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Author Topic: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987  (Read 19342 times)

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Online cunardqueen

The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« on: Apr 29, 2009, 10:24 AM »
Thought it would be of interest so l spent some time scanning a few items relating to the "new" QE2s Maiden Voyage, and for the life of me they appear to big to attached on here..
April 29th - May 9th  1987 The Maiden Voyage of the "New" QE2
l was in the port that day in the morning to see QE2 arriving back from a round the Isle of Wight cruise with underprivileged children, The Princes of Wales had embarked by tender earlier and was welcomed onboard by Captain Portet and with the kids at fever pitch in the Grand Lounge Diana greeted them. As QE2 retuned to her berth she was turned round to point bow downriver for sailing that evening.
 To see QE2  in the glorious sunshine with her new paintwork and stunning new funnel, it did look far better than the previous thin one, Other than the extra block of penthouses, the funnel and the new paint job she didnt seem that much different from the last time l saw her
 As the Princes of Wales disembarked Concorde peformed a low flypast, and then Diana was whisked away by helicopter. Security didnt seem so strick back then as it is nowadays.
After a few hours, the friends l was staying with drove me back to the port, and tickets in hand l was about to embark on the  "new" QE2 for what was to be a very eventful and memorable round trip 10 day crossing of the Atlantic to New York .

Indeed waiting in the cabin was a letter from the Captain already inviting the passengers to the lounges for Bon Voyage welcome aboard drinks, mentioning the fact that "there are minor items requiring attention and that work was still progressing during the voyage, the Company would be making a gesture to all the passengers as a way of celebrating our participation in this inaugural voyage & that a tremendous welcome awaits us in new York."

Sadly the tremendous welcome was cancelled, and the promise of a refund before we had even left the berth gave us an indication of how bad things were onboard, and sure enough we sailed just after 1900 right onto the front pages of the newspapers,
For some it was a voyage they would rather forget about and for the others a voyage that was unforgetable, and you can guess which camp l was in ;D .........   

See below for photos
« Last Edit: Apr 29, 2019, 09:49 AM by Lynda Bradford »
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #1 on: Apr 29, 2009, 04:41 PM »
For some it was a voyage they would rather forget about and for the others a voyage that was unforgetable, and you can guess which camp l was in ;D .........     

Great story so far... eagerly waiting for the next instalment, Myles  ;D  !

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #2 on: Apr 30, 2009, 09:29 PM »
with it being exactly 22 years ago it seemed quite fitting l guess...

Oh God, you're kidding?  22 years!  $%^&U*UIO!!!  That means for me it was 22 years ago yesterday (I think) since I disembarked for the first time... oh heck.  I feel ANCIENT now!
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Offline Andy F

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #3 on: Apr 30, 2009, 09:37 PM »
Great shots Myles and an equally interesting story - looking froward to hearing more tales from the (in)famous post refit crossing in due course.

Thanks for the Shrinkpictures link too Rob and will have a play with that later.

 ;) Rosie
Start every day with a smile and get it over with

Offline Malcolm

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2009, 06:52 PM »
Its all very well saying its fool proof, but l need it to be  myles proof  !

Myles - you are asking an awful lot!   :D

Offline Malcolm

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2009, 11:36 AM »
What did the "Players Club Lounge" turn into? (where the programme gives details of after dinner coffee on page two)

KEV

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Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2009, 07:38 PM »
Interesting documents
Peter Gordeno Dancers-there's a blast from the past!

Online cunardqueen

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2009, 09:45 PM »
Didnt the players club lounge vanish when the casino was expanded. l always thought the space outside the Theatre on the port side did in recent years seem a bit wasted.
 As for Mr Gordeno, and his dancing group not that lm a fan of his or the dancing girls but 5 mins was enough for me. I do have  video footage of the crossings, but l guess that  is a whole new ball game for putting on here. Its bad enough with getting photos up !!  and with over 9 hours footage l did eventually edit it down to 3 hours!!! Viewing only for the strong minded.....or serious QE2 fans !!! 
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2009, 06:02 PM »
Hey,

This thread has inspired me to scan in the Daily Programmes from the 26th and 27th of April 1987, before the "new" QE2's maiden voyage - they look very amateurish! 

http://www.roblightbody.com/1987-qe2-april-bremerhaven.html
« Last Edit: Apr 26, 2015, 12:11 PM by Rob Lightbody »
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Offline Malcolm

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2009, 08:34 PM »
Rob - thanks for the scans and thank you for the write-up ;)

Offline Andy F

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2009, 08:41 PM »
Thanks Rob and agree things certainly have moved on a little, production-wise. A great insight all the same though.
Start every day with a smile and get it over with

