QE2 Story Forum

The QE2's Story (in-service) => The QE2 herself => Officers & Crew Areas => Topic started by: Cruise_Princess on Aug 24, 2010, 07:58 PM

Title: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Cruise_Princess on Aug 24, 2010, 07:58 PM
How about the crew accommodations......?  Or would that be too much of a culture shock for us QE2 passengers?  Would be interesting to see what our boys and girls had to put up with .. a vast difference from what the passengers got that's for sure.....and their other places around their QE2 world ....Pig n whistle...... focisle club ...crew galleys etc etc.....I'm sure a lot of the forum geeks would like to see that too,.....
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Beardy Rich on Aug 24, 2010, 10:11 PM
The crew accommodation was 'adequate'. Some cabins were 4 berth with 2 bunkbeds, some were 2 berth, again, with bunks and other cabins were single berth accommodation. I had the dubious pleasure of being allocated in all three types.
The single cabin I had on 6-deck also featured a 'day bed' and writing desk/bureau (with a sea view).
I seem to remember the bulkheads being made of a formica type of material, carpets were usually off-cuts acquired from the carpet fitters, though I once found a lovely piece of carpet amongst some rubbish on 2-deck aft which I hastily rescued before it was jetissoned overboard.

Probably a lot better than on previous Queens, but very very basic indeed.
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Twynkle on Oct 05, 2010, 05:48 PM
Rosie, the old carpets used to be dumped. Any offcuts of carpet found in crew's cabins was purely coincidental ;)
The system of crew cabin allocation was that, basically, new recruits (except those starting a more senior position) shared a 4-berth and it was unlikely that you'd get the same cabin back after crew leave. Most crew didn't bother to re-carpet these cabins. As you 'progressed up the ladder', it became more likely that you'd either get a 2-berth to share or a single berth to yourself (P. O's for example). Lots of these cabins were carpeted with... ahem... offcuts. Depending on your job/position onboard, it was likely that you'd return to 'your' cabin after any crew leave, so making it much more desirable to furnish it tastefully. One of the plumbers cabins on 6 - deck was all green... carpet, chair, counterpane/bedspread.

The main problem was with working boots getting so dirty and greasy. I used to keep my boots inside the cabin on a piece of cardboard but, inevitably, after a while, carpets did become grimy. I never left my work boots outside in case they went 'walkies' on their own :o


Beardy Rich, it sounds exactly like boarding school! lol

How old were the youngest crew members -
would it be the first time away from home for many? 
Home being often in a faraway place, a 7 day week for months,
and thinking here about the double hit of possible 'home-sickness' as well as 'sea-sickness', together with a lack of privacy to deal with...
All in all, it could have been very tough life -
specially, for those who went to the S Altlantic in 1982
Apart from the Pig and Whistle, and sleeping - was there much else to do in 'time off'?

(Hope it's OK to bring this post over here?)
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Beardy Rich on Oct 05, 2010, 08:13 PM
Yes Rosie, a good idea to transfer the post to this part of the forum.

I'd guess the youngest crew members would have been in their late teens/early twenties. I was 25 when I joined the ship. I think it would have been the first time away from home for many of the new recruits, myself included, though for some of the 'old hands' who'd previously worked on the other Queens, it wasn't just a job, more a way of life and some had spent many years away at sea. Incidently, the personnel manager at Cunard in South Western House was a guy called............... wait for it.............. John Brown (I kid you not).

I certainly felt homesick at times, I think most of us did at some point, though we couldn't do anything about it.
One of the things we all used to look forward to was to receive our mail when in port. I suppose it's easier now with the internet/emails etc.
I never once saw any crew member be sick as a result of the motion of the ship, too much beer.... yes!!!

I believe Cunard asked for a volunteer crew to man the ship for the trip down to the Falklands, a family friend went and after he returned, showed us his medal with pride.

Things to do onboard.... there was a nightclub called 'Castaways', but this only really appealed to certain members of the crew. Some of us had TV/video in our cabins. My best mate had a TV and video set up so some of us used to call round at his for a few beers and watch something. There was also a crew cinema but I only ever went once and saw 'Splash'.
I did a bit of Karate in the gym, after finding that one of the Asst Mech's had been an instructor with someone I used to train with when I was in my teens, that was quite fun for a time. At other times, it was sometimes nice to go aft and nip outside on 2-deck for a bit of fresh air. On the cruises especially, there would sometimes be crew parties there too.
On the first cruise I ever did, up to the North Cape and the Norwegian Fjords, one of the guys got some fishing gear out and I heard later that he's hauled up a 23lb cod which I believe was cooked by some of the Chinese crew. I bet it tasted good too!   

