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Author Topic: Maggie O'Donnell, QE2 Casino girl 1981-1983  (Read 18570 times)

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Online Bob C.

Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #20 on: Feb 12, 2012, 03:12 AM »
Welcome Magige.  Its great to have yet another "old school" QE2 fan!

Casinogirls

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Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #21 on: Feb 13, 2012, 02:19 PM »
Hi Bob...

Thanks for that... it's funny the QE2 is such a special club of people, who either worked, travelled or visited the wonderful lady....it just holds such special memories for so many of us.. unless you have truly experienced the ship and of course the people onboard who always made it so special... no one else really understands.

These years working onboard and the friends I made until this day shall always hold a special place in my heart.

As Casino girls, as I said before in those days, we had the best of both worlds... and for many of us we truly took advantage of that... we worked hard.. even though it doesn't seem so.. especially in the Caribbean.. three shifts a day and sometimes not finishing until the butt crack of dawn.

Every cruise was different, the Med cruises were my least favourite.. World Cruises for us were a doddle... but loved all of them and some of the most interesting characters ever...plus all the famous people..

I have never done a cruise since... crazy that... maybe this year I will go to Florida and pick up a cruise for myself.. happy days  :)

Online Bob C.

Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #22 on: Feb 13, 2012, 10:00 PM »
I never had the opportunity to gamble at the casino onboard QE2.  I was 6, 9, 11, 14 and 16 the times that I went ('69-'79) although I do remember dropping in a quarter or two in the slot machines at 14 and 16, maybe as early as 11!

I highly recommend jumping on a cruise ship out of Florida or anywere for that matter.  All the lines have something for everyone (Royal Caribbean is my favorite though).  Best of all, you will finally get to see all that the passengers saw while you were working! 
« Last Edit: Feb 15, 2012, 03:40 AM by Bob C. »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #23 on: Feb 13, 2012, 10:12 PM »
Fascinated by your story and your memories, Maggie -- great to have you among us!

How did your QE2 life begin, I wonder?

How did you get the job on the ship, and what were your first impressions when you stepped on board?

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #24 on: Feb 13, 2012, 10:40 PM »
May I ask why the Med cruises were your least favourite?

And I have to ask - did you enjoy the famous winter Atlantics?
« Last Edit: Feb 13, 2012, 10:54 PM by Peter Mugridge »
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline peter ward

Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #25 on: Feb 13, 2012, 10:53 PM »
I think I can asnwer that ..maggie probably disliked the med cruises for the same reason as most of the crew .....................it was full of BRITS ! never did I  get to dislike my own kind as much as the british on board . they were the most picky ,fussy downright rude ,arrogant and ignorant punters I ever served .
the attitude of the majority was that because we were crew then we were beneath them . Inverted snobbery at its worst.
Suddenly the  blackpool landlady was a duchess and the landlord from birmingham was a baron !
and ...they were probably the worst tippers as well . OK I'ved calmed down now , maybe maggie has a different reason .
« Last Edit: Feb 13, 2012, 10:55 PM by peter ward »
peter

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #26 on: Feb 13, 2012, 10:55 PM »
I blame the modern education system...



Once upon a time the British knew how to behave anywhere in the World.
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Casinogirls

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Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #27 on: Feb 14, 2012, 02:49 PM »
Oh Peter..
I am so rolling around laughing.. as you very kindly hit the nail on the head.... shame as it might be but the Med cruises were full of British who just had not a clue... women were mutton dressed as lamb... and the men were just dragged around on a lead.
There was never any fun or atmosphere and certainly there didn't have a clue how to gamble.
If they did you'd be lucky if they would grace you with a conversation... let alone a tip...of course there might of been the odd one who was Ok... but overall we loathed the Med cruises because as Peter states... they looked down on us.

When you would go ashore and there would be lunch... imagine they would all be rushing back to get their quota.. never mind where we were... and probably putting the leftovers..in tupperware boxes.. LOL !!!!

But then again I suppose in hindsight that is what made it different....

