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CunarderRon

Cunard UK says QE2 held back "luxury fleet"

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From an article in yesterday's Travel Weekly.

 

>>

QE2 held back Cunard from being luxury fleet, says Carnival boss

 

(10 December 2008)

The QE2 held Cunard back from becoming a "totally luxury fleet", Carnival UK chief commercial officer Peter Shanks has admitted.

The comments came just days after the iconic ship arrived in its new home in Dubai, where it is being converted in a floating hotel.

Shanks said agents could now sell Cunard as a pure luxury brand.

"The QE2 held us back in many ways as a brand. We could not say a certain cabin on deck five [of the QE2] was luxury. Now it is a totally luxury fleet, with consistent product."

He admitted the brand could not rely on its quality alone to survive the tough period ahead, and said its version of the "Harrods sale" had been brought forward by several months to boost bookings.

 

 

 

By Juliet Dennis<<

 

The article can also be found here:

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2008/12/10/29739/qe2-held-back-cunard-from-being-luxury-fleet-says-carnival.html

 

I can understand Shanks' point of view in terms of the overall accommodations insomuch as they want to conform to this absurd notion that the line wants to offer the same standard level of "luxury" for all. Truly, this whole view of what they see as luxury is quite absurd. At least QE2 had the distinctive variety of accommodations to suit anyone and everyone that wished to experience this legendary liner. But Shanks and the others believe we ALL want these cookie cutter pre-assembled cabins. Forget all the other aspects that made the Cunard Line ships a home to go back to and focus on this continued branding of the "luxurious ships of Cunard".

I wish Cunard paid more attention to it's actual loyal base of past passengers as they have before, in asking them what they want done differently aboard their new ships, and not the same boring genericness being handed out to the entire spectrum of consumers of the industry.

And as overall outward appearances are concerned, the Vista floating boxes are a total devolution of what to me, is classic and (cough) "luxurious".

 

Anyone have other opinions on this?

 

Cheers,

 

Ron

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To a certain extent, I would agree with him. QE2 was 40 years old and no amount of refit would ever bring the ship up to modern standards, in much the same way as the older hotels like the Waldorf for example. You can make the public areas look good, but the personal space, i.e. the cabins remain as they were when the ship was built.

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Well, while QE2 may not have had top of the line updates of her Mauretania accommodations, she still sailed fully booked on almost all her voyages. Up until her final voyage, she was still turning a profit for the company; fulfilling her job. This means that guests apparently didn't mind "camping in" those outdated cramped cabins down on 4 and 5 deck.

But being that Cunard/Carnival is in the end, a business and not a fraternity house of like minded ocean travelers (lol), accepting an offer of $100m for aged tonnage was alas, the logical step for them.

However, Shanks' comments are lip service from the company, as it tries to think of other reasons why it was a good idea to get rid of the ship now, and not later.

 

Ron

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To a certain extent, I would agree with him. QE2 was 40 years old and no amount of refit would ever bring the ship up to modern standards, in much the same way as the older hotels like the Waldorf for example. You can make the public areas look good, but the personal space, i.e. the cabins remain as they were when the ship was built.

 

Who says she needed this sort of refit?

 

And anyway, an A grade cabin on the QM2 is not luxury, by any sensible definition of the word.

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From the interviews given on British TV I could sense he wasn't too bothered about the departure of the ship. He came a accross as cold businesslike, lukewarm and slightly annoyed by the emotional response of the people around him. As a lot of people of his likes do he hide behind silly corporate jargon like "we move on with our other liners...." Typical Carnival man

 

I do agree that some accommodations on 4-5 were not up to date with nowadays standards. However people knew about them and booked it.

 

But isn't luxury also about your fellow passengers and general atmosphhere? If that is not up scratch it'll look like porridge anyway. I found that on QE2 very exclusive despite climbing into a bunk bed at night ;-))

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I am extremely disappointed in his comments. Carnival/Princess quickly forgets without QE2 there would be no Cunard for Carnival to buy and build Carnival’s version of an ocean liner. No amount of fluffy pillows and blue Miami lights will ever replace the unstated luxury that QE2 had.

