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Author Topic: Was she strong outside but rotting away inside?  (Read 201 times)

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Online pete cain

Was she strong outside but rotting away inside?
« on: Oct 19, 2020, 08:16 PM »
 After all this time, & looking through (my always &  never ending)rose coloured glasses regarding our QE2,
&  looking back through  quite a few external shots of QE2 in our photo comp.
  Were we manipulated into  looking at QE2 as somewhat never ending, I, for one was always thumping her hull on my 'arrival home on the gang plank', & finding it soooo reassuring, she looks so strong, so massive, so.... QE2,    however inside she (poor thing) was rotting away.
 Were Cunard, ----- well  not's go there -I'd like to. just thinkin aloud
« Last Edit: Oct 19, 2020, 09:20 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Was she strong outside but rotting away inside?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 19, 2020, 09:29 PM »
Interesting question, Pete.

Yes, she was not like a modern five star hotel inside, I suppose I must agree.

She was more like home, beautiful and comfortable and just right to make me feel good. Even at home, not everything is brand-new freshly installed, but it is good and the way I like it. QE2 felt like that to me.

But of course we don't want things to be rotting away, even at home. It never did strike me that this was so. Maintenance seemed perfect, all the way to the end, with handrails polished every day and the deck planks caulked even a few weeks before her departure to Dubai. I never saw disintegrating napkins or chipped china or less than perfect curtains or bedclothes, and the bathrooms always seemed spic and span.

The only trouble I can remember, but this was some 10 years before the end, was an air-conditioning draught that could not the turned down, and on another occasion a cabin filled with lingering stale cigarette smoke. And yes, we once encountered a leaking pipe too -- but that gave Pia a lovely upgraded cabin for several days!

Online CasinoChris

Re: Was she strong outside but rotting away inside?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 19, 2020, 11:11 PM »
Personally thought QE2 was very well maintained especially remembering my cruise on Carnival's Ecstacy in 2018 which is a lot younger and definitely falling apart!
My second ship I worked on was the 1957 Gripsholm then running as Regent Sea, poor old girl had experienced a fire followed by a being in a floating drydock that capsized with her in it! She laid on her port side for a long time partially flooded. She was definitely rotting from the inside, constantly leaking/exploding pipework and an ever present smell of mold!!! :D

Online cunardqueen

Re: Was she strong outside but rotting away inside?
« Reply #3 on: Oct 20, 2020, 12:38 AM »
Quote
But of course we don't want things to be rotting away, even at home. It never did strike me that this was so. Maintenance seemed perfect, all the way to the end, with handrails polished every day and the deck planks caulked even a few weeks before her departure to Dubai. I never saw disintegrating napkins or chipped china or less than perfect curtains or bedclothes, and the bathrooms always seemed spic and span. 

But we only saw the polished side of QE2, the side the passengers see, Theres a whole world behind that side in any hotel. The carpets in the corridor how many burst pipes did they hide ? the incabin stuff was always cleaned before we were let loose in there. A busy carpet will hide a such alot of marks and stains, and now with everywhere using dazzling white sheets and covers any minor mark stares you in the face   Its not the same but next time your out have  a look how clean is that glass how clean of fingerprints is that white plate.  Ok that's all down to housekeeping, but a look behind passenger country would show you probably sights that make you wonder is this QE2. But if you were on Five deck there was always that lingering smell , and it wasn't the smell of Luxury.

 In 2005 l had a night at Gleneagles, for the price you pay you expect the very best. The room l was allocated had a tired carpet in the corridor, the bathroom had cracked tiles on the floor and they had been cracked for a long time , the wardrobe had the back hanging off it in a disgraceful state and the whole room just not only looked tired but retired, But it was Gleneagles. Perhaps most people wouldn't have noticed such things, But when you're paying good money you do expect a certain level of niceness.

