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Any news on QE2 ?

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I’d also be interested to know, the last ‘concrete’ plans I heard were for her to go to South Africa, and that turned out to be very insubstantial concrete indeed... since then she’s just been sat there doing not a lot? Or have they been converting her for her hotel role this whole time? They could have rebuilt the whole decaying aluminium superstructure in the years that have passed so you do have to wonder what has been happening - I guess a total strip down to bare metal inside to remove any asbestos and reconfiguration? All but the top couple of dozen of her rooms would probably need knocking 2 or even 3 into one to compete as a luxury (or even mid-tier) hotel. Even a standard Britannia room on the newer fleet mates probably wouldn’t make the grade in Dubai!

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Over the years we have had so many of these plans that have never come to anything. This one could be the goer though, who knows. The question is though, does QE2 have the pulling power now after so many years to justify the expense of conversion to what would need to be a very high standard. Strip out all the interior and refit to modern standards and it would not be the ship I remember.

 

DAVID

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In My Honest Opinion the best thing to happen to the QE2 is to sail the QE2 back to the UK to be used as a floating hotel/convention center in the Port of Southampton. The reason why I think Southampton is the best location for the QE2 is that Cunard still uses Southampton as the homeport for its ships. The question I who lives in the USA am asking to Cruisecritic members who live in the Southampton area or in the UK is that Is there dock or berth space available in the Port of Southampton to permanently dock the QE2? Regards,Jerry

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Over the years we have had so many of these plans that have never come to anything. This one could be the goer though, who knows. The question is though, does QE2 have the pulling power now after so many years to justify the expense of conversion to what would need to be a very high standard. Strip out all the interior and refit to modern standards and it would not be the ship I remember.

 

DAVID

I agree completely. What market are they after? Us "old Cunarders" are unlikely to be attracted to a stripped out shell with a new Dubai type interior. As far as that goes, the only reason I might find myself in Dubai would be on some other ship as a port call. Might go see the "old girl" then as a visitor. Compared to the other places to stay in Dubai, this proposal sounds like a money loser for sure.

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In My Honest Opinion the best thing to happen to the QE2 is to sail the QE2 back to the UK to be used as a floating hotel/convention center in the Port of Southampton. The reason why I think Southampton is the best location for the QE2 is that Cunard still uses Southampton as the homeport for its ships. The question I who lives in the USA am asking to Cruisecritic members who live in the Southampton area or in the UK is that Is there dock or berth space available in the Port of Southampton to permanently dock the QE2? Regards,Jerry

 

Well first it wouldn’t be sail back it would be tow back and I can’t see it being a success in Southampton anyway. Time has moved on and to most people here QE2 is just a ship that they may be aware of or most probably are not. Ship enthusiasts and those of us who were lucky enough to have sailed aboard her are a steadily diminishing band. I certainly wouldn’t put any of my funds into the project.

 

David

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I live near Southampton and the only place they could realistically put her is at the redeveloped Mayflower Park/Town Quay area which hasn't even been given the full go ahead yet so I doubt it would happen. There were plans at one point to bring her to the Thames which had the backing of then London Mayor Boris Johnson but the Dubai owners said no.

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In My Honest Opinion the best thing to happen to the QE2 is to sail the QE2 back to the UK to be used as a floating hotel/convention center in the Port of Southampton. The reason why I think Southampton is the best location for the QE2 is that Cunard still uses Southampton as the homeport for its ships. The question I who lives in the USA am asking to Cruisecritic members who live in the Southampton area or in the UK is that Is there dock or berth space available in the Port of Southampton to permanently dock the QE2? Regards,Jerry

I’m down in Lymington but visit Southampton semi regularly - I think the old King George V drydock is available as a wet berth though it would necessitate advertising the views as of scenic Southampton container berth! I think the cost and effort involved really put taking her anywhere else now out of the question, Dubai is to be her final resting place, for better or worse... if the QE2 London people couldn’t make it happen, I don’t think it’s going to unfortunately

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Conversion is well underway apparently. No one really knows what's happening on the inside but all the lifeboats have been removed and the lifeboat davits have been blowtorched off. The pool on the back of one deck has been possibly removed or paved over. A reception building has been built next to her.

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If this is the extent of the advance "publicity" for this misbegotten project and it's all supposed to suddenly materialize in two months time, one might be a tad cautious. Personally, I'd rather have had the old girl meet a dignified end at the breakers than being in the hands of complete and utter strangers like this. Hacking off the davits and lifeboats is indicative of their appreciation of "preserving" the ship.