I just wish they would let rest in peace.

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From an article in yesterday's Travel Weekly.

 

>>

QE2 held back Cunard from being luxury fleet, says Carnival boss

 

(10 December 2008)

The QE2 held Cunard back from becoming a "totally luxury fleet", Carnival UK chief commercial officer Peter Shanks has admitted.

The comments came just days after the iconic ship arrived in its new home in Dubai, where it is being converted in a floating hotel.

Shanks said agents could now sell Cunard as a pure luxury brand.

"The QE2 held us back in many ways as a brand. We could not say a certain cabin on deck five [of the QE2] was luxury. Now it is a totally luxury fleet, with consistent product."

He admitted the brand could not rely on its quality alone to survive the tough period ahead, and said its version of the "Harrods sale" had been brought forward by several months to boost bookings.

 

 

 

By Juliet Dennis<<

 

The article can also be found here:

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2008/12/10/29739/qe2-held-back-cunard-from-being-luxury-fleet-says-carnival.html

 

I can understand Shanks' point of view in terms of the overall accommodations insomuch as they want to conform to this absurd notion that the line wants to offer the same standard level of "luxury" for all. Truly, this whole view of what they see as luxury is quite absurd. At least QE2 had the distinctive variety of accommodations to suit anyone and everyone that wished to experience this legendary liner. But Shanks and the others believe we ALL want these cookie cutter pre-assembled cabins. Forget all the other aspects that made the Cunard Line ships a home to go back to and focus on this continued branding of the "luxurious ships of Cunard".

I wish Cunard paid more attention to it's actual loyal base of past passengers as they have before, in asking them what they want done differently aboard their new ships, and not the same boring genericness being handed out to the entire spectrum of consumers of the industry.

And as overall outward appearances are concerned, the Vista floating boxes are a total devolution of what to me, is classic and (cough) "luxurious".

 

Anyone have other opinions on this?

 

Cheers,

 

Ron

 

No, I would say you've covered just about everything, I agree with you completely! Now if they'd only listen....

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Really depends on one's definition of "luxury" no? :confused:

Is it the media's, the cruise line's or the passenger's definition? :confused:

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As a fervent QE2 lover, I find Shanks' words very sad, cold and ungrateful to this most special of all passenger ships today.

 

I admit that he is obviously right in strictly economic terms, and that competitiveness (and survival) is what matters, especially in today's turbulent financial conditions. Certainly, this is what we all wish for our favourite line.

 

But I feel that he should have kept those words for himself and his office. It would be better if he had never expressed them publicly.

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As a fervent QE2 lover, I find Shanks' words very sad, cold and ungrateful to this most special of all passenger ships today.

 

I admit that he is obviously right in strictly economic terms, and that competitiveness (and survival) is what matters, especially in today's turbulent financial conditions. Certainly, this is what we all wish for our favourite line.

 

But I feel that he should have kept those words for himself and his office. It would be better if he had never expressed them publicly.

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As a fervent QE2 lover, I find Shanks' words very sad, cold and ungrateful to this most special of all passenger ships today.

 

I admit that he is obviously right in strictly economic terms, and that competitiveness (and survival) is what matters, especially in today's turbulent financial conditions. Certainly, this is what we all wish for our favourite line.

 

But I feel that he should have kept those words for himself and his office. It would be better if he had never expressed them publicly.

 

Quite so! His words are guaranteed to raise the hackles of anyone fond of QE2, and he forgets - or perhaps doesn't care? - that there are a great many of us!

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I am extremely disappointed in his comments. Carnival/Princess quickly forgets without QE2 there would be no Cunard for Carnival to buy and build Carnival’s version of an ocean liner. No amount of fluffy pillows and blue Miami lights will ever replace the unstated luxury that QE2 had.

 

I just wish they would let rest in peace.

