Author Topic: The Penthouse and Queen's Grill Experience  (Read 9654 times)

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Offline George C Griffiths

The Penthouse and Queen's Grill Experience
« on: Jan 29, 2014, 06:08 PM »
Since the year 1999 I sailed on QE2 every year thereafter – sometimes more than once per year.
Prior to that I had never cruised in my life – as, despite my early (limited) involvement in the build of QE2, it had never appealed to me.
So my first booking was made in the Mauretania grade – in stateroom (cabin or rabbit hutch?) number 3045 or 3047 (can't remember which) down in the bowels of the ship.
I dined alone – at a table for two.
But – I liked it – and became hooked!
My formal attire at that time was rented from the on-board shop as I had none of my own.
But after that first fantastic experience I bought the full set of formal bits and pieces myself.

I think the whole experience was enhanced not only by what QE2 had to offer but the fact that I had flown from Prestwick Airport (Scotland) to New York City on Concorde to join QE2 – as well as spending a couple of nights in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan

Then I decided that cruising was for me – so I "lit the blue touch paper"!
That said – it was only and ever to be QE2 for me and at no time did I ever consider another cruise line.
The more I sailed on QE2 the more it appealed to me – so I very quickly started to "upgrade" myself – eventually dining in Queens Grill and staying in Penthouse Staterooms during my last 4 or 5 cruises.
My family then started to sail with me after I gave such glowing reports about QE2.

At this point I'd like to explain a little about my domestic situation.
My wife and I booked QE2 to sail in the year 1982.
She was then an Art Teacher at a school in Clydebank.
But of course the Falklands War kicked off and QE2 was requisitioned by the Government.
We were offered a full refund or to book at another time when QE2 was returned to Cunard.
We opted for the former as our available time was governed by school holidays.
In the year 1986 my wife was diagnosed with MS – and her condition worsened dramatically and quickly.
Then in the year 1998 I was forced to retire to become a full-time carer for my wife as the local authorities were not providing adequate care for her at home.
So we were no longer able to travel anywhere together – and our joint holidays stopped.
This why, in 1999, I sailed alone.
The "family" to which I refer above comprises my sister, her husband and their daughter.
I am still a full-time carer for my wife.

Now I've set the scene – I'll continue.

Staying in the Penthouse was a marvellous experience.
During the first few voyages on QE2 we never really knew it existed – or where it was – since it didn't matter to us at that time.
Yes – we knew, and had passed, the Queens Grill Lounge – but never ventured in as a sign said it was for Queens Grill guests only.
But on another cruise our Sommelier (friend) invited us into the Queens Grill Lounge for afternoon tea.
It was only then that we saw the stairs leading up to the accommodation.
This explained why we had little clue about the Penthouse or from where it was accessible.

When we first stayed in a Penthouse Stateroom we thought it was marvellous.
Having said that – by today's standards (on the remaining 3 Queens) it was certainly better than normal accommodation on the QE2 – but no more than "adequate" considering what we paid.
But we realised and accepted that QE2 was an "old" vessel and that the Penthouse area was an add-on.
We soon found that we were retreating to the Queens Grill Lounge or our own balcony more and more often – so much so that we started to describe it as our "bolt-hole".
It was certainly a very quiet and relaxing area.

Having our own Butler and being able to host private parties (with all food supplied) was a bonus – and we entertained often.
I became friendly with many of the "acts" on board – and would often invite them to our Stateroom.
They always and readily accepted our invitations as it got them away from the other public areas where they would get pestered (their words – not mine!) by those guests who expected them to be always on duty and give impromptu performances!

In fact it was through meeting one of the entertainers (a comedian from Liverpool) that I have had a new hobby for the past 5 years or so – World War 2!
This comedian also delivered a lecture (in the theatre) on the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague in 1942.
I was riveted!
We became close and when he was in my Penthouse Stateroom he would show me, on his Laptop, much more material from WW2 on which he was either working or interested.
To cut a long story short – I and a small group of like minded friends (non-QE2 people) have been regularly travelling to various countries in Europe to visit locations associated with WW2, continue to do do to this day and am currently planning more "invasions" of Europe in the future.
So – that is another reason for my being grateful to QE2!

Now on to the good stuff – the photographs and clips.

I have also included some material from the Queens Grill in this post.

Below are links to various clips I shot in or from the Penthouse area and in the Queens Grill.
The Suckling Pig shown in the last two clips was provided by one of the Oldroyd twins – who asked me if I would like anything special. I have always loved Suckling Pig and asked for that. He said he'd check – which he did – and confirmed he had some on board – but it would not be ready for 2 days.
It was worth the wait – and so large that we offered it around to various guests at nearby tables in the Queens Grill – who all readily accepted it!

The corner of the Queens Grill in which we dined was referred to by our Waiting Staff as the "naughty corner" – the reason being that we had so much fun in that area and involved them in this – which they appreciated.
Other guests referred to the corner as "Scotch Corner" since we had other Scottish people at adjacent tables.
Possibly they wanted us all grouped together so they could keep an eye on us!
Whatever the reason – we shared many good times there – always requesting the same table at the time of each subsequent booking.

THE STILLS WILL BE POSTED ANOTHER DAY!

A PENTHOUSE ALLEYWAY ON QE2


ALONG THE PENTHOUSE ALLEYWAYS ON QE2


VIEW FROM A PENTHOUSE SUITE ON QE2



(If you happen to be an animal lover – or are squeamish – or are of a nervous disposition - then "look away now" – as they say!)


