Author Topic: Sad Farewell To the QE2  (Read 5282 times)

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Offline David_Newell

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Sad Farewell To the QE2
« on: November 12, 2008, 11:11:17 AM »
I am not sure this is the place to post this but as this is the only forum I belong to, I hope you will all indulge me!!!

I have to say, that yesterday was a sad day for me here in London. Laid up with the flu and feeling depressed anyway I watched the final departure from Ocean Terminal of the Queen Elizabeth 2. I have from the days of an early school project watched this great ship with much affection. I know with my father being a Cunard Engineer,  I have had it in the blood so to speak. I remember her launch, live on BBC television (blacvk and white and very grainy picture it was too) when still very small and the huge interest in her maiden voyage. Growing up with out my father I suppose I attached a great significance to this ship.

Then when I was of an age to be able to pay for a ticket I did and several transatlantic and med cruises later could say, she really was the only way to sail. So with a sad heart I saw her leave Southampton for the last time. So farewell QE2 you have done us all proud, God speed.

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Sad Farewell To the QE2
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2008, 01:19:55 PM »
I understand your feelings about the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, David. You've had a lifelong connection to this ship, but even I who've only read about it feel a certain letdown about the QE2's retirement to Dubai. We have the Queen Mary out here in Southern California and rehabbing a ship into a floating hotel and/or tourist attraction is certainly a better alternative to being scrapped, but all the same, it is an adjustment.

Finally . . . here's to a speedy recovery from the flu and, once you're feeling better, some good brisk outdoor exercise to fight that depression. I was in London for only three days back in the 1980s, so I envy (in a nice way only, to be sure!) you your location!

Offline Mari

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Re: Sad Farewell To the QE2
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2008, 09:06:48 AM »
Yes, She was a grand Ship! I wish I could have sailed on her! Do you have a favorite Memory? I was interested in her history and the way She would have looked on the inside so I found this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Queen_Elizabeth_2

Over the span of her 39 year sea going career, the QE2 has had a number of interior refits and alterations.

1969, the year of her fitting out, was also the year of the Apollo 11 mission, when the Concorde's prototype was unveiled, and the previous year Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey premiered. In keeping with those times, originally Cunard broke from the traditional interiors of their previous liners for the QE2, especially the Art Deco modern of the previous Queens. Instead modern materials like plastic laminates, aluminium, and Plexiglas were used. Furniture was modular, and abstract art was used throughout public rooms and cabins.

The Midships Lobby on Two Deck, where first class passengers boarded for transatlantic journeys and all passengers boarded for cruises, was a circular room with a sunken seating area in the centre with green leather clad banquettes, and surrounded by a chrome railing. As a king-pin to this was a flared, white, trumpet-shaped, up-lit column. Another room where the QE2's advanced interior design was demonstrated was the first class lounge, the Queen's Room on Quarter Deck. This space, in colours of white and tan, featured a recessed, slotted ceiling, and indirect lighting. As well, the columns were flared in the same fashion as the one in the Midships Lobby, with recessed up-lighting, and also reflecting the shape of the bases of the tables and leather shell chairs. The Theatre Bar on Upper Deck featured red chairs, red drapes, a red egg-crate fibreglass screen, and even a red baby grand piano. Some more traditional materials like wood veneer were used as highlights throughout the ship, especially in passenger corridors and staterooms.

There was also an Observation Bar on Quarter Deck, a successor to its namesake, located in a similar location, on both previous Queens, which offered views through large windows over the ship's bow. This room was lost in the QE2's 1972 refit, becoming kitchen space with the forward-facing windows plated over.

In the 1994 refit almost all of the remaining original decor was replaced, with Cunard opting to reverse the original decision of the QE2's designers and use the line's traditional ocean liners as inspiration. The green velvet and leather Midships Bar became the Art Deco inspired Chart Room, and received an original, custom designed piano from the Queen Mary. The (by now) blue-dominated Theatre Bar was transformed into the Golden Lion Pub, which mimics a traditional Edwardian pub.

By the time of her retirement, the Synagogue was the only room that remains unaltered since 1969.[39] However it was reported that during QE2's October 22nd 5-night voyage, the Synagogue was carefully dismantled before being removed from the ship prior to her final sailing to Dubai. [40]

Offline David_Newell

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Re: Sad Farewell To the QE2
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2008, 06:28:21 AM »
My best memories of her are when I was crossing the Atlantic when the ship was struck by a 95' wave hit the ship at about 2am. This wave had been caused by the last of hurricane Luis. The evening had been a bit choppy, the lady had been rolling badly and dancing had been stopped in the public rooms. Passengers were a bit nervous and many went to their cabins. I do not get sea sick so I stayed up drinking in the Yacht club as it really began to get rough. I was just going to bed in cabin 3116. I had just removed my evening clothes when the whole ships frame began to shudder and scream, the panelling in my cabin was juddering and I looked to the portholes to see them go dark and no sight of white water could be seen. I held my feet (ex cabin crew here, I am used to turbulence) the white water reappeared and it must have been then the huge wave travelled along the ship. Seeing white water again I went to bed in very rough seas. Not at any point did I feel we were in any danger, she was after all built by John Brown & Co!!!

