QE2 held back Cunard from being luxury fleet says Carnival boss

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,086
7
198
>And Jim, I totally agree. But please don't try to sing again ~ it hurts.

See if Mari Lynn and I ask YOU to appear on our Christmas Special, Mr. "Everyone's a Critic."

*ahem*

..and the pony she named Wiiiild Fire, busted down his stall. She ran calling 'Wiiiiiild fiiiire....
 
K

Kyle Johnstone

Guest
ok, I'LL sing...

...feeLLLINGS nothing more than FEEELings
Trying to forget my feelings...
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,587
376
283
Easley South Carolina
>>Near...far...whereEEEEEEVER you are..... <<


Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! (Reaches for knife to commit seppuku.)

>>And, who the HELL is the target audience at whom they are aiming?<<

Probably the same market that some Ivory Tower types wishes existed rather then the one which really did.
 

John Zoppina

Member
Feb 5, 2005
82
1
76
I can't speak for Victoria, because I don't think the Victorian theme works. As for QM2...

>>...who the HELL is the target audience at whom they are aiming?...Who in the world are the old-fart pseudo-retro interiors on QM2 and Victoria meant to please? They certainly aren't glitzy but...then...they are about a thousand miles from sophisticated as well.<<

/ahem. *raises hand*

That would be me.

Some background information: I'm young--but that doesn't stop me from loving the past and romanticizing about yesteryear. I'd love to say that I had the opportunity to travel on the likes of Normandie and Queen Mary--the realities of which I know could never actually live up to my view through my rose-tinted glasses--but I can't. Hell, I can't even say I had the pleasure of sailing aboard QE2. Additionally...

Unlike most of my contemporaries, I find modern interior design to be full of blocky, uncomfortable looking furniture, angular fixtures and bright, loud colors--and those colors that are not loud and bright are often simply feminine or ugly. QM2's lack of glitz and sophistication is precisely what I prefer.

No, it doesn't make up for charm, but this glimpse into the past is least something... to me. I am the passenger to whom Cunard's [Tacky] Queen is targeted.
 
E

Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
I have seen only photos of interiors of QM2 and Q Vicky. But I HAVE been aboard QE2 - admittedly in 1989 and she has had several refits since. But she had her own charm and presence, built up over years and despite many mishaps, breakdowns, in fact her new engines performed much better than the old steam plant. Those new engines gave her another 20+ years of life. I, for one will miss her gracious presence in Auckland each year. As for QM2, she is big, her interiors will appeal to many, but I also think that real fire-retardant materials might be better - and longer lasting than fake wood. The United States was designed to be fire-proof, would her interiors be acceptable today? Or will Q Vicky, in spite of her vista class body and her ticky-tacky interiors prove to be a ship with charm. She will have to be very good to gain the reputation, the sheer MANA, that Queen Elizabeth 2 had. I shall translate this Maori word. Spoken of a person, male or female, it means courage, authority, honesty, in short a person of virtue, a great chief or warrior. Spoken of an object or place, it means value, home, goodness, virtue, presence, soul. There is no exact English translation, that is why this word has become part of NZ English. Since QE2 is both an object and was a moving place, the word mana is, I consider, apt. Like the 1907 Mauretania and the old Queen Mary, she has a "soul"
 
E

Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
And Jim, you laid your finger right on that elusive quality. Because QE2 had a loyal crew and many repeat passengers, she became a sort of exclusive club, open to anyone who wished to pay her price and enter her atmosphere. Both the Maury and Q Mary had that same quality and had long-serving crew and repeat passengers. I have in my collection a photocopy of a National Geographic ad depicting a suited gentleman gazing up at the Mauretania, with the words "He waited a whole week so he could cross in the Mauretania" There have been many ships, some famous, some infamous and some well-loved and some hated. I suggest to anybody who likes the QE2, there is a blog of her last voyage on worldshipny.com and the person blogging said the crew delivered her to her new owners in a spotless condition. Many of those crew members had not been told which ship they would be posted to or whether they still had a job.
 
