Author Topic: New Year's Eve (Hogmanay) and New Year's Day on board QE2  (Read 6534 times)

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Online Rob Lightbody

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Do you have memories and photos from on board new year's celebrations? What was it like?
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.

Offline Stowaway2k

Re: New Year's Eve (Hogmanay) and New Year's Day on board QE2
« Reply #1 on: Dec 29, 2011, 02:45 PM »
I wish I had thought to take some video... 

But the New Years, not too long after "the bells", when QE2 lost power en route to NYC from San Juan was a QE2 New Years to remember...

I know at least one other forum member was on board.   ;)

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: New Year's Eve (Hogmanay) and New Year's Day on board QE2
« Reply #2 on: Dec 29, 2011, 03:01 PM »
I wish I had thought to take some video... 

But the New Years, not too long after "the bells", when QE2 lost power en route to NYC from San Juan was a QE2 New Years to remember...

I know at least one other forum member was on board.   ;)

I've heard about this from my friend Ali, but would love to know more!  Do we know why it happened for instance?
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.

Offline Twynkle

Re: New Year's Eve (Hogmanay) and New Year's Day on board QE2
« Reply #3 on: Dec 29, 2011, 03:06 PM »
I've heard about this from my friend Ali, but would love to know more!  Do we know why it happened for instance?

Yes Kyle - do please tell us all! :)
In bad need of a thoroughly good QE2 fix here at the moment!
Which year was it?
And please, if you have the time - a minute by minute account!
A very Happy New Year to you - and thanks too.
Rosie

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: New Year's Eve (Hogmanay) and New Year's Day on board QE2
« Reply #4 on: Dec 29, 2011, 04:31 PM »
This is what Malcolm K writes about the last New Year's Eve on board QE2 :

The ship's daily programme has been very reticent about what was to happen this evening. Even David Pepper would only say that there would be a Jazz band in the Yacht Club, a masquerade ball in the Queens Room, the Caribbean band in the Grand Lounge and something in the Golden Lion. After dinner Paul and I reconnoitred the venues to see which had the ship's bell and should therefore be the main venue. It turned out to be the Grand Lounge so we arranged to meet my parents there at about ten to midnight.

Paul and I got a drink and went to sit on the seats outside the Lido for an hour before going inside to have a look at the buffet. We took some photographs and then, once the buffet opened, collected a few tasty morsels and took them back to our cabin for later. It was then time to join my parents in the Grand Lounge.

What a disappointment it was. The band seemed very loud and continued playing right up until a couple of seconds before New Year. A countdown was started from nine, the band stopped at one, a net of balloons was released and the band started again at two seconds past.

A few minutes later the band got quieter again. With no introduction David Pepper said that one crew member would ring out the old year and another would ring in the new one. The bell was rung by two people and the crowd sang Auld Lang Syne. The band got louder again. The captain was there but didn't say anything. It wasn’t much of a New Year celebration.

The following day's entry reads :

New Year's Day - nothing much happened.

Maybe the festivities were more memorable in earlier years?


Offline Stowaway2k

Re: New Year's Eve (Hogmanay) and New Year's Day on board QE2
« Reply #5 on: Dec 30, 2011, 03:25 AM »
Yes Kyle - do please tell us all! :)
In bad need of a thoroughly good QE2 fix here at the moment!
Which year was it?
And please, if you have the time - a minute by minute account!
A very Happy New Year to you - and thanks too.
Rosie

Hi Rosie,

I thought that you, too, were on this cruise?  

This is how I remember it...  I'm sure I must have previously posted something about it somewhere else in this forum....

1 January, 2005
Our last port was San Juan, Puerto Rico, on New Years Eve.

QE2 departed San Juan about 5:30pm, and sailed north towards New York.
We had one more full day at sea before arrival.

Dinner was, as always, an event to be savored. Afterwards the New Years parties began, in all the ship's lounges. The ship's bell was brought into the Grand Lounge for the traditional ringing in of the New Year by the youngest member of the ship's crew, in this case an eighteen year-old young lady from one of the shops. The bell was rung sixteen times to signal the new year, eight bells for the out-going year and eight bells for the incoming year. Eight bells signals midnight and the end of a ship's watch.

After a couple of hours more of champagne and partying, I went down to my cabin, 3006,  to change out of my tuxedo. When I got down to my boxer shorts, my cabin went dark. At first I thought that I had accidently hit my light switch, turning out the lights in the cabin.  But then I quickly realized the quiet. Complete, total quiet. Stillness all over. With an outside cabin all the way forward, I had become accustomed to the sound of the sea rushing past as QE2 sailed on. Nothing now. I opened my cabin door and peered out. Darkness. Everywhere. Then I said to myself "well I'll be damned, we've broken down!"

