Author Topic: Farewell voyage events & happenings  (Read 8935 times)

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Online cunardqueen

Farewell voyage events & happenings
« on: Apr 21, 2010, 08:28 PM »
I wonder who switched off the other one?
What does surprise me,and forgive me, But there appeared to be a distinct lack of farewell events on this voyage. Was the whole voyage quiet a low key affair in terms of This is the end of QE2 with Cunard, Or perhaps were they quite glad to see her go?
 The finished with engines, Was it fair to auction this event off? Why couldnt they have given the task to a noteworty member of the crew or at least made an announcement that shortly the stop engine order will be given and this will signal the end of her time as a cunarder and really made a show of it, l mean lets face it at the time what was proposed was horrendous.

What could have been done do you think to make the voyage more of a fitting end? l know its hindsight and all that.

I always said l would like to be on her last voyage, Granted l made it on the round UK and both crossings, it would have been quite nice to say goodbye to her at the end. While l do regret not being able to do the Final voyage, the prices were pushed up which made it a clear choice stay with what l had or risk it all and maybe lose out on everything. I do think the round UK trip out of them all did leave everybody suitably  impressed with the farewells and the efforts the various ports put on.  

Was the 11th a bit rushed? again its hindsight and all that but couldnt they have auctioned off or had organised a lunch/raffle for say a couple of hundred of passengers at say £100 a go or more! that would have been a great donation. Some of us paid £100 for  a lunch on QM2 for the princess trust, and nice though it was, how many more would have clambered at the chance of a last lunch on QE2 for those that didnt make the last voyage?
Ok with the visit by the Duke of Edinburgh that might have complicated things but could they have extended the departure to say 10pm. I seem to remember hearing an announcement that the restaurants were serving dinner from 5.30pm..and just so soon after afternoon tea.
 While a daylight departure would have been nice it wasnt possible in Mid November. Then again would it have been practical  to have her sailing off at noon the next day? Its just that doesnt the whole thing seem to have been a bit rushed perhaps?
Anyway only my rambling thoughts......  whats your thoughts.. anyone?
« Last Edit: Jan 28, 2012, 09:32 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

RmsAquitania

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Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #1 on: Apr 21, 2010, 11:48 PM »
Well, I thought the Cunard fireworks that were let off as she passed the QE2 terminal for the last time after Southamptons fantastic display at Mayflower park were pathetic and really an insult to the ship.I think Cunard/carnival could have made it a bit more memorable.

Cruise_Princess

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Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #2 on: Apr 22, 2010, 10:51 AM »
It was just a case of Cunard making as much money as they could out of the final voyage then just sailing the ship as bog standard as they possibly could.

She should have gone empty to Dubai after doing the final UK  farewell ....would have been much better  I think....The amount of money we all paid for the final voyage to be so special just didn't happen.....and that was down to Cunard . and I cannot really forgive them for that,,,.so many passengers felt the same way. the port arrivals and departures were non events ...and in particular Alexandria the final port call ever for this magnificent ship...no sailaway party whatsoever out on deck...only the port officials to see us off...a few folks out by the yacht club below us on deck linked arms and sang auld lang syne,

It was heartbreaking.

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #3 on: Apr 22, 2010, 06:33 PM »
Andy: Both firework displays were paid for by Cunard and both were by the same company.

Offline Twynkle

Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #4 on: Apr 22, 2010, 07:22 PM »
Well, I thought the Cunard fireworks that were let off as she passed the QE2 terminal for the last time after Southamptons fantastic display at Mayflower park were pathetic and really an insult to the ship.I think Cunard/carnival could have made it a bit more memorable.
Hello Andy,
Maybe we sailed passed the QE2 Terminal at a different time - What we saw seemed incredibly moving, there were less loud flashy fireworks, but they were beautiful, and seemed very sad - I guess this was a reflection on how everyone outside on the wall was feeling too. It was quiet, and QE2 gave them a big toot on her whistle, seemed as if she did it specially.
The fireworks for the Town were awesome - the ones for the Terminal staff seemed to be much more 'personal'.

Whether Cunard needed to have spent funds on fireworks is another matter - rather they had kept QE2, and not needed Fireworks for anyone!
Rosie
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #5 on: Apr 22, 2010, 07:33 PM »
Rosie hit the nail on the head. The Terminal fireworks were designed to do a different 'job'. They were meant to be a surprise f(after the main display) final farewell from the Terminal to its ship.

