October 23, 2008
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Victoria
Firstly, a big thank you again to Warren Smith for his reports on QE2’s “Farewell to The British Isles” Voyage. What amazing memories for everyone and added thanks for the links to your videos and pictures. We’ll keep you updated with her farewell season and of course we look forward to sharing more of your memories. Before we look at the ships this week I’ll start the blog with: “This week in Cunard’s History” for the week of the 16th October to the 23rd October:
October 17 1843
Hibernia (1843 – 1868) comes in to service
October 20 1986
QE2 makes her last Transatlantic Crossing under steam power
October 20 1989
QE2 makes her maiden call to Cadiz, Spain
October 20 1997
QE2 makes her maiden call Port Delgada, Azores
Many of you will read with interest that the programme to install new drawers in all the staterooms on Queen Victoria is now complete. The project started some time ago with the design team looking at how they could best provide more drawer space, whilst maintaining the staterooms’ spacious and elegant appearance. After careful consideration it was decided to add drawers to the bed side cabinets and under the beds themselves. That may seem quite straightforward but this project involved 3,722 bedside and 2,016 under bed drawers (yes that’s a total of 5,738 drawers)!
Installing the drawers while the ship was in operation was quite a challenge and took a lot of planning by the shore side team as well as those on board to ensure our guests weren’t disturbed. The eleven skilled carpenters and their manager arrived on board prior to the first batch of drawers being delivered, so as they could assist with the loading, which had to be coordinated and planned so as not to interfere with normal loading operations.
A total of 243 pallets of pre-assembled drawers, drawer fronts, runners, screws and tools, were delivered from the UK by truck to the ship. They came in three batches in our ports of call and safely stowed in the limited spare space the ship has available, whilst ensuring they could be easily transported to the guest staterooms.
At this point, our on board team of engineers under the guidance of Ships Services Engineer Tim Chillingworth, coordinated the install with our housekeeping department under the supervision of Executive Housekeeper Rosemarie Christiner.
In order to complete between 30 and 50 installations a day, a notification letter was sent out to the relevant staterooms the night before outlining the plan for the day. If the timing wasn’t convenient for our guests, their staterooms were completed on another day, which sometimes meant the limited time available on voyage turnaround days.
In most cases, the installations took place mid morning after guests had had their breakfast and proceeded ashore.
Initially 45 minutes was allowed for the full installation in each stateroom, using two carpenters but this was reduced to about 30 minutes as they familiarized themselves with the operation. The project was completed in 3 voyages between the 6th of September and the 12th October so we can happily say the Queen does have drawers and very nice they look too!
Congratulations to Trimline (the British outfitting company involved) and of course the on board Engineering and Housekeeping departments for making the operation so smooth, and special thanks to Tim Chillingworth for providing the photos and details of the operation.
Meanwhile as Queen Victoria continues her autumn season in the Mediterranean, QE2 and Queen Mary 2 have been crossing the Atlantic in Tandem so we have a report on that today too. We have some great ideas for subjects coming up as well including more interviews and of course QE2’s farewell season, so please do keep logging on and as usual your comments are always welcome.
Cheers for now- Alastair