Out in the passageway the emergency strip of lighting was on, but that was all. I kept my cabin door open, to let the dim emergency lighting illuminate what it could of my cabin. I gropped around in the near dark, trying to get dressed as fast as I could. I wanted to get back up top, I didn't want to miss anything! Afterall, how often is one stranded at sea on the world's most celebrated ocean liner?

I began to miss the air conditioning. The cabin had quickly become stuffy. We were still in the balmy Caribbean after all.
As I made my way down the passagway towards the stairs, the eeriness of it all overwhelmed me. Gone was any motion or sound to the ship. None of the familiar creaking of the bulkheads, no hum of machinery... the stillness was nearly overwhelming.  There were people coming out into the passageways, curious about what had happened. Most were just that, simply curious. A few were concerned, a few were visibly upset. One gentleman was loudly berating his poor cabin steward, demanding to know exactly what had happened and declaring that the whole situation was wholly unacceptable. Jerk. How could his steward possibly know what had happened, and how could this idiot fellow-passenger make demands upon the steward about the issue? The steward very politely and patiently told him that as soon as he could find out, he would let the gentleman know.
 
By this time many people in their cabins had gone to bed, so most were in their pajamas, dressing-gowns, bathrobes, etc.  Funny, I thought, to see people out in public on QE2 in thier pajamas and robes. More strange than funny. Weird, a little spooky.

I made my way up the stairs towards the lounges. Empty, quiet, dark. The refuse of the night's celebrations was still littered throughout the lounges. I stood staring into the Queen's Room. Utterly deserted. Still, and dark, but with balloons, streamers, and other signs of the New Year's celebration just a couple of hours ago.  I knew that there was still a loud and crazy party going on in the Yacht Club, where I left some friends just a few moments before.  As I made my way to the Yacht Club, I passed a group of elderly ladies, in their bathrobes, and in their life jackets. I felt for the frightened, upset poor ladies. I told them that I was certain that we were in no danger, but that did not make them feel any better. Where were they going, to their boat stations?

Finally I came to the Yacht Club. There were still a few hundred hardy partiers, enjoying the sudden excitement.  The loss of ship's power seemed to have amped up the party. There were no lights, no music, no drinks other than water being poured. Without electricity the bar staff could not tally the drinks. They poured water in the dark, and plenty of it.

The large room was quite hot and stuffy. Just aft of the Yacht Club, many people moved the party to the large open deck. The night was beautiful. The stars were out, and there was a cool breeze. This is so strange, I thought, as we stood there, still enjoying ourselves in spite of what might be going on up on the bridge and down below. Only emergency lights and the stars and moon illuminated the deck. We could hear very clearly the ocean swells lapping against the hull of the still ship.
We were dead in the water. Going nowhere, powerless.

Nature was calling. I made my way to the gent's room. There was no emergency lighting in the restrooms. Pitch black. Not necessary, I guess, as who would want the toilet in an emergency?  On this night, New Years, plenty of us! Someone lit a match for light, it was the Yacht Club DJ. It was enough light to be able to see, to do what needed doing. No power meant no plumbing. No water, no flushing. Yuck. I got out of there. The DJ continued to light matches. I don't know about the ladies' room.  I don't imagine conditions were any better.

More people were in the passageways and stairwells, from out of their dark, hot cabins. There was a sense of not only excitement, but apprehension and nervousness. Now for the first time ever on any cruise I noticed uniformed security personnel very visibly policing the ship. There was no trouble for them to quell, I'm sure they were there "Just in case". But I was surprised at how many of them there were, plus other officers as well.
One woman had a small flashlight with her. I complemented her on her foresight, and made a mental note never to cruise again without one. I saw more people in life jackets.

One could only imagine the tense situation up on the bridge. A ship, any vessel, drifting powerless at sea is not completely safe. A ship without power cannot be steered, cannot be controlled. I felt for Captain McNaught and his officers.   The poor captain was harassed by the Puerto Rican authorities upon arrival at San Juan, and now this.

Here we were, in the dark, drifting.
They must be going nuts down in the engine room, I thought.
I went back out on deck to join my friends. A lot of people were clearly enjoying the unusual situation. I must admit I was too, knowing how rare this was. And believing there was no immediate danger, as long as it didn't last too long.
Someone joked that the QM2, with whom we sailed in tandem a few days before, is coming, to throw us an extension cord.
Someone else reminded us that we were in the Bermuda Triangle.  Uh oh!
How true! This great ocean liner, drifting powerless at night in the Bermuda Triangle...

