Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth

  • Thread starter Matthew O'Brien
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Matthew O'Brien

Guest
Out of these two ships, which one was preferred by the traveling public? I'm sure that each ship had it's own following, but one did one liner actual achieve greater financial success than the other? Was there a distinct difference in accomodation, at least in first class, that would have made a voyage on one vessel better than a voyage on the other?

Thanks for the imput,

Matt
 
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John Meeks

Guest
I heard that one of them - think it was the "Mary" - that rolled like a drunken man!

John M
 
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Nathan Good

Guest
From what i can remeber, the Queen Mary was definately the favorite with both passengers and crew. The Queen Elizabeth for some reason never matched her in these areas. If you're interested, I recommend checking out William H. Miller's 'Pictoral History of the Cunard Line.' It has a large section that discusses the queens. Hope this helps.

All the best,

Nathan
 

Eric Sauder

Member
Nov 12, 2000
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Hi, Matt:

"Out of these two ships [the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth], which one was preferred by the traveling public?

Interesting question, and one I've spent a fair bit of time researching because the QM is one of my favorites.

As to whether either one achieved greater financial succes, the answer is no. They both made huge amounts of money for Cunard, almost always sailed with full passenger loads, and were among the most financially successful ships ever built. (In that same category would also be the Holland America's Rotterdam V.)

"Was there a distinct difference in accomodation, at least in first class, that would have made a voyage on one vessel better than a voyage on the other?"

There was no specific difference that would have made a voyage in one better than the other aside from a person's particular taste in the ship's decoration. I happen to prefer the Queen Mary. She had a more mature, detailed look as opposed to the Queen Elizabeth whose interiors were given (in my opinion) the short shrift because she was completed immediately after the war.

Nathan wrote: "From what i can remeber, the Queen Mary was definately the favorite with both passengers and crew. The Queen Elizabeth for some reason never matched her in these areas."

Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, my research focused on the Queens, and I was extremely fortunate to meet and talk to dozens of officers and crew who worked on both ships, including the last captains of both the Mary (John Treasure Jones) and the Elizabeth (Geoffrey Marr). Nearly all of the officers I spoke with had a definite preference for the Mary. The ordinary crew, however, liked the Elizabeth better. She was "easier" to work, they said. It was the little things that made the difference, such as the placement of a cupboard or a side table or a linen closet. Remember that everything that had been learned from the operation of the Queen Mary had been incorporated into the Elizabeth.

Passengers didn't much care which ship they sailed on. A lot of them simply chose the ship by their schedule and required sailing date although there were those who would plan their trips around a specific ship's schedule.

By the way, Captain Treasure Jones didn't prefer either the Mary or the Elizabeth. His favorite was the second Mauretania, which he had the sad job of taking to the breakers in 1965.

Eric Sauder
 
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Matthew O'Brien

Guest
Eric and Nathan,

Thanks for that info, I have always thought that the Queen Mary was the more popular of the two because I always see and read more about her. Eric, I rarely come across interior shots of the Queen Elizabeth, most books that I own only feature the Mary. Do you know of any books in print that deal with the Elizabeth? From those that photos that I have seen, I think that the public rooms on the Queen Elizabeth pale a bit in comparison with the Mary; I'm glad to see that I am not alone in this opinion, but I have not seen many pictures. I never think of a ship from the crew's point of view, thanks for posting those remarks about the crew on the Elizabeth because they add a little more life to the ship in my mind.

Thanks a lot,

Matt
 

Eric Sauder

Member
Nov 12, 2000
403
9
171
Hi, Matt:

"Thanks for that info...."

My pleasure. It's nice to talk about a different ship for a change.

There aren't too many books that have been written about the QE. David Hutchings wrote one. I think it was called "Queen Elizabeth: Victory to Valhalla" or something like that.

There's "Destiny's Daughter" by Russell Galbraith, which is probably the best overall history for the ship that you can get.

A lady named Jeanette McCutcheon just wrote one, but I don't know if it's out yet, and I don't know the title or whether it's worth getting.

There was one that was released by Cunard in 1946 to coincide with the maiden voyage. It's popularly called the "Winchester" book, but the title is "The Queen Elizabeth: The World's Greatest Ship." This is by far the best illustrated of them all.

Potter and Frost wrote a book about the QE as a companion to their work about the QM. It's called "The Eilzabeth."

In 1968 a book came out called "Elizabeth: Passage of a Queen." It was about a typical trans-Atlantic crossing on her. It's an excellent read.

Although not specifically about the QE, Commodore Marr's biography "The Queens and I" is excellent. There's a lot about the QE's later career, her time in Florida, and her voyage to Hong Kong. Now *that* was a mess.

There is one other, but it's extremely rare. I don't recall the title, but its only about 80 pages. It is nothing but full-page photos of her working spaces with brief captions. The author (who was also the photographer) wanted to show the other side of a liner. He succeeded quite well, I think.

Those are all I can think of off hand.

"...I think that the public rooms on the Queen Elizabeth pale a bit in comparison with the Mary."

The problem as I see it with the first-class rooms on the Elizabeth is that they were all basically big, square boxes. There was no architectural interest in them like there was on the Mary. Most of the first-class rooms used the same motive of twisted ropes in an attempt to unify the rooms, but I don't think it worked very well.

