Author Topic: Re: The Grand Suites  (Read 1601 times)

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Online cunardqueen

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #20 on: Feb 06, 2010, 06:34 PM »
I remember attenting two parties in the Carinthia suite by the same hosts, One was just a regular party and the other a bring a bottle of champagne party. Both equally memorable and highly entertaining..and as the pic shows, Matters were inhand.. :-[
What surprised me was there no butler only Esther. and the secret door out into the lobby
   

On my very first trip l recall having coffee in the Captains Secretary office, but l can never remember which side it was on in the lobby. Would this have been on the side opposite the surgery, it was a l o n g  time ago   
« Last Edit: Feb 19, 2018, 07:01 PM by Lynda Bradford »
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline jdl

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Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #21 on: Feb 06, 2010, 11:11 PM »
Some great shots, am I right in thinking that the lounge shot of the Aquitania was used in the later brochures for publicity - I've a vague recolection that it showed a shot of Sydney Harbour that could be seen throught the windows??

For me the Aquitania bedroom is one of the most beautiful rooms afloat, it really reminds me of Eltham Palace in Kent - for those of you who don't know it's interiors were made for the Courtaulds family in the style of a 30's Cunard liner with an art deco touch as well.  It's a fantastic building and always reminds me of the grand age of liner travel in the 30's

http://www.elthampalace.org.uk/

jdl

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #22 on: Feb 06, 2010, 11:14 PM »
That's the same one JDL but the view of Sydney was photoshopped in!

Offline jdl

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Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #23 on: Feb 06, 2010, 11:35 PM »
That's the same one JDL but the view of Sydney was photoshopped in!

Tricks of the trade and inside knowledge hey! 

I always had my suspicions, and they were the reason why I never booked the cabin in question for a world cruise, I just new I was being deceived........ ho ho!

Offline Scott Ebersold

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #24 on: Feb 07, 2010, 06:26 AM »
Hi Rosie

I think you have posed a thoughtful question, and a plausable response to it.

In one of the earliest deck plans for the 1972 section of suites, it reads as follows...

quote:

New deluxe staterooms and suites on the
Queen will set a new standard for seagoing
accomodations.

NEW LUXURY SUITES

A NEW HIGH IN CRUISING ELEGANCE

   High up, on the topmost decks of
the Queen Elizabeth 2, we're building
a new group of luxury suites... for
people who want to cruise in the ut-
most elegance.
   Each of these new rooms will have
its own private verandah, providing a
breathtaking view of the sea.  
   The rooms will be furnished in
modern or traditional decor, all with
the very finest appointments.
   Arrangements can be made for a
living room that's convertible into a
bedroom at night... or for a separate
connecting bedroom.
   Two of these new suites will be
speical indeed.  Both duplexes, one of
them will be furnished in the Queen
Anne style and named the Queen
Anne Suite.  The other, the Trafalgar
Suite, will be an adaptaion of Lord
Nelson's quarters aboard his flagship,
the Victory.  The Trafalgar will be rich
in the aura of Nelson's life and times
...including an original painting of
Lady Hamilton.
   These new luxury suites will pro-
vide a living style fit for admirals and
royalty.  Cunard is proud to offer them
for the 1972/73 winter season.

unquote

Back to your question of the origin of "penthouse" for QE2, it is interesting to note that, in one of his onboard lectures, Commodore Ronald Warwick said that in the early days of these suites, staff on board refered to them as "the motel".

We know that QE2 was state-of-the-art and ahead of her time in so many ways, and the penthouses and balconies were another example.
Ironically, we bemoan cruise ship balconies as one reason for QE2's retirement.  We tend to criticize modern cruise ships for having pre-fab passenger accomodation, which is of course what the Sports and Signal Deck penthouses were...






This quote above refers to the suites just aft of the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary Suites.  Before the QM and QE suites were added they were deluxe of deluxe suites and had an internal stair connecting them with the identical room below.


Online Twynkle

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #25 on: Feb 07, 2010, 08:31 AM »
Some great shots, am I right in thinking that the lounge shot of the Aquitania was used in the later brochures for publicity - I've a vague recolection that it showed a shot of Sydney Harbour that could be seen throught the windows??