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If this is the extent of the advance "publicity" for this misbegotten project and it's all supposed to suddenly materialize in two months time, one might be a tad cautious. Personally, I'd rather have had the old girl meet a dignified end at the breakers than being in the hands of complete and utter strangers like this. Hacking off the davits and lifeboats is indicative of their appreciation of "preserving" the ship.

 

 

 

I saw her recently in the distance from

Burj Kalifa in Dubai and sadly she is languishing with all air con having been switched off a few years ago. I would be surprised if she is restored to some sort of glory, which is a sad end for a maritime great. On another note, I understand that a drunken crew party after her last voyage resulted in some of her fine artwork being thrown overboard in to the sea. This included a wonderful woollen tapestry that hung in a main stairwell showing the Queen launching her in the Clyde. I recall this piece of art well from a tour of QE2 and was sad to hear of Its demise.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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I saw her recently in the distance from

Burj Kalifa in Dubai and sadly she is languishing with all air con having been switched off a few years ago. I would be surprised if she is restored to some sort of glory, which is a sad end for a maritime great. On another note, I understand that a drunken crew party after her last voyage resulted in some of her fine artwork being thrown overboard in to the sea. This included a wonderful woollen tapestry that hung in a main stairwell showing the Queen launching her in the Clyde. I recall this piece of art well from a tour of QE2 and was sad to hear of Its demise.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

yes...that was quite a party, the tapestry was recovered, they found it rolled up in the one of the air-conditioning ducts. ;p

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I saw her recently in the distance from

Burj Kalifa in Dubai and sadly she is languishing with all air con having been switched off a few years ago. I would be surprised if she is restored to some sort of glory, which is a sad end for a maritime great. On another note, I understand that a drunken crew party after her last voyage resulted in some of her fine artwork being thrown overboard in to the sea. This included a wonderful woollen tapestry that hung in a main stairwell showing the Queen launching her in the Clyde. I recall this piece of art well from a tour of QE2 and was sad to hear of Its demise.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

I'm not sure how recently that was but she is reportedly being worked on ready for opening next month.

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She’s not languishing but has been fitted out inside and out and will open as a hotel in the new marina next month. I’m on a Facebook group where people who are in Dubai have put up pictures. The pool has been covered up with wooden decking and the terminal with pictures of her Cunard past is ready. Still waiting for pics of her inside but it’s top secret until opening. Pictures of her in the marina look lovely , like she used to minus the lifeboats which are placed on the entrance to the drive to the terminal. I’m pleased the new owners have done something with her and she hasn’t been broken up or allowed to decay.

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She’s not languishing but has been fitted out inside and out and will open as a hotel in the new marina next month. I’m on a Facebook group where people who are in Dubai have put up pictures. The pool has been covered up with wooden decking and the terminal with pictures of her Cunard past is ready. Still waiting for pics of her inside but it’s top secret until opening. Pictures of her in the marina look lovely , like she used to minus the lifeboats which are placed on the entrance to the drive to the terminal. I’m pleased the new owners have done something with her and she hasn’t been broken up or allowed to decay.

 

Thank you so very much for the update, and I stand corrected! This is the first positive news I've heard about the project in a long time! Thank you.

 

I found this link from recent weeks: https://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/qe2-undergoes-major-facelift-in-dubai-as-anticipation-for-her-next-chapter-builds-1.630638

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Thank you so very much for the update, and I stand corrected! This is the first positive news I've heard about the project in a long time! Thank you.

 

I found this link from recent weeks: https://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/qe2-undergoes-major-facelift-in-dubai-as-anticipation-for-her-next-chapter-builds-1.630638

That's the link I posted in the first post on this thread !

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That's the link I posted in the first post on this thread !

 

I really need to get more sleep clearly! Apologies!

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She’s not languishing but has been fitted out inside and out and will open as a hotel in the new marina next month. I’m on a Facebook group where people who are in Dubai have put up pictures. The pool has been covered up with wooden decking and the terminal with pictures of her Cunard past is ready. Still waiting for pics of her inside but it’s top secret until opening. Pictures of her in the marina look lovely , like she used to minus the lifeboats which are placed on the entrance to the drive to the terminal. I’m pleased the new owners have done something with her and she hasn’t been broken up or allowed to decay.