 

 

Forgetting how you rose to prominence will eventually lead to obscurity. Carnival's vision of ocean liners - corection - cruise ships are floating boxes anyway. You could pay me to cruise on them (would never turn down an offer to cruise) but I would never go on a Carnival ship on my own accord.

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Bearing in mind they are a for-profit business, his comments make sense.

 

QE2 kept the line from being consistent across the board in its offerings.

 

And I hear it over and over again- ships have balconies because people want them, ALOT of people want them... which is why they build ships with them. Once again, supply and demand overshadows history.

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"We could not say a certain cabin on deck five [of the QE2] was luxury."

 

 

What's the difference in a cabin on QE2 5 Deck and an inside cabin on QV 1 Deck? I don't see his point.

 

QE2 did not hold back Cunard, instead she offered a unique alternative to the neveau cruiser that provided luxury, elegance and a tie to the past. She promoted her newer sisters and drew market share away from Celebrity, Princess and other "luxury" lines. Would like to see where QM2 and QV would be without being tied to such an iconic ship.

 

Today's luxury is nice but on a 4 year old flag ship and her even newer companion, it's superficial. Nothing wrong with that if that's what you want but to say that QE2 stifled progress or profits is shortsighted. As already stated, she was always booked and consistently advertised as the most famous ship in the world - still is.

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......QE2 did not hold back Cunard, instead she offered a unique alternative to the neveau cruiser that provided luxury, elegance and a tie to the past. She promoted her newer sisters and drew market share away from Celebrity, Princess and other "luxury" lines. Would like to see where QM2 and QV would be without being tied to such an iconic ship.....

 

 

You can also say where would QE2 have been without her illustrious ancestors - which Cunard tried their best to ignore to their near peril in the 1970's. But, she was a link with the PAST and was becoming no more relevant to today's 'cruise expectations' than some of her 20th Century predecessors. Sad for some but time moves on and it left QE2 with history and a niche market but no future.

 

Ken

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What's the difference in a cabin on QE2 5 Deck and an inside cabin on QV 1 Deck? I don't see his point.

 

The difference is that, in the QV inside cabin, two people can breathe simultaneously without having to synchronise their diaphragm movements.

 

J

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>>The difference is that, in the QV inside cabin, two people can breathe simultaneously without having to synchronise their diaphragm movements.

 

J<<

 

We must be talking about big people here. Perhaps the stereotypical American tourist?

Sorry, J, couldn't resist..lol

I traveled in inside M's a few times and always found them comfortable enough for me. Besides, I wasn't on QE2 to spend it tied to the cabin ordering a never ending barage of room service. I was there to spend it above (and sometimes below) decks, mingling w' fellow passengers and crew or spending time on Boat Deck, sitting in a comfy deckchair, taking in the sea, wrapped in a blanket w' a book and stogie in hand.

The truth is, if I was ever in my cabin for an extended period of time, it was usually due to the fact I was going back there to spend some quality time w' lady friends and there was always plenty of room for that. ;)

 

Ron

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I traveled in inside M's a few times and always found them comfortable enough for me. Besides, I wasn't on QE2 to spend it tied to the cabin ordering a never ending barage of room service. I was there to spend it above (and sometimes below) decks, mingling w' fellow passengers and crew or spending time on Boat Deck, sitting in a comfy deckchair, taking in the sea, wrapped in a blanket w' a book and stogie in hand.

The truth is, if I was ever in my cabin for an extended period of time, it was usually due to the fact I was going back there to spend some quality time w' lady friends and there was always plenty of room for that.

 

Agree with every word Ron. And I wouldn't have missed travelling in that old M6 for the world. After all, if you've got a bigger cabin, it's just more space for the crap to spread around in. The design of those small cabins was fantastic and we managed to fit in everything we had (not an inconsiderable amount) without difficulty. At least there were drawers in there!

 

J

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Agree with every word Ron. And I wouldn't have missed travelling in that old M6 for the world. After all, if you've got a bigger cabin, it's just more space for the crap to spread around in. The design of those small cabins was fantastic and we managed to fit in everything we had (not an inconsiderable amount) without difficulty. At least there were drawers in there!

