Floating Hotel Resort
The Quarter Deck
Naval parlance provided the name of the next deck - the Quarter Deck, which has at its forward end, the main kitchen covering an area of 17,000 square feet. Its design and layout were decided only after close study of ship and hotel kitchens of equal serving capacity, with the difference that in a ship, the number of people is constant throughout a voyage. In design the kitchen departs from the traditional concept of central ranges flanked by separate lock-up pantries, such as the confectioner's, the h'ors doeuvrier's pantries, in favour of an open plan design. Mechanisation is very much in evidence – in food preparing, cleaning, washing and scouring to conform to high food hygiene standards, such as are demanded by the U.S. Department of Public Health.
With housekeeping on this scale, it is no wonder that QE2's kitchen should be one of the most versatile afloat, or ashore; from these basic commodities. the kitchen will be called upon to produce many classic dishes: 20,000 pounds of beef, 6,000 pounds of lamb, 15,000 pounds of ham, 4,000 pounds of pork, a mile of sausages, 72,000 eggs, 3,000 pounds of cheeses, 20,000 pounds of fish, 1,800 pounds of live lobster, 24,000 pounds of fresh vegetables, 15 tons of potatoes, 4,000 quarts of ice cream - and 150 Pounds of caviar.
An Elegant Background
The main kitchen is directly ahead of the Grill Room and the Columbia Restaurant, rooms which are used for first class Passengers; when the ship is on North Atlantic service, or on cruises offering two separate ranges of tariff. An elaborate system of elevatiors links the kitchen with the Britannia Restaurant immediately above. For the Grill Room, a room taking on the exclusive role of the grills in the “ Queen Mary ” and “ Queen Elizabeth ”, and Columbia Restaurant, there is a walk in waiter service.
In Dennis Lennons ' words, this restaurant is “an elegant background”, its decorative shades a blending of dusky ambers, bronzes and pale apricots; a subdued setting for the moving colour of colourful dresses.
Further aft along the Quarter Deck, there is the Card Room, designed by Jon Bannenberg. There are six, four-seater tables; the lighting is specially aimed at only the areas where the players are sitting, and reflecting its nature, the room is predominantly decorated in a deep olive green baize. The Quarter Deck library adjoins it. On the starboard side of the deck, is the Midships Bar, a room cleverly divided into five sections and a serving bar.
The Queens Room
The Queens Room, designed by Michael Inchbald , can be described as a white and silver aerodynamic room; mirrors add length to a practically square shape, and to give a sense of space, there is no dividing up of the room. Rather, the central spare is on a lower level, with a built-in dance floor; the surrounding ledges incorporate flower-troughs.
The main decorative treatment is contained in the use of a trumpet shaped column with the bell mouth upwards, echoed in reverse in the chair design in which the bell mouth becomes the base. When the stage is empty, the white curved backdrop has played upon it a succession of coloured light patterns. This elegant room's colour scheme is one of white, honey, lemon and pale flame.
Approaching the after and of the Quarter Deck is the Conference Room, which also can act as a travel bureau. Finally, there is the Q4 room, a room named after the popular mnemonics of several “ Queens ”. David Hicks designed the room which is a lounge by day, and club by night, with its specially designed carpet in black, White, grey and scarlet. The wall panels are framed in brushed aluminium and at night red, black and white lacquered panels slide across the windows. Rory McEwen designed interesting semi-transparent morals. The Q4 room gives out to the Quarter Deck Lido and pool. The pool and the next pool and lido on One Deck, were designed by James Gardner after the Roman tradition of a “bat” shape.
Five Hotel Decks
From the Quarter Deck below is One Deck, and the beginning of the hotel system of numbering decks rather than giving them unrelated labels such as “Main Deck” and “A” Deck. One Deck is the first of the five decks given over almost exclusively to rooms, many are rooms which, by day, can be converted into sitting rooms, for relaxation or private parties.
The cabin layout of the ship is unprecedented for three-quarters of her 2,025 passengers are accommodated in rooms with a view, and the natural daylight admitted by windows and portholes (they are also known as scuttles and sidelights). But whatever label is attached to them, they add to the total impression of QE2 - a ship of brilliant light where and when it is wanted; and shade and subdued lighting at the right time of day or night.
This is not the place for a detailed description of the different types of rooms; enough to say that the aim throughout of Dennis Lennon, responsible for the major number of rooms, and Stefan Buzas and Gaby Schreiber, who have designed the suite rooms, has been to grade the accommodation with great care to avoid startling differences.
One Deck and Two Deck contain luxe rooms. The suite rooms, for example, designed by Gaby Schreiber and Stefan Buzas, are what could be described as self-contained penthouses, for they consist of an am for sleeping, transformed by day into a living room or drawing room, with separate dressing room and bathroom.
In Stefan Buzas' range of suite rooms, there are three colour schemes, in wall panels and carpets, with a common finish of American walnut veneer. The three colour schemes alternate along the line of rooms, with carpet colours of seaweed green, brown and blue; the corresponding fabric panels are in pale olive, caramel and pale coffee. Bedspreads and curtains are a warm off-white, with a settee and two lounge chain upholstered in ivory fabric, and two side chairs in strong orange. There is also a low, oval table.
Gaby Schreiber's group of suite rooms incorporate two main colour schemes, with contrasting textures of wool and silk. One scheme uses a chocolate brown carpet, with tangerine silk curtains, and checked upholstery in tangerine, yellow, and shocking pink, set off by numerous small cushions in brilliant shade of silk. The second scheme uses a beige carpet, caramel silk curtains and aquamarine deep blue checked wool upholstery.
Months of Study
In setting out the basic deign of the ship, Cunard Naval Architect Dan Wallace and his staff had behind them months of study of competitive passenger liners, not only North Atlantic but all trades, and of hotel design in Europe and North America . The results clearly showed a demand for outside rooms, with natural daylight, for beds rather than bunks one above the other, for single and twin-bedded rooms - not threes and fours, (a small number has been retained for family and group use) - and for private shower and lavatory facilities, good reading lamps, telephones, versatile electric razor sockets to meet international standards. And. not surprisingly, a device for drip-drying clothes - even though QE2 has a self-contained laundry and launderette system which makes her entirely independent of shore facilities.
Several hundred drip-dry racks have been installed. And for entertainment, there are bedside consoles with a choice of six-channels, including music and radio ~ broadcasts. A natural Follow-on is the ship's newspaper. Below decks in the print shop, a self contained unit, capable of taking care of all the ship's printing demands for menus, notices, internal instructions, landing arrangements - and the newspaper itself, which will be produced from radio signals through a photo-typesetter, to give passengers copies of the day to day presentation of news in the London “Daily Telegraph”.
Individual futures of the five accommodation decks, from One Deck to Five Deck, are the intimate Grill Room bar on One Deck, linked by a spinal staircase with the Grill Room itself a deck above and the Synagogue designed by Professor Misha Black on Three Deck. The Synagogue is panelled in olive ash veneer, in narrow bands, and the Ark at the central point is lit from a hidden source. The carpet is a rich blue pin-stipple Wilton .
On Six and Severn Decks - really part decks, are far as passengers are concerned are the two indoor swimming pools, and Turkish and sauna bath. Jon Bannenberg designed the Six Deck pool, Apart from the tiled floors, no cold surfaces have been used where bathers circulate; bright striped carpeting leads passengers to the changing rooms, formed of large circular orange tubes lined with small Indian printed fabric.
Officers' and crew accommodation is of a high standard, with schemes devised by Jo Patrick . In the officers' accommodation there are five different colour schemes. Accommodation for ratings includes five recreation moms and four mess rooms.