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Three Tier Afternoon Tea

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2 minutes ago, BWIVince said:

 

+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

 

2 minutes ago, BWIVince said:

 

+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

Vince don’t forget the Excalibur dinners on the Harmony.  Thankfully that is long gone.

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While I can understand why some might not care for the costumes I would just be a bit careful what you wish for.

 

It is possible that if the Costumes go  then overtime the Mozart tea goes and is replaced by the regular tea.  

 

Just something to think about.

 

I suspect that at some point the costumes will reach their end of life.  

 

Keith

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I wouldn't describe it as Mongolian hordes, but it was quite difficult to negotiate, and put guests in the position of moving against each other in an uncomfortable way.  My point was that it was not the elegant or personal style of service that one would normally expect of Crystal.  And even if they want to do the tea buffet style, they could lay it out in a much better way than this, which smacked of bad planning or poor management.On

And I completely agree about the costumes.  We found the whole look a bit cheesy, and being some of that new business that Crystal is trying to attract, we could do without it.  It appeared the crew felt the same, as it was the only time we found the service perfunctory and many of the expressions glum.  To us, it harmed back to the silly Walter's costumes on themed dinner nights and the (slowly, but mercifully dying) parade of flaming Baked Alaskas.

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51 minutes ago, MalbecWine said:

 

Vince don’t forget the Excalibur dinners on the Harmony.  Thankfully that is long gone.

 

I actually had that typed out and I edited it thinking I was being too specific and prejudiced.  LOL  Excalibur and the 50's Night were the two others I was thinking of.  Luxury cruising at its best.  Mead & Meatloaf.

 

17 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

Please be careful what you wish for.

 

Costumes go and then overtime the Mozart tea goes.  You think I am kidding?  I am not.

 

I know that some people might be tired of it but remember Crystal is attracting a lot of first time cruisers and yes this is something that is unique.

 

Point definitely taken, Keith, but I think if a concept still works for today then it can be adapted to be less kitschy.  The Asian buffet has always been one of Crystal's most popular theme buffets, but it was de-branded from the Asia Café theme and presented in a more streamlined (and safer) manner.  I know that's not the greatest example because it's not at all festive anymore, but the actual food is better now than it ever was (at least on Symphony), and I think that's proof that the kitschy elements aren't everything.

 

Vince

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51 minutes ago, MalbecWine said:

 

Vince don’t forget the Excalibur dinners on the Harmony.  Thankfully that is long gone.

 

I actually had that typed out and I edited it thinking I was being too specific and prejudiced.  LOL  Excalibur and the 50's Night were the two others I was thinking of.  Luxury cruising at its best.  Mead & Meatloaf.

 

17 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

Please be careful what you wish for.

 

Costumes go and then overtime the Mozart tea goes.  You think I am kidding?  I am not.

 

I know that some people might be tired of it but remember Crystal is attracting a lot of first time cruisers and yes this is something that is unique.

 

Point definitely taken, Keith, but I think if a concept still works for today then it can be adapted to be less kitschy.  The Asian buffet has always been one of Crystal's most popular theme buffets, but it was de-branded from the Asia Café theme and presented in a more streamlined (and safer) manner.  I know that's not the greatest example because it's not at all festive anymore, but the actual food is better now than it ever was (at least on Symphony), and I think that's proof that the kitschy elements aren't everything.

 

Vince

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Actually I liked the 50’s night as the guests were participating dressing up in that era with Bobby socks and poodle skirts and dancing in the atrium.  Miniature hotdogs and shakes served after the show and of course cocktails.  It was like dancing at the hop and swing dance.  I thought it brought out the youth in the guests JMHO.  The white party would not interest me at all as the true meaning of it has been lost 😉 

 

Back in the day I heard of luxury lines having costume balls and that has fallen by the wayside.  The Mozart tea is getting long in the tooth and too Disney like but I go to meet friends as I did on the last cruise.  I have asked many of the servers do they like the costumes they are required to wear and most said not really and I take that as a no.

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6 hours ago, MalbecWine said:

Back in the day I heard of luxury lines having costume balls and that has fallen by the wayside.

I'm packing lighter and lighter to make my travelling easier, and taking a particular outfit to wear only on 1 night of a long cruise would be definitely unappealing to me, so I'm glad such events are no longer a "thing".  Going to costume events in a cab from my home is fun; packing for a costume event to carry around stuffed in a suitcase for a week or two is not.

 

I also feel the Mozart costumes are too kitchy and I think kind of tacky; I always go to tea as it's a nice socializing time, but I don't care if the staff are dressed in (often poorly fitted) costumes or their regular uniforms. 

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I really like the new serving area that has been created in the Palm Court on Serenity as it's a much more elegant way to display buffets be it for the Mozart afternoon tea or other events such as coffee and pastries when sailing through scenic areas. I know some people view it as a waste of space but I think it looks so much nicer than trestle tables decked in those old fashion white ruffled table cloths - these are my pet hates and scream 1970's to me. If you're going to use white cloths then please make them crisp and straight edged to the ground. And yes, this a petty thing and nothing I assure you I lose sleep over 😁

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9 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

While I can understand why some might not care for the costumes I would just be a bit careful what you wish for.

 

It is possible that if the Costumes go  then overtime the Mozart tea goes and is replaced by the regular tea.  

 

Just something to think about

 

Would that really be so bad?

