truly unique is the Queens Room, a true, deditcated ballroom at sea, lacking on ships today, aas it was back in the 90′s, 80′, and 70′s. on new ships built then for Cunard and others.

    Back “then” the “ballroom” or “show lounge” held tea time, bingo, dancing, parlor games and the evenings entertainment. There were no huge multi leveled show rooms and there was nothing available for state of the art lighting.

    The Queens have the magnificent Queens Rooms, true ballrooms at sea, AND superb state of the art theaters. Thus, the wonderful galas held on the Queens, frees up the ship for real high level production shows in the theater, and offers one very rare, and welcomed venue at sea, the Queens Room, true ballrooms at sea.

  15. judith sayers says:

    Kenneth is right, the Queens Room makes such a difference and every night on our trips has been fully utilised. Even when it is just the taped music we could go and practice our steps. It is one of the reasons we have stayed loyal to Cunard.

  16. KEITH LEWIS says:

    HI MY WIFE AND I HAVE JUST RETURNED HOME AFTER A FANTASTIC 12 NIGHT MED CRUISE ON TH Q.V.LET ME SAY THAT WE ENJOYED ALMOST EVERY SECOND OF IT,THE ONLY THING THAT SPOILT IT WAS THE LAST 2 NIGHTS AT SEA COMING THROUGH THE BAY OF BISCAY.MY WIFE NOT BEING THE BEST SAILOR IN THE WORLD WAS NOT VERY WELL, BUT THAT WAS NOT CUNARDS FAULT.OTHER THAN THAT OUR TRIP WAS JUST GREAT.WE NEVER LEFT THE SHIP ONCE FOR ANY SHORE EXCURSIONS,WE JUST STAYED ON BOARD AND RELAXED WHICH WAS THE IDEA OF TAKING A CRUISE.WE ENJOYED JUST BEING WAITED ON BY SOME OF THE BEST STAFF I HAVE EVER MET [ having travelled the world ]OUR CABIN STEWARDESS WAS JUST AMAZING SHE LEFT US WANTING NOTHING.WE WERE ON DECK 4 AS I CANNOT REMEMBER THE YOUNG LADIES NAME,SHE WAS EASTERN EUROPEAN WITH A NAME THAT I COULD NOT PRONOUCE ANYWAY.SHE IS A CREDIT TO CUNARD AS WAS THE OTHER STAFF WE ENCOUNTERED.MY 1 COMPLAINT WAS THE ATTITUDE OF SOME OF THE PASSENGERS IN THE WAY THEY SPOKE TO SOME OF THE SHIPS COMPANY.ONE ELDERLY COUPLE IN PARTICULAR,I COULD HAVE QUITE WILLINGLY THROWN THEM OVERBOARD.THEY WERE IGNORANT,OBNOXIOUS AND JUST DOWNRIGHT RUDE AND THAT IS THEIR NICER SIDE.NO MEMBER OF CREW DESERVED TO BE SPOKEN TO LIKE THEY DID.ANYWAY I HAVE HAD MY MOAN NOW.THIS WAS OUR FIRST CUNARD TRIP BUY CERTAINLY NOT THE LAST.WE ARE LOOKING AT THE 27 NIGHT CRUISE TO SINGAPORE ON THE 5TH OF JANUARY AND HOPEFULLY A 10/12 NIGHT CRUISE SOMEWHERE BEFORE THEN.WE LOOK FORWARD TO OUR NEXT CUNARD EXPERIENCE WITH MUCH ANTICIPATION.BEST WHISHES TO ALL CUNARD STAFF AND REMEMBER STAY LUCKY KEITH & PAULINE LEWIS

  17. Kenneth Eden says:

    I am quite taken aback by the comment that addresses the QUEEN MARY 2′s failing the latest helth inspection.

    the score was 84, not passing, this is true.

    One need only visit, the site is long, Googling cruise ship inspections for short, will gain access and click away, and find the inspections. What was not proper for inspection was indeed very minor and for all concerened, corrected immediately.

    I take health and sanitation and safety to heart when I sail, however, this mongoring is inexcusable.

  18. judith sayers says:

    So pleased to hear Keith and his wife enjoyed their trip. It is a pity that some passengers forget to pack their manners when preparing for their journey. Enjoy the next one Keith and Pauline.

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