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QE2 Meets TheQE2Story

Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 by

Since the QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 arrived in Dubai at the end of November 2008, only her owners, her crew and contractors have been on board. No visitors have been admitted, and no photos have been released, reports Rob Lightbody of  TheQE2Story.com.

Last month,  Mr Lightbody was granted full access to the legendary ship, exploring and documenting her current condition. Mr. Lightbody was hosted by QE2 Project Manager Scott Clegg and QE2’s Captain William Cooper.

QE2 © Rob Lightbody 2011

“There was a lot of speculation out there that she was not in a good condition inside and I wanted to correct that, because I knew it was untrue”, says Lightbody.

QE2 © Rob Lightbody 2011

“I have been a huge fan of QE2 since my father first took me on board as a boy” he said, before continuing, “it was a dream come true to step back on board again, exactly 24 years to the day after I first did so.

QE2 © Rob Lightbody 2011

Lightbody explained in his own words, “I was pleased that my request was granted, and last week I became the first person since QE2 arrived in Dubai, to be allowed to go on board and to take and publish photos and videos.

QE2 © Rob Lightbody 2011

I spent most of 2 1/2 days on board, meeting and dining with her captain and live-aboard crew, and seeing many parts of her that I never saw when she was in service. I am pleased to say that she is in simply tremendous condition, and her crew are doing a fantastic job.

QE2 © Rob Lightbody 2011

I decided that doing a ‘video diary’ from on board was the best way to clearly demonstrate what she is now like – and I have spent days putting them together and online. My favourite event during my time on board was suggesting the idea for, and then recording, their first ever crew photo and recording a video of them all letting out a big proud cheer.

All the information about Rob’s trip, videos and (shortly) the photos are all within the ‘QE2 News’ section of TheQE2Story’s discussion forum – please visit http://www.theqe2story.com/ for more information.

Special thanks to Rob Lightbody and TheQE2Story.com for permission to introduce this story and these images from QE2

19 Responses to QE2 Meets TheQE2Story

  1. Kenneth Eden

    May 4, 2011 at 5:36 am

    Wonderful, this satisfies a long list of whats doing with the ship. She indeed looks wonderful.

    It is redundant to say I wish she was sailing, I do, and we mostly all do, and maybe one day she will.

    Rob Lightbodys wonderful work and pix helps to lessen some of the angst regarding the QE2, for me at least. Thank you, rob.

  2. David L. NYC

    May 4, 2011 at 7:51 am

    What a fantastic story! I, too, was wondering how the venerable Queen Elizabeth 2 was faring in her new environment, and based upon these photos, she is at least being cared for.

  3. Kenneth Eden

    May 4, 2011 at 10:11 am

    The one thing I truly miss about the QE2, has nothing to do with her look or her quality, is:

    When she was docked in NYC, one could stand mid-ships and stare down to the World Trade Towers from her pier, right straight down across the pwerfectly raked bow, right down the street to the site.

    A sight that will never happen again, one I treasure the memory of.

  4. David L. NYC

    May 4, 2011 at 11:52 am

    It’s funny that you should mention the World Trade Center and the QE2, Kenneth, because the only time I was ever aboard the QE2 was due, in part, to the 9/11 attacks. Briefly, I’m a survivor/rescuer from 9/11 (my office was on the 23rd floor of 7 WTC) and I was trapped in the loading dock when the towers collapsed. We later moved our command center to Pier 92, and one day in November of 2001 the QE2 arrived in NYC for a culinary event. I don’t recall all the event details, but the Commissioner called me on my radio and said, “What year was that ship (meaning the QE2) built?” I told him and he said, “Affirmative. You’re going to an event aboard her.” So I went over to Pier 90 and sampled some wonderful food, and had an opportunity to visit the Queen’s Room, and other public spaces. We never left the pier, but I loved it all the same and it was a nice respite from all the stress and horror we’d been dealing with.

  5. Peter Newall

    May 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Devoid of her artwork, QE2 looks pretty pathetic.

    There is also a sense of irony that the only paintings shown in Rob’s videos are the two which should be aboard the new QUEEN ELIZABETH i.e. the painting of the Queen mum from the original QUEEN ELIZABETH and the one of the newly maried Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh from CARONIA.

  6. Hank

    May 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Absolutely glorious ship!! Classic classic classic!!! I love the QE2!! I hope she is preserved forever (That’s impossible, but, I’m just very optimistic!!!)

  7. Kenneth Eden

    May 5, 2011 at 4:42 am

    David L NYC

    Thanks for sharing.

    Your courage and bravery are appreciated.

  8. Justin Higner

    May 5, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I am hopful that she is in good hands–and that she will turn a proffit where she is now. I hope she can still travel from time to time. Good luck for her preservation–she is a historic piece of human history.

  9. Kevin

    May 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Mr. Lightbody has done a great job of not only showing offf QE2 as she is today. And how her current owners are still caring for a ship that has an uncertain future. Given she is hanging in limbo she seems to be well cared for which is good. Bravo for a job very well done!

