Author Topic: QE2 "as is" Hotel (wherever) - what will it be like ?  (Read 26748 times)

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Offline Chris

It has dawned upon me that if QE2 opens relatively "as is" in Cape Town - there is an opportunity to relive the QE2 experience... what will it be like? Will Ocean Books return to the Library and Bookshop (albeit with restocked shelves), will all restaurants open again? Will they open all of her cabins for use, or just those ex. C2 and higher? This is all speculation but I am sure everyone here has an opinion - here's the spot to voice them!

PS: If she does sail I can't wait to hear her horn sounded again as she bids Dubai farewell... and imagine the arrival into Cape Town, with Table Mountain as a backdrop, it will be epic!
« Last Edit: Sep 19, 2009, 12:09 PM by Rob Lightbody »
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NairB

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Re: QE2 "as is" in Cape Town - what will it be like.
« Reply #1 on: Jul 13, 2009, 08:19 AM »
 :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Yipeee, this is great stuff Chris. To hear her sound her horn again and happily cutting her way through her beloved Atlantic on route with the Ocean Spray hitting her cooling her down.....wow.....she will be doing what she was made for once again with pride.

LOL...maybe she could come back to the UK for a quick "cuddle" again before she goes to South Africa, that would be a dream come true....BLASTING HER HORNS saying I'm back for a quick visit.... ;D

I'm excited by all this....thanks Nakheel for giving her another chance to set sail.....Nakheel is the best if it happens :D

And hello South Africa, our Queen is coming your way  ;)

Offline Bob C.

Re: QE2 "as is" in Cape Town - what will it be like.
« Reply #2 on: Jul 13, 2009, 04:08 PM »
...and happily cutting her way through her beloved Atlantic on route with the Ocean Spray hitting her cooling her down.....wow.....she will be doing what she was made for once again with pride.

By my map it is shorter to sail through the Indian Ocean by way of Madagascar than it is to sail up through the Suez ($1M toll), through the Mediterranean and Atlantic.  It would be great to see her in the Atlantic again but given the financial situation the olny Atlantic she may see is the wee bit pulling into Cape Town.

...Nakheel is the best if it happens :D

It will take a lot more to sway my opinion of Nakhell (and Carnivore).

Online cunardqueen

Re: QE2 "as is" in Cape Town - what will it be like.
« Reply #3 on: Jul 13, 2009, 05:48 PM »
Quote
Nakheel is the best if it happens

No they are not,When they bought her, they really had no idea what to do with her, most folks would have done the homework, They were still messing about trying to figure out what to do. Right now they have told us sod all, and now have egg on their face big style as Rob says that this has leaked out

 It will be interesting to see exactly what shape she is in when she arrives in Cape town. And perhaps we should be well to remember that Cunard have cut all the links from her. So anybody thinking of trying QE2 out in her temp home should remember she has a new owner, and there will be none of the old faces from years gone by, just a bunch of new staff drafted in to tide things over. Who will probably wonder what all the fuss is about
 Granted the engines have been kept turning over, but we alll know how bad the plumbing was in her later stages with leaks everywhere,  what about the water plant, they woudl need to run all the taps at the very least to ensure all was ok, the kitchens l doubt are ready to use right away after all this time sitting unused.Not to mention all this time sitting there in the heat. Of course if we are to believe Nakheel then the skeleton crew have been going round dusting this and that so maybe she will be as is when she arrived in Dubai.

 When QE2 left our shores and arrived in Dubai, did anyone really expect her to sail again? While it may be nice to dream the dream that she will return to normal for a short period, l would love to have another afternoon tea, but will in all likelyhood accept such a thing will never happen again.

 The worst mistake l ever made, and it pains me to say this was to visit onboard on the 11th November on that awful day, Dont get me wrong, lm pleased l had the chance, but it really wasnt a nice thing to do and l wish to god l hadnt. But there you have it.
That just my thoughts for what its worth.