RmsAquitania

  • Guest
Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #6 on: Apr 22, 2010, 11:06 PM »
Now I understand, so thanks for that. For the last major ocean liner to be built by British Craftsmen, I still think QE2 deserved better than she got at the end, especially at most of her final ports of call enroute to Dubai. That aside when you think during the 20th century some of the biggest and greatest of all types of ships esp the ocean liners, its tragic that Britain as one of the oldest and most famous of seafareing nations, what have we preserved ? - more or less nothing apart from 3 or 4 warships etc. Sorry if i have wandered off topic again !

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #7 on: Apr 23, 2010, 07:26 AM »
She got more than any ship ever and will ever get. The Farewell Concert in Liverpool for one. A visit by HM The Queen. A Visit by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. Yes, perhaps a lot more could be done but her 'farewell' lasted six months. It was not down to Cunard to arrange things in the ports en route on the Final Voyage. And, as unbelievable as we find it, people in Civitavecchia felt different about QE2 than people in Southampton did.

Offline Twynkle

Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #8 on: Apr 23, 2010, 08:40 AM »
Soon to be ' Finished with Engines'

In August (2008) there was evidence of pending change for QE2 and her crew.
Didn't others notice this too?
People that we met, staff, crew and officers were waiting to hear whether or not there would be a 'next posting'.
The air was full of sadness, uncertainty, anxiety and other feelings to do with grief.
The sense of Finality was profound. For the crew et al it seemed as if it would become almost unbearable.
And yet the familiar  sense of professionalism remained.

So by Mid-late October and in November, it's difficult to imagine everyone getting through to the end -
It would be hard to think of any celebrations that would have been appropriate.
Wouldn't these have been well nigh impossible - both to initiate, generate, and to implement?
Guessing here - I bet the Bars were at their busiest - there must have been sorrows of great magnitude to drown.
I would have worn black - all the time, every single minute of it!!

(Flagship, are you able to tell us about Civitavecchia's response? Sounds as if the Italians might have been mistaking QE2 for the yet to be built qE!
They were kind to qV last year - letting Cunard change the days in Port - Rome on a Sunday, Florence on a Monday was the original 'very bad' plan - Museums being shut on Mondays.
I'm still wondering what it was that made the change of days happen ;) !!)


 
« Last Edit: Apr 23, 2010, 08:47 AM by Twynkle »
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #9 on: Apr 23, 2010, 09:09 AM »
Well - for a start it is illegal to blow your whistle there without authorities granting you the right to do so!

And as for the crew. yes, it was sad - a handful had been there since 1968! But the one thing that struck me throughout the whole period and the Final Voyage was the morale. Yes, there were a few exceptions but overall they did the ship and themselves PROUD. They were not going to let her or themselves down.

Offline Chris Frame

Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #10 on: Apr 23, 2010, 01:06 PM »
In February and September we were met by a proud crew who did QE2 proud.

Australia gave QE2 an unforgettable sendoff that I'll never forget.

Returning to QE2 in Sept, it almost felt normal... the Med ports didn't take much notice which helped us all forget that the end was near. I liked that, personally, as I was about to lose my ship and wanted to just forget about the forthcoming retirement.

Of course the lectures I gave were about the ship's life and a few times brought the audience to tears thinking of her retirement. Andy(s) and Linda will recall.

But in all I thought QE2's farewell season was one of her best years.

Online cunardqueen

Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #11 on: Apr 23, 2010, 04:11 PM »
Quote
Well - for a start it is illegal to blow your whistle there without authorities granting you the right to do so!