    The entire artifact retrival from QE2 seems abit odd on Carnival’s part since it was they who sold it all off (did someone actually loose their head over that?). Only to have someone at the Cunard brand buy select items back and leave other important items behind. The whole thing comes across as very unorganized and odd.

  10. Corey palm desert

    May 5, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    I hope the Arabs find a use for her because after awhile anyone would tire of a finacial elephant cost millions of dollars. If it was England I’d say well it’s their maritime history. The has nothing to do with Dubai . It would be great to put her in near the touristy area in London . This can’t go on long.

  11. Jim Galt

    May 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Well Corey she might be part of “England’s maritime history” but she was built in Scotland. I remember at primary school (junior school) in Rothesay just 30 miles from where she was built, we were lined up in the assembly hall to watch the launching live on the school’s only television.
    There was a palpable sense of pride but also of a passing era that even I as a 6 year old picked up.
    Her old fitting out basin is still available in Clydebank where she would be much loved and cared for in her birthplace as opposed to a foreign shore where she means very little, on Clydeside ships like her are in our blood.

  12. Kenneth Eden

    May 7, 2011 at 6:19 am

    Here we all sit, teary eyed at our computers, drying eyes over the fate of ships that we can not control.

    It matters not who owns a ship, who sells, it, whether a ship was pillaged of art and dishes, nor, if the ship is properly cared for while idle.

    What does matter, are our memories, cherished, and oft thought of, that brings the crunch to our hearts at the thought of our favorite ships leaving us, much as an old pet, a beloved auto, or the thought of becoming an empty nester may cause angst at the loss.

    I too have a void that will need to be filled, when my old favorites meet their end, and I have seen a lot of my favorite ships scrapped, sunk, burned, sold, humiliated by trashy owners, proudly sailing with some great owners, some sold to questionable governments to be used and blown up in the name of their causes – and this will never ever end.

    Think of the countless ships that have gone before us, sadly, to their ultimate fate. Most, some, many ? have souvenirs, menus, on board photos, and some have even greater items from liners and cruise ships, or military ships that we treasure, and covet.

    As then Captain Warwick to me when I asked him whatever happens to old liners, I was a teen then, his answer “You are probably shaving with their steel now”.

    Maybe Neptune can find a solace for us all.

  13. Johnster

    May 7, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I was on the last westbound crossing – it was brilliant. I live in the Middle east and frequently see the QE2 from the air.

  14. Dave

    May 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Kenneth – very eloquent indeed! And how right you are. I was on QE2 twice, once under steam and once under diesel and the memories are certainly wonderful. Though in all honesty I don’t think they rise above those memories I have of voyages on ss Nieuw Amsterdam, Rotterdam V, or ss France. One and all, great experiences!

  15. Kenneth Eden

    May 8, 2011 at 4:30 am


    Nothing can rise above the expected pleasures provided by the SS FRANCE, not even the QE2, not QM2, the closest in our time of “liner” luxe and pure liner design, if that. To have sailed the SS FRANCE was unlike any other experience asea in her time – I treaure those memories.

    Interesting, I sailed the SS ROTTERDAM V after HAL canned the all Dutch crew and I was not pleased. The ROTTERDAM V was, is, one gorgeous ship. There are some goood, some not at all good, sites for what is called Ship Hotel, Rotterdam, the good ones have lots of pictures of her as Hotel Rotterdam. Just surf and you will find them, some with cheap hotel rates.

  16. Dave

    May 8, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Thanks Kenneth. I’m taking the ms Rotterdam back from Rotterdam to NYC on July 3rd and am going early and expect to spend a night on the Rotterdam V.

  17. Kenneth Eden

    May 9, 2011 at 3:57 am

    Oh how I envy the stay on the ROTTERDAM V – take two moments to savor the three nicest rooms on the ship: Ambassador Lounge. Ritz Carlton and the La Fontaine dining room – three of my favorites. The cliched saying “they don’t build ‘em like that anymore” certainly is true.

    We almost booked exactly as you did, and would have taken the ROTTERDAM hotel as well, but, we opted for the NIEUW AMSTERDAM from Venice 12 days, in June.

    Dave, tell all about the ROTTY!!! AND, the hotel!!

  18. Charles Robert Sears II

    April 13, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Just read the story on the possibility of the QE2 becoming a hotel and meeting center/attraction in Macau. That would be preferable to have her sit for many more years empty in the sun of Dubai.

    I have sailed on her 2 times making westbound transatlantic crossings both times in 1st Class. I liked everything about her. I miss her. She was/is a Class Act! The new Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria,Queen Elizabeth are still larger and more like hotels compared to QE2. She was a greyhound of the seas.

  19. James Stannus

    August 15, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    I am sorry to bother you, but your correspondent form Rothesay.Is that my former pupil and skillful artist Jim Galt who used to draw with great dexterity Clyde steamers. If so I am James Stannus and can be contacted on tir.nanog@seznam.cz.
    Thank you

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