QE2 TOUR AND
Above and left: The Princess Grill was originally an ala carte extra
tariff restaurant called the Grill Room but since 1972 it was a
dining room. It was one of the few rooms on the ship that
remained substantially as it was when the ship entered service.
Below: The Britannia Grill was the most recent of QE2's main
dining rooms. It was created in 1990 and was called the Princess
Grill Starboard reflecting the fact that it is located in the same
area as the Princess Grill except on the starboard side of the ship.
The Lido was the ship's
purpose-built buffet dining
area. The area once
encompassed a swimming
pool and a nightclub.
Light buffet fare was
brought to the area at
lunchtime so that
passengers could lunch by
the pool (above left).
Gradually, this became so
popular that there was no
more swimming, just
dining (above right). As a
result, in 1994 the area
was made over into a
permanent buffet venue.
Once it was established,
the gala midnight buffet,
which had been in the
Columbia Restaurant was
moved to The Lido (right).
The Mauretania Restaurant seated 530 and had two-seatings. It started out as the Britannia Restaurant, then
became Tables of the World and subsequently the Mauretania Restaurant. During a brief period in the mid-1990s,
the line decided to swap the rooms that housed the first class restaurant and the transatlantic class restaurant as
part of a scheme to increase revenue and to go to a one seating system. As a result, the room on Upper Deck that
was the Mauretania Restaurant became the Caronia Restaurant and the room on Quarter Deck that had been the
Columbia Restaurant became the Mauretania. It soon became clear that this scheme did not work and the
Mauretania returned to its old room and the room that had been the Columbia became the Caronia. One dividend
from the project was that the Mauretania room received an extensive face-lift that included the installation of a
large statue of horses in the surf - - a reference to the old sailor's tale that white capped ocean waves are the
heads of wild horses. It is by Althea Wynne.
One of the most successful changes made during the 1994 refit was
the introduction of the Pavilion. Prior to the refit, there had been a
window that had opened out to the outdoor pool area through which
hamburgers and hot dogs were served during good weather. During the
refit, the area around Hamburger Haven was enclosed and made into a
delightful cafe with floor to ceiling windows looking out towards the
pool. As a result, the area could now be used in all types of weather.
The Queens Grill (right) was the ship's top dining
venue. It was known for its service and excellent
cuisine. Passengers could order from the menu or
may make special requests. The unwritten rule
was that no request would be denied provided that
the passenger gave the restaurant sufficient lead
time. Some passengers took this as a challenge
and it resulted in orders for such exotic dishes as
rattlesnake and buffalo as well as for a caviar
Originally, the area was a bar and nightclub, the
736 Club (named after QE2's shipyard number). It
then became Juliana's Discotheque and then the
Casino. When the first penthouses were added in
1972, it became the Queens Grill.
There were two serving lines, one on either side of the room, where
passengers could obtain salads, main courses, vegetables and bread (see
left). If a sandwich is all you were seeking or if you wanted dessert, there
was a station in the center of the room (below left). While this was a
self-serve venue, waiters will bring ice tea, water and juices (below).
The Caronia Restaurant, first called the Columbia
Restaurant, was the ship's original first-class
restaurant. It later became the dining venue for most
of the passengers in cabin categories just below the
penthouses and suites. The Caronia was a single
Left: The view from the captain's table. The captain
and staff captain alternated hosting tables in the
Caronia and the second seating in the Mauretania
Below left: Looking at the restaurant from the raised
Below: A Midnight Buffet in the Columbia
Restaurant. Elaborate buffets were held each night on
a transatlantic crossing and were open to all
passengers. A special gala buffet was held usually on
the fourth night of the voyage.