Gosh, you live and learn, Perhaps when she blew, it put the rest of them to shame :)
Correct me if lm wrong But when a ship sounds her whistle and gives a very short blast at the end, doesnt this mean thats enough and she wont blow again? or words to that effect...
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Cruise_Princess

  • Guest
Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #12 on: Apr 23, 2010, 06:43 PM »
I think Cunard would have been damned whatever they did........everyone has a different view....but I just think the final voyage could have been made a lot more special.
The only really special voyage ( apart from the UK farewell) we have sailed on  with Cunard was the QM2 Maiden...as we were advised on board that Cunard had PR all over the place at each port of call etc to ensure a big welcome and departures...after all this was their new flagship at zillions of dollars and they HAD to make everyone aware of it to SELL  it.......and QE2 was on the way out...we just felt Cunard were getting rid of her and anything would do on board....the excuse they gave was they didn't want it to be too sad for the passengers and not have a lot of sentimentality....but didnt they realise thats why we were all there... and paid the trillions of pounds for our ticket ..... yes, we did enjoy the final voyage as a voyage on the QE2...but not as her last ever sailing.....it just felt like any voyage taken previously on QE2....it just wasn't special....and a severe lack of entertainment that should have been in place on board afterall the big stars were always associated with this ship...and we got Des O'connor...for one night...the best they could do was the beatles tribute band,,,which yes ,the guys  are great but as well as on the uk cruise  it was not once but twice on the final ....being flown out to Dubai again after disembarking the ship in Malta.....it was terribly disappointing.  Cunard marketing are excellent at promotong their so called special voyages....special for who??? The QV maiden was also a big let down...much like any voyage anywhere on any ship...not the maiden voyage of a Cunard Queen....admittedly the first tandem with QE2 and QM2 was special...but the others since have lost a bit of their shine...as this will be a common place thing now at least once a year and being part of history etc with the 3 Queens in NY,,..( be lucky if you can see them)...with Brooklyn and Manhattan terminals being used.. Its basically just a gimmick to get you to part with your pounds.

I think we thought as many other passengers did on the final voyage that so much more should have happened on board and at the ports of call...personally we felt we shouldn't have sailed thru the med as it wasn't really QE2s most used ports of call ...would have been much better I think if we had gone round the horn via Capetown Mauritius and the Seychelles...more of a line voyage befitting QE2..and visiting these ports would have  perhaps felt more exotic and more special than a run thru the med. most folks at the ports thought no more of QE2 calling in than OASIS  of the seas or thomsons dream..seems .they are all the same to them...

Though I agree it was wonderful throughout her farewell season that she got the Royal visits and the UK farewell was outstanding...it truly was..... maybe .that SHOULD have been her final voyage,???

Cunard Queen I agree with you....the final voyage  all  seemed very rushed.....Cunard were not going to spend any money on a ship being sold at the end of the trip., but how much would it have cost to broadcast  3 words over the pa system on board  as we docked at Dubai...

finished with engines...

THAT would have gone a long way.....
.
 

RmsAquitania

  • Guest
Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #13 on: Apr 24, 2010, 12:56 AM »
I agree totally with Cruise Princess. The last 2 cruises we did on her back to back in October/November 2008, Cunard kind of led us to believe these final "calls" would be something big or special not on the wholesadpathetic whimpers that did not celebrate the final call of the worlds most famous ship and the last "true" Cunard  queen designed and built at John browns at Clydebank, not some foreign yard.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #14 on: Apr 25, 2010, 01:14 AM »
Sadly, I think that whatever Cunard did, we would still have been disappointed. We just did not want our favourite ship to go, and whatever was done was going to be either insufficient or wrong.

For instance, I regarded the fireworks in Southampton as an insult to QE2. Fireworks, for me, are for celebrations, and here, we were not celebrating but mourning... I shall never look at fireworks in the same way again... they will always have an element of bitterness attached to them. But as we read, other people found them great and uplifting at the time, and they made the parting a tiny bit easier.

I did like whatever efforts some of the ports made during final calls to show QE2 what a much loved visitor she had always been. A special edition of a local newspaper delivered to all cabins in Bar Harbor. The wonderful flotilla of escorting boats and ships on the Clyde. Bands and cannon salutes in various ports. All of them both celebrating and saying farewell. And the service in Liverpool must have been a real climax for those who were there. I also liked the special menus of the Dubai voyage, recalling various themes of QE2's life and times.

I do not really see why there should have been a special sailaway party in Alexandria. What was there to celebrate? I would certainly have felt unable to join in.

But then, I do remember a crew member, to whom we talked in September 2008. He thought that the only way that the voyage to Dubai could be bearable for him and his colleagues would be by having wild parties every night... basically to forget the terrible truth for a while each day...