For me the Aquitania bedroom is one of the most beautiful rooms afloat, it really reminds me of Eltham Palace in Kent - for those of you who don't know it's interiors were made for the Courtaulds family in the style of a 30's Cunard liner with an art deco touch as well.  It's a fantastic building and always reminds me of the grand age of liner travel in the 30's

http://www.elthampalace.org.uk/

jdl

Hello John

Yes - Eltham Palace featured in one of the BBC 4 series of programmes about Liners late last year, too.
Eltham Palace is also mentioned in the good book, 'The Liner: Retrospective and Renaissance' by Philip Dawson (2005) pp - 223 and 233.
Rosie
« Last Edit: Feb 07, 2010, 08:14 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »
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.

Online Andy Holloway

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #26 on: Feb 15, 2018, 10:25 AM »
As promised;

Before arrival in New York on back to back trannies, i was contacted by The Cruise Director to say that John Cleese and his wife, plus his PA, would be joining for the trip back to Southampton and that the Embarkation Supervisor would contact me once he arrived, which would be around 1230/1300, and would i escort him onboard, from where the Duty Cruise Staff Member would escort him to his cabin and look after him.
However at around 1045 the Embarkation supervisor radioed me to say the Mr Cleese, plus party, had arrived!! 
Proceeding at some haste from my office to the terminal - Pier 90/92 - i tried several times to establish communications with the Duty Cruise Staff by radio, on arriving at the gangway i checked the Security System and discovered that the said Duty Cruise Staff member was ashore!!

Ah right then there is only one person left to sort this 'slight' problem out - moi!

By the time i got into the terminal check-in for Mr Cleese had been completed and they were ready to embark, i managed to 'borrow' a Filipino House Keeping Utility, complete with his trolley, and was able take Mr Cleese, Mrs Cleese, PA and all their luggage onboard. The Utility lad looked at Mr Cleese and it took only a few seconds before he realised who it was!  By sheer coincidence Fawlty Towers was showing on loop on the ship's TV system,and had been for many weeks!
So off we went to what, i had been told, was the allocated suite for Mr & Mrs Cleese and '4 Deck' cabin for Ms PA. 
Easy, through the Rotunda, up 'C' stairway and the suite was there on the Stbd side right next to the stairway! The suite was ready and in we walked, the keys were waiting on the dresser, what could be easier?
I made a bit of small talk before intending to make my exit and 'scold' the Duty Cruise Staff member for not being around. Then Mr Cleese asked if there was any chance of getting sometime to eat, some sandwiches would do fine, but something a bit more substantial would be even better! Apparently they had missed breakfast at their hotel and the taxi driver bringing them to the ship had refused to stop anywhere for them to grab a bite!
No problem says i, not knowing the problems ahead. So i called Housekeeping and asked for some sandwiches to be sent up, 'The Cabin Stewardess will come up and take their order' was the reply. So more small talk while we waited, and waited and waited! So another phone call to H/K and was told that 'she' was definitely on her way. More small talk, discussion about England playing football that week and would we be able to watch it live, etc, etc. Still no Cabin Stewardess, so i went to the Deck Pantry for a more 'private' phone call. This time i was told that the Stewardess had been to the cabin but there was nobody there! Which cabin did she go to? Ah then we're in the wrong cabin, but it was what i was told by the Embarkation Staff!  Quickly back to the 'wrong' cabin, and many apologies before explaining that they would be moving to another suite. Mr Cleese then said something really typical; “I knew it was too good to be true, that suite was just too good!” Little did he know…..
So off we went, forward through the Queens Grill Lounge, where they ‘thought’ that it would have been nice to have enjoyed a pre-dinner cocktail! Through the Queens Grill itself, again envy that it was not where ‘they’ were going to dine! Out onto ‘A’ stairway and forward to the “old radio room”, ‘I knew it’ said Mr C, ‘a former work space, about what I expected!!’
However he was blown away when I opened the door and the New Suite came into view!
For those who have not had the pleasure of seeing this suite, believe me it is magnificent, to the nth degree. It is in fact three rooms connected together, the first being a sort of dining room, the second a sitting room and finally the bedroom. I’m sure someone who has also seen it and possibly taken some photos will post them for all to share, the beauty of this wonderful suite.
When he saw the bedroom Mr C climbed onto the bed and was amazed as it was the first bed he’d spelt in, apart from his own, where he could lie full length and not across the bed.
Eventually the Stewardess rang the bell and I was able to take my leave, arranging to collect them all later to accompany them to the bridge to witness our departure from New York from on the bridge wings.
This they all enjoyed and commented that it was such a unique view of New York only available to those lucky enough to sail out from Pier 90/92. This spectacle has of course gone completely for Carnival/Cunard passenger with the use of the new pier in Brooklyn.