Then Captain McNaught came on the tannoy, to assure us that the problem was being worked on and that we should be under way not long from now.
It was now about 3am. The party crowd was not giving up, and the deck chairs were filling up with people in pajamas, refugees from hot airless cabins looking for a cool place to sleep, some bringing blankets and pillows from their cabins with them.

There was a vibration under our feet, and then some deck lights came on.
The ship was still motionless, and we could still hear the swells against the hull. Looking over the rail, down onto the sea, not a single porthole or window lit up, the hull as dark as can be, and the sound of the sea, all together gave me a chill.

Some time went by, and the captain said the problem had been isolated. A high voltage amp had over heated, and as a safety measure to avoid fire, all power automatically shut down. We appreciated the captain keeping us informed. He was earning his pay that night.
At about 4am there was another vibration, a rumble, and then we could see a small wake. All the lights came on. We were underway, slowly.
Another thirty minutes or so and it seemed we were back to normal speed.

The next day, (rather, later the same day when things got back to normal) surprisingly, hardly anyone spoke about it.  It must have been because this was the last day of a long cruise. People are tired.
In his noon announcement from the bridge,  Captain McNaught said that the problem was an
over-heated 3.3 kilovolt transformer, made to automatically shut
down at a certain temperature to avoid fire.

We arrived on time in New York the next morning.


« Last Edit: Jan 01, 2012, 04:35 AM by Stowaway2k »

Offline Andy F

Re: New Year's Eve (Hogmanay) and New Year's Day on board QE2
« Reply #6 on: Dec 30, 2011, 12:51 PM »
I'm trying to identify the youngest and oldest crew members who had the honour of ringing the bell for the final time on NYE 2007 (i.e 31/12/07).  Does anyone happen to know/can remember their names please? 

Wishing a Happy Hogmany and New Year to you all
Start every day with a smile and get it over with

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: New Year's Eve (Hogmanay) and New Year's Day on board QE2
« Reply #7 on: Dec 30, 2011, 02:10 PM »
This is how I remember it...  I'm sure I must have previously posted something about it somewhere else in this forum....

<snip>

We arrived on time in New York the next morning.

Wonderful account, Kyle -- and the minute-by-minute detail makes it so easy to imagine oneself right there.

Describing the sounds, the smells, the sights -- the excitement, the gaiety, the concerns and the Captain's voice -- the passengers and the crew affected so differently.

And it did not surprise me that the QE2 safety mechanisms worked well, that the crew put everything back to work within a short time, and that she caught up for the delay and arrived when expected! That is QE2...

Offline Twynkle

Re: New Year's Eve (Hogmanay) and New Year's Day on board QE2
« Reply #8 on: Dec 30, 2011, 02:51 PM »
I'm trying to identify the youngest and oldest crew members who had the honour of ringing the bell for the final time on NYE 2007 (i.e 31/12/07).  Does anyone happen to know/can remember their names please? 

Wishing a Happy Hogmany and New Year to you all

Andy - For the information. might it be worth contacting Carnival's Manifest Office, shoreside?
I guess there could be a data protection matter to consider,
however someone might tell you what department as well as position / 'rank' that each person held?
Happy New Year to you, and the lovely Mrs F too! :)

And, Kyle  :)
About your post, at a glance it looks fantastic!
And as I have declined all invitations in advance to party on board QE2 on NYE ;)
it will be a wonderful treat to give your account a thororghly good reading instead!
All the best to you for the New Year.
Rosie
PS Without any doubt it looks fully comprehensive  hopefully, you didn't get typer's cramp...
« Last Edit: Dec 30, 2011, 02:54 PM by Twynkle »

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: New Year's Eve (Hogmanay) and New Year's Day on board QE2
« Reply #9 on: Dec 30, 2011, 04:58 PM »
Thank you Kyle!

What did you end up looking like after dressing in the dark of your cabin!?

What concerns me is the lack of automatically activated auxiliary power... were there really no lights at all?  The lighting in the corridor you mention is, I believe, just luminous strips.  I'd have expected emergency lights to be on all over the ship and the auxiliary generator to have started automatically to provide this...  your first rumble was presumably that generator (on 2 deck) starting up.  I'd have imagine that without this, even the tannoy wouldn't have worked. 






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.

