I was lucky enough to be invited onboard the QE2 this week for lunch and a tour. The first thing that struck me was her size, i really thought she wouldn't be as big, yet when you stand on the dock she towers above you like any other superliner. The tour was 2 hours long and we took in many cabin grades from insides to suites. My personal favourites were the suites of course - the decor was a little more to my taste with the fusion of art deco and a hint of modernism. The stairs to the penthouses were very narrow and reminded me of my staircase at home but that gave it quite a nice personal feel. These are only accessable via the Queens Grill hence not being able to eat in there unless you're staying in one.The ship is full of memorabilia and art works depicting her history. There are many paintings of Queen Elizabeth herself as well as models of previous Cunard fleet and other art pieces. One of my favourites was the wall of fame filled with old photos of famous past guests. It was fun to look through and see how many people you could recognise. Another decoration i enjoyed was the Ratcliffe memorial wall - this was filled with Cunard memorabilia from many years ago. It included puzzles, matches in fact anything emblazened with Cunard or QE2. The story behind the wall is that the chap who collected the items actually took them without paying over the years he travelled onboard, yet when he died he left the collection back to Cunard. I thought that was a facinating story which brought a lump to my throat!
The shopping area was pretty good with a Harrods onboard as well as the usual ship fashion and convenience stores although i could only peek though the windows as she was moored in port. We visited all the restaurants and in actual fact, decor wise, i felt the Mauretania had the most character. We were lucky enough to eat in the Princess Grill and had the most delicious 3 course lunch including the best Chateaubriand i have ever tasted.
Although she wouldnt be my first choice of cruise ship, the QE2 had a wonderful charm about her and i am really glad i got to experience her magnetism before she becomes a luxury floating hotel in Dubai.