QE2 held back Cunard from being luxury fleet says Carnival boss

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>WHAT is so wrong with these Vista class ships.

Generic. Badge engineering, to use an automotive term. Rather like when GM took a $4000 Chevy Citation, gave it deluxe trim, raised the price to $10,000.00 and called it a Cadillac Cimarron. It fooled no one, and did nothing but further tarnish the fading Cadillac image.

Cunard service, as I said, is unexceptional. It has most of the pretensions one associates with restaurants targeted at the....well...newly moneyed and vulgar, while at the same time lacks the polish and silent efficiency one associates with the sort of place that aspires NOT to get its name in the paper thru association with Paris Hilton. I have...MANY times... told my traveling partners that if they DARE sit there while the waiter puts the napkin into the lap, I will personally, and painfully, remove that which is under the napkin. A hallmark of three star, snooty, dining establishments. Likewise for the fresh ground pepper ritual. And the exchanging of names between customers and waitstaff.

The food is mediocre in Brittannia class, and barely better in the grills.

QE2 had that special something that transcended the....averageness...of the Cunard experience. QM2 has...well...the bravado of a Hilton sister. A sort of aggressive tackiness that some see as style. But, as of yet, does not have the QE2's atmosphere. Victoria, from the word of mouth from friends who have been on board, has bad service to match the bad service of the early QM2 days, plus generic interior layout AND kind of a fusty, old fart, faux-Victorian design motif that aims for Mauretaniaesque and hits Beefsteak Charlie's.

I think that the best course of action for them would be to lay off the overblown and undeliverable claims of exceptional luxury, tone down the hype, banish references to Cunard Tradition, and then work towards quietly and gradually building a separate personality for each ship.
 
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Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
"work towards building a separate personality for each ship." I think you might be correct. Also train staff to serve people properly. Creating the ship's personality would also ential having a happy and loyal crew, paying and treating them well and delivering what the cruise line promotes in their brochures. Let's hope Cunard makes it without QE2. They might even miss her! They may regret having sold her.
 

Grant Carman

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Jun 19, 2006
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Jim

I agree 100%. Have you sent your thoughts to the CEO of Cunard Carol Marlowe? You do have enough of a reputation as an expert in the industry that you might even get a reply!
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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No, I've not. It's fun to discuss this all on line but, frankly, whether Cunard lives or dies or the ships succeed or fail doesn't matter to me.

What one would get would be a canned response. A good friend of mine spoke DIRECTLY with Ms Marlowe during the QE2's " protracted demise 87 diffferent final voyages" phase and...naturally...got canned answers.

I feel bad about the apparent inclusion of the liner's maritime treasures with the deal. I've made it a point NOT to follow up on that aspect of the sale~it's too depressing. Was the Mauretania/Lusitania hybrid builders model sent away? I don't want to know. The Britannia figurehead? The Queen Elizabeth bas-relief?
 
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Ellen Grace Butland

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Jim, as far as I know. Carnival sold the ship complete, 'as is' The only things I KNOW for sure were removed were a.The Standards of Her Majesty the Queen and Her Majesty the Queen Mother (which used to be in the old Q Mary) These are the property of the Royal Family. b. the big painting of Mauretania going down the Tyne to her trials. This was taken off the ship some months ago and is, I believe, in Tyne and Wear Museum. The Torah and other things from the synagogue aboard. I believe these were presented to a Jewish rabbi in Southhampton on or about Nov 11, 2008. If there were any other artifacts presented anywhere else, I don't know of them and would like to know. Everything else went with the ship, including her original artworks, the model of Maury/Lucy and I believe even the cup given to Samuel Cunard by the citizens of Halifax??? and Aquitania's bell. I am FURIOUS that Carnival have sold these British maritime treasures, ESPECIALLY to a place where many Westerners will be reluctant to go (because of perceived dislike of the Arabic nations to Westerners) Yes, it is depressing, I feel I am not the only person to be upset about all this.
 

Jim Kalafus

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The entire thing reeks of "We Don't Care."

Which would not be HALF as galling, were it not for Cunard's incessant, laughable, emphasis on its heritage in virtually all of its promos.

The QE2 was, ultimately, just a ship. Sooner or later, the end of the road would have been reached. The collection within her, however, WAS something unique and...were I to address Ms Marlowe I would not hesitate to inform her of what short sighted disgrace this aspect of the sale represents. She, and the company she represents, ought to be ashamed...

"We whore our history in an endless succession of brochures, while simultaneously selling off a large, irreplaceable chunk of it as part of a 'sold furnished' deal."

...is, sadly, the legacy she has now bequeathed the company.

And I would use those exact words in a face to face meeting.
 
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Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
Oh Mr Kalafus, I would so LOVE to be a fly on the wall the day you, or anyone else, take Cunard to task for selling, especially, Sam"s Halifax cup (if they have) THAT would have to be the biggest boob of all. You are right, the QE2 herself is only a ship, and would/will have to be scrapped eventually. But to bang on about Cunard's history, while selling these things, is, dare I say, perpetuating a canard (a hoax)
 
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Wellington, New Zealand
As for hocking of the QE2 I say
"Welcome to 'the Market Rules!'
As for butchering the ship at Dubai, I would rather they had ceremoniously scuttled her at sea. That way at least she would become an artificial reef and deep dive feature.
 
