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About dougnewmanatsea

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  1. Definitely, though I don't think that is the exact set I had on my last Celebrity cruise (the earlier ones were way too long ago to remember). I'm going to be on CENTURY so only the one specialty restaurant, but I do intend to try it. My previous Celebrity cruises have all been on ships that didn't have specialty restaurants. To be honest, this particular cruise was so ridiculously cheap that I won't be overly disappointed if the food is only average (in the past it was definitely better than average).
  2. Huh? Michel Roux was part of Celebrity from day one. He was part of the team that developed the whole "brand" for Chandris. For a long time I would say that was absolutely the thing Celebrity was known for - food and the Michel Roux affiliation in particular. There has always been a "name" chef, either Michel Roux or Jacques Van Staden. So the arrival of celebrity chefs can't account for food decline. (I have not been back since Roux left, but am about to be, which is why I am checking this board for the first time in eons. I wasn't necessarily planning on coming out of lurkerdom but just had to comment on this.) Anyway I think Celebrity started a bit of a trend - now there is Jacques Pepin on Oceania, Georges Blanc on Carnival (!), Ettore Bocchia on Costa, Charlie Palmer on Seabourn, Todd English on Cunard, Marco Pierre White, Gary Rhodes and Atul Kochhar on P&O, Nobu Matsuhisa on Crystal ... and that's just off the top of my head. Past ones included Daniel Boulud on Cunard, Wolfgang Puck on Orient Lines (yes, really!) and maybe the first, Paul Bocuse on Royal Viking, which didn't last long as people who were already paying for "world class" didn't like being asked to pay extra for his alternative restaurant. It became a "generic" Italian restaurant in not too long. Bocuse on RVL is the only one I can think of that (slightly) predated Michel Roux on Celebrity, and I doubt many people even remember that one. I never would have but Google Books has the past 30 years of Cruise Travel now and I was looking through back issues a while ago. Jacques Van Staden does have a rather different role as the aforementioned celebrity chefs as he is actually a direct employee of Celebrity who is responsible for the day-to-day food and beverage operations of the fleet - basically he is the corporate executive chef, whereas Roux was an outside consultant, as are all those other guys I mentioned on other lines. Interestingly, Jean-Marie Zimmermann, who is the "global culinary ambassador" (read: corporate executive chef) at Cunard, used to be that at Celebrity. He was recommended by Michel Roux. I'm not sure if he'd count as a "celebrity" chef - he's earned a Michelin star in his own right, before he started with ships, so maybe? Anyway, Cunard's food is IMHO as good as the Michel-Roux-"designed" food on Celebrity was and better than anyone else has delivered on a large ship. (But to some extent, chefs on Cunard are allowed to design their own menus, not like Celebrity.) In a few months I will taste Jacques' food and see what I think of that. The new menus I've seen look "OK" though some of the stuff I've seen on there is a little off-putting - lasagna with cheddar cheese?! - but it's hard to tell what the quality of food will be like from reading menus. (Anyone who has ever been given a printed menu while flying economy class knows this. ;) )
  3. The idea that QE2 was holding back Cunard from being a "luxury" line is, frankly, just silly. Mr. Shanks is certainly correct that her departure makes Cunard's product more consistent, but more "luxury"? Agreeing with that would require me to consider the current two ships "luxury", and if I did (which I do not), I'd consider QE2 to be as well. Anyway, Cunard stopped competing in the "luxury" market (as defined in cruise industry jargon) when it gave ROYAL VIKING SUN and the Sea Goddess twins to Seabourn.
  4. OK, I will post them when I get the chance. :)
  5. I wish I'd seen this earlier as I have photos that would probably fulfill your wishes, but it appears you already have plenty now. I can still post mine if you like though it might take a few days.
  6. Thanks to all for your kind comments. I do agree that QM2 is her logical successor. I have already enjoyed sailing in her once and in the next year and a bit I shall hopefully be doing so two more times. I am also getting this strange urge to sail in QUEEN VICTORIA - what can be going on here?
  7. My understanding is that they'll be above the spa. Hopefully we will see more info soon; the new ship is still nearly two years away but with QE2's farewell over it is time for the Cunard PR machine to switch gears.
  8. Without a doubt, there have been few ships that have garnered such a devoted following as Queen Elizabeth 2 has. Indeed, with 39 years of service, sailing over 5.5 million miles and carrying over 2.5 million passengers, sailing to nearly every region of thew world, few ships have had the same sort of opportunity to win the hearts of the public. An icon even to those who have never stepped aboard, QE2 was nevertheless most beloved of us who have had the opportunity to get to know this great lady on a more personal level. Keep reading my personal farewell letter to QE2...
  9. From that photo the new Chart Room chairs aren't too attractive but worse to me is the very ugly new carpet, which looks like it should be on a Princess ship or QUEEN VICTORIA. (Then again, the Chart Room carpet from QUEEN VICTORIA would be far more suitable than this.) I would not be at all surprised if over time we see QM2's carpets replaced with "corporate" patterns that can also be seen on other ships. If the "wave" pattern found in Princess cabin passageways ever finds its way to QM2 there will be hell to pay....
  10. It would allow for more extensive work to be done than is being done. Whether what could be done in three weeks is "major" really depends on what you consider "major".
  11. I think Cunard has "ideas" about changes it would like to make (and no I don't now what they are ;) ) but they have been put off indefinitely. Or at least, accommodation changes have been. Technical changes will continue and of course so will routine maintenance.
  12. Glad everyone enjoyed the photos. It was really an amazing evening.
  13. On 16 October 2008, Cunard Line's RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 and RMS Queen Mary 2 met in New York City for the final time. The ships sailed in tandem from their home port of Southampton, England on 10 October 2008, calling at New York on 16 October and returning to Southampton on 22 October. This was QE2's final call in New York and her final round-trip crossing of the North Atlantic. She was Cunard's flagship and primary ship on the Southampton-New York run from 1969 to 2004 when she was replaced in that capacity by QM2. Since then she has operated mainly on cruises with occasional Atlantic crossings. Her final cruise will depart Southampton on 11 November 2008, arriving in Dubai on 27 November 2008, where she will be converted to a floating hotel. These photos were taken from a NY Waterway Tours vessel chartered by the World Ship Society Port of New York Branch and the Steamship Historical Society of America Long Island Chapter. Thanks to WSS PONY, SSHSA-LI, NY Waterway Tours and Cunard for helping to make this such a spectacular event. Click here for photos.
  14. I don't know why Cunard has done this in this particular case but I remember P&O doing this in the 1990s... At the time I think it was with ORIANA going in one direction and ARCADIA (the previous one, now OCEAN VILLAGE), or maybe it was VICTORIA (or both, depending on the year) in the other.
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