All of this is not to say that the Elizabeth wasn't a nice ship. She was. But for many, many reasons, I prefer the Mary.

Eric Sauder
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Erik!

A lady named Jeanette McCutcheon just wrote one, but I don't know if it's out yet, and I don't know the title or whether it's worth getting.

Janette McCutcheon has written Queen Elizabeth, The Beautiful Lady. It's out now and published by Tempus Publishing at £16.99. Her husband speaks very highly of it.:)-)

Best,

Mark.
 
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Daniel Odysseus

Guest
Probably because the Queen Mary is still around... Most tourists would buy a QM book after they view the ship, not a QE book...

Which reminds me, I get to go up to Long Beach tomorrow to see the QM... I'm pretty excited. Has anyone elsebeen to the QM?
 
Apr 23, 2002
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My grandparents stayed with friends a few years ago for a holiday.
They lived in California and took my grandparents on a 'mystery tour'.
My grandparents were completely unaware where they were being taken to until my gran noticed three large funnels on the horizon.
They spent they day touring the Queen Mary and took some photos (I shall ask my gran if I can borrow them and post them).
It was the first time my grandad had seen the Queen Mary since watching her launching and Trials in 1934 and 1936 when he was 19 and 21 years old.
 
Dec 12, 1999
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My wife and I stayed in the "Windsor" room (I think it was called), which Winston Churchill purportedly occupied. It was a nice room, I recall, with many ornate wood carvings. However, for a first class stateroom, utilized by a famous statesman, it didn't seem particularly huge. Perhaps it had been split into several rooms.

I think that, back then, in the 1980s, the Queen Mary was losing money. I think the movie "Titanic" really salvaged the Queen Mary, for posterity.

To the best of my recollection, the Queen Elizabeth was known for being the larger of the two ships -- not necessarily the more luxurious.
 
May 8, 2001
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Daniel. I saw her yesterday across the pier, and small group of us ET'ers get together on the QM and chat every so often, but it has been a while for me. I hope you enjoy her. I took allot of pictures in September, but they were too big to put up on the ET board. There happens to be one that I sent to Phil Hind and he put it up.

My husband and I stayed on board her for the first time in April of 2001. The rooms were small, but what I have understood, it was the way of the time. It was erie to walk the decks in the night when no one else was around.

Hope you enjoy the trip.
Colleen
 
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Brent Holt

Guest
Even though I would say that 60% of the reason for the huge success of the Queens lay with their design and the reputation of Cunard, we must not forget the element of luck. The post WW2 world was quite different on the Atlantic. The Rex, Conte De Savoia, and Normandie were gone. Perhaps the biggest difference was the absence of White Star, Cunard's major competitor. If White Star had survived, and built more ships, the picture for the Queens would have changed slightly. (Although they would still have been successful, just not to the same level)
Brent
 
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David R Wong

Guest
Hello All,
I don't know if this topic is still alive, but
heres my 2 cents worth.
I'm slightly partial to the Queen Elizabeth due to the fact that I had sailed on her twice as opposed to my one cruise aboard the Queen Mary.
Another reason I like the Liz better, was the fact that she was fully airconditioned, which meant that she was better suited for southern cruises than the Mary was.

David
 
Sep 2, 2009
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David:

Welcome to the list, after a long absence from the Ocean Liner board you pop up out of the past.

I always thought you were partial to the Queen Elizabeth because it had ping-pong tables and "Tom Collin's" and a window in the stateroom. :>)

Now just were did that passenger list come from?
 
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Doug McDonnell

Guest
I think that the QM was easily the more liked of the two. This could have something to do with the fact that the QE got off to a bumpy start and never really recovered. This is because she only went on a few voyages before the war and service was cancelled. By the time the war was over air travel had taken over and QM had already developed a reputation. They were both luxirious in their own way.
 
Jul 11, 2001
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Actually the Queen Elizabeth was launched and painted as a troup ship right away. She never had her trial run, instead made a mad dash for New York to escape the Nazis before they could bomb her. So only the Queen Mary saw pre-war passenger service. The QM was definately more well liked, no doubt due to her Art Deco appointments. The QE by comparison was more modern. Airline TransAtlantic service was still by Prop-driven planes till the late 1950s. Both Queens did very well financially till then. It was in the 60s that they started losing money. The SS United States was launched in 1952? 53? as Airline service was still not the rage yet. But you are right about the QM being more popular than the QE by the public. Yet, the QE was bigger and had a cleaner, less cluttered looking upper deck.

David
 

John Zoppina

Member
Feb 5, 2005
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Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone knew why people who traveled on the Queens often preferred Queen Mary to Queen Elizabeth. Any theories?

EDIT: Sorry, I hadn't seen you already had one of these.
sad.gif
By all means, ignore this message. Thanks
happy.gif


Thanks,
John
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Although this is an older thread, I did want to post a link to my analysis of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, and their relative passenger carryings:

http://www.markchirnside.co.uk/CUNARD_QUEENS_1960S.htm

I provide a statistical analysis, and then conclude:

'Not only does it seem that both ships carried more passengers than they were given credit for in the 1960s, but it also seems to be true that Queen Elizabeth was consistently more popular than her sister (contrary to popular belief), and indeed had the edge in carrying slightly more passengers than Queen Mary did over a shorter career.'

Best wishes,

Mark.
 

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