December 31, 2004
STATE OF THE QE2: A PASSENGER VIEW..
There was some discussion and comment on the Cruise Critic Boards around the time that we came back from our crossing about the state of the QE2 by people who had been on the crossing, or had got on at NYC for the Caribbean.
This was one fairly detailed report about some of the problems and comments (although we did not have the porblems as bad as he reports them) by a chap called Rich Rabbett which is very interesting.
The main comments being: air conditioning, hot water from both hot and cold, smelly public toilets and general shabbiness
" QE2 has been experiencing major HVAC issues and large numbers ofpassengers have been complaining about the lack of air conditioning in their cabins or in other public rooms. My own cabin on 5 Deck hasbeen affected since our NYC departure on 12/21 and in fact all ofthe starboard side of 5 Deck aft of the D stairway is hot.
My cabin averages about 78 degrees and seems to spike at dinner hour at 84-86. I've been to the Purser's Office at least 6 times to complain and so far it's been lip service and a fan brought to the room this morning at 1:30 am. This morning at the Purser's Office I bumpedinto an irate couple from 3 Deck registering their own AC complaints--the digital thermometer in their cabin has read a room temperatureof 26C since departure!!! Apparently the issue they say is widespread along 3 Deck as well.
The Mauretania Restaurant has suffered from cooling problems--we had a dinner 2 nights ago at what musthave been better than 90 degrees. Watching the waiter sweat into your food dishes is not a pleasant sight! The problem has been continuous in the passenger areas since NYC and the party line atthe Purser's Office has been that it takes several days for the ship's AC to adjust to the tropics (an interesting notion since itwas about 20 degrees when we sailed from New York!).
Our shower and sink in the cabin has also produced nothing but hot water since our departure and the promised repairs to the mixing valve in the shower which is supposedly causing the problem have not materialized.
The ship in generally is looking pretty shabby overall despite a dry docking this summer. The funnel and parts of the superstructure have faded paint and the bow is full of rust. Teak decking is not in the greatest of shape on the boat deck and much caulking there is popping up or missing.
One of the hot tubs on the after deck is missing a signicant number of tiles and the public restrooms, particularly those outside of the Theatre and the Travel Office smell terribly --like the bathroom at a bus station--yucko!
A number of crew we've spoken to have indicated that the ship is not in the best of shape. It seems that the Queen is looking very shabby these days and I am one who tries to make the best of things! Good luck to all of you out there looking forward to several weeks on the ship--Cunard's response to our issues has been poor at best. "
He had a different take, writing:
"I was on the 12/15 crossing and for the most part I'd say that the ship was looking great. I only went in the public toilets once or twice and didn't notice anything particularly unpleasant. As for the public rooms, I was quite impressed with the subdued design and good upkeep.
It was my first time on QE2 and I was expecting her to look a bit more worn, dated and shabby.
My only wish would be that the casino was smaller. It seemed too big for the amount of people using it and something nicer could be done with that space. The Queen's Room, Chart Room and Yacht Club were all very attractive rooms, as were all of the restaurants that I saw.
The chairs in the Crystal Bar and the bits that go down either side on that deck from there were kind of worn. The Lido is what it is and I only used it once. I feel that if I'm on a crossing on the QE2, why bother with a cafeteria? One day I had 4pm tea on deck at the Funnel Bar, which was very pleasant even though it was chilly on deck.
My cabin was in very good condition. For an inside single, I'd say it was quite charming. Lots of wood paneling and the bathroom was flawless.
The a/c in my cabin was tricky to get to the right temperature. By the end of the second day I had it down. Sometimes the Mauretania dining room was quite hot and stuffy, so I can imagine it must be pretty bad during warm weather cruises.
Overall, I was quite impressed with the state of the QE2 and I hope she's around for a few more years, as I'd like to do another crossing on her."
He knows the ship very well and sums it up very well I think (with an ending paragraph and sentiment that I think most of us would agree with!!)
"I guess alot of all this stuff depends somewhat on perspective. I was on the Decemeber 15 WB crossing, and thought that all-in-all QE2 looked good. I'm biased though, I LOVE this ship and I don't expect perfection.
She has been in service for 35 years, and yes indeed things can look a little bit shabby......... For example: I noticed in the windowsills in Mauretania Restaurant flaked paint and crumbs that had accumulated. The men's room on the starboard side between the Crystal Bar and the Golden Lion DID INDEED smell awful one night (maybe a toilet overflowed). The ceiling vent near our table in Mauretania Restaurant was shooting cold air a couple of nights.
Yes, I noticed some rust streaks along QE2's flanks as we were disembarking at Pier 90.
I agree with what I think is the sentiment of a previous writer, that basic services such as the ventilation system and cabin water tempeture have to be top priorities. No doubt about it.
Those types of issues aways need to be addressed, regardless the age of a ship.It's a trade-off isn't it?? She's the last of breed. No she's not Queen Mary or Normandie, and yet QM2 is no QE2 either. Each ship is like a hotel; they have their own personalities, and flavor.
I definitely want Cunard to address these serious issues of ventalation, etc, but I appreciate the fact that QE2 is aging, and realistically there's a limit to how much can/should be done to her now. I want to try to enjoy sailing aboard her as much as I can with the limited time remaining."