So the lifeboats have been removed - that’s quite a drastic change but unlike the QM(1) and QM2 (and even QV and QE) her boat deck was very narrow with the crenellations around the boat equipment so an improvement now they’re not needed perhaps? With the heat in Dubai I wonder if they will be replaced with a raised shade to keep things a bit cooler - might then look like one of the sheltered promenades from the Edwardian era liners! With how long they have been doing this conversion (9 years this month!) she must look $1,000,000 inside. I guess as there’s been no reports they won’t have restored the front facing lookout bar and chopped off that lump they grafted to her bridge front in 72 though?

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Sorry but ripping off the davits and the lifeboats of an ocean liner isn't "an improvement", it's a material alteration of the ship's appearance and character. One could also say that the ship's masts and funnel, too, are "no longer needed" and could be removed, too. Indeed, I think QE2's present owners were indeed going to rip off the funnel. I don't know of any other preserved liners, QUEEN MARY and ROTTERDAM coming to mind, where this has been done or even muted.

 

You either are sympathetic and respectful of something that is of significant historical importance. Or you are not. So far, the owners of the former RMS QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 have indicated they are... not.

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Many of the davits and lifeboats obscured the major staterooms so as a hotel which she now is , not a ship I can see the point of then being taken off and put on display. They also have to be maintained which is not worth it. From what I heard , as she is opening in a month , they are definitely not going to rip out the funnel or any other major external work. Picture of the terminal where paintings from the QE2 and some of her models sit indicate the owners are well aware of her history and meaning. The new marina looks lovely too with her in pride of place. I suggest you join the Facebook group if you want to see pictures. They could have scrapped her but they didn’t and as a hotel I hope she thrives.

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Many of the davits and lifeboats obscured the major staterooms so as a hotel which she now is , not a ship I can see the point of then being taken off and put on display. They also have to be maintained which is not worth it. From what I heard , as she is opening in a month , they are definitely not going to rip out the funnel or any other major external work. Picture of the terminal where paintings from the QE2 and some of her models sit indicate the owners are well aware of her history and meaning. The new marina looks lovely too with her in pride of place. I suggest you join the Facebook group if you want to see pictures. They could have scrapped her but they didn’t and as a hotel I hope she thrives.

 

 

 

It's a slippery argument- there are a lot of things onboard now that she's a static hotel that aren't necessary for operations or safety. You could rip out the engines, the bridge, etc but what would you have left? A hunk of steel with some hotel rooms in it. The lifeboats were a very visible historical context to her past and they very much should have been retained. If you want a great view from the Signal Deck penthouses there are plenty of other hotels in Dubai that have much fancier, much larger rooms on much higher floors. This is a ship- why even bother if you're going to try and erase a lot of what makes her a ship? This smacks very much of Long Beach's mismanagement of Queen Mary during her conversion. Rotterdam on the other hand is a textbook case of how to handle this- she is preserved and very much intact.

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It's a slippery argument- there are a lot of things onboard now that she's a static hotel that aren't necessary for operations or safety. You could rip out the engines, the bridge, etc but what would you have left? A hunk of steel with some hotel rooms in it. The lifeboats were a very visible historical context to her past and they very much should have been retained. If you want a great view from the Signal Deck penthouses there are plenty of other hotels in Dubai that have much fancier, much larger rooms on much higher floors. This is a ship- why even bother if you're going to try and erase a lot of what makes her a ship? This smacks very much of Long Beach's mismanagement of Queen Mary during her conversion. Rotterdam on the other hand is a textbook case of how to handle this- she is preserved and very much intact.

Well there is a difference between removing the lifeboats and the bridge, funnel, engines etc and that is that there is a material gain from removing them whereas what do you get for removing the other things you mentioned? Not only did the boats block the views from the large suites onboard, but they were taking up an enormous amount of space on the boat deck. I remember reading in one book about QE2’s construction that James Gardner stressed over their placement as he felt they ruined the ship’s sleek lines so if that’s the original designer’s opinion then i don’t see how their removal ruins the outward appearance of the ship, just makes it look different to how people might remember it. You can’t expect everything to remain exactly the same between QE2 as an ocean going liner and QE2 as a static hotel, if the boats are the only thing lost then I think that’s a trade off worth making to see the ship survive and continue to welcome guests for decades to come.

