From the QE2….

One gets very nostalgic when talking about the QE2.  Or even Concorde.  Iconic British (o.k, and French) superstructures and magnificent engineering feats and overwhelming luxury.  – (in the 80’s.)

You can’t fly on Concorde anymore – but you can stay on the QE2.   How so?

Well, a few months ago I heard a radio interview on the Emirates flight – and the discussion was the soon to be opened QE2 Hotel!   Wait… whaaaaat?

So right now – I am posting this from the QE2….

The UAE bought the QE2 back in 2007 and have been ‘fixing her up’ ever since.  Lot of changes internally but lots of the ships original features have been preserved.    The lounges, furniture, paintings, wall signs… lots and lots – as it was back in the day.   Except now it has wifi.

The QE2 doesn’t officially open until October.   However, the ‘soft’ opening was a few months ago.  Some of the rooms are available, not all.   Most of the restaurants and bars are not yet open.  Most shops are still under construction.    The view outside looks like a building site.   Probably why you can get a room for $60 per night.

The (cheap) rooms are pretty basic.   So are the deluxe rooms.   Personally, I prefer the Four Points.

Basic Room. Would go mad after a few hours.

The room service is virtually non-existent.  Some toasties and a muffin or something.  I did venture to the ‘Convenience Store’  – where they sold Instant Noodles and Curried Chicken Samosas.   Don’t expect prompt service though.  The cashier spent most of his time sitting at a table, playing with his phone.

I was hoping for a gift shop. Maybe buy a T-Shirt with the QE2 logo?  Nada.

The location isn’t great either.  Not much can be done about that really.   Need water.

The view….

Forget it if you think you can go for a little stroll into the town.  Or a shop or restaurant.

Just for show… no Gambling going on here…

One thing I found rather novel, is that all the novels from the QE2 library were kept – and can now be found in the lobby.

Not sure I’d stay long enough to read a whole book.

Four times per day – there is a (free) QE2 tour.   A little chap speaks of the history and takes us for a wander.   As most of the ship is not ready, we couldn’t see the good stuff – like the Bridge or the Engine room.   Just some old Ball Rooms, theatre and Casinos.  Pretty impressive for the 70’s.

View from the QE2

Out on deck,  well,  it was a bit grubby.  I do hope they give the old girl a good clean.  I can’t help but feel let down by the presentation.  This is the QE2 goddamnit!

Scrubbers needed.

If you want a quiet/romantic night on board – it’s perfect.  You’d not want to stay longer.  Not at the moment.   Once it’s properly up and running maybe.   Thing is – once you’ve spent a night or two on the ship, the novelty wears off.

The Queens Hall…

There will be Friday Brunches here after October – but I get the impression it’ll be a Family type of Brunch. I might give it a go.

Another one off the bucket list.

Speaking of lists…. here is one taken from the website.


• 224 refurbished rooms and suites
• An interactive exhibition on the QE2’s history
• Dubai skyline and oceanic views
• Five restaurant and nightlife venues
• A chic shopping arcade (coming soon)
• A spa (coming soon)
• Live entertainment, a theatre and cinema (coming soon)
• Concierge services
• Complimentary shuttle bus services (coming soon)
• Airport transfers

Even though I was unable to enjoy a fully opened QE2… it’s still pretty cool to be able to say I stayed here.

The biggest problem.. and I have no idea how to address this…. was that there was no ‘buzz’ factor.   Does that make sense?  I didn’t feel any excitement or atmosphere.

I remember being in the presence of Concorde when I was younger – and I was in awe.  I don’t know…. something is missing for sure.

Will I be back?  Maybe around Christmas time.


5 thoughts on “From the QE2….”

  1. Similar thing happened to a former Dutch cruise ship from my home town. It is now a rather funky hotel. Great venue for parties and weddings. Brilliant idea and a wonderful way to preserve history. So if any of you were planning a visit to vibrant Rotterdam here is the link:

    1. The SS Rotterdam does look pretty swish. I’d say it’s more fun than the QE2.

      I am guessing the QE2 is going for the old fashioned, traditional luxury type thing.

      Certainly not a party boat!

  2. Hi,

    Interesting to read your excellent review.

    They’ve taken a strange approach with QE2 – all the valuable, historic memorabilia has been removed from the ship and placed in the terminal building, leaving blank spaces on board where items were. For example the Queens Room was designed around the bust (which is in the terminal) and is now just a big empty events space, whereas before it was the first class ball room and lounge for afternoon tea. Google QE2 Queens Room to see how special this space once was.

    At the QE2 Story website, we’re withholding our full views until after the Grand Opening, but at the moment many of their decisions seem very odd to us.

    SS Rotterdam was superbly done, very clever, retaining originality where appropriate, modernised where appropriate, and in an appropriate location for her too. She also looks ready to sail due to clever docking arrangements. Externally Rotterdam looks unchanged, whereas poor QE2 looks naked without her many lifeboats to define her superstructure and boat deck.

    – Rob Lightbody, The QE2 Story.

    1. Wow.. thanks for sharing that with us Rob.

      If I am honest, I was a little disappointed with the QE2 experience – but am putting that down to it not being officially open yet. I guess I jumped the gun and shouldn’t really pass comment on what is not the final product.

      As for the hotel part.. well, I did give some ‘observations’ to the Reception on check-out. Hopefully they’ll address them before announcing to the world they’re a top class hotel.

      Last of all… the old boat could do with a clean! When outside on deck, it did look a sorry state!

      Look forward to the opening and finished article… I’ll certainly go back and check it out. If I am impressed, then I’ll treat my parents to a visit.

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