Forget to mention there was also the P. O's Club, which was really just another 'Pig'. Lots of crew used to enjoy listening to music too, as the Sony Walkman had recently come out.
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Oct 05, 2010, 09:49 PM
Fascinating information, Rich.

And as regards fishing off QE2, we have a thread about it!

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,505.0.html

and a link to a lovely photo (incidentally showing her starboard stern anchor...).
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Pat Curry on Oct 06, 2010, 07:57 PM
.

I never once saw any crew member be sick as a result of the motion of the ship, too much beer.... yes!!!  

They must have got weaker by the time I guest cheffed on the ship.  Dominique and I got our sea legs after a cruise or two.  Two things I remember.  In the galleys one day the ship was in full pitch roll and yaw motion in a force whatever.  Remeber that pause then an almighty crash as the ship weathered the storms.  We had plenty of that.  Tons of crockery was smashing onto the galley floor from the washup.
Most of the passengers absented themselves for the restaurants.  But I asked Exec Chef Karl Winkler how he coped with the cooking.  He said something like "it's in proportion.  If 60% of the passengers are being seasick, so are 60% of galley crew and waiting staff."

https://www.theqe2story.com/Users/patchapman/Pictures/iPhoto Library/2008/10/26/IMG_0588.JPG (https://www.theqe2story.com/Users/patchapman/Pictures/iPhoto Library/2008/10/26/IMG_0588.JPG)

The pic is of me with Karl Winkler in the corridor linking production galley with the soup area and pot wash.

On another occasion Dom and I did a demo in the Wardroom at the request of the officers.  The only sloty we had was mid Bay of Biscay.  And you know what happened.  Yes it was heavingly bad weather and the wardroom is high up and forward so every move is exaggerated.  To cut a long story short, we did the demo to about 40 officers.  But bit by bit the weeds rushed away top be sick.  (mostly hotel officers and sadly and far from being sexist, mostly young female!  We finished the demo, and the few remaining enjoyed the tasting.

.Forget to mention there was also the P. O's Club, which was really just another 'Pig'. Lots of crew used to enjoy listening to music too, as the Sony Walkman had recently come out.

Yes forward on 2 deck. It became the F'o'c's'le Club for paying members only.  We became honourary members with the number CK1 and CK2 (Curry King) after we had cooked a curry party there for 100 members.  Jimmy Saville was the only other honourary member. Normally you had to have served for min 5 years on board to be eligible for membership.  In the last years it was appropriated by the management and became just another crew bar to the disgust of its members who had invested thousands of dollars of profits on giant TVs, games m/cs etc.  So it once again became just another 'pig'.  
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Pat Curry on Oct 06, 2010, 08:02 PM
Help Rob.  Why does my pic not work in previous post?  (https://www.theqe2story.com/Users/patchapman/Pictures/iPhoto Library/2008/10/26/IMG_0588.JPG)
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Oct 06, 2010, 10:50 PM
Help Rob.  Why does my pic not work in previous post?  (https://www.theqe2story.com/Users/patchapman/Pictures/iPhoto Library/2008/10/26/IMG_0588.JPG)

Hi Pat, I have been trying to find out too! Where is your picture?Is it in the Forum Gallery? Could you describe where it is?

I have brought out the link in your posting above, but that takes me to an error page. I am sure that we are very close to the solution... and we shall find it!
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Louis De Sousa on Jan 24, 2011, 06:19 AM
Quote
How old were the youngest crew members -
would it be the first time away from home for many?
 

When i joined the ship in 1990 i had just turned 19, when the ship left for New York that day i was the youngest crew member onboard.

Louis
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Rod on Jul 24, 2011, 09:45 PM
Dont forget, that on the original Queens that the QE 2 replaced. Alot of the crew worked on the "hotbunk" system. 24 beds to a room 4 sinks. To explain. 3 people shared the same bed. Average of 1 toilet for 40 people! That was in the 60's Though the ships were designe in the 30's.
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: riskygizmo on Feb 08, 2013, 11:53 AM
Quotes from Graham Taylor:
Quote
Going widely off topic, but what the hell. If  I had been part of V Ships then if it had been a choice of sleeping in the Penthouses or the Officers' Accommodation then I would have pumped for the latter any day. I still miss my old cabin on Boat Deck port side between the Mess and the Radio Room.

