Two nights on the QE2!

On our recent business trip to Dubai for our first global Cyber Immune conference, we chose probably the most unusual of places to stay out of any business trip I’ve been on. So unusual was it that it deserves a whole post to itself…

As the title of this post indicates, we stayed on the Queen Elizabeth 2 – or, as everyone refers to it, the QE2. But, what were we doing “staying” on a British cruise ship in UAE? We were staying on “her” as, since 2018, she’s been a converted hotel – permanently docked in Dubai!…

It was the first time I’d step foot on a cruise ship; probably the last too, since cruises are not me thing at all. But here, we weren’t cruising!…

Boarding, we passed the ship’s propellers which had been placed ashore for all to see. Each one weighs 40 tons. I wonder how they managed removing and then bringing them here?…

A colossal construction. I only just managed to fit all its bulk into a photograph:

The view of the stern:

All very impressive on the outside; what about inside?…

The first thing that struck me was just how long the corridors were. The second – the infamous carpet pattern! I was intrigued by the place within minutes!…

Compared to today’s mammoth cruise ships, the QE2 is tiny. However, in the early second-half of the last century it was a real top-biggie. Curiously, there are no elevators that go from top to bottom like on a modern ship. For example, we had to use a couple of elevators and walk along a few corridors to get from the entrance (at the bottom) to our cabins (at the top) ->

The reason for the lack of the all-deck-connecting elevators was to separate the different classes of passengers in the past: first, second, and third (I recall such stark and strict class distinctions in the movie Titanic).

These days there are still class distinctions; they’re just less conspicuous with the help of technology: digital key-cards permit the holders thereof only to the corresponding sections of a hotel based on how much they’ve paid for their room, for example.

On our guided tour of the ship we didn’t get to inspect everything as our time, as ever, was limited, and it’s a huge ship – it would take hours and hours to see it all. Still, we were assured that we were shown all the best bits – apart from the engine room: it should be open to tourists by the end of 2024.

I can’t recall what this hall was for. Interesting design though ->

The ship has/had its own garage to hold the cars – like Rolls Royce – of passengers who couldn’t bear to rent a… Rolls Royce when they arrived at their distant destination ) ->

I didn’t find out how many restaurants there are, but I guess several. This was the fanciest and most classically-styled one, apparently ->

In one corner – a bar:

In another – a second bar. How many in total on the ship? Twelve.

There are also swimming pools, a casino and slot machines, and a theater…

Some of the scale models of similar ships were impressive:

Here’s one of the most basic – “third class”?! – cabins. It may have been third class, but it still has a loo, as the Brits call them, and a shower ->

I was in a rather palatial cabin:

…With its own balcony. Nice. Alas – I had no time to leisurely sit and sip a fine malt thereupon (…

My cabin had its own space up on the top deck too! ->

Pretty portholes! ->

I wondered how much of the interior is newly-furbished and how much is restored/re-polished/repainted original (the carpet, clearly, is new). Whatever – it’s all very nice:

Most interesting of all was the bridge:

All very old-school; much more so than the modern ship I last checked a bridge on – during our trip to Antarctica! ->


A Russian Orthodox icon on the wall! Apparently the last captain to sail the ship was Russian, though Wiki doesn’t back this up. But, why else would that be there?!

This section to the left side of the bridge – oops, I mean port side – was where they controlled the ship when it was docking ->

…And a nice view therefrom:

There’s another such device for docking on the starboard side, but it was cordoned off ->

Regarding the liner’s name – apparently it was originally to be called simply the “Queen Elizabeth”, but when Queen Elizabeth herself launched the ship, she uttered the words: “I name this ship Queen Elizabeth the Second”. But later, so as not to confuse the ship with the monarch (who was usually abbreviated to “QEII”), it became – as printed on its bow – the “Queen Elizabeth 2”. Still, all that doesn’t really matter, for it’s known as the QE2 mostly (not QEII!).

What an interesting ship-cum-floating-hotel. Btw – it was built (in Clydebank, Glasgow, Scotland, UK) in 1965-67, and sailed the seas from 1969 to 2008 – 40 years!

A huge thank-you to our excursion guide. His detailed facts, figures, explanations and anecdotes were just wonderful!

The ship features a museum too; here are some of the original navigation and weather instruments, plus a photo of the last crew to sail her all assembled on the top deck:

Hours later we were aboard another vessel – only a flying one:

Flying past the QE2! ->

And off we flew – to Milan…

That’s all for today folks. Back with more shortly…

The rest of the photos from the QE2 are here.

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