The next day the damage to the ship was huge. The steel plating on the whale back had been twisted and doors on boat deck ripped of. Two of the huge windows close to the Queens Room had popped and been lost to the ocean. We charged towards New York, the vast indigo ocean was magnificent in its confused state. I checked the speed on the nav info on the television in my room and took photo's of the info, she was at one point making 36 knots. I sat on deck watching the ocean and the stern rise and fall in the boisterous sea. We stayed over night in New York for repairs.

When we sailed for Southampton, we did so at midnight as they used to in the 1930's very nostalgic.  I am very lucky that I always travelled grill class on the QE2 and always had good cabins. I carried on the traditions of never dressing first night out and last night in, no white evening clothes north of Gibraltar and always spending the morning on deck reading or walking whatever the weather!!! Small things but very British.


Offline Mari

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Re: Sad Farewell To the QE2
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2008, 10:00:02 PM »
Quote
When we sailed for Southampton, we did so at midnight as they used to in the 1930's very nostalgic.  I am very lucky that I always travelled grill class on the QE2 and always had good cabins. I carried on the traditions of never dressing first night out and last night in, no white evening clothes north of Gibraltar and always spending the morning on deck reading or walking whatever the weather!!! Small things but very British.
Quote



O.K. now I envy you...first it sounds like you don't get seasick (I do) and secondly those very British traditions are charming to many of us in the U.S. I traveled  the opposite of  such an elegant well built ship, on a Carnival Cruise Special around the Caribbean. (don't recommend it)..We also had a storm and I think We would have sunk like a stone. I couldn't even find anyone who spoke English well enough to tell me our lifeboat procedures.

When the (Queen Elizabeth II) ship's frame began to shudder were there any emergency procedures they put in place? Obviously the ship was well built or it would not survived Steel plating being twisted and doors on the boat deck being ripped off? I am not familiar with John Brown and Company but they obviously know how to build! Certainly a tribute to a grand ship!

 I always thought the Cabins might be interesting to see....if anyone has any photos of the Queen Elizabeth II ... any year please share!
« Last Edit: November 14, 2008, 10:02:49 PM by Mari »

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Sad Farewell To the QE2
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2008, 02:54:20 AM »
Cunard and those British traditions live on ! I crossed the Atlantic on the QM2 last spring and it was a fantastic voyage.  Sailing from Southampton we passed the QE2 and she looked  downright tiny next to us. I too had always wanted to sail on the QE2 but the QM2 was an excellent substitute.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline David_Newell

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Re: Sad Farewell To the QE2
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2008, 06:19:54 AM »
I have two suitcases full of photographs and mementos of the QE2, menu covers daily news bulletins. John Brown & Co. built the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and the QE2. They were a great shipbuilders up on the Clyde in Scotland.

There were no emergency procedures announced the night of the huge wave as it happened very quickly. I was told that the ship was turned into the wave and the Captain sent the other officers from the bridge to other points in the ship just in case. There was real danger but at a talk the next day the Captain said how well built the ship was and magnificently she had coped. He said in 25 years at sea he had never seen such a body of water coming towards them!!!

I have been in a lot of Atlantic storms on the QE2 and loved every minute, you get the ship to yourself and as I like days at sea wrapped up in steamer rugs and out on deck, reading and writing lots of letters its heaven for me. Dozing and just being out in the elements.

The best treat is always entery into New York harbour and that lovely lesuirely trip up to the berths in Mid Town New York, so much nicer than Kennedy Airport.

Offline David_Newell

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Re: Sad Farewell To the QE2
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2008, 06:22:50 AM »
Oh Mari, try no filter coffee if you get sea sick it sometimes works and champagne instead of wine.

Offline David_Newell

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Re: Sad Farewell To the QE2
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2008, 06:28:22 AM »
We must have lunch as you are in the UK, Mr Hall we have been meaning to do it for ages.....give me a shout on here!!!!

Offline Mari

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Re: Sad Farewell To the QE2
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2008, 03:17:17 AM »
David:
If thee is any way for you to post any of your Menu's or photographs that show the ship I would love to see what the QE2 looked like on the deck or the interior of the Ship. I will try your advice about the coffee and champagne. The Day We had a storm half of the Passengers and may I add employees of the ship were as sick as I! People were lined up outside the Medical Facility. But Dramimine usually will take care of that if I take it before the ship gets frisky.

I have been to England twice on fairly long stays but flew over both times...maybe I will consider an alternate route. I love the elegance of the big Ship Days mostly evinced in the 1930's-1940's films!

Robert, when was the QM2 built?


Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Sad Farewell To the QE2
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2008, 03:40:17 AM »
The QM2 is 5 years old now. The newest in the Cunard family is the Queen Victoria, said to be even larger! However, as the Captain explained, she is a cruise ship, while the other Queens are liners.
 David, lunch would be  nice. I am in Istanbul next week, then back to London until mid-January.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline David_Newell

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Re: Sad Farewell To the QE2
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2008, 06:17:20 AM »
I will have to get into the big cupboard and get the suitcases out and post something. Those suitcases used to belong to my great aunt who was a show girl in the 1940's, they are cream kid with brown material covers. Very glamorous they are too. She travelled all over Europe and that's how she met her husband an Danish Industrialist Karl Hartmann.

I do have a lot of stuff on the QE2 so give me a few days, but I have lots of photos and menu's.


Offline Mari

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Re: Sad Farewell To the QE2
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2008, 06:27:42 AM »
Well, it will be wonderful to see them....a tribute to the history of the QE2!