Online cunardqueen

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2009, 11:23 PM »
Rob
 Great to see the Daily programmes and the photos of all those years ago, It was only Employees that did the trial voyage?
 The Piano case in one of your photos was still there when we left Southampton,  It certainly vanished early on in the crossing.
I do know a lot of "stuff" ended up being chucked overboard, the piano case included.
Interesting to see they refer to the Double room in one of the programes
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Malcolm

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2009, 09:51 PM »
l seem to recall we had much more choice in those days

And many more courses. It just meant that we had to miss far more :(

Online cunardqueen

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2009, 02:44 PM »
This was taken the day l returned to the cabin early and found it with workmen in my bathroom, Not having had cold water to the sink l was forced to shave with bottled water (free from Cunard) it was no great hardship, and only added to the excitement. The bill for a haircut at the time seemed very expensive and there was no added service charge

<< Images can be found further down this topic, when Myles reposted them later >>

This was the work rota for the room stewardess, she to be fair had her hands full with a number of complainers in her section, trouble with the cold water pipes, l would never say l was a demanding passenger but she did have one cabin who when they called wanted everything right away, they never said please or thanks and in New York disembarked without so much as a thanks or a tip.

 At the Captains Welcome party, spoke with one american who was so upset he was going to sue Cunard, as it happens in a letter he sent later he did sue and got what he felt was a nice settlement, he found it strange to accept that a lot of the brits were enjoying the voyage and that a partial refund was a bonus for us
« Last Edit: Sep 01, 2014, 06:44 PM by Rob Lightbody »
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online cunardqueen

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2009, 03:14 PM »
The letter was from the then Chairman of Cunard and details of the refund

<< Images can be found further down this topic, when Myles reposted them later >>


And the crew were given this letter
<< Images can be found further down this topic, when Myles reposted them later >>


In the meantime back in the UK the **it was hitting the fan with the newspaper headlines from the voyage
This was from the Southampton Echo
<< Images can be found further down this topic, when Myles reposted them later >>


Half way across we stopped mid atlantic, there wasnt any tours scheduled for our sea day ;), however there had been a few glitches with the engines, thankfully we didnt stop for too long, l was in the logo shop and untill then the vibration had been quite pronounced, to have no vibration was a welcome change. The outside pool on one deck inspite of the nice weather couldnt be used as the tiles were still being finished of.
 We were starting to hear reports from the crew that our tremendous welcome arrival in New York that had been promised was being scaled back in vew of the problems.
 
« Last Edit: Sep 01, 2014, 06:45 PM by Rob Lightbody »
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online cunardqueen

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2009, 04:24 PM »
A daily programme for our first sea day on the "new" QE2

Just a couple of things which may be of interest, Boat Drill was then held the first morning at sea, they were still operating 2 sittings for breakfast and Lunch.
The lido as we know it now wasnt there instead a much smaller buffet area was being used, but in the main we all dined in the restaurants
 The clocks were retarted at 4am, and no we didnt wait up to change them...
 Anyone remember the mobile tote board, it used to circulate with a selection of miles written on it, take your pick for a $ and win a small cash prize
Afternoon tea was in the Queens Room and Grand Lounge
Oh and Peter Gordeno was strutting his stuff
« Last Edit: Apr 02, 2010, 12:05 PM by Rob Lightbody »
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Malcolm

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2009, 11:40 PM »
This was the work rota for the room stewardess

That is interesting. What date was t? On the WC our steward had about 18 cabins to service rather than the nine or ten suggested.

Offline Malcolm

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2009, 11:52 PM »
Boat Drill was then held the first morning at sea

A much more relaxed affair:)

they were still operating 2 sittings for breakfast and Lunch.

When did they stop? It must have been about the turn of the century.

The lido as we know it now wasnt there instead a much smaller buffet area was being used, but in the main we all dined in the restaurants

The old Lido was much nicer. On our first couple of trips we ate every breakfast and lunch there. It was only when they brouht in this new place that we changed to the restaurant for those meals. Do you remember when there was a buffet as well as waiter service in the Mauretania for breakfast?

Anyone remember the mobile tote board

Yes.

Afternoon tea was in the Queens Room and Grand Lounge

I don't remember afternoon tea in the Grand lounge but it strikes me as a much better venue than the Lido.

Oh and Peter Gordeno was strutting his stuff

Who?

Offline Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #18 on: Apr 05, 2012, 02:32 AM »
Another fascinating newspaper article here :

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,390.msg45050.html#msg45050

Thank you, Myles, for this :


I would have enjoyed all that chaos! A unique opportunity to experience QE2 at not quite up to her best...