Quote
Officers' cabins had a 4ft double bunk (for when wives travelled) and a day bed/sofa positioned at right angles to the bunk for those times of heavy seas;

As I remember them, the Officers' Cabins were a model of ergonomic design. My very first berth onboard was in the Cadets Cabin at the forward end of the Engineers' accom, starboard side on Sun Deck. My brothers and I were possibly the first occupants since Messrs Fair and Chillingworth got their first stripe ;D

It was the same size as the other cabins, but without the en-suite facilities. We had a wash hand basin, the loos and showers were across the passageway in a little washroom. It also differed in having a pair of single sized "under and over" bunk beds rather than the small double raised cabin bed in the other cabins.
I, being the eldest, got the top bunk, Stuart the lower bunk and young Colin had a "shake down" on the day bed.
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: riskygizmo on Feb 08, 2013, 02:21 PM
My dad actually "fitted out" a cabin for me at home. Up in the attic of our house was what I guess was originally the "Tweenie's" room, lined in tounge and groove pine boards. Over the course of several leaves he built a fitted wardrobe, chest of drawers, bookshelves and desk. He fashioned a raised cabin bed with stowage below. He even put in a day bed "athwartships" in case of storms ;D

It was the envy of my pals and of my little brothers. Indeed, our Colin, having been promised it next, started to move in before I had actually left ::)
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Twynkle on Feb 08, 2013, 03:29 PM
Ab
My dad actually "fitted out" a cabin for me at home. Up in the attic of our house was what I guess was originally the "Tweenie's" room, lined in tounge and groove pine boards. Over the course of several leaves he built a fitted wardrobe, chest of drawers, bookshelves and desk. He fashioned a raised cabin bed with stowage below. He even put in a day bed "athwartships" in case of storms ;D

It was the envy of my pals and of my little brothers. Indeed, our Colin, having been promised it next, started to move in before I had actually left ::)

Absolutely Brilliant - any pics?
R
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Louis De Sousa on Aug 17, 2017, 11:27 AM
This is Me in crew cabin 404.Located on 4 Deck Forward Portside just underneath the Pig and Whistle.ive
Lived here on and off for about 4 years in total.
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Trevor Casey on Aug 17, 2017, 11:50 AM
This is Me in crew cabin 404.Located on 4 Deck Forward Staboardside just underneath the Pig and Whistle.ive
Lived here on and off for about 4 years in total.

Double Room table!
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Louis De Sousa on Aug 17, 2017, 12:02 PM
Double Room table!

A lot of those old furnitures ended up in crew areas.
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Aug 17, 2017, 12:38 PM
Double Room table!

Trevor, you are so knowledgeable! Well spotted :) .

Louis, were you able to sleep under the Pig & Whistle?
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Louis De Sousa on Aug 18, 2017, 07:42 AM


Louis, were you able to sleep under the Pig & Whistle?

When the Pig & Whistle was open no one slept,you know what I mean
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Trevor Casey on Aug 18, 2017, 12:28 PM
A lot of those old furnitures ended up in crew areas.
Glad to know that they were still used and not sold off or trashed.
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: John D Hobley FinstR on Jan 16, 2018, 05:07 PM
Hi All. I have just been searching around the web site and noticed these posts.
I have recently posted some details in the newcomers section about how I joined the QE2 with a few pics as well.
As this post is about crew age and what were cabins like, I thought I would advise on my own experience.
I joined the QE2 at 16 yrs old flying out to join her from Gatwick to New York on a Cunard Charted crew plane.
I was to join the QE2 engineering department after initial training from the Prince of Wales Sea Training School in Dover in 1970. This sea school was run on a military style basis and a great grounding for young men going to sea at such a young age. Sadly the school is now closed but has a web site much like this to maintain its time in history under www.pwsts.co.uk.
When I joined on my first trip out of New York the Chief Engineer placed me in a cabin with a young deck hand of same age. I was taken on as Engine Room Boy and was 16 years of age when I joined only turning 17 when we returned to Southampton some months later.
After my first couple of trips out fo NY around the Caribbean I was told I would be given my own cabin which was something special at such a young age. However, due to the fact I was the only Engine Room Boy I guess I had to be placed in a cabin of my own. So, as it turned out all my sea time I always had a cabin of my own on the QE2 as this was the only ship I served on. As you progressed having a cabin of your own was part of what you where able to have in those days of the early 70's.
I have posted a few more snippets of information including some further pics on the site if anyone interested in checking them out but have included a couple here including one of me in my cabin reading mail ( ''air mail''..lol.) from home. Enjoy.! PS Does anyone remember the 'Flash Club' I can't for the life of me but I was it seems a paid up member..lol
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Tony on Jan 18, 2018, 05:25 AM
I had an old pax cabin on 5 deck forward. 5525 i think. Single room with en suite, had some good times in there
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Oct 31, 2018, 05:51 PM
Excellent topic giving us an insight into the Crew accommodation and other crew areas.  Have a read from the first post https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php?topic=2303.msg25389#msg25389 and share your memories of the crew areas. 