  ** OLD DEAD LINK REMOVED **img190/9310/img069i.jpg[/img]
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Twynkle

Re: QE2 "as is" in Cape Town - what will it be like.
« Reply #4 on: Jul 13, 2009, 07:13 PM »
Hi Myles
I'm in complete agreement with you about what may / may not have happened since 11.11.
You were courageous to say go and say goodbye, like all those who'd known QE2 for years, including the Crew who went with her to Dubai.
There were rumours that she was trashed before arriving there - and no matter what - she will not be the same, either physically as we remembered her, nor will she have the wonderful atmosphere that was unique to  QE2.
It was the staff that kept her going and QE2, with the help of Cunard, gave me / us the best time of my life!

It just feels bleak now -even the expression,' floating hotel' and words like 'luxury' can't convey what QE2 meant then. 
The Good Fortune was this time last year......The Bad is the measure of just how Good it was :'(

I very much hope that there will be something unchanged and very good about QE2 in Cape Town  - achieving this would be the result of respect and care of QE2 and what she has represented for the past 40+ years.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/watch_keeper/3716964365/
Queens Room - The Masked Ball. 8.2008






 
« Last Edit: Jul 13, 2009, 08:09 PM by Twynkle »

Offline Malcolm

Re: QE2 "as is" in Cape Town - what will it be like.
« Reply #5 on: Jul 13, 2009, 08:39 PM »
what will it be like?

There was so little of the unchanged ship left in her final years that I think anyone will have problems salvaging a working hotel.

If she is going to be tied up in Cape Town (that is assuming she goes there ;) ) there won't be the demand for five restaurants. Most people who stay aboard will decide to eat ashore. I cannot see how people could be made to eat in a restaurant with two sittings and expect both sittings to be full every night without a captive audience. I think you might find the Princess Grill running as a speciality restaurant (the original Grill Room) and that would be the limit of public restaurants.

The Queens Grill would be good turned back into a night club with the entrance from A Stairs again.

The Theatre could run as a cinema but it would need to be capable of showing films with a much better quality of projection that she had at the end of her seagoing time. That would require a couple of decent projectors. Looking at plans I think there would be room for them but would the return on seat sales be sufficient to fund them?

The Queens Room is a lovely room (despite its being nicer pre second refit and much nicer pre first refit). There and the Grand Lounge were very popular in the evenings but where will the crowds come from to fill them? When she was at sea for most evenings she had a captive audience - that audience would need something exceptional to keep them onboard if she were tied up.

The Mauretania and Caronia restaurants could be used as conference rooms - good space, lots of natural light, good access, etc but what would the Queens Room, Grand Lounge, Yacht Club and Theatre be used for.

Is there any use for the Lido without a major overhaul? :)

I would like to see the synagogue reinstated. Not because I have any religious beliefs but because I think that room could become an enormous attraction.

I don't think that they could even keep all the First Class cabins for use. We were in 2044 on the World Cruise. It was a nice cabin but its big plus point was that it was going around the world; had it been static I would have wanted more room. We were in 2077, a Q3 on her last trip to Canada. There was plenty of room but the fittings were looking very tired. I would not have accepted that from a hotel on land.

I think that it might be possible only to save the cabins on Decks One and Two from D Stair to E Stair. Even then you would end up getting some of the smaller First Class cabins. I do not think anyone would willingly pay for the inside singles or bed and upper bunks of Five Deck. However these cabins would need to be sold continuously as that is where the majority of her money came from in the later days.

imagine the arrival into Cape Town, with Table Mountain as a backdrop, it will be epic!

Now that would be something :) If it ever happens I would like top be there to see it :)

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 "as is" in Cape Town - what will it be like.
« Reply #6 on: Jul 13, 2009, 09:00 PM »
There was so little of the unchanged ship left in her final years that I think anyone will have problems salvaging a working hotel.