 Theres a lovely hotel l go to in San Diego, right on the beach. to "get it"  people stay in the Victorian part, rather than the new build tower rooms . At night time the floor boards creak , the hotel key card activates an ancient lock that whirrs as it opens, you enter into a unique  suite, slide open the rickety balcony door and step out onto a painted area with a rickety balcony rail that could be knocked over with what little effort you think. a roving eye will show you the dust/ sand . i recall a few years ago l was staying there in a beautiful suite overlooking the Pacific , and yip it had the above quirks , l invited two local friends back for coffee , it duly arrived on a trolly and was wheeled in and set up. we sat and drank coffee from a lovely posh Thermos coffee pot, it could have done with a wipe, one of the friends l noticed had a swimming pool of coffee in his saucer , l had just assumed he had spilt it but l ordered more coffee and a few sandwiches for the hell of it. a beautiful shiny flask arrived and sandwiches served under one of those domes, it turns out it had a hairline crack which was hardly noticeable but fill it with coffee and it starts to show, he was too embarrassed to mention it, another call to room service and in no time a fresh cup and saucer was delivered with apologies. l had my rose coloured glasses on as l always do when l stay here. and while there was a very slight niggle l didn't see the point in making a fuss . the room service charge for the coffee and sandwiches was as always ridiculous, and added on was the tray charge. but we accept such things. anyway l give them a tour of the hotel and back in my room later all trace of the event was gone . i never gave it any thought but on checkout the bill was scanned and l noted no charge had been applied, it does happen such things can be missed, and l mentioned this to the lady. she looked further and said yes its been removed and served with their compliments arising from the negative experience. But some might say that's how the USA differs from us in customer service .
The same place has one of those very antiquated lifts with an equally older lift man (Andrew) to take you up at the most 3 flights.all he does is open the set of antiquated doors, operate the machinery to take you to your floor and open the doors to let you out, and the unofficial rule is you gently slip him a $1. Now who in their right minds pays a $1 for a go in the lift when the stairs are next and they are free. I marvel at how the lift operates its such an old thing, but its serviced now and then, they could do with replacing the carpet and giving it a good old clean but it works beautifully and Andrew the lift man is a character, if like me hes in a chatty mood you can be held hostage a while , or he takes you all the way to the third floor and back down again if its a longer conversation. he has this knack of remembering people. My first experience l was enthralled by it all and hence l always gave him a clean crisp fresh $2 bill. Occasionally he gives you a double run if its one of those long conversations and with a glint he says Have this one on me.  The best line he used which caused me no end of laughter l was heading down for breakfast and called the lift to my floor , you can hear as he closes the doors and swings the big lever into action and arrives at my floor, in his usual manner opens both doors pops his head outside to make sure all is clear and gestures you inside , l enquired how his day was going, he shot me one of his looks and sighed " Oh Up and down Mr Devin, Up and down"  l was chuckling all the way through breakfast at his comment. but I digress.
 
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Was she strong outside but rotting away inside?
« Reply #4 on: Oct 20, 2020, 11:43 AM »
... but I digress.

I enjoyed the digression, Myles, and of course your experience of the industry behind-the-scenes.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Was she strong outside but rotting away inside?
« Reply #5 on: Oct 20, 2020, 03:25 PM »
Short answer : yes, although i had no idea at the time.   As the previous replies indicated, to my eyes she seemed perfect and as if she could have gone on forever. 

Strong : hull, diesel engines etc, brand

Rotting : superstructure, plumbing, tanks and lots of other stuff they were juggling like those bow thrusters for example

Looking back now, you can see she really couldn't go on much longer, and even without those problems regulations were going to overtake her of course.

They got their money's worth out of the old girl, and then some, while keeping hotel standards high to the end.

I would add, that this applies to some very modern ships too - they also have numerous problems being juggled and worked around.
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Online Andy Holloway

Re: Was she strong outside but rotting away inside?
« Reply #6 on: Oct 20, 2020, 05:52 PM »
Short answer : yes, although i had no idea at the time.   As the previous replies indicated, to my eyes she seemed perfect and as if she could have gone on forever. 

