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Author Topic: QE2 to Close until September 2020  (Read 863 times)

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Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #20 on: Mar 16, 2020, 11:55 PM »
It does seem weird - why open the bridge up, redo Queen's Grill (during peak period), etc. to dispose of just weeks later? Still, weirder things have happened over the years...

It is weird and I think it's beyond Dubai's unusual moves. I'll believe it if it (hopefully doesn't) happens. Staff being laid off could well be just because she's closed. Would a land based hotel or a cruise ship company keep all their staff employed when the hotel is shut or the cruise ships are laid up? It has likely serious consequences for the employees but it's a "corporate evil" to keep the organisation treading water as much as possible, dog eat dog kind of situation.

Also surely if this was planned she'd go after the Expo itself? That's Dubai's preoccupation after all and surely if they need the hotel capacity if nothing else...
« Last Edit: Mar 17, 2020, 12:14 AM by Thomas Hypher »
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!

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #21 on: Mar 17, 2020, 12:08 AM »
In another comment he mentions that most of those (I presume except essential maintenance staff) have lost their jobs.

Big questions naturally over where she's going:
1) Does she stay in Dubai under new owners or move? Moving to Dubai DryDocks could indicate either extensive refurbishment, or hull cleaning for movement elsewhere. Next 6 months would be ideal time to redo decks 3, 4 and 5 if they planned on converting those.
2) How sudden was this decision? Would seem odd to have invested so much recently (e.g. Queen's Grill) to discontinue her entirely.
3) If leaving Dubai, do the books, paintings and artefacts in the terminal building go with her?
4) Is this all covert and actually she's off to be turned in to razor blades (or MacBooks with recycled aluminium)?

Five Deck is refurbished and used for staff who live onboard (had a peak in late January to confirm). And the rebuilding of Three and Four Decks (seemingly part of later plans anyway from official material) doesn't require drydocking itself, necessarily, given that a lot of the conversion work was done wetdock alongside in Port Rashid from mid 2015 onwards.

I would be very surprised if this is a covert scrapping with immediate effect, gauging from senior people I worked with (briefly) onboard (why would the project I was involved in have even existed and started only this January for unveiling later this year all being well? - bad PR if she was scrapped in the meantime), the outlook of the ship (staff and her upkeep etc), the ongoing and extensive refurbishment, the events being her bread and butter and being well attended. She has a lot going for her and a lot of time, money, and potential would be utterly wasted, just accounting from her new life in Dubai let alone her history and fame from 40 years at sea.
« Last Edit: Mar 17, 2020, 02:30 AM by Thomas Hypher »
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 Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #22 on: Mar 17, 2020, 09:15 AM »
Regarding the dry docking, I would have thought her previous one would have lasted her 10 years or something, if still in her current role in Dubai.

In terms of the worry of her being put into cold layup again, the cost of running her now versus when she was still using her own generators will be much smaller, and also easier to manage.  The term warm layup can't apply to QE2 any more, since she'll never be "warm" again.

We are about to see a number of cruise ships retired/scrapped as the current climate his home.
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Online Rod

Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #23 on: Mar 17, 2020, 11:24 AM »
On Facebook, Louis is suggesting she's been bought by Chinese investors.


Helicopter carrier??

Offline Conay

Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #24 on: Mar 17, 2020, 02:44 PM »
In terms of the worry of her being put into cold layup again, the cost of running her now versus when she was still using her own generators will be much smaller, and also easier to manage.  The term warm layup can't apply to QE2 any more, since she'll never be "warm" again.

Perhaps plugged layup? :P

Five Deck is refurbished and used for staff who live onboard (had a peak in late January to confirm). And the rebuilding of Three and Four Decks (seemingly part of later plans anyway from official material) doesn't require drydocking itself, necessarily, given that a lot of the conversion work was done wetdock alongside in Port Rashid from mid 2015 onwards.

I would be very surprised if this is a covert scrapping with immediate effect, gauging from senior people I worked with (briefly) onboard (why would the project I was involved in have even existed and started only this January for unveiling later this year all being well? - bad PR if she was scrapped in the meantime), the outlook of the ship (staff and her upkeep etc), the ongoing and extensive refurbishment, the events being her bread and butter and being well attended. She has a lot going for her and a lot of time, money, and potential would be utterly wasted, just accounting from her new life in Dubai let alone her history and fame from 40 years at sea.

Agree on both points. The most innocent (and still rational) explanation is that they're closing due to the complete drying-up of tourism expected and sending her to Dubai DryDocks (which doesn't necessarily mean she'll be 'dry docked') is being done as it's cheaper and easier for them to renovate decks 3 and 4 than it is to get contractors out to Mina Rashid.

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #25 on: Mar 17, 2020, 09:11 PM »
Perhaps plugged layup? :P

Agree on both points. The most innocent (and still rational) explanation is that they're closing due to the complete drying-up of tourism expected and sending her to Dubai DryDocks (which doesn't necessarily mean she'll be 'dry docked') is being done as it's cheaper and easier for them to renovate decks 3 and 4 than it is to get contractors out to Mina Rashid.

Agreed, a "plugged" in layup and carrying on the rebuilding, wetdock/alongside, with the labour the shipyard will likely be able to offer (given the circumstances of cheap labour in Dubai) there and then/on site seems most likely and sensible. However, one wonders if supply lines likely being affected will thwart this sometime in the future, let alone the health of the workforce. The knock on and deeply profound effects of this pandemic boggle the mind and are utterly unprecedented at least in our lifetimes.
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!