E

Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
Yet they cared enough about her to do their jobs to the best till the end. The Final Voyage blog was written by Messrs Richard Faber and Jon Miller for the New York chapter of the World Ship Society. I followed it each day as it unfolded. I believe that the engineers on the Mauretania's final voyage apologised for the tarnish on the brasswork in the engine-room, after she had lain idle at Southampton for months, saying 'she was never like this when in service.'
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,086
7
198
>QM2's lack of glitz and sophistication is precisely what I prefer.

When you get on board, brace yourself for disappointment.

The Chart Room works as a period room. It really is a nice spot. The two grill rooms work as contemporary rooms, altho the fact that they look out on to the boat deck and people are forever looking in the windows and watching you eat is another weird design choice.

The rest looks a lot better in photos. She is not period piece like the Titanic....the deco replication is not scholarly and in many cases is done on the cheap with painful obviousness. She is also not a contemporary re-intepretation of art deco. What she is, is sort of upscale shoe store, with all that wood laminate, and sort of overblown 1970s office building VIP boardroom.

She strives for sophistication....just read the brochures....but, it isn't there.

In a way, the much derided Carnival ships are more sophisticated than their marketed-as-upscale cousins. Their aim is to stun...to establish the Vegas visual sucker punch....and they succeed. So, they represent good design which is not to everyone's liking. The Mary aims for refinement and comes across as a variant on "upscale mall." Which would be fine, if that was what they were aiming for, but it's NOT what they were aiming for.

Favorite QM2 flaw. The dining room and the disco block direct access to the ballroom from either end. One MUST either go up a flight, cross over the dining room, and then descend again, or (my favorite)descend a deck, pass thru the photo shop and, at the far end of the photo shop, find le petit grand staircase that leads to the ballroom. That's NOT an interesting quirk. That's just inane design. Check out the deckplan. Can one imagine the cafe society crowd the designers pay unctuous homage to everywhere on QM2 making their grand entrance by way of a photo shop?

>The United States was designed to be fire-proof, would her interiors be acceptable today?

Actually, yes. The United States was colorful, and exceptionally airy. Her ballroom and dining rooms could go, intact, on to a new ship and seem quite nice. Her first class lounge was a bit....austere....but with the addition of artwork and a few pieces of furniture that were NOT squarish I Love Lucy chairs, would be a very bright and friendly room.

The France, and the Italian Line A-class ships of the 1966 fleet, had many interiors that would look quite nice aboard new ships. If you are in London, check out the bar "Carbon" in the Cumberland Hotel. It IS the old first class bar from the Michelangelo, recreated. The Scandinavian ships of that era ALSO have rooms that would fare well in the post modernist world.

>...feeLLLINGS nothing more than FEEELings
Trying to forget my feelings...

Ahhh....Kyle......

*ahem*

Lovin' you, is easy 'cause you're beautiful.
Ev're day of my life is filled with lovin' you...

Lalalalala
lalalalala
lalalalalalalalala-ah ha

Doot n doot eeee doooo

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
 

Jerry Nuovo

Member
Jan 22, 2010
700
0
46
New Jersey,USA
Jim, I have to agree with Grant Carman and John Zoppina concerning the QM2.Right now I am looking at the QM2's deckplan in the 2009 Cunard Transatlantic Crossings brochure and the QM2 was designed with Deck 3L on both the Starboard and Port sides of the ship so that passengers would not have to walk through the Britannia Restaurant to get to the Queens Room which is the QM2's ballroom and the G32 Club which is the QM2's disco.I think that the QM2 is still a great ship to travel on and I look forward to sailing aboard her again next year.Though I do admit that the Yacht Club aboard the QE2 had a much nicer charm to that room than the G32 Club aboard the QM2.If you're not happy with the QM2 well no one is forcing you to go aboard her.Regards,Jerry
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,086
7
198
>If you're not happy with the QM2 well no one is forcing you to go aboard her.

