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Author Topic: QE2's Casino  (Read 7360 times)

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Online Rob Lightbody

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QE2's Casino
« on: Mar 26, 2009, 08:37 AM »
A question, I am not sure if she had a casino on board in 1989. If not, when did she acquire one? Was it after Carnival bought Cunard?


It was there in 1987 and felt like a proper posh bit of the ship. It replaced the upper library but i can't remember when. QE2 in her prime served mostly American passengers and they expected her to have one! I liked it, its the only casino i've ever been to. Loved the late night dinner jacket, tobacco and whole James  Bond type thing and i know i wasn't the only one!
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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

QE2 Casino
« Reply #1 on: Mar 26, 2009, 08:53 AM »
It was there in 1987 and felt like a proper posh bit of the ship. It replaced the upper library but i can't remember when. QE2 in her prime served mostly American passengers and they expected her to have one! I liked it, its the only casino i've ever been to. Loved the late night dinner jacket, tobacco and whole James  Bond type thing and i know i wasn't the only one!

Agree with you wholeheartedly, Rob! It did have a James Bond type atmosphere, and I did on several occasions drag my heels around there....  ;D

But the fruit machines were a different matter. I just did not think they were worthy of QE2, and they made such a dreadful noise! Fascinating photographs got taken among them all the same, quite against QE2 rules I believe... for instance :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/prondis_in_kenya/3414295664/

And of course we had to huddle between the one-armed bandits on several occasions for our safety drill -- each time, that conjunction rather amused me...!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/prondis_in_kenya/2689965637/
« Last Edit: Apr 05, 2009, 01:32 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Bob C.

casino question 1
« Reply #2 on: Mar 26, 2009, 03:32 PM »
A question, I am not sure if she had a casino on board in 1989. If not, when did she acquire one? Was it after Carnival bought Cunard?

I'll vouch for as early as 1977. At age 15, I remember sneaking a few quarters into the slot machines at the casino that was pretty near where the casino is (was) today.  I'll have to dig in my stuff to see if there was one earlier.

KEV

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Re: QE2 Casino
« Reply #3 on: Mar 26, 2009, 10:04 PM »
Yes!-My first real sit down on QE2 and chance to take it all in after boarding and unpacking was in the Casino (our designated Muster Station) in our lifejackets amongst the Fruits by the cashiers office
 I enjoyed several nights after a show trying to look like Bond (unsuccessfully I might add) on the Blackjack Table with a whisky, but with me ultimately shaken and stirred when the 20 dollar limit I set myself ran out.
I have an idea that I may have seen one of those silver casino tokens with the nice coin like relief of QE2 on one side that might have somehow got mixed up with the general pocket change. If I find it I will of course forward it to Dubai

mksmith

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casino question 2
« Reply #4 on: Mar 27, 2009, 12:33 AM »
I remember the Casino there in 1985 the port side, Upper Deck. The Starboard had the Theater Bar before it became the pub. Oh the good days….. :'( how I miss her.

Offline Andy F

Re: QE2 Casino
« Reply #5 on: Mar 28, 2009, 03:27 AM »
How noble of you there Kev!

Quite agree Isabelle and oh how we would all try to sneak a couple of shots in when we thought no-one was looking.

I recall having an argument there one morning with a very loud and obnoxious 'gentleman' of American persuasion (absolutely no offence intended to our Atlantic cousins here btw), while waiting patiently in line to check in for a tour.  He and his party tried jumping the queue ahead of the pair of elderly ladies in front, which annoyed me to say the least and if there's one thing we Brits detest (or at least this one certainly does), it's queue jumpers.  OK, so pound for pound he certainly had an advantage over me in that respect but I had the benefit of youth on my side (well, kinda stretching the truth a little there perhaps admittedly but I was definitely a good 20yrs younger), and descending from a former World champion heavyweight boxer (or so I'm told apparently), I wasn't about to back down without a fight so to speak.  The rest of his party were clearly embarrassed by his antics and behaviour as I calmly pointed to to this big, loud shouty lump that what he was doing just wasn't cricket.  He finally got the message and admitted defeat and for the remainder of the cruise whenever our paths would cross, as they invariably would, I would give him my bestest Paddington Bear hard stare.  Poor chap probably hasn't recovered from his QE2 experience but he might just think twice about jumping queues in future.  A victory for the little man!