Mr C then really endeared himself to the crew by agreeing to visit the crew mess to chat and have his photo taken with crew members, this he did from 2300 to almost 0030 a few nights later. Not something many other ‘celebrities’ travelling would do!




Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #27 on: Feb 15, 2018, 10:45 AM »
Michael has posted picture of the suite in this post
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,512.msg17444.html#msg17444
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #28 on: Feb 15, 2018, 11:04 AM »
Michael has posted picture of the suite in this post
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,512.msg17444.html#msg17444

Did the former radio room become another "Grand Suite" then? I was under the understanding that the Grand Suites were added in Bayonne in 1977 as the forwardmost penthouses ever added and were named "Queen Mary" and "Queen Elizabeth" and no other suites were referred to as such. I stand to be corrected of course!
« Last Edit: Feb 15, 2018, 11:10 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.

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #29 on: Feb 15, 2018, 11:10 AM »
The 'Grand Suites' title was first applied when they were doubled in size in the 1996 refit and then the three subsequent suite additions in 1999 (Aquitania, Caledonia and Carinthia) were called Grand Suites too.

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #30 on: Feb 15, 2018, 11:13 AM »
The 'Grand Suites' title was first applied when they were doubled in size in the 1996 refit and then the three subsequent suite additions in 1999 (Aquitania, Caledonia and Carinthia) were called Grand Suites too.

Thank you Michael, one never stops learning! So how were "Queen Mary" and "Queen Elizabeth" doubled in size? And was this during the final KGV drydock refit where the freak wave damage was also repaired?
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.

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #31 on: Feb 15, 2018, 11:16 AM »
Yes the final KGV drydock...

The Grand Suites

In order to provide signature accommodation on board and enhance QE2’s reputation for providing the best accommodations at sea, Cunard developed the concept of building two ultra-luxurious ‘Grand Suites’, suites that would be amongst the largest and most lavish accommodation afloat.

The two existing top suites, Queen Mary (8082) and Queen Elizabeth (8081) - already magnificent suites - were re-built and amalgamated with the two Penthouses adjacent:

   Queen Mary Suite         8082 and 8084
   Queen Elizabeth Suite      8081 and 8083

This resulted in a 40% increase in the size of the Mary and Elizabeth Suites and reduced QE2’s passenger capacity to 1496 with the loss of two Penthouses (four passengers).

The expansion allowed the introduction of a new dining area in each Grand Suite: the area in each which had previously been the bedroom became the dining area with a capacity of six guests around a large oval table. The bedroom area was relocated into what was previously the adjacent suite.

Each Grand Suite was decorated in creams, beiges, light woods, chrome and flowing lines. Bathrooms in each were totally rebuilt, decorated with marble and featured twin sinks.

The new 800-square foot Grand Suites allowed for flexible living, entertainment and sleeping space: each consisted of a bedroom with private veranda, complete with walk-in closet and marble bathroom. A double door led to a dining area, which in turn adjoined a raised lounge, leading to a glass-covered conservatory and private, forward-facing deck area.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #32 on: Feb 15, 2018, 02:33 PM »
Wonderful information Michael about the suites, and the pictures help us visualise. 

I particularly liked Andy Holloway's post that I moved here this morning about John Cleese.  It is these stories that give us an insight into life on the QE2. 
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,512.msg93094.html#msg93094
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #33 on: Feb 15, 2018, 03:21 PM »
The original 1977 artists impressions for the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth Suites attached....

Total cost: $1 million ($500,000 each)

America’s only contribution to the superstructure of QE2 was made when the most luxurious passenger accommodation was fitted on Signal deck forward of the 1972 Penthouse block. Constructed from a framework of aluminium, the two new suite blocks, costing $500,000 each, weighed 15 tones each, measured 50 by 30 feet and were 16 feet high.

Preparatory construction work was undertaken over a period of several months during periodic calls at Southampton and involved the removal of decking and setting the foundations of the new units. Each module was constructed ashore at the yard adjacent to the dry dock and were hoisted aboard (fully furnished) by crane within days of QE2’s arrival at Bayonne.

Each block contained four suiterooms:

      ROOM      SIZE

8082   544 square feet
8084         437 square feet
8081   544 square feet
8082   437 square feet

Named after the two most famous Cunarders, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, the interior design for these suites was undertaken by Dennis Lennon and were outfitted in the last word in European and American designs in a style called ‘classic modern’.