What do you mean by that?  She was a superb hotel.  She was the best hotel I've ever stayed in, in fact... even if she'd gone nowhere.  In fact arguably she was a better hotel than she was anything else, given that she lacked all the whizz-bang things that you get on a modern cruise ship.  Superb restaurants.  Nice bedrooms.  Lovely bars.  Swimming pool.  What else does a hotel need to supply?  Add in the entire 'museum' element, and the 'British' factor, and that its a ship and that your room might have portholes and i think its all set.

  • Lido - a Gym.  The close by pool with its changing rooms together with outdoor deck space make this make sense.
  • All 3 grills could be running, I think.  Mixture of residents only and visitors.  If this was very successful one of the other 2 could be added.  Discounting Mauretania because its two-seating doesnt make sense, since it wouldn't need to be 2-seating due to much lower number of 'passengers'
  • Yacht Club, Chart Room, Golden Lion, Crystal Bar, 1 deck pool/Pavillion - all running as originally intended.  I think the Yacht Club especially, if marketed well and with a good DJ etc, could be a hit.  I thought it was a fabulous space.
  • Bedrooms - I think many of the 3,2,1 rooms could be used (as well as the penthouses, of course).  Our 3-deck midships cabin on our last cruise - a P2 i believe - was a delight.  Exceptionally good condition and ample space.  To make it even more attractive, I suppose it could be sold as a single.  It simply depends on what it costs, and whats included in the price.
  • Queens Room - British Afternoon Tea, of course!  And music and evening ballroom dancing.  Hyping up the British aspect.
  • Theatre as a classy concert venue.  Classical music etc. would be especially appropriate.
  • Grand Lounge - Dancing?  Dont know though...

I think with careful marketing, including marketing the venues independently rather than the whole thing as one venue - e.g. "Appearing tonight at The Yacht club, on QE2"...  or Package deal this weekend - afternoon tea in Queens Room, pre-dinner drinks in the Chart Room and 3 courses in the Queens Grill - $40!
« Last Edit: Jul 13, 2009, 09:33 PM by Rob Lightbody »
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Offline Louis De Sousa

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Re: QE2 "as is" in Cape Town - what will it be like.
« Reply #7 on: Jul 13, 2009, 10:39 PM »
Quote
There was so little of the unchanged ship left in her final years that I think anyone will have problems salvaging a working hotel.

If she is going to be tied up in Cape Town (that is assuming she goes there  ) there won't be the demand for five restaurants. Most people who stay aboard will decide to eat ashore. I cannot see how people could be made to eat in a restaurant with two sittings and expect both sittings to be full every night without a captive audience. I think you might find the Princess Grill running as a speciality restaurant (the original Grill Room) and that would be the limit of public restaurants.

The Queens Grill would be good turned back into a night club with the entrance from A Stairs again.

The Theatre could run as a cinema but it would need to be capable of showing films with a much better quality of projection that she had at the end of her seagoing time. That would require a couple of decent projectors. Looking at plans I think there would be room for them but would the return on seat sales be sufficient to fund them?

The Queens Room is a lovely room (despite its being nicer pre second refit and much nicer pre first refit). There and the Grand Lounge were very popular in the evenings but where will the crowds come from to fill them? When she was at sea for most evenings she had a captive audience - that audience would need something exceptional to keep them onboard if she were tied up.

The Mauretania and Caronia restaurants could be used as conference rooms - good space, lots of natural light, good access, etc but what would the Queens Room, Grand Lounge, Yacht Club and Theatre be used for.

Is there any use for the Lido without a major overhaul?

I would like to see the synagogue reinstated. Not because I have any religious beliefs but because I think that room could become an enormous attraction.

I don't think that they could even keep all the First Class cabins for use. We were in 2044 on the World Cruise. It was a nice cabin but its big plus point was that it was going around the world; had it been static I would have wanted more room. We were in 2077, a Q3 on her last trip to Canada. There was plenty of room but the fittings were looking very tired. I would not have accepted that from a hotel on land.

