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Noggins

Three Tier Afternoon Tea

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This may have been commented on already (but I can't immediately see where) or it may not even be new (!?) but I was surprised to see what to me was a new way of serving tea on Serenity just last week. Two weeks earlier tea was served in the 'old' format of sandwiches and sweet items being served by staff from individual plates. The 'new' system is to deliver a pre-loaded three tier stand laden with sandwiches, scones and cakes. It looks impressive, contains familiar items BUT requires more self control than the old system! I was with my aged mother and she has a strong 'don't waste food' philosophy so could not bear to leave anything uneaten... There is no doubt that there is more visible waste but I daresay that the actual waste is no greater as previously the waste levels were more 'behind the scenes'.

I am sure there must be a range of views on a subject as important as afternoon tea?!

IMG_20190520_153853.jpg

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That’s nice to see! That is the traditional way of serving afternoon tea here in the UK. Although we tend to use circular three tier serving dishes, rectangular ones as shown in the picture are just a variation on a theme! 👍😃

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OMG - this is going to be interesting - let me get the popcorn as I know this is going to be controversial! 

 

Personally I hate it - we only eat sandwiches and this would be just so wasteful if the rest of the items were served up to us. Put me down for the option for a seperate service of each component. Maybe I could request 3 tiers of sandwiches! We attend afternoon tea pretty much every day so I have some skin in this issue 

 

If this is a permanent change I’d really like to understand what the driver is for it. So that addition of the servicing area at the last dry dock had an underlying rationale perhaps?

 

Pleased to say no sign of if on Symphony on our cruise thankfully - and the sandwich selection was better and fresher than on our last Serenity cruise. I wonder why Serenity has moved to rectangular shaped sandwiches - I like mine triangular. I can see I’m going to have to put a special request order in with Giuseppe next time we’re on Serenity  

Edited by Stickman1990

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Count me in as voting NO!!!! I don’t want that vast quantity of food plopped down in front of me. 

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Personally, I LOVE this.   If it’s anything like most hotels do, that’s the double-portion and what is served is scaled per-person and can be tweaked based on preference and food allergies if you just tell the staff.  They wouldn’t normally just plop that double portion down in front of one person and deny preferences.

 

I love that the presentation is also MUCH more modern more like what hotels are doing.

 

Being a germaphobe, I’ve never loved the trays of food that they hold under peoples faces while they breathe, talk, hem and haw over their selection, over and over again.  🤢

 

Everyone is allowed to hate it — I’m under no impression that people share my quirks.  🙂

 

Vince

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Wouldn't it be possible, when you sit down for tea, to ask the waiter to just deliver what you want, be it sandwiches, scones, pastries? Tell them you don't want the whole shebang. I'm sure they'll be able to accommodate you and eliminate the feeling of waste.

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I do not want it all either!  I don't go to tea often and if I do it's just for tea and a single scone.  I like to go home in the same size clothes I came onboard with.

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9 hours ago, Flak999 said:

That’s nice to see! That is the traditional way of serving afternoon tea here in the UK. Although we tend to use circular three tier serving dishes, rectangular ones as shown in the picture are just a variation on a theme! 👍😃

I do not eat it all either but I want it served the English way. Last afternoon tea was in Capetown and was served the traditional way. Took the sweets back with me.

i prefer the round not the weird thing here.

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On 5/27/2019 at 5:23 AM, Stickman1990 said:

we only eat sandwiches and this would be just so wasteful if the rest of the items were served up to us. Put me down for the option for a seperate service of each component. Maybe I could request 3 tiers of sandwiches!

LOL - me too (I'm a sandwich eater, not a sweets eater).  I wonder if they could have a 3-tier of sweets and a 3-tier of savoury for particular tables. 

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I love it! This is how a high tea shall be. Having said that, I will not eat it every day. I think maybe once per cruise and skip dinner...

Ivi

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On 5/27/2019 at 3:42 AM, Noggins said:

This may have been commented on already (but I can't immediately see where) or it may not even be new (!?) but I was surprised to see what to me was a new way of serving tea on Serenity just last week. Two weeks earlier tea was served in the 'old' format of sandwiches and sweet items being served by staff from individual plates. The 'new' system is to deliver a pre-loaded three tier stand laden with sandwiches, scones and cakes. It looks impressive, contains familiar items BUT requires more self control than the old system! I was with my aged mother and she has a strong 'don't waste food' philosophy so could not bear to leave anything uneaten... There is no doubt that there is more visible waste but I daresay that the actual waste is no greater as previously the waste levels were more 'behind the scenes'.

I am sure there must be a range of views on a subject as important as afternoon tea?!

IMG_20190520_153853.jpg

I had a question.  

Is this something that is served at each table regardless of how many people are eating.  Just curious if there is one size or if this is a standard size for a table no matter how many people are seated there?

 

keith

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2 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

I had a question.  

Is this something that is served at each table regardless of how many people are eating.  Just curious if there is one size or if this is a standard size for a table no matter how many people are seated there?

 

keith

 

That's a good question, Keith...  In a hotel the picture would be a portion for 2, and they would adjust the number of items accordingly (and adjust your selection to your preferences, i.e. no savory, no sweets, vegetarian only, etc.).  My love of this idea is based on how it works in hotels, so if Crystal just plops down a double serving regardless of whether there is one guest or six, or it doesn't customize the way hotels do, then my enthusiasm drops significantly.