Both suites featured two bedrooms, sitting room, two bathrooms, two patios and a walk-in closet / dressing room.

Sitting Room: The suites’ distinctive architectural feature was the split-level configuration with the sitting room above the main bedroom. A 12-foot suede covered sofa curved around one corner, a glass and satin stainless steel coffee table and chairs covered in handmade Scottish tweed. There was a cocktail fridge and music centre. Additional storage space was to be found under the ‘balcony’ separated from the bedroom by a transparent balustrade. A small four-step staircase connected the bedroom and sitting room above. Towards the bow the room faced a large private patio.

Bedroom: The bedroom area featured a dressing table, side table, wardrobe and lamps. The area was done in muted beiges and pale pastel silks; bedlinen under the blue and white Italian bedspreads was by Halston. Sycamore chests and other furniture were especially handmade.
      
   The Queen Mary Suite featured a gold hand-woven silk panel behind the bed.

   The Queen Elizabeth Suite featured a blue hand-woven silk panel behind the bed.

Bathroom   The large bathroom in each suite featured two marble basins, carpeted floor, gold-plated fittings, a large bathtub, shower, toilet, bidet and cabinet with sycamore and mirrored walls.

The suites could be combined to form two 891 square feet ultra-luxury, split-level apartments:

8082 (main room) and 8084: Queen Mary Suite (decorated in gold)
8081 (main room) and 8083: Queen Elizabeth Suite (decorated in blue)

The floors throughout each suite were covered with a champagne shaded hand-woven carpet and the walls were covered with heavy white linen. Each suite had its own cocktail service and Minton china and silver for breakfast and teatime use. The patios featured white furniture. The split-level areas could be lit from a single $800 lamp on a dimmer switch and a number of ‘infinitely variable’ lighting schemes.

The Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth Suites were more luxurious than any other accommodation available at sea: so lavish were these accommodations, they were referred to in the New York Times as “two rooms riverside view; rent $125,000 quarterly”. The price passengers would be charged for tenancy on one of these ‘bolt-on-boxes’ was around £1,000 per day. Fares for the first cruise after the refit (20 December 1977, fourteen days to the Caribbean) were $15,590 per person. The 1978 90-day Great Pacific and Orient Cruise would see fares of $160,000 per person for these suites.

If required, the new rooms could be sold as four separate units.

8083 and 8084

To enable these rooms to be sold individually, these two Penthouses were of a similar layout to the existing Penthouses.


« Last Edit: Feb 15, 2018, 03:29 PM by Michael Gallagher »

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #34 on: Feb 15, 2018, 03:23 PM »
As built

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #35 on: Feb 15, 2018, 03:26 PM »
During the Re-Engining...

In 2011 I was surprised to see a photograph of the Queen Elizabeth Suite (attached) dated 4 May 1987 which showed the bedroom of the suite had been relocated to the upper level of the suite. The whole suite had a new look too.

When I asked John Duffy about this and showed him the photograph in September 2011 he confirmed this work had been undertaken during the re-engining and he had been responsible for the change. His rationale was that people go upstairs to bed and the previous layout meant that guests had to pass through the Bedroom to get to the living area above. A curtain was fitted so the two areas could be divided.

This layout and look only lasted just over a year.

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #36 on: Feb 15, 2018, 03:30 PM »
1983 REFIT

The majority of the Penthouse Suites and other deluxe rooms were totally refurbished at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars. Dennis Lennon was responsible for the refurbishment – he was the original co-ordinator of all QE2’s striking and sophisticated interiors and personally responsible for many back in the 1960s.

New features included reclining beds, brand-new furniture units and television and video equipment.

Bathrooms were redone with new gold fixtures.

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #37 on: Feb 15, 2018, 03:30 PM »
1984 REFIT

Jacuzzi bathtubs were installed in the bathrooms.

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #38 on: Feb 15, 2018, 03:30 PM »
1988 REFIT

The Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth Suites were altered and refurbished.

The living room area was re-arranged with a new position for the sofa while the stairs leading up to the area were also re-arranged.

Patios, similar to glass conservatories, were built and fitted with additional seating.

A new headboard was also fitted above the bed.


Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Re: The Grand Suites
« Reply #39 on: Feb 15, 2018, 03:31 PM »
1992 REFIT

The Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth Suites were refurbished on browns and pinks (identical to the décor in the new Midships Site on Two Deck). All furnishings were replaced: new carpets (with the Cunard ‘lion rampant’ logo), bedspreads, curtains and all furniture was re-upholstered.