   
« Last Edit: Mar 28, 2009, 02:53 PM by Andy F »
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Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 Casino
« Reply #6 on: Mar 28, 2009, 12:35 PM »
« Last Edit: Sep 25, 2018, 06:42 PM by Rob Lightbody »
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Offline Andy F

Re: QE2 Casino
« Reply #7 on: Mar 28, 2009, 02:54 PM »
That's never the young Lightbody I see before me is it?
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Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 Casino
« Reply #8 on: Mar 28, 2009, 03:42 PM »
That's never the young Lightbody I see before me is it?

  ::)
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

KEV

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Re: QE2 Casino
« Reply #9 on: Mar 29, 2009, 06:02 PM »
Rob is that in the casino or your cabin?!

Offline Andy F

Re: QE2 Casino
« Reply #10 on: Mar 29, 2009, 11:54 PM »
Obviously his cabin Kev (Grills you know  ;) )
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KEV

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Re: QE2 Casino
« Reply #11 on: Mar 31, 2009, 06:26 PM »
That's right Andy-the 2 windows are a dead giveaway!

Offline Chris Frame

Re: QE2 Casino
« Reply #12 on: Apr 01, 2009, 12:36 PM »
That's right Andy-the 2 windows are a dead giveaway!

Mid-ships Suite? ;)

Online Michael Gallagher

QE2's Casino
« Reply #13 on: Apr 15, 2018, 08:24 AM »

All Text copyright © the author and The QE2 Story - not to be reused without permission


The original plans for QE2 had a Casino located on Promenade (Upper) Deck starboard side between the Main First-Class Lounge (Queens Room) Room and First-Class Nightclub (Q4 Room) in the space that would become the Conference Centre.

Jean Munroe had been appointed to design the space which was probably too small to be a proper Casino so it was planned that various machines could be accommodated in a flexible design which allowed various pieces of equipment to be brought in as necessary. David Hicks would later assume responsibility for the design of the Casino.

When Cunard’s New York lawyers heard of the plan to include a Casino in the new ship they raised the legal position in New York and Port Everglades as American regulations at the time prohibited gambling or casinos on ships while in US waters. The lawyers came to the conclusion that Cunard would run into “serious trouble” if a Casino had been built and that any such facility would have had to have been dismantled while QE2 was reaching New York or Port Everglades and while in those waters. This would have meant regular disruption given QE2’s scheduling and Crockfords, who were to run the Casino for Cunard, decided that it would not be an economic proposition from their point of view and that there would be an empty (non-revenue generating) space for long periods of time.

In December 1966 it was decided that a Casino would not be included in QE2’s public rooms with the space becoming a dedicated multi-purpose space and Conference Room.

However in February 1967 the prospect of including a Casino was raised again and various debates would continue throughout that year and 1968 but QE2 would not have a Casino when she entered service in 1969.

The regulations were relaxed somewhat in the early 1970s so Cunard installed a temporary Casino in the 736 Club on Boat Deck – called, appropriately, the 736 Sportsman Club. The famous Sportsman Club of London was responsible for running the facility.

Cunard’s new owners Trafalgar House were determined to maximise the profits from QE2 and while plans for additional accommodation and shops were being drawn up a Casino was included in the major 1972 rebuilding of QE2. Not only was a new Casino to be built to increase revenue but a new Casino had to be built as the 736 Club was to be transformed into the Queens Grill in that refit so a new location had to be found and therefore the beautiful Library and Port Foyer midships on Upper Deck was demolished and a new Casino built in the space.