As, for how I started my life on the QE2... we worked for a company called London Clubs and we were a concession onboard.
You were selected from 5 Casino's in those days (if you were lucky enough to ever go)... and got the chance to work onboard various Cunard lines... I was extrememly lucky and was chosen for over three years...happy days  :)

Offline peter ward

Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #28 on: Feb 14, 2012, 04:04 PM »
You're so right maggie, it didn't matter which exotic port we would be in the brits would pile back in their hundreds to get their lunch (because they'd paid for it ) and yes ,they would take food to take back ashore as they didn't want to eat (all that foreign muck!) .that is if they didn't stay for afternoon tea !
the Carribean cruises were SOO different as the americans knew how to cruise and let their hair down .shame on you class ridden we are better than you brits !!
peter

Casinogirls

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Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #29 on: Feb 14, 2012, 04:43 PM »
Peter... so true.. I once had a British Passenger on a Med cruise ask me what I did for a proper job at home... and inevitably the first thing they would ask was where you came from... like if we gave a stuff.. people were people, working in Casino's just like catering or any form of dealing with the public you very quickly learn how to deal with people at all levels... and normally like the saying goes... treat people like you like to be treated yourself...

Bob... the Winter Atlantic crossings.. as I am sure Peter will support me in saying were a different kind of challenge..
very, very busy... to the point of sometimes hectic... absolutely great laughs, and great people... full of all sorts of characters..
the weather of course would ultimately throw a spanner in the works along the way... especially when we hit gale force weather conditions... we loved it.. as we had our sea legs... and I am sorry to say... but while the passengers were vomiting all over the place and fleeing to bed... we were so happy because this meant no punters = shut casino = off to disco, meet at the crew bars, have a party, go to the wardroom... many options...
But when it was busy in the Casino... it was crazy... I mean madness.. but just such a scream....
Every theme and every day was different.. had some great St.Patricks days either onboard or in the States.. celebrated about every day there was going...never missed an opportunity for fancy dress.. and too be honest I only ever once had a row with someone... and she worked in the Casino..I have endless stories I could tell.. endless.. ;D

Casinogirls

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Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #30 on: Feb 14, 2012, 05:24 PM »
Happy days.. ;D

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #31 on: Feb 14, 2012, 06:51 PM »
I wonder whether you might have met this Casino Concessionnaire?

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,3189.0.html

Casinogirls

  • Guest
Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #32 on: Feb 14, 2012, 11:08 PM »
Don't say I do... but I sent them a message..we usually always know someone... Thanks for the link  :)

Offline peter ward

Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #33 on: Feb 15, 2012, 05:13 PM »
Oh yes the Atlantic crossings, now that was hard work.
you inevitably came across inclement weather at some point (and sometimes all the way) and that was a welcome relief as a lot of the punters would stay in their cabins .we of course were not affected so we enjoyed the storms. the windows in the T.O.W restaurant were almost from the deck to the deckhead (floor to ceiling) and when the ship was in a bad one you could look out of the port window and just see sky and the starboard window you would just see water then vice versa ..ever tried serving soup in a force 9? 
But usually it was busy ..two sittings of 16 for breakfast (pre looking after the casino girls) lunch and dinner ..you had an hour and a half from taking the food order to serving three to four courses , getting everyone out ,relaying the tables and letting the second sitting in ! not easy. the only plus westbound was the hour back every night .extra hour in the crew bar .
peter

Casinogirls

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Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #34 on: Feb 16, 2012, 12:36 AM »
Do you remember once we hit a gale force 10... and that was something else... the whole  of the casino was up rooted.. and as you say Peter... we were just literally rolling from side to side... one minute you saw the sea and the next minute the sky... but we never felt in danger of any kind.... of course there were a few incidents onboard... like getting stuck in the bank when going into Barbados...

Hey... do you remember those ' no where ' cruises we used to do.. We would pick up in New York.. go out and sail around in a circle ... or just sail out and come back in three days... boy Oh! boy they were wild cruises... it was I think before we used to start the world cruises and they were these so called cheap ' come on the QE2 ' events... and I just met some crazy people in the Casino on those.  When we used to be going into dinner.. they were already packed sitting waiting at the tables for the casino to open... and some of the women ... well !....never seen such long nails and bling...( Oh well except the world cruise )....but that was very expensive..bling !!