True... it has been longer than I care to remember since I was baseball batted up the gangplank of a liner whilst protesting that I did not want to go.

HOWEVER...this is not so much about whether or not I LIKE the QM2, but about my observations about her as they relate to the statement that lies at the core of this thread.

I'll spell it out, simple.

Cunard just liquidated the only thing they had to offer that you can't get better, cheaper, elsewhere.

QM2 for all her size, is just another ship. All discussion about aesthetics aside, the gap between brochure claims of food, service, and general pampering, and what you actually encounter aboard, is greater than the usual. I cruise, frequently, and know of what I speak. The experience is not terrible...but it is just acceptible. Not excellent.

QE2 offered excellence.

So, with their claims of total luxury, and their reality of just-like-every-other-cruise-you've taken-but-more-expensive food and service, they might be setting themselves up for a bit of a fall.

And, hey, who knows....maybe positioning your ballroom so that passengers have to descend a deck and grandly sweep thru the photoshop will be the next big thing in design, replacing the stodgy old concept of separate decks for separate functions. Placing the dining room so that it cuts off half the ship dfrom the other half is nothing new. But the brilliance of placing a major public room on the far side of it, making the ballroom inaccessible to half the ship unless they go down a deck and cut thru the photo shop, is only begining to register with me!
 

Jerry Nuovo

Member
Jan 22, 2010
700
0
46
New Jersey,USA
Jim Kalafus says "Cunard just liquidated the only thing they had to offer that you can't get better,cheaper,elsewhere".Jim,I'll have to agree with you on this because I did read on cruise messageboards that other Cunard passengers are so upset of the sale of the QE2 to Dubai World that they claim that they will not sail with Cunard again on either the QM2 or Queen Victoria.When Cunard President,Carol Marlow is quoted in an interview in Steamboat Bill which is the quarterly publication of the Steamship Historical Society of America,in the Summer 2006 issue,that they do not anticipate the 2010 SOLAS regulations will be a problem for the QE2 and that the QE2 should be able to sail beyond 2010 and that people will choose to sail aboard the QE2 because she's the QE2 and then almost a year later in June 2007 announce that they are selling her to Dubai World for $100 Million,I do think that this does put Cunard on the spot for a public relations disaster.Regards,Jerry
 
E

Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
I still reckon Dubai World made them an offer they could not refuse, and I suspect Carnival pulled the rug out from under Ms Marlow's feet. I also was given to understand that QE2 would have lasted after 2010 SOLAS, and I am more than upset that she hasn't. At least P&O had the decency to announce that CANBERRA was to be withdrawn 2 years before, which made me get my pennies together for one last Trans-tasman crossing. AND Cunard have been very quiet about their new Elizabeth. I'm going to Cruise critic to see what, if anything, goes on, see you later, poss after Christmas. Meanwhile, may I wish you all a blessed and merry Christmas.
 
E

Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
Cruise Critic have some people praising Q Mary der Grosse to the skies. Others lament the Qe2.
My prediction - Q mary will become Cunard, the Vicky and Lizzie will probably eventually be absorbed back into Carnival's other fleets.A pity for them, but I think mainly because they are vista class, and don't seem to have that 'extra quality' to lift them into exclusive range. Carnival seem to be spitting their older ships, suitably refurbished, at P&O Australia Cruises, for our delectation.
 
E

Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
And a question to all to ponder over the Chrissy turkey. WHAT is so wrong with these Vista class ships. Everyone seems to dislike them. Forgive this naive question, but for the last four years I've been to University, a bit hard for an older person, and so did not follow the cruise scene since about 1998 really, except for QE2's visits to Auckland. Now I've returned to ship-spotting I find all these newbuildings, have just received 2008 Berlitz and find so many old ships gone and all these new things have sailed in, like big white icebergs.
 

