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A new show spills a few secrets from the QE2's heyday 

"Edmundo Rintel" (2020-08-09)

When Peter Warwick stepped aboard the QE2 for the first time in 1987 it sparked a lasting love affair.
If you are you looking for more in regards to Inc. have been on call to help local homeowners with their plumbing repairs [] look at the web page. ‘I told my mother that one day I would work on board,' he recalls. 

‘She told me not to be so ridiculous. But the ship captivated me.'

Peter was as good as his word. In 1995 he joined the crew, and such is the pull of the famous liner that now he works for her once again, running heritage tours at her new home in Dubai's Mina Rashid harbour, where she opened two years ago as a hotel.

A new three-part Channel 5 documentary, QE2: The World's Most Luxurious Hotel, follows her transformation into a five-star hotel that retains the cachet of her glory days on the ocean wave.

Built by Cunard, the QE2 was the company's flagship liner.

She is named not after our reigning monarch but was Cunard's second ship named after her mother, the wife of King George VI, hence her titular number rather than Roman numeral. 

A new three-part Channel 5 documentary follows the QE2's transformation into a five-star hotel.

Pictured: The QE2 in Dubai

It was Queen Elizabeth II who launched her at Clydebank in 1967 though, and after her maiden voyage to New York in 1969, she became a byword for luxury, with 11 boutiques including a branch of Harrods. 

When she was retired in 2008 she'd transported 2.5m passengers.
The Dubai government bought her for £50m, and in 2015 renovations began.

It was an ambitious project, says QE2 CEO Hamza Mustafa. ‘People want to celebrate what the ship was, so it's this constant struggle between the future and the past.

Do I stick to what she's famous for, or do I go with new concepts?'


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The compromise has meant working to replicate intricate details like the embossed china, while overhauling the plumbing, wiring and air conditioning. The latter was vital in a city where temperatures routinely rise above 40°C on a boat designed for the breezy mid-Atlantic.

‘It was the hardest challenge we faced,' says Hamza.

‘We had to quadruple the original 60s air-conditioning capacity.'

One of the biggest gambles was to relaunch The Queens Grill, the first-class dining quarters where no request was refused.

In the ships heyday everyone from the Queen to Nelson Mandela dined in The Queens Grill.

Pictured: The Queen visiting her for the final time in 2008

‘There's a story that one of the passengers said they would like elephant,' says Peter. ‘They were asked, "Would you like African or Indian?" I'm sure it isn't true, but it gives you an idea of the lengths they would go to.'

In its heyday everyone from the Queen to Nelson Mandela dined there. 

Peter witnessed Elton John tinkling the ivories, and even whirled Millvina Dean, who at two months old was the youngest passenger aboard the Titanic when it sank in 1912, around the famed dance floor.

‘In those days my job was to ballroom dance with the single ladies,' he says.

‘It was a tough job but we managed it!

‘No matter what was going on in the world, the moment you stepped on board you were in this bubble,' he adds. ‘There is an ambience about the QE2 that defines romanticism.'  

Millvina Dean recalls feeling like you're in a bubble when you step on board.

Pictured: Shipworkers at Clydebank test the new liner's luxury pool

QE2: The World's Most Luxurious Hotel, Friday, 9pm, Channel 5.