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Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
As far as I can find out, she is still awaiting her fate at Dubai. I have some news from another site that Capt Warwick has now gone home. The ship has one engine active to power lights, airconditioning etc, and the engines are used each in turn. I do not think any major structural work has been done, but I am assuming that foodstuffs, drinks etc would have been taken ashore. The casino has been dismantled because of the laws in Dubai forbidding gambling and the stock of the onboard shops has been taken off the ship and I presume sent back to the parent shops, such as Harrod's or sold or dumped. That's all I know or can guess for certain. She is just sitting there, and someone is keeping her warm.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Conjures up thoughts of the original Queen Elizabeth in Port Everglades, doesn't it?

The thing that is depressing, as I have said before, is not the potential loss of the ship but the potential scattering of the collection of artifacts aboard her. They would have been grand additions to the lame "Heritage Tour" aboard the QM2, 99% of which consisted of floor to ceiling graphics of the sort that appear in shopping malls as decorative touches to mask the facades of stores under construction. Even parcelled out among several Cunard ships would have been an acceptable use of the material.

I know I keep harping on this... but it really disgusts me. It parallels what is now happening to the corporate world in general ~ short term big profit is NOT necessarily in the best interest of the company.
 
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Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
Yes, I agree. Not only are the artifacts in danger of scattering, it means that Britain is deprived of them. Unlike the Mauretania and other Cunarders, there will be few QE2 artifacts kept in British museums (Which now even have things from the Lusitania, rescued from the wreck) I STILL hold Carnival to blame for this.Some of those artifacts could have been handed on to QM2 or the new Elizabeth, and if I see another Cunard brochure banging on about their heritage I might just write a scathing letter to them, even if I get a bland corporate reply.
 

Peter Newall

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Aug 19, 2006
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Jim, as far as I know. Carnival sold the ship complete, 'as is' The only things I KNOW for sure were removed were a.The Standards of Her Majesty the Queen and Her Majesty the Queen Mother (which used to be in the old Q Mary) These are the property of the Royal Family. b. the big painting of Mauretania going down the Tyne to her trials. This was taken off the ship some months ago and is, I believe, in Tyne and Wear Museum. The Torah and other things from the synagogue aboard. I believe these were presented to a Jewish rabbi in Southhampton on or about Nov 11, 2008. If there were any other artifacts presented anywhere else, I don't know of them and would like to know. Everything else went with the ship, including her original artworks, the model of Maury/Lucy and I believe even the cup given to Samuel Cunard by the citizens of Halifax??? and Aquitania's bell.

Hello Ellen,
almost all the 800 plus objects aboard the ship, including The Royal Standards, went with the ship to Dubai. The Mauretania painting was removed from QE2 as it was on loan from Swan Hunter and has been loaned to the Tyne & Wear Museum.

The Halifax cup is now on QM2.

I wrote an article about the artifacts on QE2 in the November issue of Ships Monthly.
Peter
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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Hi Ellen,

Unfortunately, this also includes the Chadburn's Engine Telegraph from the Mauretania
sad.gif


Best,
Eric
 
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Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
WHAT!!!! How DARE they flog off a piece of Maury. A pity I don't know anyone who gets Ship's Monthly, I would like a copy, does anyone on this board subscibe to this magazine. I used to get it, but since leaving full-time work have had to suspend my magazine subs. And did Carnivorius flog off the Queen's standard as well. I thought those were the property of Her Majesty the Queen. Did Carnivorious offer them back? If not, isn't that a slight to the Queen? I will have to hold my tongue (and fingers) tight, I am fizzing with FURY. I wonder if I approach Ships Monthly, would they still have a copy of last November's magazine.
 
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Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
A photocopy would suffice. I am compiling a third scrapbook about QE2, or rather her sad fate, which seems to get worse by the day. I am so glad that lovely Maury painting got claimed back by Tyne and Wear. Good on them. I believe Mr Stephen Card also claimed back a painting he did of QE2 which he loaned to the ship. So the Carnival dimwits DID take Sams cup and gave it to Q Mary der Grosse. At least someone in Carnicunard used his/her brains for once. I shall depart before I blow my stack (all four of them, that would be a fearsome sight)
 

Eric Longo

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Hi Ellen,

I was sent a lovely photo of the Chadburn's Telegraph - I'll see if I can share it.

Best,
Eric
 

Peter Newall

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Aug 19, 2006
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....I believe Mr Stephen Card also claimed back a painting he did of QE2 which he loaned to the ship.......

Hello Ellen,
Stephen's painting of QE2 was owned by the Ocean Liner Museum, New York and was removed from the ship. The Royal Standards were presented to Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary and were also owned by Cunard. Of even greater importance were the Royal portraits which hung on Caronia and Queen Elizabeth. These are now effectively in the hands of the Dubai government, who also own the impressive P&O art collection.
Peter
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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Hello Ellen,

Here is the image of the Chadburn's Engine Telegraph from the Mauretania on board the QE2. This lovely photograph was taken in October 2008 by Lusitania researcher Eric Sauder.

Best,
Eric