Author Topic: The Laundry  (Read 7303 times)

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Offline Rod

Re: The Laundry
« Reply #15 on: Jul 24, 2011, 09:21 PM »
I served for about 18 months as the Laundry Engineer, Steam King" under the British crew, At the end of the sheet ironer they had a 5 gallon bucket that they would dip their mugs into...yes beer! These ladies, yes, they were all female apart from the Laundry manager....Pat was his name.
It was interesting to say the least!
I cannot say more.

Offline Helen Brocklesby

Re: The Laundry
« Reply #16 on: Sep 18, 2013, 10:03 AM »
Having worked in the Accommodation Services office for 5 years, I was once asked to write a piece about the Laundry for the Daily programme, which I have now found. I hope that it will help everyone see how much Laundry was done in such a small area on a daily basis.

The Laundry

The QE2 laundry is located on 7 deck in an area unaccessible to guests. It is has 17 staff mostly from Indonesia, China & Singapore. It is run by a laundry master & his assistant. Under them there is a dry Cleaner & assistant and 13 laundrymen, 2 of whom work nights.

The laundry has 5 washing machines with capacities of 150lbs each. 5 tumble dryers with capacities of 50lbs each. 5 steam irons and a flat bed pressing machine.

The Dry cleaners has 2 dry cleaning machines, 2 pressing machines & a steam iron.

On an average day they will launder the following

6500 towels including all stateroom towels, face cloths, bath mats & pool towels.

1200 items of bed linen, unless it is a linen change day, in which case the amount rises to 8000 pieces

Between 6 and 7 thousand items of table linen (Napkins & Table cloths).

380 crew uniforms
Helen Brocklesby
ASM Admin

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: The Laundry
« Reply #17 on: Sep 18, 2013, 11:57 AM »
Thank you very much, Helen!

The mind boggles at the huge quantities that had to be washed and ironed every day... and at all the linen and cotton that was taken there after a single use... and for so many people too...

They must have been some of the crew who most rarely got to see the light of day.

Offline Jeff Taylor

Re: The Laundry
« Reply #18 on: Sep 18, 2013, 02:43 PM »
I'm sure you're all aware, but QM and QE had one set of linens which were dropped off in NY, so QM's linen was returned clean to QE and visa versa every 5 days.  There are many inaccurate stories about, but only QE had cabin a/c, and only QE had water making equipment.

Offline pete cain

Re: The Laundry
« Reply #19 on: Sep 18, 2013, 07:52 PM »
Isabelle , off topic here regarding reply#18 above, but this sort of thing is still going on, on RUBY as we speak,bed linen changed every day, towels changed per use, dining linen changed under your nose, this sort of thing doesn't happen on Carnivor ships (had the 'guilt' experience). not saying either is correct , but,some things make you feel special & some don't , you pays your money & takes yer choice as they say

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: The Laundry
« Reply #20 on: Sep 18, 2013, 08:30 PM »
Thanks Helen for taking time to post this information about the Laundry onboard QE2.  An incredible amount of laundry done by a relatively small number of staff.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank

Offline Rod

Re: The Laundry
« Reply #21 on: Sep 18, 2013, 10:14 PM »
To add to Helens post.
They also did Officers Laundry, pax laundry and if the crew wanted to pay for ir...their laundry. All of that required tagging, sorting etc.
When the Chinese took over, they had us remove machines like shirt pressers, shirt folders and also the sheet and tablecloth folder at the end of the big flatwork ironer (Callender)etc. That was all done by hand!
The irons they used had no thermosts....when it got too hot...they unplugged it, too cold...plugged it in again.
All sheets tablecloths were folded by hand!

Pat Curry

  • Guest
Re: The Laundry
« Reply #22 on: Sep 21, 2013, 05:36 PM »
My only contact with the Chinese laundry was that one of their crew came to the production galled every morning to cook specialist food for the laundry crew of 18 or so..  I recall chicken feet and other items which would not have graced Queen's Grill let alone Caronia or Mauri!!! but were in stock on the ship in butchers' stores especially for them.   The man in question could not speak a word of English and he had a huge red birth mark on his face.  We shared the same electric flat plate cooker every morning I was Guest Cheffing and we always worked really well around each other (no mean feat).  I wonder what his name was.  I never got to taste his food but I bet it was great.

Offline Helen Brocklesby

Re: The Laundry
« Reply #23 on: Sep 22, 2013, 02:39 PM »
Further to the previous comment, The chinese man you are probably talking about we all called Kevin, however he was listed as C.S.Tan on all the official paperwork. And yes chicken feet were on his food list. During the world cruise he used to do a special order for stores to get for them during our stop in Hong Kong, which included the following items,
Braised Bamboo Shoots 552gm x 48can/Box
Szuhoven Bran Dough 552gm x 48/Box
Roasted Duckling
Roasted Goose
Chinese Sausages
Fresh Squid
Pomfret – Fresh
Taro  (yam) – Big
Bean Curd Puff (Fried)
Fish Cake (Fried)
Choy Sum (Veg)
Fried Tofu (Chinese)
Fish Balls
Bean Stick (Dry Bean Curd)
Glass Jelly (Gelatin) In cans
Chicken Feet (Fresh) Local
Lili Flower (Dried).
Definitely not something you would see on the Queens Grill menu!
Helen Brocklesby
ASM Admin


  • Guest
Re: The Laundry
« Reply #24 on: Jan 07, 2014, 12:08 AM »
Having done a bit of service on quiet recent cruise ships, I can only acknowledge that the laundry is a Chinese Island. Understanding is poor (if only via its manager) and a pretty hot & comfy area. Never want to be there for too long (was for inspection only), beer is well long gone by now!
My body just shrudder when I think of it, even more on an old Lady like QE2. My blessing to all those souls down there!  ???

Offline Jim Bennett

Re: The Laundry
« Reply #25 on: Jan 07, 2014, 03:39 PM »
Anybody remember the old "Dhobi Arms" at the aft end of the working alleyway?

Rod?  ;)

Offline Rod

Re: The Laundry
« Reply #26 on: Jan 07, 2014, 04:16 PM »
I did sneak in there once or twice. Just to make sure the equipment was functioning properly you understand!


  • Guest
Re: The Laundry
« Reply #27 on: Jan 07, 2014, 05:00 PM »
Anybody remember the old "Dhobi Arms" at the aft end of the working alleyway?

Rod?  ;)

I remember.. hole in the wall often out of ICE... long walk to the Pig to get some. I soon learned that IF you paid the glory $14 every month, as well as always clean sheets/ clean room and fresh towels it also included Ice in a bucket for when you came off duty whenever you asked for it. As a youngster I only paid a couple of times as cabin was only for sleeping. The laundry was a pay what you use service ( unofficial) for personal items. I normally only used it just before leave and It was approx $10 a load.

I also heard some gossip (story) that they were contracted and paid particularly low wages as they were expected to "earn" from sidelines like $10/load and if I recall correctly $2 per dry clean item
« Last Edit: Jan 07, 2014, 05:15 PM by Gary Baltao »

Offline jdl

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Re: The Laundry
« Reply #28 on: Feb 05, 2014, 02:43 PM »
Wow, a great insight into an unseen but vital area (and department) of the ship. Also nice to know that in the ever cost cutting world we live in the use of linen was kept to the end - rather than the paper based tablecloths and napkins that are probably oly a few years away from being introduced....