Focus On Cruising

Exploring the Wonderful World of Cruise Ships

QE2: An Appreciation

No Comments »

It has been reported in both The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph that Nakheel, a subsidiary of financially strapped Dubai World, will be forced to sell QE2.

I had the pleasure to sail on QE2 only once, but that was enough to fall under her spell. She was elegant, refined, sleek and beautiful. She was also surprising and delightful.

I vividly remember reading the events calendar on the first day of our crossing from New York to Southampton and discovering that Ray Bradbury was on board as a guest lecturer. For a lifelong science fiction fan, this was almost too good to be true. I had the great pleasure to speak with him a couple times during the sailing, and I’ll never forget it.

We had the unexpected good fortune to sail in a Queens Grill stateroom, and thus the very real pleasure of dining in the Queens Grill. Service was excellent and the kitchen was quite impressive. The chef and his staff would do whatever they could to meet a guest’s request, on the menu or off. We expressed a yen one evening for cherry pie, an item not on the menu. Next evening out came a full cherry pie to our table with our coffee.

One wit has opined that Queens Grill was akin to a retirement home with better jewelry. Amusing yes, but hardly the whole picture. While the couple at the table next to ours did tend to nod off during dinner, a glance past them revealed Ray Bradbury in animated conversation with his tablemates while in the opposite direction was Francis Ford Coppola.

Every ship has a soul, a spirit. The best ones can beguile you. To borrow a bit from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, QE2 “had the manners and deportment of a great lady, and behaved herself as such”. While FDR was speaking of another great ship, these words are no less true of QE2. I fervently hope that she finds a new home worthy of the Queen she truly is.

Leave a Reply