Author Topic: QE2: The Original One Deck Suites  (Read 4898 times)

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Offline Michael Gallagher

QE2: The Original One Deck Suites
« on: Feb 06, 2010, 01:57 PM »
It is my personal opinion that the finest cabins ever to go to sea were QE2's original One Deck Suites. Theye never failed to impress me forty years after they had been 'in service'. When you think that, apart from the soft furnishings, the woodwork and ceilings were still original - and each cabinet was individually designed and built for each individual room. And I loved the cocktail cabinets were a little light flickered into life when you lifted the lid. Pictures are below. I think the rooms are stunning.

One thing which annoyed me though - for all of their life there was a gold-leaf board above the bed and for some inexplicable reason these gold leaf originals were replaced with cream leatherette. Why? I would love to have an answer.

I  have attached two photos of a typical room in 2008, one with the gold leaf to compae and one of the cocktail cabinet.
« Last Edit: Apr 02, 2018, 09:44 AM by Lynda Bradford »

Offline Michael Gallagher

Re: The Original One Deck Suites
« Reply #1 on: Feb 06, 2010, 02:07 PM »
Sorry - meant to say the gold leaf headboards were replaced during the last wet dock in April 2008. So these original pieces were removed just six months short of her retirement!


  • Guest
Re: The Original One Deck Suites
« Reply #2 on: Feb 06, 2010, 06:31 PM »
I agree Michael...whilst I was never fortunate enough to actually have one of those suites we did attend a good few cocktail parties in them!   and those cocktail cabinets fascinated me!

Offline Twynkle

Re: The Original One Deck Suites
« Reply #3 on: Feb 06, 2010, 06:42 PM »
Yes - This is a lovely place.
No fuss - simplicity, itself!
Classical - 'Easter' colours!

The ceiling looks interesting
Was it wood - it seems as if it's tiled?
It looks shiny!

It's curious about the gold leaf
It looks as if it had been applied in small square sheets
This would have been expensive - and probably transferable...  
Or someone damaged it / them?
(As it happened recently, might 'someone' know...?
It would be tempting to enquire!!)
Might it have been kept for further use elsewhere?

What an amazing experience it would have been, to arrive in this room
and realise that you were going to spend a 'world cruise', sleeping here!

Offline Michael Gallagher

Re: The Original One Deck Suites
« Reply #4 on: Feb 06, 2010, 06:48 PM »
Note from the Forum Administrator - this text below may not be used outwith this forum without permission.

Rosie - notes on the original design below which talks about the ceiling for you:

The layouts of all the cabins were the undertaken by Cunard naval architects except for the suites. Originally eight designers were to be responsible for the suite rooms but during 1966 Dennis Lennon suggested the services of Gaby Schreiber and (Stefan) Buzas and (Alan) Irvine.

Cunard accepted this in August 1966 and the designs for these rooms were divided between three designers: Dennis Lennon, Gaby Schreiber and Buzas and Irvine. Each produced two or three colour schemes for their set of rooms which would complement each other should one passenger take several rooms so there would be no conflict between the rooms if they were taken in tandem.

Final schemes and designs were originally supposed to be submitted to John Brown & Co in October 1966 but final designs were still being chased as late as June 1967 leading to the builder to complain about delays in completing the ship given their midships, and therefore vital, position on One and Two Decks.

In February 1967 it was agreed that the designers would be able to use two timbers per room but there may be four or five fabrics (chosen later). The designers’ selections for carpets and furniture were often rejected by Cunard due to possible maintenance issues, the suitability of certain materials for coverings and the stability of some items of furniture. There were many permutations of design and colour arrangements. In many cases the beds could become sofas during the day. Upholstery was mostly wool or leather and curtains and cushions were silk – a pleasing combination of textures which could be adapted to different climates.

It was also stipulated that only British-manufactured furniture should be used.

Lennon Designs

While the schemes were complementary to each other the theme common to all was velvet lined panelling on raised milk-chocolate-coloured pearwood frames with inset metal trims, with gold leaf recesses behind the bed and bed heads, which were covered in soft blue or beige leather. The rooms had two colour schemes, one basically blue, one basically gold. Ceilings were panelled in pearwood with gold leaf on the ceiling cover and the floors were carpeted throughout. Tailored bedspreads were in another shade of blue or beige tweed and made by Tamesa. Built-in furniture (which was low and very intimately related to the total design and also made of pearwood) had leather tops (rather than Formica and specifically requested by Lennon) with curved edges, and flush drawers; chairs were by Hille and Saarinen. The lighting was very subtle, in keeping with the designs. Bathrooms were a “riot” of imitation marble.

Schreiber Designs

A feeling of spaciousness was achieved in the same space with walls covered in pale panels of natural Thai cotton, low built-in furniture and comfortable armchairs, some designed by Schreiber, some classics by Charles Eames and large oval surrounds to the windows. The light oak cupboards, considered to be the best-looking furniture on the ship, had curved edges and were cantilevered from the wall. Some rooms had chocolate carpets with tangerine curtains and checked tangerine / yellow / shocking pink upholstery set off by numerous small cushions in brilliant shades of silk. Another scheme featured beige carpets, caramel silk curtains and aquamarine / deep blue checked upholstery with cyclamen.
« Last Edit: Apr 12, 2010, 11:55 PM by Rob Lightbody »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: The Original One Deck Suites
« Reply #5 on: Feb 06, 2010, 11:13 PM »
Thank you so much for all that, Michael  :D  . Wonderful details... it must have been great to do a cabin cavalcade in those days... even more differences between cabins than there were at the end of her service life!

I would have loved to have seen that gold leaf headboard and the cocktail cabinet! It seems they were not installed in the single cabins... the one time that we took Queen's Grill cabins (2006), we did not encounter either. But we did have a fine round cabinet, with rounded doors, on which the inevitable television was placed.

Each time, we enjoyed our wonderful cabins and loved their design and excellent condition.

Offline jdl

  • Britannia Grill Diner
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Re: The Original One Deck Suites
« Reply #6 on: Feb 06, 2010, 11:20 PM »
I don't recall having a cocktail cabinet in my Q3 suite on 2 deck, but I never checked - soo annoying if one did exist and I missed it......

Darn it


Offline Scott Ebersold

Re: The Original One Deck Suites
« Reply #7 on: Feb 07, 2010, 07:00 AM »

I think I just read on another post that you stayed in 2069 or 71, if so I have some video of the bar from 2069!


Offline jdl

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Re: The Original One Deck Suites
« Reply #8 on: Feb 09, 2010, 11:28 PM »

I think I just read on another post that you stayed in 2069 or 71, if so I have some video of the bar from 2069!


So it did exist then, I still need to get in our loft and confirm the room no but I'm 99% certain it was 2069 - the bed is the wrong way round in 2071.  Will check and let you know


Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2: The Original One Deck Suites
« Reply #9 on: Dec 26, 2016, 09:20 AM »
I love this topic on the original One Deck Suites and Michael's description gives so much information. Best to read from the top and imagine the luxury experienced by passengers when they first sailed on QE2 in 1969.,1615.msg17456.html#msg17456
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank


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