Author Topic: 7 July 2005 on board QE2  (Read 3762 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

7 July 2005 on board QE2
« on: Jul 08, 2015, 11:25 AM »
7 July 2005 on board QE2 was a day that started well and continued well. We had boarded QE2 the day before, in Southampton, and I was comfortably settled into Cabin 2040, a cabin which I was to inhabit again during our final cruise in 2008.

This was the "Northern Wonders" cruise, embarking on 6 July in Southampton.

The programme was :

6 July : Embark in Southampton
7 July : At sea
8 July : Hamburg
9 July : At sea
10 July : Gothenburg
11 July : Oslo
12 July : Stavanger
13 July : Bergen
14 July : Hellesylt and Geiranger
16 July : Amsterdam (overnight)
17 July : Amsterdam
18 July : Disembark in Southampton

And so, 7 July 2005, the day of the London bombs, was our first full day on QE2, looking forward to a wonderful cruise, and enjoying a relaxing day at sea before our arrival in Hamburg (we knew this would be a spectacular day and were preparing ourselves for it).

The Captain on this occasion was Nick Bates, whose presence was always enjoyable (and whom we already knew from Caronia on the Baltic a year earlier). He told us that being the Master of the QE2 was like "having died and gone to Heaven"). The Chief Engineer was John Hanvey.













The notes I took in my diary do not say anything about the bombs, and yet they remain quite a vivid memory.

We had a very good breakfast in the Britannia Grill, appreciated two destination lectures, booked excursions and regretted the fact that some we had wanted to take, had been cancelled, had an excellent lunch, followed by a restful siesta, went swimming in lovely warm water (29 degrees C), changed into our formal dresses, attended the Captain's reception and enjoyed dinner.

This was followed by a relaxed chat with Pia in the Lido until well after the Midnight buffet, as we awaited the arrival of the Hamburg Pilot. When he did arrive, we rushed from side to side of the ship, causing Pia to slip on the steps in her long dress, and to fall flat on her face. This was observed by Nick Bates from his bridge wing, and he immediately sent some security officers to check whether she was all right (which fortunately she was). It became a standing tease between him and her during the rest of the cruise!

As the news emerged, announcements were being made on board about the London bombs, and a bit of a worried atmosphere settled over the ship for the day, lingering for the rest of the cruise.

We received a special edition of the satellite newspaper, with details of the bombs and various reactions. The next day's edition was also full of the news. What I had entirely forgotten and only see now on re-reading the newssheet, was that London had been awarded the 2012 Olympic Games just the day before, and some people were wondering whether perhaps there was a connection between the two events.

« Last Edit: Jul 09, 2015, 08:33 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: 7 July 2005 on board QE2
« Reply #1 on: Jul 08, 2015, 01:10 PM »
Several things changed, some during this cruise, some soon afterwards. There was a feeling that QE2 herself might be threatened, and as we travelled on, security was tightened almost as we watched. Much of the charm of seeing QE2 in port was to be lost as a result.

In Hamburg, visitors were still allowed into the cruise terminal, right next to the ship (the blue building at the left edge of the picture). We met some friends there and, while they were not allowed into the ship, they were able to see her up close and mix with us passengers. The picture below also shows a special presentation laid on for us by the City of Hamburg.


Special reception
by Isabelle Prondzynski, on Flickr

In Gothenburg, tourist information and souvenir stalls were set up close to the gangway, the last time we experienced this :


Göteborg
by Isabelle Prondzynski, on Flickr

And the unsightly grilles at QE2's stern had not yet been installed, but were about to be :


QE2 in Bergen
by Isabelle Prondzynski, on Flickr

By the time we reached Amsterdam, security cordons had been set up around the ship, access to local admirers was denied, and souvenir stalls were no longer welcome. A completely new and different era had started...


Repainting the lifeboat
by Isabelle Prondzynski, on Flickr

Some eleven months later, when we took our next cruise on QE2, those grilles at the stern had been installed (initially painted black, which was perhaps better than the later white) ::


Tendering in Longyearbyen
by Isabelle Prondzynski, on Flickr

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: 7 July 2005 on board QE2
« Reply #2 on: Jul 09, 2015, 08:36 PM »
I wonder whether any other Forum members were on board for this cruise? How did you feel at the time?

