QE2 held back Cunard from being luxury fleet says Carnival boss

Russell Smith

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Jun 18, 2009
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Oh THIS is going to go down well among the QE2 fans!
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QE2 held back Cunard from being luxury fleet, says Carnival boss
(10 December 2008)

The QE2 held Cunard back from becoming a "totally luxury fleet", Carnival UK chief commercial officer Peter Shanks has admitted.

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Joe Russo

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Apr 10, 2006
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That's gratitude. Not even cold in the grave yet.

I don't understand that last paragraph. What is the "Harrod's Sale" that he's talking about?
 
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Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
o good grief, the man is a total wuss, what ingratitude. what i would like to tell him would not be printed in this forum. At least he congratulated the CEO and her crews for getting Cunard the best cruse line award. For Mr Russo, Harrods is a premier store in the U.K.selling top of the line luxury goods, it is definitely NOT Woolworths or Walmart.
 
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Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
yes, and that remark does NOT go well with this QE2 fan, I can tell you. Now she will become a "floatel" How I hate this term, applicable to all those execrable so called cruise 'ships' so beloved of the Americans, each bigger and brassier than the last. QE2 still had that classic beauty that the new Queen Mary seeks to emulate. Not 'cold in the grave' and that silly man has to say that about her. GRRRRRR.
 

Joe Russo

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I guess they really couldn't sell the QE2 as a "total luxury" liner with some of the Mauretania Inside Singles way below decks, but the timing and way he went about making this statement makes him sound like a bean counter with no social skills.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>but the timing and way he went about making this statement makes him sound like a bean counter with no social skills.<<

A bean counter is very likely exactly what this guy is. I have to grant that he may not be that far off base, but what he seems to be missing is that the QE2 was exactly what she needed to be in order to appeal to the niche market that she served.
 
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Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
Count me in on that niche, Mr Standart. The QE2 had an allure that appealed to people who want to go to sea, and who can happily spend hours watching ship, sea and sky. Things like casinos and rah-rah shows just don't thrill me, but a few days at sea with people waiting on me hand and foot do (because in real life I have to wait on myself)And if I have to save my money for a fare, I want a ship with a bit of guts and history in her, not one of 10 sisters all the same. Maybe I am the curmudgeon.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Count me in on that niche, Mr Standart.<<

I'm just "Mike." No mister for me.

>>Maybe I am the curmudgeon.<<

Or just unimpressed with all the glitz. Luxury is nice but most of it is eye candy (Or an eyesore). Looks nice but not all that useful and rarely comfortable.
 
Feb 4, 2007
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And it's not really luxury. Some paint, carpet, gauze, lights, pre-fabricated tiered balconies, smoke, and mirrors, does not true luxury make. Las Vegas is not luxury! It may appear to be so at first glance, but it's all just a cheap show.

But of course, this is all subjective semantics.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>but it's all just a cheap show.<<

Aye, and isn't that what a lot of the grand hotels are all about which liners and cruise ships have tried to imitate for nearly a century and a half? Given the costs involved, I don't know that I'd call it cheap, but it sure is a show.
 

Grant Carman

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Jun 19, 2006
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Allow me to be the dissenter here. Whie the QE2 was loved, and had a pedigree that no other liner could match, there are a couple of points.

First, when she was built, she was built as a 2 class ship. It's these holdover tourist class cabins, that no matter how you dress them, by today's standards were tiny, dark, and ill fitted.

Second, the QE2 was built for a different era. What passed for luxury in 1969 doesn't pass for it now. It's unfortunate, but it's the market that sets the expectations.

I think that Cunard could have refitted the QE2 properly, and made her the Grand Dame she should have been, but instead, they stuck to an outdated decorating concept, in order to be "true" to her origins. Modern luxury, or a form of it would have made the Queen glow, and she would have lasted many more years.

But Cunard is part of Carnival, and is in business to turn a profit.
 