Offline Rod

Re: New Year's Eve (Hogmanay) and New Year's Day on board QE2
« Reply #10 on: Jun 26, 2012, 10:54 PM »
When I was on board the cruise staff always used to hold a blood mary, aspirin and sympathy party that started at 6am on the helicopter deck, sports deck aft...In the old days you would frequently get senior members of staff...and a lot of juniors taking part.
At 10 am the PO's club would do their party and at noon the Captain would host his guests.... New years day every time you walked past a room service pantry a hand or voice would reach out and grab you to toast the new year..Work usually finished around 2pm!

Offline Willum

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Re: New Year's Eve (Hogmanay) and New Year's Day on board QE2
« Reply #11 on: Jul 04, 2014, 09:51 AM »
There were a couple of wardroom traditions around that time of year. The only time the Captain would dine in the Wardroom at sea was the Christmas day evening meal. When I first joined the most junior deck cadet would also sit on the captains table and the Capt was supposed to serve him his meal although I'm not sure this actually happened. This practice is actually medieval when in monasteries a boy swapped places with the Abbot or Bishop for the day and the wren became king of the birds. 'The world turned upside down' or honouring the humble. New years eve was the one time the wardroom was open to all the crew, it got very busy in there and always good humoured.

Online Thomas Hypher

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Re: New Year's Eve (Hogmanay) and New Year's Day on board QE2
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2018, 02:15 AM »
Hi Rosie,

I thought that you, too, were on this cruise? 

This is how I remember it...  I'm sure I must have previously posted something about it somewhere else in this forum....

1 January, 2005
Our last port was San Juan, Puerto Rico, on New Years Eve.

QE2 departed San Juan about 5:30pm, and sailed north towards New York.
We had one more full day at sea before arrival.

Dinner was, as always, an event to be savored. Afterwards the New Years parties began, in all the ship's lounges. The ship's bell was brought into the Grand Lounge for the traditional ringing in of the New Year by the youngest member of the ship's crew, in this case an eighteen year-old young lady from one of the shops. The bell was rung sixteen times to signal the new year, eight bells for the out-going year and eight bells for the incoming year. Eight bells signals midnight and the end of a ship's watch.

After a couple of hours more of champagne and partying, I went down to my cabin, 3006,  to change out of my tuxedo. When I got down to my boxer shorts, my cabin went dark. At first I thought that I had accidently hit my light switch, turning out the lights in the cabin.  But then I quickly realized the quiet. Complete, total quiet. Stillness all over. With an outside cabin all the way forward, I had become accustomed to the sound of the sea rushing past as QE2 sailed on. Nothing now. I opened my cabin door and peered out. Darkness. Everywhere. Then I said to myself "well I'll be damned, we've broken down!"

Out in the passageway the emergency strip of lighting was on, but that was all. I kept my cabin door open, to let the dim emergency lighting illuminate what it could of my cabin. I gropped around in the near dark, trying to get dressed as fast as I could. I wanted to get back up top, I didn't want to miss anything! Afterall, how often is one stranded at sea on the world's most celebrated ocean liner?

I began to miss the air conditioning. The cabin had quickly become stuffy. We were still in the balmy Caribbean after all.
As I made my way down the passagway towards the stairs, the eeriness of it all overwhelmed me. Gone was any motion or sound to the ship. None of the familiar creaking of the bulkheads, no hum of machinery... the stillness was nearly overwhelming.  There were people coming out into the passageways, curious about what had happened. Most were just that, simply curious. A few were concerned, a few were visibly upset. One gentleman was loudly berating his poor cabin steward, demanding to know exactly what had happened and declaring that the whole situation was wholly unacceptable. Jerk. How could his steward possibly know what had happened, and how could this idiot fellow-passenger make demands upon the steward about the issue? The steward very politely and patiently told him that as soon as he could find out, he would let the gentleman know.
 
By this time many people in their cabins had gone to bed, so most were in their pajamas, dressing-gowns, bathrobes, etc.  Funny, I thought, to see people out in public on QE2 in thier pajamas and robes. More strange than funny. Weird, a little spooky.

I made my way up the stairs towards the lounges. Empty, quiet, dark. The refuse of the night's celebrations was still littered throughout the lounges. I stood staring into the Queen's Room. Utterly deserted. Still, and dark, but with balloons, streamers, and other signs of the New Year's celebration just a couple of hours ago.  I knew that there was still a loud and crazy party going on in the Yacht Club, where I left some friends just a few moments before.  As I made my way to the Yacht Club, I passed a group of elderly ladies, in their bathrobes, and in their life jackets. I felt for the frightened, upset poor ladies. I told them that I was certain that we were in no danger, but that did not make them feel any better. Where were they going, to their boat stations?