Beardy Rich gave an interesting response to Twynkle's questions  (https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php?topic=2303.msg27642#msg27642)

Quote
I'd guess the youngest crew members would have been in their late teens/early twenties. I was 25 when I joined the ship. I think it would have been the first time away from home for many of the new recruits, myself included, though for some of the 'old hands' who'd previously worked on the other Queens, it wasn't just a job, more a way of life and some had spent many years away at sea. Incidently, the personnel manager at Cunard in South Western House was a guy called............... wait for it.............. John Brown (I kid you not).

I certainly felt homesick at times, I think most of us did at some point, though we couldn't do anything about it.
One of the things we all used to look forward to was to receive our mail when in port. I suppose it's easier now with the internet/emails etc.
I never once saw any crew member be sick as a result of the motion of the ship, too much beer.... yes!!!

I believe Cunard asked for a volunteer crew to man the ship for the trip down to the Falklands, a family friend went and after he returned, showed us his medal with pride.

Things to do onboard.... there was a nightclub called 'Castaways', but this only really appealed to certain members of the crew. Some of us had TV/video in our cabins. My best mate had a TV and video set up so some of us used to call round at his for a few beers and watch something. There was also a crew cinema but I only ever went once and saw 'Splash'.
I did a bit of Karate in the gym, after finding that one of the Asst Mech's had been an instructor with someone I used to train with when I was in my teens, that was quite fun for a time. At other times, it was sometimes nice to go aft and nip outside on 2-deck for a bit of fresh air. On the cruises especially, there would sometimes be crew parties there too.
On the first cruise I ever did, up to the North Cape and the Norwegian Fjords, one of the guys got some fishing gear out and I heard later that he's hauled up a 23lb cod which I believe was cooked by some of the Chinese crew. I bet it tasted good too!   

Forget to mention there was also the P. O's Club, which was really just another 'Pig'. Lots of crew used to enjoy listening to music too, as the Sony Walkman had recently come out.


Have a look at the crew areas pictures in the Gallery (https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=19) Do you have any pictures that you could add?
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: skilly56 on Nov 01, 2018, 03:42 AM
Nope! Wasn't me!

Skilly
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Louis De Sousa on Nov 01, 2018, 05:54 AM
Looking back the crew areas was no luxury but I would go back to do it all again
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Nov 01, 2018, 08:20 AM
Nope! Wasn't me!

Skilly

Sorry Skilly.  Do’nt know how I managed to get the wrong name. It was Beardy Rich who had answered the questions.
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Nov 03, 2018, 10:56 AM
Looking back the crew areas was no luxury but I would go back to do it all again

The accommodation does look a bit sparse for the crew, in comparison to the passenger areas.  But any time I have spoken to ex QE2 crew on Cunard ships, they say that there was a lot of friendship on QE2 and they say they miss the ship.   
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Andy Holloway on Nov 03, 2018, 12:59 PM
The Security Officer's cabin on QE2 was a mix of 'opulence' and basic.

It had originally been the Social Hostesses cabin and was designed for her to store all her ball gowns with their multiple underskirts, or whatever you ladies called them.
As such it had two huge wardrobes, more than enough for a mere man!

Then just prior to me joining in 2000 the incumbents had the cabin slightly changed in that they organised an upgrade to the bunk bed, from a single to a 3/4 double, but still with 4 huge double size drawers. In addition, this created another large storage area - ideal for my opposite numbers golf clubs - under the back of the bed!
To further enhance our already massive storage capacity, we also 'commandeered' a redundant cleaning locker next to the cabin door in the corridor outside. This we used to store the uniforms of the 'on leave' Security Officer to save carting suitcases of uniforms home, and back again, for no reason.
One dry dock, 'we' decided that the cabin needed an upgrade, so as i was on board at the time it was left to me to complete. Being friendly with the Bremmerhaven shipyard and some of the sub contractors, i was able to get the cabin painted, the lighting replaced for more 'romantic' style and a new carpet. It was actually a 'continuation' of the carpet that was being laid on the 1 Deck corridor!!

Some of the crew cabins i visited during a mixture of crew cabin rounds and Security related visits, showed just how 'house proud' some crew members were. Staying within the fire regulations a lot of crew members were incredibly imaginative in their style of decoration, after all for them it was their home for anything up to a year, so why not make it as comfortable as possible.
As was always said in the British military; 'Any fool can be uncomfortable'!

 
Title: Re: Crew Accommodations and other areas
Post by: Vincent Scriven on Feb 23, 2021, 02:00 PM
Story has it; The crew Accommodations by the Doby Arms was The Cooks Cabins , but the Vibration was bad, so the Cooks moved further up the Alleyway The Doby Arms was a small bar ,was a laundry, The Gloryhole looked after are rooms and the Hand Bag was placed up from the Deck Head for Crew Appreciation Ha any pics, but who carried a Camera around with them sneaking a quick bevvy
This was before MBP :)