Joe Russo

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Well, Carnival had better work on their luxury ship Queen Victoria, because her Britannia class didn't score too well in this year's Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships 2009.
While her grill class ranked second in large ships just behind top ranked QM2 (grills), her Britannia class scored badly and is ranked way back in 53rd place scoring lower than all of HAL's, Celebrity's and Disney's ships, many of NCL's and RCL's ships including some of the old Vision Class ships. QM2's Britannia class ranked 9th just behind Celebrity's Millennium ships and the Emerald Princess.
Granted in previous editions QE2's Mauretania Class ranked lower, but she was a 40 year old ship, and now Cunard has a brand spanking new luxury ship scoring so low. You'd think that she would have scored higher the way she it touted (and priced).
FYI - in 2006's edition, QE2's grills ranked 6th, Caronia ranked 10th and Mauretania ranked 97th.
 
Feb 4, 2007
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Grant, I mostly agree with you, except that I don't think the QE2 would have been kept longer in service - at least not for Cunard/Carnival.

Still, I think I would feel safer on the QE2 than on the QV or even the QM2. The QE2 was designed to handle harsh weather conditions, whereas all the newer ships seem to depend on being able to anticipate bad weather with fancy equipment, and then scuttling quickly out of harm's way if necessary. However, these newer ships still occasionally get caught 'with their pants down' so to speak, and I suspect they don't fare as well as, say, the QE2.

Walls of glass + ocean waves = hummmm....
 

Joe Russo

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Well, don't lump the QM2 in the same group as the QV just because she's not the QE2. The QM2 is an all-weather North Atlantic crosser and was built to replace the QE2 as a transatlantic liner. She was built to withstand a hurricane without sustaining structural damage. Probably some damage to the glass balconies, but you have to have them to make her profitable for 99.99999% of the time that you're not in a hurricane.

You are spot-on however with what you say about QV. According to The New Cunard Queens by Nils Schwerdtner, "The Queen Victoria is not suitable for all-weather transatlantic service, but (the hull strengthening) and a 26 foot draught are acceptable for good conditions."
I guess that would make her a fair-weather ocean liner, but still a liner as Cunard claims.
 
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Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
Cunard is part of Canival (Carnivorous) and is there to make a profit. I guess this is why, when Dubai offered $100mill American for the QE2, Carnival jumped at the chance. BUT, if the spent the money on Q Mary der Grosse to make her a transatlantic liner - and time will tell whether she becomes as well-liked or as long-lived as QE2, Why not do the same for Vicky Brown, which seems to have been short-changed in almost every way. But time will tell for her too, and I am interested whether the new Q Elizabeth will be a ocean liner or just a tin lizzie vista class cruise ship.
 

Joe Russo

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Carnivorous! I love it!!

The new Queen Elizabeth will be almost identical to the Queen Victoria and be a Vista Class cruise ship just like her.
IMO, Cunard doesn't need more than one true ocean liner. I don't think the market is there for more than one right now. If people need to cross the ocean they will fly or wait for the QM2's next scheduled voyage. With a fleet of expensive to operate ocean liners, they'd end up competing with each other.
The true crossing is the QM2's gimmick. They'd be foolish to lose that by watering it down with a bunch of clones. She's one of a kind which I think is part of her charm (as many ships of state of the past)

From what I've been reading, a true ocean liner must be as large as QM2 to be profitable. She's this large for a reason, not to be ostentatious. This all has to do with being able to make 30 knots and having the heavy fuel tanks to support this speed for the time it takes to cross the Atlantic (this burns a lot more than crossing at 23 knots like a cruise ship). The way the QE2 got away with being smaller is that she had tiny cabins below decks and no balconies and with her light aluminum superstructure, she was able to have a whole extra deck without having a deeper draught. Aluminum wasn't an option for QM2, so to accommodate the weight of all the strong extra thick steel, massive fuel tanks and fast engines with large balconied cabins, she had to be long and wide to keep her current draught of 32 feet.

I believe that the QM2 is already endeared by many who have sailed on her (like myself) and will only get more popular as time goes by as she gets some more history behind her.