Finally I came to the Yacht Club. There were still a few hundred hardy partiers, enjoying the sudden excitement.  The loss of ship's power seemed to have amped up the party. There were no lights, no music, no drinks other than water being poured. Without electricity the bar staff could not tally the drinks. They poured water in the dark, and plenty of it.

The large room was quite hot and stuffy. Just aft of the Yacht Club, many people moved the party to the large open deck. The night was beautiful. The stars were out, and there was a cool breeze. This is so strange, I thought, as we stood there, still enjoying ourselves in spite of what might be going on up on the bridge and down below. Only emergency lights and the stars and moon illuminated the deck. We could hear very clearly the ocean swells lapping against the hull of the still ship.
We were dead in the water. Going nowhere, powerless.

Nature was calling. I made my way to the gent's room. There was no emergency lighting in the restrooms. Pitch black. Not necessary, I guess, as who would want the toilet in an emergency?  On this night, New Years, plenty of us! Someone lit a match for light, it was the Yacht Club DJ. It was enough light to be able to see, to do what needed doing. No power meant no plumbing. No water, no flushing. Yuck. I got out of there. The DJ continued to light matches. I don't know about the ladies' room.  I don't imagine conditions were any better.

More people were in the passageways and stairwells, from out of their dark, hot cabins. There was a sense of not only excitement, but apprehension and nervousness. Now for the first time ever on any cruise I noticed uniformed security personnel very visibly policing the ship. There was no trouble for them to quell, I'm sure they were there "Just in case". But I was surprised at how many of them there were, plus other officers as well.
One woman had a small flashlight with her. I complemented her on her foresight, and made a mental note never to cruise again without one. I saw more people in life jackets.

One could only imagine the tense situation up on the bridge. A ship, any vessel, drifting powerless at sea is not completely safe. A ship without power cannot be steered, cannot be controlled. I felt for Captain McNaught and his officers.   The poor captain was harassed by the Puerto Rican authorities upon arrival at San Juan, and now this.

Here we were, in the dark, drifting.
They must be going nuts down in the engine room, I thought.
I went back out on deck to join my friends. A lot of people were clearly enjoying the unusual situation. I must admit I was too, knowing how rare this was. And believing there was no immediate danger, as long as it didn't last too long.
Someone joked that the QM2, with whom we sailed in tandem a few days before, is coming, to throw us an extension cord.
Someone else reminded us that we were in the Bermuda Triangle.  Uh oh!
How true! This great ocean liner, drifting powerless at night in the Bermuda Triangle...

Then Captain McNaught came on the tannoy, to assure us that the problem was being worked on and that we should be under way not long from now.
It was now about 3am. The party crowd was not giving up, and the deck chairs were filling up with people in pajamas, refugees from hot airless cabins looking for a cool place to sleep, some bringing blankets and pillows from their cabins with them.

There was a vibration under our feet, and then some deck lights came on.
The ship was still motionless, and we could still hear the swells against the hull. Looking over the rail, down onto the sea, not a single porthole or window lit up, the hull as dark as can be, and the sound of the sea, all together gave me a chill.

Some time went by, and the captain said the problem had been isolated. A high voltage amp had over heated, and as a safety measure to avoid fire, all power automatically shut down. We appreciated the captain keeping us informed. He was earning his pay that night.
At about 4am there was another vibration, a rumble, and then we could see a small wake. All the lights came on. We were underway, slowly.
Another thirty minutes or so and it seemed we were back to normal speed.

The next day, (rather, later the same day when things got back to normal) surprisingly, hardly anyone spoke about it.  It must have been because this was the last day of a long cruise. People are tired.
In his noon announcement from the bridge,  Captain McNaught said that the problem was an
over-heated 3.3 kilovolt transformer, made to automatically shut
down at a certain temperature to avoid fire.

We arrived on time in New York the next morning.


On another deep read through the forum here...

I have just realised that Kyle (RIP) had the cabin next in number on his voyage here (cabin 3006) (but on the portside not starboard side of the ship, forward) to the cabin me and my parents had on our last voyage in July 2008 (cabin 3005).

It is sad Kyle isn't around anymore to talk more about his QE2 experiences, but the forum keeps his posted memories alive.

Thomas
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last sailed on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw the seagoing QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008. Visited QE2 in her new life, in Dubai, in January 2020 and August 2022.