Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Your memories of the QE2

One of the world's most famous cruise ships, the Queen Elizabeth 2, is now in its home port in Southampton before its final voyage.

The QE2 will be taken out of service and turned into a floating hotel in Dubai.

The liner has sailed nearly six million nautical miles, been round the world 25 times, crossed the Atlantic more than 800 times and carried more than 2.5 million passengers.

BBC News website reader have been sending their memories of sailing on the 70,000-tonne liner.


My wife and I got engaged on the QE2 in 1997.

It was the last night of the voyage, as we were due to arrive in Naples the following morning and she was flying back to England, while I stayed on and met up with my work team.

I had it all worked out - a lovely dinner, and then a romantic walk on deck under starlit skies, as we sailed through the strait between Italy and Sicily...during which I would ask her to be my wife.

We got to the end of dinner and before I could put my plan into action, she beat me to it - needless to say I said 'yes'!

Eleven years later, we're happier than ever. Thank you QE2.

Derek and his wife had a wedding cake with the QE2 on top
Derek and his wife had a wedding cake with the QE2 on top.
I had the pleasure of both working on board QE2 for four world cruises in the 90's, and also meeting my wife, who ran the Harrod's shop at the time, on board.

We now have an 11 week old daughter called Sophia Elizabeth, and yes the Elizabeth is after the QE2.

We're taking Sophia down to see the QE2 today so we can tell her she did once see her namesake!

The atmosphere on the ship was very friendly. We got married in 2003 and went to the Channel Islands for our honeymoon, and the QE2 came into Guernsey.

We went on board to say hello to old colleagues and bumped into the captain, who remembered our names eight years after we left the ship.


Whilst the QE2 was undergoing sea trials, shortly after her launch, she broke down in the English Channel.

I was working at the time in a hardware/ironmongery/tool suppliers shop in Hastings at the time, and we were the only place on the south coast who were able to supply the phosphor bronze nuts necessary for her repair.

I drove my van from Hastings to Southampton to deliver the pieces and they were all waiting for me.

It was a proud moment of mine.


I worked on the QE2 as a waiter and baggage master between 1985 and 1998. I went to sea school in Gravesend and then left to India to join the crew when I was 16 years old.

I grew up on the ship and sailed around the world nine times.

I met my wife Nicola on board who was working as a stewardess and when our daughter was born we named her Sarah "Elizabeth" Thomas after the ship.

The QE2 is part of our British heritage. During our time on board we met many famous people and I even carried Dean Martin up to his penthouse after he drank something a little stronger than tea during afternoon tea.

It is all the people we met during our time on board that remain as special memories and its the QE2 which bought us together. She will be missed.


Richard O'Brien in front of the QE2
Richard O'Brien trained as a deck cadet at the QE2.

I trained at the QE2 for three months as a deck officer, and then went on to train at the QM2.

I travelled to the Mediterranean and to the Canary Islands, and did a world tour that took me to Brazil, the Falklands, Uruguay, Senegal and back.

Rio was the stop I enjoyed the most as it was so different, we sailed from Southampton on a grey December day and then one week later it was all sunshine and people dancing... Copacabana is so different from the Solent!

I think people will miss it because it's an iconic symbol of Britain and the last of its kind to be built here, but I also think she is better off in Dubai where they will have the money to keep it in good condition. I think she will do well.


I was taken on board as a wondrous nine year old when she first arrived at our home town of Southampton.

Those were the days when lads like me had posters on bedroom walls, not of scantily-clad lovelies, bur rather ships and Concorde.

I shall be on hand tonight to wave her 'adieu' as she leaves on her final voyage, both of us now well-travelled, and middle-aged...


I was nine years old when the QE2 was launched from John Brown's in Clydebank and I was there.

All I remember was the number of people lining the streets to watch the event. I wont be at Southampton to see her final voyage though.

Seems rather sad that she is going abroad to be confined as a floating hotel.


A waiter on board the QE2
Christine had a go at all the desserts on offer.

We were recently fortunate enough to sail aboard the QE2 for the first time, and were even more impressed than we'd been warned by our accompanying friends to expect.

We fell in love with the QE2, and wished we'd visited earlier. For our last night aboard, we teased our waiter Andy that the choices were all too tasty, and couldn't he arrange a "taster" of all the marvellous desserts?

He smiled, and to our amusement that evening, provided a huge plate each with all the choices upon it. We attempted to do the chefs justice, but failed - though it was fun to try!

We shall never forget that trip, and long for another - and despite going abroad to live/work, it is better than losing such a national treasure to the fate of some predecessors.

There'll be tears shed this evening in our house when she leaves Southampton for the last time. Cheers!

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