SUCKLING PIG IN THE QUEENS GRILL ON QE2 (1)


SUCKLING PIG IN THE QUEENS GRILL ON QE2 (2)

















« Last Edit: Feb 23, 2014, 07:49 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Offline George C Griffiths

THE PENTHOUSE AND QUEENS GRILL EXPERIENCE - MORE..........
« Reply #1 on: Jan 29, 2014, 10:33 PM »
Below are 4 more clips taken from my Penthouse Stateroom - showing activities and a view it is otherwise difficult to see.






Offline George C Griffiths

Re: THE PENTHOUSE AND QUEENS GRILL EXPERIENCE - AND FINALLY!
« Reply #2 on: Jan 29, 2014, 10:47 PM »
This is the interior of a Penthouse Suite.


Offline Jane Crosthwaite

Re: THE PENTHOUSE AND QUEENS GRILL EXPERIENCE
« Reply #3 on: Jan 30, 2014, 08:56 AM »
My last trip on QE2 was in 1983 as my father retired after that so no more trips!  Fascinating to read your post and do wish I had been able to experience life on board QE2 more recently.  On another note, my mum had MS (she was diagnosed at 21 long before I was born) and when my dad retired from Cunard, like you he became her full time carer. 

Dad joined Cunard in 1943(?) and served on Queen Mary during the war and also a liberty ship called Samouse.  I note your interest in WW2 and perhaps you can clarify if Samouse was operated by Cunard?  I am wondering because not aware he 'left' Cunard and came back again after the war.

Best wishes, Jane

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: THE PENTHOUSE AND QUEENS GRILL EXPERIENCE
« Reply #4 on: Jan 30, 2014, 09:40 AM »
Hi George,

Great write-up, photos and videos, really enjoying sharing your QE2 stories with you!

I did laugh, though, when i read you refer to 3-deck as the 'bowels of the ship' though!  We travelled in 3093 and it was a lovely Grills cabin and of course the majority of people on board the ship (passengers and crew) were below 3-deck!
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

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Re: THE PENTHOUSE AND QUEENS GRILL EXPERIENCE
« Reply #5 on: Jan 30, 2014, 11:47 AM »
George, did you ever wander down to have a look at 5 deck?  :)
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline George C Griffiths

Re: THE PENTHOUSE AND QUEENS GRILL EXPERIENCE
« Reply #6 on: Jan 30, 2014, 01:28 PM »
Hi Rob - and Peter,

When I used the term "bowels of the ship" my tongue was in my cheek!

I only used it as, compared to the "dizzy heights" of the Penthouse accommodation, it IS the bowels of the ship. (Tongue in cheek again).

And....yes - I visited every deck on the ship - both during my time when sailing on QE2 and on the day at Greenock on 5 October 2008 when I was permitted "access all areas" as a visitor.


Offline George C Griffiths

Re: THE PENTHOUSE AND QUEENS GRILL EXPERIENCE
« Reply #7 on: Jan 30, 2014, 01:38 PM »
Hi Jane,

My interest in WW2 is mainly concerned with what happened on land - not at sea.
Our group visits locations and homes, buildings and sites associated with Naziism mainly.
So I knew nothing of the Samouse.
However - I Googled it for you - and eventually found what is shown in the Screenshot I made for you - below.
I hope it answers your question - even to some extent.
At the very least it will tell you its history and what happened to it.

Offline Jane Crosthwaite

Re: THE PENTHOUSE AND QUEENS GRILL EXPERIENCE
« Reply #8 on: Jan 30, 2014, 03:16 PM »
Thank you George, very kind of you to post the information about Samouse.  I did a google search but could not find anything that linked the ship at that time to Cunard.  Makes more sense now.

Offline George C Griffiths

Re: THE PENTHOUSE AND QUEENS GRILL EXPERIENCE
« Reply #9 on: Jan 30, 2014, 03:19 PM »
Hi Jane - you are very welcome.
In addition to being a WW2 person - I am also a "Computer Person" - so if you need any more done in connection with the Internet or Computing - please ask.

Offline Helen Brocklesby

Re: THE PENTHOUSE AND QUEENS GRILL EXPERIENCE
« Reply #10 on: Jan 30, 2014, 07:12 PM »
Hi George,  your first cabin would have been 3047 as 3045 was a outside double cabin. Whereas 3047 was an inside single. I should know as that used to be one of the sections I worked on.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk

Helen Brocklesby
ASM Admin

Offline George C Griffiths

Re: THE PENTHOUSE AND QUEENS GRILL EXPERIENCE
« Reply #11 on: Jan 30, 2014, 11:32 PM »
Hi Helen - yes - of course you will be correct.
That was our first meeting - and I still remember your pony-tail swinging left and right as you walked the alleyways!
I also remember you opening secret doors and feeding me with (illicit) Pol Acker - Hmmmmmmmmmmm - shall I approve???
Happy days indeed.

Offline Helen Brocklesby

Re: THE PENTHOUSE AND QUEENS GRILL EXPERIENCE
« Reply #12 on: Jan 30, 2014, 11:37 PM »
Very happy days, Always plenty of Pol Acker left over to share with good friends! You were also had cabin 3017 as another regular cabin on your many travels.......
Helen Brocklesby
ASM Admin

Offline George C Griffiths

Re: THE PENTHOUSE AND QUEENS GRILL EXPERIENCE
« Reply #13 on: Jan 31, 2014, 08:18 AM »
Hi Helen - what a great memory you have!
RESPECT!!!!

Offline June Ingram

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Re: THE PENTHOUSE AND QUEENS GRILL EXPERIENCE
« Reply #14 on: Jan 31, 2014, 05:47 PM »
Hi George -

Thank you very much for the marvelous videos and commentary.  It is so informative and a pleasure to see our QE2 in happy use !  Keep posting with many thanks !  June
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

 

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