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QE2, though my favorite ship ever, is an old ship. The vast majority of visitors to Dubai will have never sailed on her. Will she be unique enough to compete with all the spectacular hotels in Dubai? Time will tell. Glad I am not an investor in this project. ;p

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Well there is a difference between removing the lifeboats and the bridge, funnel, engines etc and that is that there is a material gain from removing them whereas what do you get for removing the other things you mentioned? Not only did the boats block the views from the large suites onboard, but they were taking up an enormous amount of space on the boat deck. I remember reading in one book about QE2’s construction that James Gardner stressed over their placement as he felt they ruined the ship’s sleek lines so if that’s the original designer’s opinion then i don’t see how their removal ruins the outward appearance of the ship, just makes it look different to how people might remember it. You can’t expect everything to remain exactly the same between QE2 as an ocean going liner and QE2 as a static hotel, if the boats are the only thing lost then I think that’s a trade off worth making to see the ship survive and continue to welcome guests for decades to come.

 

 

 

I've sailed in those penthouses many times- the views weren't terrible, but you never booked them for the views (I always much preferred the Q3's on One Deck with the oval portholes). Regardless, we're talking about slightly improving the views from what amounts to a 5 story building (in a city with the tallest building in the world and 88 buildings over 600ft tall). I just don't buy that marginally improving the view from 30 1970's prefab suites is worth sacrificing the ships historical integrity.

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I may get the flames- but really- old QE2 should have gone to the breakers long ago! She is not the icon the first Queen Mary was!

The style of the 60ths and 70ths- did have no appeal to me! I sailed her towards the end of her heydays- old, outdated and tired! Legend or no Legend!

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You are right , she was looking outdated and I hope the internal work makes her look smart again. As for the exterior, she looks the same minus the lifeboats ( which are still around the ship) and I am pleased to see it . So there’s big tall hotels in the area , not everyone likes them and like boats that are restaurants or floating hotels in the UK , people go to them because they offer something different. They don’t want to see a lifeboat outside the window as one does at sea as it serves no purpose. I stayed in the penthouses and the lifeboats did obscure the view . Ultimately she would have never sailed again and I for one am glad she wasn’t broken up. Yes she could have been brought back to the uk but Cunard needed the money and no one in the uk could have afforded that and the money spent on her that Dubai owners have. Yes , it might not work but seeing her bright and shiny in the new marina where she can be seen for miles , she looks like she did and it’s the start of her new life.

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I may get the flames- but really- old QE2 should have gone to the breakers long ago! She is not the icon the first Queen Mary was!

The style of the 60ths and 70ths- did have no appeal to me! I sailed her towards the end of her heydays- old, outdated and tired! Legend or no Legend!

 

That's just factually incorrect I'm afraid. Whether you liked her or not, she was an absolutely massive icon. A household name. Arguably the last ship that will be a household name.

 

On her original turbines, she covered a greater distance than the previous 2 Queens combined. She then covered another 3.4 million nautical miles to reach a record that will probably never be broken.

 

And then there's her impact on the cruise industry. Everyone thought they were mad to build a huge cruise liner in the jet age, but they did, and she succeeded. For a while, she was the only one in service. Think about that for a moment. Look at it now. Many experts credit her with having a profound effect on the modern cruise industry. And without a shadow of a doubt, there'd be no Cunard today without her.

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I'm with you Rob. Remember the story about Mickey Arison on the bridge prior to closing the deal for Cunard seeing thousands lining the harbor on arrival to a port and asking the Captain if something big was going on today. The answer, of course "yes, QE2 is arriving". When launched, she was the latest, greatest and most modern. She had the state of the art equipment and decor for the age. To say she was old and run down, after 40 years continual service, is a bit like mocking an old war veteran. Damn glad I was able to sail on her throughout her career.

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I would have to concur with RAL72 and Jim Avery that, while her original (interior) design might not have been the most timelessly beautiful, the ship herself is incredibly special, both being shaped by and herself shaping the transition from sailing as transportation to sailing as leisure. No modern ship aside from Queen Mary 2 is anywhere close to compatible in terms of being a unique and specialised design.