I think that it might be possible only to save the cabins on Decks One and Two from D Stair to E Stair. Even then you would end up getting some of the smaller First Class cabins. I do not think anyone would willingly pay for the inside singles or bed and upper bunks of Five Deck. However these cabins would need to be sold continuously as that is where the majority of her money came from in the later days.


I agree mostly Rob,but my changes from yours is to turn the Queens Grill and kitchen into a video arcade.
The Grand lounge and shops turned into a night club,have those cabins on Boat deck turned in to shops.
Turn the casino into part of the Golden Lion Pub.
Have the Upper Deck restaurant turned into conference rooms.Bring the Lookout bar back.
The Yacht Club would become the heritage museum.
On Quarter deck on would leave it mostly as it is.

The Midships Lobby would be the entrance to the hotel and all those cabins Fwd on 2 Deck from A to D staitways would be removed to become the reception desk and offices for the hotel operations.

The captains quarters would become the top paid suite,and those singles officers cabins on Sport Decks sale them for single guests.

4 and 5 decks cabins all sealed off.

Louis
« Last Edit: Jul 13, 2009, 11:41 PM by Rob Lightbody »

Offline Twynkle

Re: QE2 "as is" in Cape Town - what will it be like.
« Reply #8 on: Jul 13, 2009, 10:51 PM »


If, and a Big if,  QE2 goes to Cape Town or anywhere else for that matter - except SOTON,
wouldn't it be a strong risk that she'd become a clone (hate that word!) Corporate Hotel?
Already there are multi-national hotel companies being invited to run her.

I wish that someone in the UK would make an offer that her owners couldn't refuse - Now!

(btw, does everyone want her to go to Cape Town??!)

Offline Louis De Sousa

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Re: QE2 "as is" in Cape Town - what will it be like.
« Reply #9 on: Jul 13, 2009, 10:54 PM »
Quote
btw, does everyone want her to go to Cape Town??!)

No,i would like to see her in Southampton or up north at her birthplace.

WhiteStar34

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Re: QE2 "as is" in Cape Town - what will it be like.
« Reply #10 on: Jul 13, 2009, 10:56 PM »
I personally don't see why any changes have to be made to the QE2. She was as good if not better than hotels on land during her time in service. However, I do agree with some of the previous posts regarding minor changes, which would be more favorable than a massive conversion which would alter the ship into an unrecognizable hulk. I don't know much about QE2's layout, but those of you who do seem to have some good ideas about what should happen to her if she sails to SA. At any rate, the engine room must be preserved as a matter of maritime importance so that visitors can understand what made the QE2 such a powerful vessel.

-Wes

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Re: QE2 "as is" in Cape Town - what will it be like.
« Reply #11 on: Jul 13, 2009, 11:06 PM »
This is a shocking thing for me to have to say, but I don't think there's anywhere in the UK that would be a success for her.  To the man in the street, she's just a has-been old cruise ship for poeple like Hyacinth Bucket.  I think the Timewatch programme last year, unfortunately, captured this rather well...

There's not enough money to bring her back here (scotland)  and not enough interest elsewhere and I just don't think S'ton would work.   for the moment, with a world cup on the horizon and a shortage of hotel rooms, Cape Town makes sense.

I think Cape Town is a good idea, for now.  It needs to be somewhere where 'British' and old appeal.  She was/is huge in Japan - She could be a big success there too.
« Last Edit: Jul 13, 2009, 11:15 PM by Rob Lightbody »
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Offline Twynkle

Re: QE2 "as is" in Cape Town - what will it be like.
« Reply #12 on: Jul 13, 2009, 11:11 PM »
About the changes - very few to the hotel areas, as Rob's pointed out.

Her engines, the Control Room, Bridge, Navigating Room, Radio Room, Officers Mess, Captain's Day and Night quarters  -there's a lovely picture of this beautiful room / office in Carol Thatcher's big blue book  - and everywhere else that was the Maritime part of her, including C-SIX must, absolutely must be preserved.
 