 

J

 

I have been on eight cruises--six of them on Royal Caribbean, back when Royal Caribbean had the smallest cabins per square inch of any of the cruise ships, and there wasn't a time that we were unable to find a spot for everything we had. And sometimes there were four of us in a cabin. Cruise lines are pretty ingenious in setting up spaces for all that stuff. Actually the QM2 was quite a bit larger (in square feet) than any other cabin I had stayed in, but the space for our stuff was very much the same or perhaps even less than the space in cabins in Royal Caribbean"s Nordic Prince or Song of America.

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Agree with every word Ron. And I wouldn't have missed travelling in that old M6 for the world. After all, if you've got a bigger cabin, it's just more space for the crap to spread around in. The design of those small cabins was fantastic and we managed to fit in everything we had (not an inconsiderable amount) without difficulty. At least there were drawers in there!

 

J

We travelled in an M cabin on the wee boaty on 4 occasions and I honestly can't remember any problems about space or anything else for that matter. Mind you both myself and Senior Management travel schooner rigged and I like a bit of 'ship noise' creaks and squeaks and the thrum of machinery. It's when it all stops that I wake up.

I prefer the cabins on QM2 to Q.V. though. They may be the same in sq. footage but the QV somehow seems a bit tight.

Bring back hammocks I say. 18 inches per person (stop that s******ing!) and all the weevils you can eat.

Gari.

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Excellent discussion which you have prompted, Ron.

 

I, too, find Shanks' unfortunate comments ill-advised for public consumption. Perhaps his remarks, however valid, would have best been left for discussion in the Carnival board room. Moreover, however valid, logical, practical, etc., in terms of company economics, his words are, at the very least, hurtful to the legions of QE2 enthusiasts, and, at the worst, disrespectful to the memory of the greatest ship of our age whose fame and whose service to Cunard/Carnival will arguably never be matched by her successors.

 

Prior to QE2's final weeks, a despicable Carnival memo was circulated to senior staff and officers advising them not to become "emotional" when speaking publicly about QE2, especially to the media. I know this for a fact, and it further supports the "problem of the QE2" which Cunard/Carnival management had to have been grappling with for some time. As noted in other posts, QE2 continued to sail full and almost always eclipsed her fleet mates in many ways. Focusing attention on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria must have been a formidable, if not frustrating, dilemma for management while QE2 was still around, however much she did not fit in with the image of the ersatz all-luxury fleet which they were building and marketing. Interestingly, before QE2's sale was revealed in June 2007, Carol Marlow had already begun to reduce QE2 to a mere footnote. In her remarks during the World Cruise dinner in Auckland (February 2007), she spoke about Queen Victoria, Queen Mary, etc., at great length and barely mentioned QE2, even on the occasion of her 25th World Cruise. Her remarks did not go unnoticed by those in attendance.

 

The disingenuousness of Cunard/Carnival's marketing, not the departure of QE2, is what will ultimately drive me and, I suspect, many other loyal Cunard guests to take our business elsewhere.

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Maybe Shanks should be let go from Cunard. I understand what he is saying but I totally disagree with him. He just doesn't get it and Cunard is still far from being a "luxury line" and really it shouldn't be.

 

I think although the new management wants it to be "luxury" the reality most people sailed it was because of the whole nature of what makes an ocean liner an ocean liner as opposed to a cruise ship.

 

David

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Maybe Shanks should be let go from Cunard. I understand what he is saying but I totally disagree with him. He just doesn't get it and Cunard is still far from being a "luxury line" and really it shouldn't be.

 

I think although the new management wants it to be "luxury" the reality most people sailed it was because of the whole nature of what makes an ocean liner an ocean liner as opposed to a cruise ship.

 

David

 

I am not agreeing or disagreeing with you. I just would like to know your reasoning for saying that the Cunard ships are far from being a "luxury line"?

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