Author Topic: The Anstruther charter, 2000  (Read 7032 times)

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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: The Anstruther charter, 2000
« Reply #15 on: Aug 04, 2016, 04:07 PM »
Welcome, Andy, and what a great story you start with!

It is such a pleasure to read the insight and memory of one who was there and had the last laugh :) ...

Looking forward to reading more of your QE2 stories.

Online Andy Holloway

Re: The Anstruther charter, 2000
« Reply #16 on: Dec 07, 2020, 07:48 PM »
To be honest, you could quite easily write a decent length book on The Scotia Golf Charter to Anstruther for the 2000 Open.

To chose just one incident for the moment, i think i'll go for the big screen TV.

In 2000 a Big Screen TV was not as normal an facility as it is to day 20 years later, so for Scotia golf to get two brought onboard QE2 so that those passengers not wanting to go ashore could watch proceedings onboard, was quite a coup. I can't remember where the 1st was, it could have been the Grand Lounge, but the 2nd was in The Golden Lion bar.
Under normal circumstances there should have been no problems, but this is QE2 and we were at anchor! As such the ship was swinging on her anchor with the tides and therefore although the aerial was positioned correctly for a couple of hours reception, but then the ship would stat to swing on her anchor and the reception would go!!
This meant that the TV lad onboard was constantly having to go and re-tune the TV antenna. After a short while he was getting fed up with this and went to see the Cruise Director telling him that he should go and see the Captain and 'tell him' to use the stern anchor as well so that he didn't have to be constantly going to the TV room!!  There was a rumour onboard that he'd actually gone to see the Captain with his 'request', but i can't confirm or deny that. But what i do know is that you don't 'tell' any Captain of a ship, let alone Captain Warwick, how to run his ship! Suffice to say we continued to swing at anchor and the TV continued to re-tune the antenna with regularity!

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: The Anstruther charter, 2000
« Reply #17 on: Dec 07, 2020, 08:30 PM »
Wonderful story! You could turn this into a series, Andy, and regale us with more stories at regular intervals. Already looking forward to the next one  ;D .

Online Andy Holloway

Re: The Anstruther charter, 2000
« Reply #18 on: Dec 22, 2020, 01:52 PM »
Then of course there was the story about the 'Passenger' who wasn't!

Because Scotia Golf were so inept and pig headed about the allocation of cabins, despite the Ch Purser offering his Staff to help/advice/facilitate the allocation of cabins for them, it got to the point whereby QE2 never really knew who was onboard and who was not!  I must point out at this stage that this was just prior to Cunard installing 'Calm' onboard QE2. 'Calm' was the first passenger tracking/ boarding card system Cunard used and, fortunately, i had been onboard RVS the previous year when in was initially trialed and then successfully installed.
At the time of the Scotia Golf - 2000 Open Charter, all you needed to board was a certain piece of Paper issued by the Purser's Office.

So back to our 'friend';
It was probably the second from last day, so that would have been the Saturday morning at about 0630, when this man appeared at the Purser's Office with his 'bill' in his hand that had appeared under his door overnight. When asked by the Receptionist if there was a problem with the Bill, he said "No, but i'm not going to pay it". This conversation went on for a couple more exchanges, before the Night Hotel Officer [NHO] happened to appear from the back office. When asked again why he wasn't going to pay, the man replied that he actually 'wasn't officially onboard'! He then went on to explain that he had only booked two nights but decided to stay on in his cabin as he, and some friends, were going to have a few drinks together and he couldn't be bothered to leave and drive home the night before.
The NHO asked his name and, when he checked the booking system, could find no record of the man in the cabin involved, but could find him in another, much lower grade cabin, and who had - according to the Scotia Golf records, disembarked the previous day!  With this he turned and wandered off never to be seen again. There was no credit card registered to him in either cabin, and when later that morning the incident was related to Scotia Golf the 'organiser' [i use that term very loosely] just shrugged his shoulders and walked away. The bill was added to the ever increasing Scotia Golf account, by this time i think they had given up on trying to be to top of things. 
At the beginning when passengers were embarking they would allocate them a cabin, but, when people came back to ask for an upgrade or a different cabin for whatever reason, they would just give then a cabin key, the old metal key system was in operation at that time. Then, if people came back again for whatever reason, they just said, 'find yourself a vacant cabin then come back and tell us which one it is'!! Needless to say very few ever did come back, instead staying and enjoying their free upgrade!

However, their incompetence did benefit the crew welfare fund to the tune of a substantial amount of US$ in the form of 'a donation'!
On our return to S'ton it was a quick turnaround then off to NY for a few back to back trannies.

After we'd sailed i was sat in the office when the Duty MAA got a cal from the Reception asking them to open an 'in cabin safe'. Nothing different to any first night out, as despite being asked to leave their safe open, disembarking passengers often didn't. A few minutes later the MAA returned to the office and looking 'shocked', asked me to go back with him to the Cabin. Hmmm strange i thought! This cabin was on 2 Deck on the port side and therefore only a quick walk from the Security Office.
On our arrival the MAA handed me the opening device and stood back. I connected up the opening device to the safe and activated it thereby opening the safe! When  i looked inside i realised why the MAA was 'shocked'! There, right in front of me and in the centre of the safe was a pile of US$!  I checked with the cabin's current passenger if he had put anything i the safe but he confirmed that the safe was locked when he arrived.  He asked what i'd found and i showed him, as a form of Security on my part, if for no other reason. I remarked to him that we usually 'offer' the passenger 50/50 on whatever is in the locked safe, but in this case.... NO!
Together with the MAA as my witness, i immediately took the money to the Ship's Cashier to leave it with him for safe keeping. We spoke to the Ch Purser who also witnessed the money being taken into safe keeping and a receipt issued.
Over the next few days the Ch Purser was unable to establish exactly who had been in that cabin during the Scotia Golf charter, although the Cabin Stewardess did confirm that somebody had slept in that cabin, but she had not seen who it was. The last 'official' occupant had been contacted and confirmed that the safe was open when they left and they had not left 'anything' in it.

When we counted the money, it was in the safe in neat piles of US$ 100/50 & 20 bills and totaled exactly US$8,000.
Th Ch Purser informed Cunard UK then, on our return to S'ton 12 days later, the money was taken ashore and lodged in Mountbatten House for safe keeping.

During the following year's World Cruise, the Ch Purser received a message from Cunard to say that as the statutory 6 months period had elapsed the money then became the property of the finder, in this case Cunard! As such, instead of retaining the money, Cunard had decided to donate it to the QE2 Crew Welfare Fund.

The original of the money was never discovered and, to this day, it remains one of life's many mysterys.



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