 

At any rate, ‘tired’ looking is irrelevant as this is the perfect opportunity to fix that. Dubai have had plenty of time (and I expect money!) to reconfigure and redecorate the ship as something special and outstanding. I was hoping for a return to her original exterior appearance which was one part of her original design that did look very cool, but I guess the penthouses are too lucrative to lose. I wonder if the suites on one deck could be reconfigured to offer in-hull balconies like QM2’s 4,5 and 6 deck rooms? It would only really mean enlarging the oval windows slightly and partitioning a ‘balcony’ off inside...

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I would have to concur with RAL72 and Jim Avery that, while her original (interior) design might not have been the most timelessly beautiful, the ship herself is incredibly special, both being shaped by and herself shaping the transition from sailing as transportation to sailing as leisure. No modern ship aside from Queen Mary 2 is anywhere close to compatible in terms of being a unique and specialised design.

 

At any rate, ‘tired’ looking is irrelevant as this is the perfect opportunity to fix that. Dubai have had plenty of time (and I expect money!) to reconfigure and redecorate the ship as something special and outstanding. I was hoping for a return to her original exterior appearance which was one part of her original design that did look very cool, but I guess the penthouses are too lucrative to lose. I wonder if the suites on one deck could be reconfigured to offer in-hull balconies like QM2’s 4,5 and 6 deck rooms? It would only really mean enlarging the oval windows slightly and partitioning a ‘balcony’ off inside...

 

 

 

The problem is Dubai doesn't have the money- that's why it's taken nearly a decade of her rotting in the heat.

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I have not visited here in a while so seeing this thread is very puzzling.

 

On July 18, 2017 I booked Queen Elizabeth for January 3-19, 2019 Southampton to Cape Town. So I am hoping we are discussing two different ships. Queen Elizabeth 2, being turned into a hotel, and Queen Elizabeth that is taking me back to Africa.

 

We have done a number of crossings on Queen Mary 2, but have not sailed on either of the other ships.

 

Thank you for any responses.

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I have not visited here in a while so seeing this thread is very puzzling.

 

On July 18, 2017 I booked Queen Elizabeth for January 3-19, 2019 Southampton to Cape Town. So I am hoping we are discussing two different ships. Queen Elizabeth 2, being turned into a hotel, and Queen Elizabeth that is taking me back to Africa.

 

We have done a number of crossings on Queen Mary 2, but have not sailed on either of the other ships.

 

Thank you for any responses.

 

Yes, you can rest assured this discussion is about a different ship than the one on which you have booked your 2019 voyage to Cape Town.

 

The ship this thread is discussing is the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) which was part of the Cunard fleet from 1969 to 2008. The Queen Elizabeth you will be travelling on joined the Cunard fleet in 2010 and as such is the newest member of the Cunard fleet.

 

For a brief introduction to the QE2 (being discussed here), you may want to check out this wikipedia article.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Elizabeth_2

 

Regards, John

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I may get the flames- but really- old QE2 should have gone to the breakers long ago! She is not the icon the first Queen Mary was!

The style of the 60ths and 70ths- did have no appeal to me! I sailed her towards the end of her heydays- old, outdated and tired! Legend or no Legend!

 

Our first crossing on the QE2 was in 1973, after the suites were added and the forward-facing lounge removed. But the ship was still in her original modern style. As a person with traditional tastes in ships, I was not impressed. But this did not keep us from returning for other crossings.

 

By the time of our last crossing, just seven months before her retirement in 2008, the QE2's décor was looking more appealing to me. Just one example: in 1979 we travelled First Class and had our meals in the Columbia Restaurant. The service and food were excellent, but as for the ambience of the room - it was lacking. Plain would be a good description. Later the room was re-named Caronia and redecorated to look like an ocean liner's dining room.

 

It is a matter of personal taste, but the QE2 did not look "tired" to me; she never looked better.

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I believe it is 9 years this month that QE2 set sail from Southampton for the last time, I couldn’t see anything from either Cunard or Dubai acknowledging this though. I did find some rumblings that an opening to the hotel will be happening imminently though. Hopefully what they have done will be a pleasant surprise, I wonder if they could have addressed the dearth of luxury suites on board by converting the Lido into some? It certainly won’t be needed as a casual restaurant in the ship’s new role. They could even have 2/3 looking aft with their own section of the Q deck terrace as a balcony!

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She sailed from Southampton on November 11th and arrived in Dubai on the 27th.

Ah yes of course, I recall the Remembrance Day poppy drop and all. You’d have thought Dubai might have done something a couple of days ago to mark the anniversary of her arrival if she’s to be opened soon?

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