Do you also regard this moment as a turning point regarding security concerns and the greater segregation of ships and their passengers from their ports of call?

Offline June Ingram

  • Global Moderator
  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 7973
  • Total likes: 4734
  • Beautiful, elegant QE2 - forever Queen of the Seas
Re: 7 July 2005 on board QE2
« Reply #3 on: Jul 10, 2015, 01:57 PM »
Hi Isabelle -

Thank you very much for sharing with us your remembrances and photos of your time aboard QE2 especially 7 July 2005.  It must have seemed surreal as the events in London were unfolding and then seeing the ramifications reach all the way to QE2 with heightened security and protocols in the ports of call. 

Do you recall specifically any of the reactions from others aboard during that cruise ?

From your description of security measures unfolding as you watched, this indeed must have been a turning point regarding the issue of security.

June
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: 7 July 2005 on board QE2
« Reply #4 on: Jul 10, 2015, 06:18 PM »
I forgot to mention that the Daily Programme and the special Newssheet are saved in the QE2Story Gallery, here :

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=8

There, you can click on the photos to enlarge them, so that hopefully you can read the text. Thus, for instance, I was struck by the fact that this was the cruise with Chiara Capabianco as Harpist; I very much enjoyed her music and bought a CD of hers which I mislaid during a move some years back and which has not come back to light since.

My own colour pictures are in Flickr and the originals can be reached by simply clicking on them.

Thank you, June, for your kind remarks. I cannot really remember any specific reactions from others during the cruise, except for a general atmosphere which seemed to bring about more security measures in each port of call.

I remember thinking that all this was somewhat ludicrous -- who would want to harm QE2 and her crew or us harmless holidaymakers? That was ten years ago...

Offline June Ingram

  • Global Moderator
  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 7973
  • Total likes: 4734
  • Beautiful, elegant QE2 - forever Queen of the Seas
Re: 7 July 2005 on board QE2
« Reply #5 on: Jul 10, 2015, 07:38 PM »
Hi Isabelle -

Thank you very much for the link to the Daily Programme and the special Newssheet.  I will definitely look it up. 

You photos in Flickr on this and many QE2 topics are magnificent and they capture QE2's essence in all of her glory.

I do agree that ten years ago, terrorist attacks as awful as they were, were viewed as more isolated attacks.  That sadly is no longer the case.

When I went on my first cruise in 1990, one basically walked on the ship and that was that.  When boarding MSC Divina this past January, there were layer upon layer of security and scrutiny.

June

QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Chris Frame

Re: 7 July 2005 on board QE2
« Reply #6 on: Jul 24, 2015, 01:57 PM »
Thanks for sharing Isabelle.

Online Rob Lightbody

  • Administrator
  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 11041
  • Total likes: 11424
  • Helping to Keep The Legend Alive
    • Rob Lightbody dot com
Re: 7 July 2005 on board QE2
« Reply #7 on: Aug 08, 2015, 12:17 PM »
This is wonderful Isabelle.  Did it make it into last month's newsletter?  If not, lets include a mention of it and a link to it in the August one.

Because of the London bombing happening during this trip, I know exactly where I was and what I was doing at this time in my life.  I want to go back and give myself a slap and tell myself to go on QE2 immediately - it always seemed like something to do in the future, but now that future is here... but we can relive through your memories. 
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Twynkle

Re: 7 July 2005 on board QE2
« Reply #8 on: Aug 08, 2015, 02:00 PM »
7 / 7
I was arriving for an appointment in London before work - up near Euston Station when the bomb in underground had just exploded.
All the traffic stopped, put on diversion. There were people five deep lining all the streets around the West End, all waiting for buses.
People were appearing from Euston Square (station) with powdery black and white faces and hair - this was ash.
Having found a bus close to Russell Square to get me to work - I was nearby, and witnessed the effects of both catastrophic events.