Jerry Nuovo

Member
Jan 22, 2010
700
0
46
New Jersey,USA
Ellen, What I think why some people dislike the Vista Class Ships is because one of those ships became the first Cunard Queen Cruise Ship,the Queen Victoria,when a lot of maritime fans think that Cunard should only save the Queen names for ships that are true Transatlantic Liners like the Queen Mary 2.In my opinion the Vista Class Cruise Ships are not really bad looking cruise ships,but I do agree with the other maritime fans that Cunard should save the Queen names for ships that are true Transatlantic Liners.Regards,Jerry
 

Tom Roesser

Member
May 14, 2007
28
0
71
Well, the market has changed a bit since 1988. Many of the older ships have obviously been retired or scraped in preparation for the new 2010 SOLAS regulations, so we're going to have to get used to some of the newer ships. Call me crazy, but I think that some of the newer designs of cruise ships are quite pleasing to the eye. I also, however, can understand why others might dislike them. This is a message board for Titanic and Other Ships. The "Other Ships" generally refers to ocean liners from the 20th century. Therefore, I'm guessing it's that kind of design that the people here like to see. I was the same way several years ago, before I actually tried any of these "floating hotels" out. I was very impressed. Naming issues aside, after seeing designer renderings of the Queen Victoria, I was wondering what they could possibly be thinking. After seeing the ship in person a few times, she looks much better. Besides, from the passenger standpoint, the layout of public rooms of the Vista Class Queen Victoria makes much more sense than the Queen Mary 2. As Jim Kalafus pointed out earlier, QM2, as much as I love her, has a number of annoying little design flaws. By the way, the "Las Vegas" comments all hold true. If anyone's been to Las Vegas recently, some of the QV's interiors remind me of something I would see in the very upscale Bellagio or Palazzo. Sure, the rooms are large and comfortable, but they are also on the verge of being tacky too. To me, there are simply too many period, or attempts at period, rooms onboard the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. Cunard is just trying to appeal to their niche of passengers, but I sometimes wonder if the designs drive people away rather than draw them in. But I guess it all depends on what you like, because at the end of the day, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.

View Image
Merry Christmas
 

Grant Carman

Member
Jun 19, 2006
348
0
86
I have to admit that when the Vista class ships first launched, I thought they looked like cattle carriers, or container ships. I do admit now that while I still prefer the older styles, they aren't that bad.
A couple of my neighbours have gone on the HAL Vista class a few times, and like them. They have said that the ability to get a balcony, instead of a windowed stateroom, at the same price, is worth it.
A relative of mine took a cruise on the QM last winter, (or the winter before) and loved it. Mind you, she's in her 80's, but has been known to outdrink someone half her age when the single malt is opened. And yes, she was married to a Navy man.

What my rambling is attempting to say is that no matter what, Cunard/Carnival is in business to make money. They have proven in the past that they seem to know what people want. If there was enough demand for a classic style liner, and they could make money LONG TERM with it, I think they would do it.

Even if the SSUS was restored and put into service, there are not enough cabins to make her a money making concern.

Sad, but that's the way of the world.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,587
376
283
Easley South Carolina
>>Even if the SSUS was restored and put into service, there are not enough cabins to make her a money making concern.<<

The number of cabins may not be the issue. It's the layout of the ship herself. NCL would be starting from a completely gutted hull so refurnishing and refurbishing to current standards isn't the problem. The problem is that you can't really redo the ship with all those balcony cabins as well as exterior cabins that are in such demand and very few people want to pay top dollar for cabins without "A view" and which barely larger then a jail cell.
 
E

Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
I wasnt saying I disliked the Vista class ships, in fact, I havnt even seen one and so await the Vicky, which arrives in Auckland 12 Feb 09, when I will certainly be looking critically at her from all angles. Interiors are a matter of individual taste. I for one, would love to see the Vicky involved in something of note, something which would get people thinking favourably of her as worthy of Cunard tradition, not just another cruise ship. And although this board might be about the classic old ships, I think we cannot ignore the ships of today. At present, I am going down to Prince's Wharf every time a ship new to me docks for the day. To look and compare and see if there is a ship I like enough to save my readies and cruise in.