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I feel ashamed of not having properly researched every aspect of this new tea service!

What I can say is that on two occasions I only ever saw identical servings (as in the picture). My mother was not impressed when we were just observers one day but we mainly observed a group of eight who were given four identical servings and ate, in total, just a handful of items.

The following day we had tea and enjoyed it. ( My mother's expression is explained by her being concerned that I was going to ration her - something I attempted but failed at...!)

Obviously I am not saying that different options are not available, it's just that I didn't see any variation in two visits.

By the way, the last time we were on Silverseas the tea was served in a very similar way (round plates, I believe) and we liked it. But we're horrified when having demolished the content, without asking they whisked away the tower and replaced it with another!!

Adrian

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I must say the portion size does look very generous for two! But then as this is a luxury experience perhaps quantities are increased accordingly? I have to say that here in the UK there would probably be half that amount of food for two people!

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7 hours ago, Noggins said:

I feel ashamed of not having properly researched every aspect of this new tea service!

 

Adrian

 

Really Adrian, you should have known better!!!! 😂😂

 

Personally, I think you did a grand job but it seems that gone are the days when this was just a social or generally informative forum, it’s expert witness statements these days!!!!   I much prefer this style of afternoon tea service and hope it is a change that lasts the course as I was never a fan of the white gloved butlers hovering around with their silver trays of offerings - way too Edwardian for me....

 

Anne...

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Not a fan if this is the new way. I know it's how its done in HK and England but nope, not on the ship please. I eat the sandwiches and scones only. 

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1 hour ago, AtA said:

Not a fan if this is the new way. I know it's how its done in HK and England but nope, not on the ship please. I eat the sandwiches and scones only. 

 

I'm sure they would be more than happy to customize the service to suit.  I don't eat white bread or anything with fresh cream and that's never been an issue in any of the establishments I have taken afternoon tea (without butlers)… This style of service is not restricted to HK and England, it's the style used here in the UAE too, including at the much lauded Burj Al Arab, ATmosphere (Burj Khalifa) and onboard the QE2...

 

Anne..

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Rats! I got seriously hooked on those lovely, simple cucumber sandwiches when we were on Symphony last year. The new style of sandwiches look like mixed fillings. Too fussy! 

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1 minute ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

Rats! I got seriously hooked on those lovely, simple cucumber sandwiches when we were on Symphony last year. The new style of sandwiches look like mixed fillings. Too fussy! 

 

No need to worry - as of last week they were serving single fillings like cucumber, cheese and ham - very tasty they were too. There were other fillings eg fish but I usually only eat the staples 

 

That’s Symphony of course - I’ve found they make the sandwiches differently on the two ships - but that’s a discussion for another day 

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4 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

No need to worry - as of last week they were serving single fillings like cucumber, cheese and ham - very tasty they were too. There were other fillings eg fish but I usually only eat the staples 

 

That’s Symphony of course - I’ve found they make the sandwiches differently on the two ships - but that’s a discussion for another day 

 

Phew!

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On our first, and so far only, Crystal cruise on Symphony last Fall, we attended the Mozart tea, and found it the most disappointing part of the cruise.  I was expecting a service of either of the types described, waiters circulating with offerings, or tiered selections brought to the table.  Instead all the items were laid out buffet style, mixed savory and sweet, with two lines starting at the two ends and converging in the middle.  Not only that, but the items in both sections were different, so if you wanted something from each side, you had to either go through both lines, or, once you got through the first line, had to "swim upstream" or push your way in to the other line.  It was the most stupid and chaotic arrangement I've ever seen, and extremely "un-Crystal" in my opinion.

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17 minutes ago, SandJCruiser said:

Not only that, but the items in both sections were different, so if you wanted something from each side, you had to either go through both lines, or, once you got through the first line, had to "swim upstream" or push your way in to the other line.  It was the most stupid and chaotic arrangement I've ever seen, and extremely "un-Crystal" in my opinion.

 

A touch dramatic perhaps?

 

You make it sound like a battle with the Mongolian hordes to get to the food! Wouldn’t you just wait for the initial rush to be over - probably within 10 minutes or so based on my experience 

 

I always go up and take a few photos of the food on offer but I’ve never encountered the seething mass of humanity you seemed to have encountered and I’ve been on several sold out Symphony cruises 

 

If I had one comment on the Mozart Tea it would be that it’s probably time to dispense with the costumes the wait staff wear - faux buckles and ill fitting dresses aren’t a great look. We do enjoy the piano accompaniment to the Mozart Tea

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4 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

If I had one comment on the Mozart Tea it would be that it’s probably time to dispense with the costumes the wait staff wear - faux buckles and ill fitting dresses aren’t a great look. We do enjoy the piano accompaniment to the Mozart Tea

 

+1 Terry...  It's one of the very last vestiges of Crystal's original signature events.  Those elements were all very kitschy (like the gondola cutouts in the pool for the Italian buffet and the backdrops they used to hang for the theme buffets), and that's just not where most of Crystal's product is these days.  I'm sure there's a lot of nostalgia about it, but I think there are a lot of us that enjoyed it for years and are ready to let it go.

 

Vince

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