 

Things move on - that’s life. We don’t have the String Quartet anymore but we still have beautiful music and I’m sure one of the pianists could provide an hours entertainment 

 

Certainly peoples dining habits and taste for a rich afternoon tea might be questionable in today’s healthy society. I wonder just how much of the cakes etc is actually consumed at these afternoon teas 

 

I’m more than comfortable that Crystal would replace it with something suitable 

 

I think about what we experienced on Seabourn last year for their afternoon tea - self service at a buffet (limited) selection and a trolley that came around with scones. A tea set that looked it came from British Rail (contrast that with Crystals Wedgewood) and staff who sometimes couldn’t be bothered cleaning the dishes up before 6pm - we had to ask once so there was room for our evening drinks 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

(contrast that with Crystals Wedgewood) and staff who sometimes couldn’t be bothered cleaning the dishes up before 6pm - we had to ask once so there was room for our evening drinks 

 

 

 

Ooops, Villeroy & Boch....used to be Wedgewood. Still classy, I love it.

Edited by suzeluvscruz

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2 hours ago, suzeluvscruz said:

 

Ooops, Villeroy & Boch....used to be Wedgewood. Still classy, I love it.

 

It was definitely Wedgewood brand at tea last week on Symphony as we happened to be discussing the brand with friends while enjoying the service and my wife checked the bottom of the saucer 

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You’re both right.  All of Crystal’s original China was Villeroy & Boch (they custom designed separate lines for each venue and cabins for Harmony and Symphony), but lately it’s been a mix of manufacturers including Wedgwood.

 

Vince

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3 minutes ago, suzeluvscruz said:

Sorry. :classic_blush:

 

No need to be sorry - it seems they have both branded sets - it was just that we'd consciously looked at the branding  last week after I said it was Wedgewood (even my wife doesn't trust me on such things)

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On 5/29/2019 at 8:36 PM, Flak999 said:

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!

 

The experience we had last week was far from luxury, although to be fair it was one of two only truly poor experiences on Serenity. our other experiences were mainly very good and a couple were excellent.

 

One afternoon we went for high tea at 4.05pm, i.e. 5 minutes after it commenced. We arrived and were greeted by a very pleasant crew member, who immediately had a bucket of crockery or similar thrust into her hands by a manager. She excused herself, saying she'd be right back, and was within about a minute. She escorted us to our table, and we hadn't even sat down and lifted the tea menus before a butler asked what type of tea we would like. We asked for a couple of minutes, and he very abruptly shot off. About 10 minutes later, a different butler arrived and took our tea order which was served promptly. No food appeared for over 5 minutes and when it did we awaited preserves and cream for the scones. We are yet to receive such, and we finally left very disappointed.

 

I sought out a manager, and explained our poor experience. He apologised, but nothing more. You might ask, what do think he should have done? Well, if that had been me with a deeply dissatisfied customer I would have invited them to come back another day and asked them to seek me out upon arrival so that I would personally ensure an excellent experience in every regard.

 

That is one of the two main reasons, and by far the worst, why we were not 'Crystalised' on our first Crystal cruise (6 nights in the Med). We found the service to often be good or very good, but rarely excellent. In Prego, on the evening we celebrated our Ruby wedding, the service was very abrupt and seemed rushed. Following dessert, and the 40th anniversary cake they produced, we were asked (a party of 8) if we wanted any coffee...we ordered 4 Irish coffees, 2 bailleys coffees and a Limoncello. The response was, that will be very difficult to deliver so it would be better to go to a bar (not sure if he meant the Bistro) and order that. I said, can you please overcome that difficulty and bring the order, and cut the cake into 8 pieces, which they did. I am yet to receive the Limoncello, and they could not get us out the restaurant quickly enough between 10.45 and 10.55pm. We felt they really did not care, perhaps because it was the final night of the cruise!

 

Sadly, our experience did not always live up to the luxury experience Crystal claim to provide. It was premium overall, but certainly not luxury at the price level we paid.

Edited by hamrag

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A jolly, motley topic.

 

Re the triple-tier discussion—we think Viking Ocean gets it about right. Circular tier with three or four items on each level. (There are usually three of us.) Rarely much waste, and rapidly replaced if empty.

 

Re Mozart tea—costumes tackier each time. We are amused and so are some of our servers. Do Not like the buffet lines!

 

Re fancy dress for guests, a passé topic I know—QM2, at Black & White Ball, encouraged masks (optional), had a light-hearted parade with a judging. Lots of elaborate competitors, some hilarious confections, laughter and jollity. We never won.

 

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Dear Hamrag and fellow cruisers,

As you, we were not immediately crystallized following or recent May 7-day cruise.  My DH was refused water at one of the bars (the bartender had just arrived and was setting up), while he served another guest without a blimp of an eyelash.  My DH complained up the ladder and all was fine...but we've never had this experience before.  We will consider Crystal again, since the overall cruise was very good, but more training is needed on excellent customer service.  

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58 minutes ago, Camillus112 said:

As you, we were not immediately crystallized following or recent May 7-day cruise.  My DH was refused water at one of the bars (the bartender had just arrived and was setting up), while he served another guest without a blimp of an eyelash.  My DH complained up the ladder and all was fine...but we've never had this experience before.  We will consider Crystal again, since the overall cruise was very good, but more training is needed on excellent customer service.  

 

Just curious but was this issue the one thing that meant you weren’t Crystallised?

 

If so you’re a tough audience...

 

I very rarely go up to a bar for service preferring to have the wait staff attend to getting the drink for me so I can’t say I’ve ever experienced a refusal of service 

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