.
« Last Edit: Jun 23, 2016, 04:27 PM by Rob Lightbody »

Online cunardqueen

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #19 on: Apr 05, 2012, 04:51 PM »
Quote
  I would have enjoyed all that chaos! A unique opportunity to experience QE2 at not quite up to her best... 
The press as usual had a field day with the onboard events, and blew a lot of what happend out of proportion, for a lot of the passengers we enjoyed a very unique voyage and experienced first hand the "new" QE2..and she was lovely..as always..

Most of those onboard were unaware of the headlines we were making, it was only when l called home, mid atlantic, that l was told of some of the headlines.

As we sailed up the Hudson, some of the deck crew unfurled a banner, we could only see what it read after we docked
« Last Edit: Jun 23, 2016, 04:27 PM by Rob Lightbody »
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online cunardqueen

Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #20 on: Apr 05, 2012, 05:04 PM »
Quote
Oh God, you're kidding?  22 years!  $%^&U*UIO!!!  That means for me it was 22 years ago yesterday (I think) since I disembarked for the first time... oh heck.  I feel ANCIENT now 

Time moves on Rob... its our Silver Anniversary year  ;D
Happy "new" QE2 Anniversary


and the average speed... :o

« Last Edit: Jun 23, 2016, 04:27 PM by Rob Lightbody »
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Matteo 91

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Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #21 on: Apr 05, 2012, 09:40 PM »
What happened here?  :o

Offline Peter Mugridge

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Re: Re: April 29th 1987 Maiden Voyage of the "new " QE2
« Reply #22 on: Apr 05, 2012, 10:40 PM »
Matteo... look at the date of the report... it's the aftermath of that notorious major refit...
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Online cunardqueen

The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #23 on: Apr 29, 2013, 04:32 PM »
I thought l had posted these onhere somewhere but cant find them
Anyway April 29th 1987..All these years ago. After seeing QE2 Arriving back from a short jaunt the Isle of Wight.
I was embarking for a 10 day round trip crossing ...(Rob you had just disembarked?)
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online cunardqueen

Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #24 on: Apr 29, 2013, 04:45 PM »
and a few more..
As it happens it was one hell of a voyage !

From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #25 on: Apr 29, 2013, 07:18 PM »
Great photos and memories, Myles!

Found the rest of your thread for you too :) .

Offline Lynda Bradford

Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #26 on: Apr 29, 2013, 07:46 PM »
Happy memories for both Myles and Rob. 

Love the photos!  :)
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online cunardqueen

Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2013, 05:54 PM »
The French Dinner
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online cunardqueen

Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2013, 05:57 PM »
A few of the problems...
The Childrens Playroom, clearly out of action..
And the workmen in my cabin, No cold water for a few days
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online cunardqueen

Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2013, 05:34 PM »
Some more photos..
The passenger fancy dress competiton

Engine instruction book !

On the Bridge, the late Peter Radmore is pictured with the beard (its some of his collection that is onboard)
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online cunardqueen

Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2013, 05:44 PM »
and a few more
The "Head" waiter

Out of action toilets

Off limits on an early Funnel run ;)

From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online cunardqueen

Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2013, 06:00 PM »
Ted Scull.

The Welcome letter/ Or a warning of what was to come

Alan Bennell taking a photo of the members of the WSS on a group bridge visit
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online cunardqueen

Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2013, 06:13 PM »
QE2 loves NY..
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2013, 06:32 PM »
Great photos miles!

Isn't the last one from after 9-11?
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Online cunardqueen

Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2013, 07:00 PM »
No it isnt, l was on deck videoing when some of the deck crew unfurled this red banner and no one could read what it said, it was only ashore that we realised what is said, there was also a banner shoreside with "NY loves QE2"
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2013, 11:50 PM »
Thanks!

Must find a photo of the 9-11 banner now, I'm sure it was very similar?!
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Online cunardqueen

Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2013, 11:57 AM »
some sailaway shots leaving New York
The Yacht was Malcolm Forbes The Highlander
and front page from the special issue of Cruise Digest.
Meet n Greet at The Commodores Reception. (if you believe the press, Portet was chucked off and Commodore Ridley took his cabin)   

From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online cunardqueen

Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2013, 12:01 PM »
In silent reflection... it wasnt taken on that voyage, but its very poignant ... 
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online cunardqueen

Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #38 on: May 06, 2013, 12:12 PM »
From those wonderful people in Public Relations  The menu covers were always a great topic during Dinner on the farewell trips.. ;)

I always felt the kennels were a tad poor, l remember one lady, on one visit saying she expected them to be at least carpeted...
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online cunardqueen

Re: The Maiden Voyage of the NEW QE2 April 1987
« Reply #39 on: May 14, 2013, 09:51 PM »
The time line for the refit..I assume its in German
Now if only it was translated....
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!