Love to go back and do it all again... if only I could bring the same people, parties with the printers, out dancing with the TOW guys, all the amazing countries we have been to and things we have done... we have all been truly blessed... ;D

Offline peter ward

Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #35 on: Feb 16, 2012, 10:55 AM »
If I remember rightly maggie those cruises were just after we had come out of dry dock in new york and I think they were a way of testing the engines and making a few bucks as well.
The 'clientelle' probably couldn't afford  a full cruise so this was their chance to get on board .saying that though they were the best punters we ever served ,every single one of them was up for a laugh and just so pleased to be on board .most of the punters were black new yorkers and the bling was dripping off them !And ....could they dance ...I've never seen such rhythm from the kids to the elderly ,there was so much rhythm on board the ship was moving whilst we were still tied up !! fantastic ,we would sail outbound for a day and a half ,turn round and come back ....but those cruises were the best !thanks for reminding me of them maggie . Do you remember the bar/restaurant in fort lauderdale just off the quay with a ww11 jeep outside were eveyone used to go ? the croupiiers were ALWAYS in there ...what a great job you lot had ...always closed in port !!
peter

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #36 on: Feb 16, 2012, 11:46 AM »
I am really enjoying this conversation. Just keep talking... it is such fun to imagine those scenes!

Casinogirls

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Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #37 on: Feb 16, 2012, 05:02 PM »
Hey... I agree those punters were great.. we loved it as they were proper gamblers.. and they looked after us well... as for the bar in Fort Lauderdale.. I have some photos somewhere taken there... and listen as you well know casino staff.. were always at every bar in every port... some of favourite were the Anchor bar in New York (gone now)... St. Thomas and I can't remember whether it was San Juan.. or somewhere else where they served the best chilli you could find.
Some dodgy places... South America.. especially Columbia and Cristobel... not nice...
I know we had one of the best jobs on there.. but the funny thing is we were not supposed to hang around with crew.. but of course they were some of our best friends.
I remember being in a bar with Babs and Debbie.. in Cristobel.. it was very dark inside, I mean very dark.. when we ordered a beer.. saw some of the guys from the ship in there... cannot describe what we were witnessing....when the owner (women) comes over and asks if we are in there to take her trade (men)... well ! I nearly choked on my beer... and you couldn't get a bus ticket between us.. then the door flys open.. one of the cruise staff guys runs in screaming... someones been shot... and all we could hear was gun fire outside... ( no one we knew )...
I swear we got out of there and legged it back to the ship.... I thought .. bloody hell, no one is going to believe this back home it's like the high chapperal... LOL !!!!
Like I said crazy days... :)

Offline peter ward

Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #38 on: Feb 16, 2012, 06:55 PM »
yes there were some dodgy places ,like the texas bar in rio....a steward went ashore in rio and was met at the gate by a load of admiring females (local ladies of the night )and they virtually carried him across to the bar ,it was only when he ordered a beer and went to pay did he realise that the 'ladies' had used a razor on his jeans pocket and cut out his wallet! also his gold chains had gone and watch also,that was a dear do and he didn't even have sex with any of them !...you just didn't wear your bling in places like that !!
other notable bars (why do we know all the bars in the world ) hey sounds like a scene from 'Casablanca' ....what about Ned kelly's in hong kong , the rose and crown in Hawaii, the coach and horses in bermuda ...the texas bar in lisbon ...but the best by far was the Anchor bar in new york ..everybody ended up in there .
Back in the uk in the mid to late seventies you couldn't get a cold bottle of beer to save your life .in the anchor bar they had big plastic bins full  of ice and heineken or buds ...heaven .
I always thought jay was a bit aloof when serving her till I bumped into her in the anchor ...she had had a few and we got on like a house on fire .
I've seen guy's stagger out of there and go back to the ship and serve dinner !! god knows how . ;)
« Last Edit: Feb 16, 2012, 06:58 PM by peter ward »
peter

Offline Rod

Re: Casino girl.. 1981 - 1983
« Reply #39 on: Feb 16, 2012, 11:21 PM »
Maggie, did you ever meet up with Gilly Patterson and Magical Maggie? Magical married an Engineer and ended up as a Chief Engineers wife.
AND what happened to the Anchor BAr?
Best chilli in ST. Thomas was just across from where the launches berthed, can't for the life of me remember what it was called now!