Wish that heritage planning rules could be applied!  Maybe they can?
Otherwise ( and I hate to say this), QE2 as she is / was, could be very vulnerable, wherever she goes.


and, btw - unless I've missed it, nobody's mentioned asbestos in this context,   Hmm!
« Last Edit: Jul 13, 2009, 11:14 PM by Twynkle »

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 "as is" in Cape Town - what will it be like.
« Reply #13 on: Jul 13, 2009, 11:15 PM »
I agree mostly Rob,but my changes from yours is to turn the Queens Grill and kitchen into a video arcade.

Who wants video arcades at all nowadays, let alone on an old luxury liner?  Wouldn't it be better to market what was one of the best restuarants in the world, and use some of its amazing statistics? e.g. the people who dined there, and the quantity of caviar that was served etc!

The Grand lounge and shops turned into a night club,
But the Yacht club was DESIGNED to be a night club, and is self-contained at hte back of the ship so the noise won't disturb other areas of the ship.

Turn the casino into part of the Golden Lion Pub.
Why not have the Casino as.... a casino!?  People will 'buy' that - "I'm going to the Casino on QE2!".

The Midships Lobby would be the entrance to the hotel and all those cabins Fwd on 2 Deck from A to D staitways would be removed to become the reception desk and offices for the hotel operations.
I would bring them in to the 2 deck aft lobby, its a lovely big space, and then thats close to the purser's desk, which is an obvious hotel reception area.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Bob C.

Re: QE2 "as is" in Cape Town - what will it be like.
« Reply #14 on: Jul 13, 2009, 11:36 PM »

I agree mostly Rob,but my changes from yours is to turn the Queens Grill and kitchen into a video arcade.
The Grand lounge and shops turned into a night club,have those cabins on Boat deck turned in to shops.
Turn the casino into part of the Golden Lion Pub.
Have the Upper Deck restaurant turned into conference rooms.Bring the Lookout bar back.
The Yacht Club would become the heritage museum.
On Quarter deck on would leave it mostly as it is.

The Midships Lobby would be the entrance to the hotel and all those cabins Fwd on 2 Deck from A to D staitways would be removed to become the reception desk and offices for the hotel operations.

The captains quarters would become the top paid suite,and those singles officers cabins on Sport Decks sale them for single guests.

4 and 5 decks cabins all sealed off.

Queens Grill - disagree. Return it to a 736 club-like venue

Grand Lounge - sounds like you are describing the Double Up and Double Down Rooms and original shops!  So yes, concur!

Casino - is gambling allowed in SA or at least Cape Town?  If not, convert into a needed venue that flows with the deck plan - arcade, bar, shop, etc. If so, you may have to keep it as casino to be competitive.
 
Reincarnate the Lookout Bar - heck yes, concur!!!  Upper Deck restaurant - disagree.  Keep Mauretania (rename it if necessary) and gut Caronia.  A restaurant leading into the Lookout Bar makes for a better flow and separating work (conference center) from pleasure (drinking in the Lookout Bar and eating in Mauretania) is a better arrangement, psychologically.  Q Deck galley can serve Maury (as it originally did) as well as the odd meals, snacks and catering for the Q Deck conference center - formerly the Caronia...

Yacht Club - concur

Q-Deck - concur

Midships Lobby & 2 Deck - concur and brilliant!

CAPT's and Officer's quarters - concur

4 & 5 deck cabins - disagree.  What to do with them?  If the engine room is kept intact, gut the decks and TASTEFULLY refurbish into larger rooms remeniscent of the staterooms of the Mary, Elizabeth and Elizabeth 2.  Do not do what they did to Mary's lower deck staterooms!  If the engine room goes to make room for convention space, those deck will probably go too but try to refurbish as much of 4 and 5 decks into staterooms as possible.

Addition - restore the synagogue and keep the champagne bar and Princess Grill as functional parts of the Heritage Trail.

 

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