Everyone reacts to pain and sorrow in a different way, and Cunard could only try to make this hard time a bit more bearable for as many people as possible. I am giving them the credit of believing that they tried to do so.

Online cunardqueen

Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #15 on: Apr 25, 2010, 01:15 PM »
Quote
And the service in Liverpool must have been a real climax for those who were there. I also liked the special menus of the Dubai voyage, recalling various themes of QE2's life and times.

I still havent forgiven Cunard for that service >:(, They might have at least prewarned us, I had no idea what to expect. But the setting of the Cathedral was alone stunning, the service was  a master piece of PR for dear old QE2 it was in every way a funeral. Spoken with heartfelt love and filed with glowing terms.
 When the Pennent was carried down, anyone who wasnt moved by then, well that just blew it. I sat and bubbled my way throughout it all. I would have paid the fare alone just to be there.

The Menus, My word Cunard really did excell on them. And all great pictures. The  two that really got me was the one showing the "Time to say Goodbye" with QE2 sailing away... and the iconic E2 logo!!
To go into the Mauretania for my very last Dinner on QE2 and see the menus on the table and to reflect on the fact that my 22 years of QE2 cruising, that this was for me the end. The guests were understanding and when l did go to bed, lm not ashamed to say l cried myself to sleep.It One of the rare times l wished l hadnt been single, but then probably if had been attached l would have told him to sod off or words to that effect..
 
   
Well how would you have coped seeing it everywhere !!!

 


And the Iconic E2





I personally think it was these small things that those mysterious folks in Public Relations pulled the stops out for and made the trips what is was. But l do wonder if they have any idea as to the effects on the poor passengers ;).  
« Last Edit: Apr 25, 2010, 01:25 PM by Cunardqueen »
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Chris Frame

Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #16 on: Apr 25, 2010, 01:56 PM »
How emotional. Time to say goodbye... I bet everyone was thinking "why"! When we were on QE2 in September 08 the overwhelming feeling was how is thisready to retire!?!?

Offline highlander0108

Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #17 on: Apr 25, 2010, 03:11 PM »
"Time to Say Goodbye" is forever burned into my memory as linked to QE2 and my final voyage onboard and that song brings me right back to the ship every time I hear it.  I had heard the song before the cathedral concert, but hearing the duet sung by the wonderfully talented performers that Michael picked was very emotional.

I do not fault Cunard one bit for the Farewell to the UK voyage.  Granted Belfast was not the best port, and Queensferry was similar, but honestly, the weather was the key ingredient there and Michael could not control that!

The thing is though, I am still not ready to say goodbye.......
"There will never be another one like her" QE2's last Master Ian McNaught
My Blog:  http://qe2-prideoftheclyde.blogspot.com/

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #18 on: Apr 25, 2010, 03:28 PM »
After writing and designing the menus Myles it was a thrill to go in every night on the crossings and see them standing there. The red 'E2' ones were a struggle to get approved I'll tell you! Originally the 'E2' was in black then I thought let's see how they'd look in red. It turned out to be my favourite cover and I was chuffed to bits the night they were on the tables. I went to the Caronia before it opened and it was a sea of 'E2'. Marvellous.

It is just a shame not everyone on this forum attended 'Time to Say Goodbye'. No ship before (or ever will?) had such a service and I think it would have gone a long way to appease people who think perhaps not enough was done.

I think you have to take all the events as a whole farewell package and they really kicked off with the visit by The Queen in June. Again, not everyone could have attended every event but they added up to a farewell unlike any other.

Cruise_Princess

  • Guest
Re: Farewell voyage events & happenings
« Reply #19 on: Apr 25, 2010, 03:46 PM »
Yes Michael...that  UK Voyage was outstanding..the cathedral concert will be imprinted on my memory for ever....it was wonderful.. even if I had been unfortunate enough not to have been on that sailing at least I would have known it had all been done for her....
Thats why  I feel the UK voyage should have been the last,,,she truly went out with a bang,.it was both emotional and uplifting all at the same time.....
And her Majesty had said goodbye to her ship too  in a truly dignified way,
And the ship gave us her all.....at all times....
It could not have been bettered,

Well done.
« Last Edit: Apr 25, 2010, 03:49 PM by Cruise_Princess »

 

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