Author Topic: What do you do now and how did QE2 or any other Cunard ship help you?  (Read 4267 times)

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Offline Rod

Let me start this.
I am now a Chief Engineer of a hotel in Mickey Mouse country in Florida. What QE2 taught me was self reliance, no hardware stores in the North Atlantic, taught me how to read people, what were their intentions? What did they want out of life and treat them accordingly. Taught me to quote Bob Dolley  " The higher the monket climbs, the more you see of his butt"
Taught me that gay people were people too with the same problems that you and I have...in other words...they were people like you and I!
Taught me that no matter what people said.... they might be lying to get to a result.
Taught me that if fire is all around you...count on your friends.....too late to be doubtful.
Apart from being a Chief Engineer, I am also the Commanding Officer Of a US Naval Sea Cadet Corps here in FL.
www.poincianapride.com
Some of the people on this forum that know me from the ship may laugh as I was among the most unmilitary Officers on there. But I am A LCDR in the USNSCC, the highest rank obtainable and I now teach kids the things I learned on QE2..
I will attempt to upload a couple of pics.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Thank you, Rod, for this question and for your own answer! I like what you write there.

I was only a passenger on QE2, and therefore my learning was much more limited. But it was my first experience of living in community over any length of time since leaving boarding school.

And so I learnt that an 8-person table will have interesting people to converse with. A queue in the Lido, or a bus during a shore excursion, or a seat in the theatre, can be an opportunity for a happy conversation or an offer of help when needed.

A Mauretania passenger and a Queen's Grill passenger differ mainly in the amount they had to pay for their cabins.

And I learnt that it is possible to get involved in friendly conversations with the restaurant waiters, because one sees them every day and gradually gets to know them -- unlike most restaurant waiters on shore, whom one only sees from time to time.

And I learnt to my surprise that there are still areas where darker-skinned people are almost all staff, and mostly in quite specific lower-paid occupations. There were very few Africans among the passengers any time I was on board, and very few non African black people either...

Offline Louis De Sousa

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Today i work as Bar Manager in a 4 star Hotel.Thanks to the QE2 i have a wonderfull wife and 2 lovely kids.With my years onboard it made me look at life in a different way, somethings are not that important to worry about.

At work at moment i am able to deal better with my staff and clients, functions with 100 maybe 200 guests makes no more stress to me.It is all so easy to deal with.

Online Bob C.

QE2 introduced me to the sea and inspired me to join the US Navy and study naval architecture. 

Although QE2 is a luxury ship with a lot of nice distractions, I loved being at sea more than anything else - I still do.  It's been 26 years in the Navy now with six long deployments other long at-sea periods away from home and there is nothing like being on a ship at sea. 

I'll be retiring next year and hope to trade the gray hulls in for more more QE2-like vacation venues but I will still enjoy being out on the high seas more than anything else.   

Offline peter ward

I joined the ship in 1974 aged 18 as a naive ,zenophobic,homophobic youth...I learned to accept people as they are .creed .colour.race. sexual orientation ...whatever .
A multi cultural society is to be embraced rather than dismissed. I loved being at sea and whenever I can I like to be near water.
I learnt to love the catering business both front of house and the galley , and now I'm head chef at a lovely gastro pub in rural cheshire and I have QE2 memorabilia including menu's etc adorning the dining room .
Also my many days at sea between ports I had time to enhance my artistic talent and am now a struggling artist .
I have had several exhibitions and have my own website ...www.petercw.co.uk .
hope this has been of some use . peter
peter

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

This is a wonderful thread! I find these stories really moving -- thank you for having written them.