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #26 on: Mar 17, 2020, 10:37 PM »
We are about to see a number of cruise ships retired/scrapped as the current climate his home.

If there is the labour to do the scrapping (health wise) and the shipbreaking economy doesn't collapse. Laid up ships, becoming more and more derelict/rotting away could well become a more frequent sight and (hopefully not) the norm.
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!

Offline Barumfox

Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #27 on: Mar 18, 2020, 02:15 AM »
As this announcement seems to have followed on almost immediately from the Duba governments decision to close bars and restaurants as well as the reported collapse in hotel bookings with other hotel closures being announced it maybe that tis was seen as an opportunity to carry out scheduled work internally with less revenue being lost than in more normal times and if this can be done more efficiently in the Dry Docks area - whether this includes actual dry-docking / hull work as well or not - is hopefully nothing sinister.

It may therefore be a good thing that most of her artefacts are in the terminal and will presumably stay put until she hopefully returns - hopefully the few large items on board such as the ship models and Royal Fmily portraits will be looked after. As they have made such a big thing about her being the centrepiece of the Marina area it would seem unlikely she would go to Chinese Investors unless - like Cunard - they got an offer too good to turn down.

As with all large scheduled events this year it may well be that the Dubai Expo has to be postponed if the situation there - and worldwide- does not improve in time. Euro 2020 postponement announced today and despite the current Japanese government stance it seems unlikely the Olympics can be staged in their usual format in July and so could be postponed as well.

Rob is right about the crisis shortening the lives of some cruise ships - I am booked on one of Astoria's last cruises with CMV in late September but already believe this is unlikely to take place and therefore I will miss a last chance to sail on this historic 70 year old vessel which is surely on borrowed time.

Gary

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #28 on: Mar 18, 2020, 02:43 PM »
An official response to a comment on Facebook (see attached screenshot). This is encouraging to see but goes against everything I've heard regarding QE2 in Dubai at the moment (what does one believe?), and I wonder how long this will be sustainable with the deteriorating global economic situation. JP Morgan have predicted a global recession by this July.
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!

Offline Louis De Sousa

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #29 on: Mar 18, 2020, 04:25 PM »
An official response to a comment on Facebook (see attached screenshot). This is encouraging to see but goes against everything I've heard regarding QE2 in Dubai at the moment (what does one believe?), and I wonder how long this will be sustainable with the deteriorating global economic situation. JP Morgan have predicted a global recession by this July.

One of my contacts was a staff member onboard and he got a letter for termination of contract so did others..

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #30 on: Mar 18, 2020, 05:42 PM »
One of my contacts was a staff member onboard and he got a letter for termination of contract so did others..

Depends how you define "our staff".  They could have been subcontracted
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Offline Louis De Sousa

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #31 on: Mar 18, 2020, 05:48 PM »
Depends how you define "our staff".  They could have been subcontracted

They are not subcontracted

Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #32 on: Apr 20, 2020, 01:31 AM »
Where is QE2 now ?  Is she still in place or has she been moved ?
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Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #33 on: Apr 20, 2020, 03:45 AM »
Where is QE2 now ?  Is she still in place or has she been moved ?

She is still docked at her normal location as far as I know.
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!

Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #34 on: Apr 20, 2020, 04:00 AM »
They are not subcontracted

Some of the onboard staff in certain roles are contracted, and are therefore not directly employed by the ship. Their company has the final say on what they do, if indeed they do work at all in other locations during this unprecedented time (extremely unlikely). I have clarified the above with one such member of staff I met onboard back in January and with whom I have ongoing contact with. This situation of employment (or not) onboard the ship is not a clear cut thing.
« Last Edit: Apr 20, 2020, 04:02 AM by Thomas Hypher »
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!

Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #35 on: Apr 20, 2020, 03:11 PM »
Thanks, Thomas, for the information !  :)
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Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #36 on: Apr 29, 2020, 09:48 PM »
QE2 still alongside seemingly with her lights on, seen tonight from AIDAprima's webcam (among several cruise ships laid up near QE2 in Port Rashid). Nothing official or beyond speculation regarding any movement of the ship as of now.
« Last Edit: Apr 29, 2020, 09:50 PM by Thomas Hypher »
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!

Offline Joy

Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #37 on: Apr 29, 2020, 11:38 PM »
I sent an email 27 April to the default email address from the online reservation system (info@qe2.com) regarding making a booking for 26 March for 3 nights as we wanted to book a room type "coming soon".  NO reply yet.  Will post when/if we get a reply. 

Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #38 on: Apr 30, 2020, 12:27 AM »
Do any staff live on board ?  Or have all staff left ?
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Offline Thomas Hypher

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Re: QE2 to Close until September 2020
« Reply #39 on: Apr 30, 2020, 05:19 AM »
Do any staff live on board ?  Or have all staff left ?

Some of the staff live onboard, mainly on Five Deck, which looks quite different but is still familiar down to the cabin numbers - from my peak in January.

I don't know if all staff living onboard have left the ship but the contractor (from one of my above posts) and his colleagues left the ship around the time she closed. However, I would imagine at least some of the engineering and security teams are still engaged with the ship, likely along with at least some of the workers rebuilding her, given the official statement. Also she needs to be kept safe and secure (in their eyes, let alone our eyes), and certain systems will also likely still be active to that end and need to be manned, monitored, and last but not least maintained.


A much clearer view of her this morning:
« Last Edit: Apr 30, 2020, 06:06 AM by Thomas Hypher »
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!