January 20, 2005


Around the time I got the email from "Sunday Times" (see below) ther was a new topic started on CC asking what people thought about the state of the QE2. I am guessing it is linked to researching for the article outlined in the email I got.

It has got some great and very passionate responses - which sum it all up for me. The QE2 is perfect for people with passion for liner history and wanted to take part and try a travel icon. I am not sure it is ideal for people new to cruising and wanting to go on a summer cruise for example. The crossing was magical, and as you will see from my reviews and comments of others - it is on this that you are less worried about the faults and the issues of age.

Here are some of the postings!

IDTDAVID: " I think it is important to make a distinction between "Crossing" on the QE2 and "Cruising" on the QE2. There is nothing else like a crossing on the QE2.The ship was built to take everything the North Atlantic can throw in it's path, and it does. The atmosphere is completely different on a crossing. There are no ports. The weather is cool, so air-conditioning is not really a major concern. The passengers a crossing attracts are different than those on a tropical cruise. Passengers who choose to do a crossing usually do so for the unique experience of a "vintage" liner clipping across the Atlantic at 28 or so knots. I think that when you are on board for that crossing "experience" you are more likely to forgive the faults. But, when you're on board for a what is billed as a luxurious holiday cruise and spending a lot of money, more than most other luxurious holiday cruises, you're expectations are different. Am I making sense or am I just rambling?Also, as long as I mentioned money, it also depends on what class you've booked and how much money you're spending on your cabin."

SFO-JOHN: "Perhaps I boarded the QE2 for the December crossing having already decided that I was going to enjoy each minute and be able to overlook any flaws, because that's pretty much what I did. Of course I noticed a few bits worn and torn and cracked here and there, but as stated numerous times above, it all comes with being a 35 year old ship. To be honest, my first impression (and this was my first time on QE2) was how subdued and refined she seemed inside. She seemed dignified and even the remnants of her original late 60's style I found to be charming. I even was pleased with my inside M grade cabin (3053). It had lots of wood panelling and was very cozy. I had no problem with any shortcomings or quirks that I noticed, although I could see how someone who was expecting a modern, glitzy mega-ship may have been disappointed. I don't want to be on a ship that exactly resembles a resort. I still think that QE2 is a "must do" for anyone with any interest in the ocean liners of the past. For others, I guess she may fall short in the "wow"factor department. I was thoroughly engaged, relaxed and amused for the entire six days."

STOWAWAY2k: "For those who are uncomfortable in surroundings that aren't sparkly, shinny, fresh, and brand new, fine, QE2 is not for you! I very much enjoy and appreciate her understated sophistication and elegance.

Yes, she's old! So what? A chair that's a little threadbare, a bit of carpeting that worn, that's not going to ruin my holiday, I'll leave the whining and pouting to others. I recently sailed on QE2 for three weeks, the Dec. crossing followed by the Caribbean cruise and I wonder if all these posts complaining about QE2's condition, as I thought she looked gorgeous, inside and out! What do people expect when they book a 35 year old ship??

Either people are greatly prone to exageration, or are simply too spoiled, bored, or overly sensitive, but I find all the quirks and foibles of QE2 to be endearing. The air conditioning that I've heard people complaining about didn't bother me the slightest. Were we on the same ship? QE2 does have plumbing issues, such as leaks, as she has had for many years. It's no secret. It's no big deal. At all. Why let it bother you? Rust spots? Yes, of course! She's a ship! The deck crew is constantly touching up, as they should, and as they do on EVERY ship. NO ship is immune to rust. Period. Why is it upsetting to see it on QE2?

As for her short, and insignificant power loss on New Years, this is not a sign of her imminent end. P&O's Aurora, a four year old ship, is making headlines right now for her world cruise being delayed for 10 days, and possibly cancelled, because of mechanical problems. Several months ago, passengers were called to boat stations when the Rotterdam lost power for four hours in a hurricane. Just a hurricane, like the ones QE2 slices through like a hot knife through butter. Another P&O ship, the Pacific Sky, had to turn back to port a few months ago and the cruise cancelled, after a thirty hour delay, because of mechanical problems. The point is, IT HAPPENS! QE2's problem was minor, and no, she was not adrift in stormy seas as one poster said. I know, I was there. It was only for two hours, in a low swell. This does not spell her doom, as people want very much to believe.

QE2 is an easy target because of her age, and her iconic status. It's human nature to want to trash and target an icon. We see it every day. It's the same as when a star athlete has a bad day, when an actor stars in a bad movie, people are so quick to gleefully trumpet the end of their career.How sad when people are ready to turn their backs. Fair weather friends?

If you want bright, shiny, sparkly new, don't sail QE2. If your style is a brand new mini van rather than a classic Mustang, don't sail QE2. If you strive for that large cookie cutter tract house with the faux facade instead of the older elegance of the historic district of town, don't sail QE2. If you have no sense of adventure, of living for the moment, if you don't understand that newer and bigger does not necessarily mean better, don't sail QE2. If insignificant, minor issues don't ruin your day, if you prefer the real thing to a pretender, then QE2 is still there, waiting for you.Sure, there are only a few years left.

Yes, her glory years are over. But QE2 still has something that QM2, and no other ship will ever have. Actually, the internet is ripe with constant complaints about QM2, will she even ever have any glory years?Just my two-cents worth folks...just my own humble opinions"
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