Peter, do tell us where we can find you if we ever pass that way -- and your dining room with its QE2 memorabilia must be well worth visiting too :)  .

carljhson63

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i started of as a comis waiter and shortly after that became a waiter in TOW.
What did I learn from my time on the QE2. Well the first thing I learnt was Independence joining at 17 yrs old away from home is a big step, however it was made easier because of the great bunch of people onboard who were always friendly and helpful. So homesickness lasted a few days then I felt right at home. Seeing different cultures meeting different people from all walks of life was fascinating. I don’t thing there was such a thing as racism onboard at least I never saw it or heard of it. Sure we would have a dig and a laugh but that was all in jest. I learned a lot about food and the food industry and after leaving the QE2 I went on to become a cook later a chef. I also managed time to study for my degree in Engineering and later moved to Singapore where I worked for a Dutch company Boskalis International, again working on the sea but from a different prospective mainly doing land reclamation, shore protection and construction work of port, terminals. I traveled to many countries again with this company throughout Asia.
I Came to Beijing to watch the Olympics in 2008 and I am still here today. Fell in love with the Chinese culture its history and its vast size. I Am teaching in University now and enjoy my life. I have two wonderful children, both grown up but still sponging of their old man (lol). I Will go back home to the UK one of these days…..   

Offline Matron

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Well, I'm still Matron-ing at sea, but as, when and for how long I choose now (usually only a few weeks rather than the 4 months expected for full-time staff)! 

Being on QE2 and Caronia was a defining part of my life.  Having grown up in a very rural area, I really enjoyed the social aspect of ship life - and that feeling of being part of a large multi-national family all working together for a common goal.  Going back to the same two ships enabled real continuity and allowed you to get to know the ship itself, the crew and passengers really well.

I learnt about good service - and that even in a medical setting it was possible to go the extra mile - a complete luxury compared to the NHS.

I learnt not to be a 'job snob' - there were many people more highly qualified than me working what I had previously thought of as menial jobs - either because they chose to for the quality of life they got from the role, or because that was their best option for supporting their families.  And some of the crew in the lowliest jobs on board were the most amazing people who were totally committed to their work.  I was very conscious of the perceived gap between crew and officers and tried to bridge that where possible.  Just because I had stripes didn't necessarily make me a better person, yet some officers seem to think that their stripes entitle them to treat crew like dirt.

Since QE2 and Caronia, I have worked on different cruise brands and on many different ships.  No other ship has ever had the same atmosphere, or loyalty of crew and passengers.  So I'm grateful that I started on the best and proud to be able to say that I was there.

2000-2007

Offline Rod

Well, I'm still Matron-ing at sea, but as, when and for how long I choose now (usually only a few weeks rather than the 4 months expected for full-time staff)! 

Being on QE2 and Caronia was a defining part of my life.  Having grown up in a very rural area, I really enjoyed the social aspect of ship life - and that feeling of being part of a large multi-national family all working together for a common goal.  Going back to the same two ships enabled real continuity and allowed you to get to know the ship itself, the crew and passengers really well.

I learnt about good service - and that even in a medical setting it was possible to go the extra mile - a complete luxury compared to the NHS.

I learnt not to be a 'job snob' - there were many people more highly qualified than me working what I had previously thought of as menial jobs - either because they chose to for the quality of life they got from the role, or because that was their best option for supporting their families.  And some of the crew in the lowliest jobs on board were the most amazing people who were totally committed to their work.  I was very conscious of the perceived gap between crew and officers and tried to bridge that where possible.  Just because I had stripes didn't necessarily make me a better person, yet some officers seem to think that their stripes entitle them to treat crew like dirt.

Since QE2 and Caronia, I have worked on different cruise brands and on many different ships.  No other ship has ever had the same atmosphere, or loyalty of crew and passengers.  So I'm grateful that I started on the best and proud to be able to say that I was there.



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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

I have just enjoyed re-reading this beautiful and nostalgic thread and brought back to mind what I wrote above, some years back.

What springs to mind now, of course, is all the places which I would never have seen without QE2 and Caronia. They created some quite exceptional memories. The most amazing place must be Longyearbyen (Svalbard), never to be forgotten. All those Norwegian ports, and some glorious walks there. The Baltic, with Stockholm standing out, as we got to sail among that gorgeous archipelago. A day in dour St Petersburg. Sailing along the North American coast, with Bar Harbor as a highlight. And the wonderful city of Quebec.

I would never have seen these places, were it not for our QE2 and Caronia voyages. And on those occasions when I was lucky enough to return to some of them for work, I felt that I already knew them a bit and could always find my way to the port!

Do you not also find that arriving in a place by sea is so different, and so much better, than flying in?