We'd had a voyage on board QE2 booked for the following month - I'm afraid that being involved in such appalling things that had happened in London, it was a morning that was shocking, and as 9/11 remains for thousands more - our holiday was the last thing on my mind at the time.
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for nearly 12 years.  Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Offline Thomas Hypher

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2286
  • Total likes: 3971
  • QE2, a home from home - beautiful from all angles!
Re: 7 July 2005 on board QE2
« Reply #9 on: Oct 17, 2017, 03:42 AM »
I have never seen QE2 docked at the current Hamburg Cruise terminal, makes for an interesting comparison with QM2 where I've docked while onboard several times and photographed when alongside.
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and 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 back in January 2020.

Offline Rod

Re: 7 July 2005 on board QE2
« Reply #10 on: Oct 17, 2017, 12:40 PM »
I wasn't on the cruise obviously. But I wish I was. Sounds like great destinations!

Online Andy Holloway

Re: 7 July 2005 on board QE2
« Reply #11 on: Oct 17, 2017, 05:17 PM »
Hi Isabelle -

Thank you very much for sharing with us your remembrances and photos of your time aboard QE2 especially 7 July 2005.  It must have seemed surreal as the events in London were unfolding and then seeing the ramifications reach all the way to QE2 with heightened security and protocols in the ports of call. 

Do you recall specifically any of the reactions from others aboard during that cruise ?

From your description of security measures unfolding as you watched, this indeed must have been a turning point regarding the issue of security.

No definitely not, the turning point came some years before that on Sept 11th 2001. Prior to that day it was fairly easy for passengers to bring visitors onboard QE2, crikey, we even allowed 'Sail Away' parties for passengers joining in S/ton & New York!  From a Security point of view both absolute nightmares!

The real start of a tightening up of security onboard started when they introduced photographic, electronic cards for all passengers and crew in 1999/2000. I was Security Officer on RVS which was the first ship in the Cunard fleet to have them, then when i went to Vistafjord/Caronia we introduced them on there.

If you go even further back to the 50s & early 60s you could wander down to the docks in S'ton and just wander around the Queens at your leisure with no questions asked, how times change!!


« Last Edit: Oct 17, 2017, 06:39 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Offline Rod

Re: 7 July 2005 on board QE2
« Reply #12 on: Oct 18, 2017, 12:51 PM »
To be honest, before the "Big bomb scare" security was a joke! Most of the S/O's were former A/B's with NO idea of security. Their one saving grace was they knew most of the crew by sight.
A comment I made in another thread regarding the shotgun, gives you some idea. it was eventually tightened up some, but gangway identification was spotty,  "I'm in cabin # 2020" OK go right ahead! Doors to areas, that could possibly ruin the ships whole day, were never locked.
Heck when the ship first came out 1 regular room key could open 15 other guest rooms. Was late 70's, I think when the Ving key system was installed?

Offline Thomas Hypher

  • Queens Grill Diner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2286
  • Total likes: 3971
  • QE2, a home from home - beautiful from all angles!
Re: 7 July 2005 on board QE2
« Reply #13 on: Jan 13, 2021, 05:37 AM »
I've just realised we were on the voyage right after this, a roundtrip (as was possible with QE2 in the timeframe with her speed) just under two week cruise to the Med. 18th July 2005 was also when Christopher Rynd took command of QE2, for the first time, from Nick Bates - Captain Rynd being the Captain who approached us at Boat Deck Aft having spotted I was reading a nautical book from the library whilst doing one of his rounds of the ship. The rare and unexpected visit to the bridge with the nursery followed towards the end of that cruise whilst sailing back through the Bay of Biscay to Southampton at nearly 28.5 knots!

Regarding 7/7 I don't recall increased security over our previous two trips in the preceding couple of years. However, 9/11 had well and truly left it's mark, particularly when we visited New York in August 2003 from a police point of view in that attempts were made to stop us and other people watching QE2's departure from Pier 92 and the WTC site itself - which we passed on the coach tour.

I presume the retractable security grilles at the stern were fitted during QE2's 2006 refit and last Cunard era drydocking at Lloyd Werft as they were in place by the time of our next trip onboard in late July/early August 2006. They have now (thankfully) been removed (not just retracted) in Dubai probably as part of making Two Deck aft a business event type area according to the official Instagram.
« Last Edit: Jan 13, 2021, 07:23 AM by Thomas Hypher »
First sailed on QE2 in August 2003 aged 6 years old. Last stepped foot and 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 back in January 2020.