The Casino featured its own bar and offered roulette, blackjack and other table games.
« Last Edit: Apr 16, 2018, 09:09 PM by Rob Lightbody »

Online CasinoChris

Re: Casino
« Reply #14 on: Apr 15, 2018, 01:58 PM »
Although it was a shame to lose the Upper deck library I must say that it was a great location for the Casino due to the thru traffic between the Grand lounge and the restaurant. A lot of ships I worked on had Casinos tucked out of the way as if the cruise line did not really want them! The US customs relaxed over the years, when I was first on the QE2 in 1988 we had flexible screens that would close off the area when not in use.
These were removed during the 1990 refit.

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Casino
« Reply #15 on: Apr 15, 2018, 02:21 PM »

All Text copyright © the author and The QE2 Story - not to be reused without permission


The 1990 Refit:

The Players Club Casino on Upper Deck underwent a dramatic transformation and improvement programme. Graham Fahye undertook a great deal of research over a 12 month period before the new design was finalised.

The existing area was enlarged by extending the Casino into the Photo Display Area (which was relocated next to the Theatre Bar). The new design incorporated a 1930s sty taking the Queen Mary as inspiration. Lighter colours using burl wood vaneer (a natural timber which was both sympathetic to the eye and created a sense of tradition) and a carpet with a rug-like affect were introduced. More gaming tables were added and the exiting tables were re-arranged to improve passenger flow and provide privacy for players with the gaming tables located in a new enclosed area while the main room and walkway was largely given over to slot machines.

The existing sit-up bar was removed and replaced with a new Cashier’s Office which was built in this space.

A focal point – a real feature – needed to be created so the designers commissioned a reproduction in etched glass panels of the North Atlantic map that hung in the Queen Mary’s First-Class Dining Room. Additionally, two specially commissioned paintings, showing Queen Mary’s Observation Bar and First-Class Dining Room, were hung.

The promenade area known as the Hideaway Bar between the Casino and the Mauretania Restaurant, located between the Casino and port entrance to the Mauretania Restaurant, was also redecorated along the lines of the Casino anbd made much more comfortable as a result with new sofas, chairs and tables and lamps created an intimate atmosphere.
« Last Edit: Apr 16, 2018, 09:09 PM by Rob Lightbody »

Online CasinoChris

Re: Casino
« Reply #16 on: Apr 16, 2018, 12:29 PM »
I remember meeting Mr Fahye a couple of times, really nice fella, very interested in older ship decor. He spent quite a bit of time on the Queen Mary in Long Beach to gather ideas for the refit. He personally painted the art deco embellishments using gold paint and stencils that were on the upper parts of the walls.
Graham also redesigned the Sagafjord Casino, he somehow managed to turn up at the refit in San Francisco in a London cab!!!!
The Map on the glass screens that divided the Tables from the machines was very nice, but was ruined by the fact that you could see the backs of the machines through it. Another big mistake from that refit was the slot machine room in the club lido, was forever having to chase kids out of there!!!
As seen in the photo below the slot machine bases were not that strong, this occurred on the first sailing from Southampton after the refit!!!!

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: QE2's Casino
« Reply #17 on: Apr 17, 2018, 03:13 PM »
I liked very much what Graham Fahye wanted to do (and did) with the interiors - he handled the 1990 and 1992 refits and brought a heritage style to the areas he looked after such as the Casino and new carpeting. I had heard he spent time on Queen Mary to understand what ocean liners should look like. Fahye proposed in 1990 to open up the Midships Bar but Cunard rejected his plan - only for the company to open the room up and create the Chart Room in 1994.

His big jobs in 1990 were the Casino and new Princess Grill II and in 1992 the remodelling of the shops giving us the look and layout the shops had until the end of QE2 service.

Online CasinoChris

Re: QE2's Casino
« Reply #18 on: Apr 18, 2018, 12:30 PM »
I'm curious as to Graham Fahye was involved in interior design work on QM2 etc???

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: QE2's Casino
« Reply #19 on: Apr 18, 2018, 12:47 PM »
No he wasn't which is a shame. He was the main contender to undertake the design works for the big 1994 refit but the then (new) Chairman brought in his mate (Alex McCuaig) at MET Studio. I think MET did an amazing job but it would have been interesting to see what Graham Fahye would have achieved in 1994.