Strong : hull, diesel engines etc, brand

Rotting : superstructure, plumbing, tanks and lots of other stuff they were juggling like those bow thrusters for example

Looking back now, you can see she really couldn't go on much longer, and even without those problems regulations were going to overtake her of course.

They got their money's worth out of the old girl, and then some, while keeping hotel standards high to the end.

I would add, that this applies to some very modern ships too - they also have numerous problems being juggled and worked around.

It wasn't so much that the bow thrusters were 'rotting' it was that they were totally useless! As one illustrious Master once said; "I'd be better off lowering a hair dryer over the side"!
To have been effective to any real manoeuvring, they would had have to have been replaced with ones at least 3 or 4 times more powerful, preferably greater even.
It would have been expensive but, as long as she'd stayed in service for another 10 years post replacement, it would have paid for itself. As more and more ports around the World were 'discouraging' tug requirement
for various reasons, to be 'self reliant' on arrival or departure would have saved roughly $60k per visit to a port.   

Online Thomas Hypher

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Re: Was she strong outside but rotting away inside?
« Reply #7 on: Oct 20, 2020, 08:58 PM »
It wasn't so much that the bow thrusters were 'rotting' it was that they were totally useless! As one illustrious Master once said; "I'd be better off lowering a hair dryer over the side"!
To have been effective to any real manoeuvring, they would had have to have been replaced with ones at least 3 or 4 times more powerful, preferably greater even.
It would have been expensive but, as long as she'd stayed in service for another 10 years post replacement, it would have paid for itself. As more and more ports around the World were 'discouraging' tug requirement
for various reasons, to be 'self reliant' on arrival or departure would have saved roughly $60k per visit to a port.   

I'll never forget leaving Barcelona in July 2005, when the bow thrusters were still used occasionally unlike in her last couple of years (perhaps to do with that leaking door seal Lloyds were keeping a close eye on at the end?), and the painfully slow progress we made swinging off the berth with a lot of vibration in her forward section to match.
We took ages to unberth, and were belching rather nicely from the funnel too as we kicked up the silt (the thick black oily smoke would have some people aghast these days)!
By comparison, QM2 would've turned 180 degrees or more in half the time if that, with similar vibration! Definitely one of QE2's lifetime Achille's heels, as one of her early captains (Bob Arnott?) mentioned her bow couldn't be held stationary in a modest current by the bow thrusters or some such.
As an aside, my Dad also noticed a gash, almost enough to stick one's fingers in (not advisable of course), in her aluminium superstructure at the bit beneath the bridge, starboard side behind the bridge wing as we left Barcelona. It had been patched by the next day when we looked again.

I've attached a couple of my Dad's photos from that Barcelona departure:
First travelled on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and travelled on QE2 in July 2008. Last saw QE2 in person from the decks of QM2, on QE2's last Transatlantic crossing (Eastbound tandem) in October 2008 - we had the better view!

Online pete cain

Re: Was she strong outside but rotting away inside?
« Reply #8 on: Oct 21, 2020, 07:53 PM »
 I'm grateful that there is always something, maybe new, to talk about QE2 or at least take a sideways look at,
 I've always thought that she looked So robust, knowing that her hull was a bit thicker  than intended originally (read somewhere, a compromise in the building programme- I believe-- will find it if needs be). So , there was no problem there, she lasted 40 yrs , could've been more perhaps, but, let's call it the infrastructure behind the scenes was crumbling.
 This only comes to mind with the hindsight of those Lloyd's records shown here quite a while ago with all those red dots.
 This was only an observation, I never wanted her to end, maybe the way she was constructed contributed to her final , but so well deservd retirement.
   I was present in the shipyards in the 60's & 70's , tanks & the like were never treated as something special (maybe designed obsolescence or a designated service life), & QE2 God bless her bucked the trend for OOOhhhhh so long