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Michael Rosenburg passed away

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I’m saddened to learn that Michael Rosenburg passed away in 2015, survived by wife Jocelyn.

 

The couple were a much loved instalment for every World Cruise on the QE2. I did a search for information here, but could find no posts, hence me making this one.

 

Does anyone here remember them? Such a great couple. Very down to earth, and Michael had the driest sense of humour! He also loved his routine.

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Very sad about MR.  We saw him many times on QE2.  On each occasion we were on sectors of the world cruise and he was on the full world cruise.  I recall the sector one year between Singapore and Sydney.  He had a table for six in the Queens Grill, but there was only two of them.  I was told the reason being he had three cabins, one to sleep in, one for all their clothes and one to use as an office.  Apparently he turned up for embarkation accompanied by a small furniture van for all their stuff.

 

Having a table for six meant he and his wife could have guests to dinner, like the Captain, his senior officers and other passengers in the Queens Grill.  His table was adorned with ornaments and nodding dogs and he smoked non stop between courses.  He seemed to be the only one allowed a reserved table in the Queens Grill bar.

 

i was told that in the design stage for QM-2 his views on the the positioning of the top cabins was sought.  It is alleged he wanted the designers to make a change in their position as a condition of travelling.  I was told the change was made, but he refused to sail on the ship because smoking was banned in the Queens Grill restaurant.  I believe he lived on the Isle of Man.

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I had to drop in and say that I really enjoy stories about interesting passengers like this. Of course NOT that he's gone now - I wish he was still enjoying his cigarettes and dining partners in the Queens Grill. But he sounds like he was quite a character! And what a life!

 

I guess it appeals to my daydreams of being lucky enough to have an unlimited cruising budget, sigh. 😉😊

 

On 8/28/2020 at 9:50 AM, RJChatsworth said:

i was told that in the design stage for QM-2 his views on the the positioning of the top cabins was sought.  It is alleged he wanted the designers to make a change in their position as a condition of travelling.  I was told the change was made, but he refused to sail on the ship because smoking was banned in the Queens Grill restaurant.  I believe he lived on the Isle of Man.

 

I found a 2003 blog with a copied article from the December 28, 2003 "The Sunday Times" that talked about this. Here are some snippets:

 

"However, Cunard has already been snubbed by one of its most prized British customers. Michael Rosenberg, 65, a retired financier, has refused to sail on the new ship because it bans smoking in its restaurants.

The blow came after the company made last-minute alterations to the design of the ship in an attempt to accommodate Rosenberg and his wife Jocelyn, 54. The couple, who live on the Isle of Man, spend four months of the year — at a cost of about £480,000 — holidaying on the QE2".

 

<and>

 

"When he was initially approached about switching his allegiance to the QM2, he is understood to have told the company that he did not want one of the ship’s grand duplex suites.

These split-level cabins cost more than £19,000 per person per week and have sweeping staircases that link their two floors. But they are in the stern and face backwards, while Rosenberg is believed to prefer a room that looks forward.

As a result, Cunard redesigned a forward-facing lounge beneath the bridge to squeeze in an extra four suites.

Despite that, the Rosenbergs are still refusing to change ship because Cunard has decided to make all the QM2’s restaurants non-smoking. This includes the exclusive Queen’s Grill — whose equivalent on the QE2 has been described as one of the top 10 restaurants in the world — where the Rosenbergs would have dined.

When Cunard wrote to tell the financier smoking would be prohibited he is understood to have replied: “Smoking is one of my greatest pleasures.”

 

I also found a 2015 (after his death) tribute to him that some might enjoy reading (not about cruising but cattle!):

 

https://whiteparkcattlesociety.ltd.uk/tribute-to-michael-rosenberg-cbe/

 

Here's lifting a glass and cheers to a life well lived!

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I remember the Rosenbergs from numerous QE2 world cruise sectors in the 1990s. Most evenings after dinner he and Jocelyn would have a drink in the Golden Lion Pub, generally alone and generally at the same table. I can still visualize them sitting there.

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Posted (edited)

While I have no doubt that, in person, he was charming, gracious, and kind, on paper his sense of entitlement is a little jarring.

Edited by exlondoner
Punctuation and spelling

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We first met them onboard Vistafjord, where they had taken both penthouse suites. Because, "I'm an ex-smoker. And he isn't."

 

Part of the reason for wanting a suite at the front of the ship rather than the stern was that in those pre-wifi (or even internet at sea) days it was only possible for him to run a telex by having Cunard run a cable from their suite directly to the radio room.

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5 hours ago, Colin_Cameron said:

We first met them onboard Vistafjord, where they had taken both penthouse suites. Because, "I'm an ex-smoker. And he isn't."

 

Part of the reason for wanting a suite at the front of the ship rather than the stern was that in those pre-wifi (or even internet at sea) days it was only possible for him to run a telex by having Cunard run a cable from their suite directly to the radio room.

 

Hi Colin - you may recall me contacting you as you have the same name as someone I knew in a well-known public broadcasting organisation.  He wasn't you!

 

Your story of MR requiring a room in the front of the ship so he could run a wire to the radio room is terrific.  He was eccentric with all his table ornaments and the nodding dog by his feet.  His reserved table in the Queens Grill bar just before you entered the restaurant seemed to be so he could 'eye-up' everyone entering.  For what reason I know not.

 

There was another lovely story of someone who booked the top six suites on QE2 for a whole world cruise.  This was so he could have friends and family fly in and out and sail on the ship on different sectors whilst he and his wife were on the ship for the whole voyage.

 

In Singapore it was alleged he booked the Orient Express for the day for his and his guests exclusive use.  It is also he alleged he lost an unimaginable amount one day and a record in the casino.  It was also reported that he took over the Yacht Club one evening for a 'thank you' party for as many of the crew who could make it.  It was said they consumed $15,000 dollars of champagne.

 

So who was this guy?  My lips are sealed, but it was also alleged that he had just sold the ownership of a world-wide Swiss watch company with a two-word name beginning with 'T'.  

 

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I have worked in broadcasting. But not where my name would be known.

 

Thank You parties for the crew used to be quite common. I’ve known them on both Vistafjord and Royal Viking Sun, and obviously heard of them on QE2. Wish I could remember the entertainer who used to do multiple crew shows as well as his scheduled passenger performances.

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I had the pleasure of sailing with them on the QE2's last world cruise in '08. They of course in Queens Grill, I in Britannia. However, they were always gracious. Rumor had it that he was one of the largest stock holders in Disney and there were always Disney characters on tables when they arrived in a lounge. Now at that time on the QE2 one could not reserve a table in the chart room for drinks. So in order to circumvent this rule they always called down every evening and ordered drinks before arriving and they would be placed on their favorite table along with a Disney decoration. Many times they never arrived so the drinks remained on their "reserved" table all evening.

 

Another tale that was told one evening at the officers table in Britannia was that one of the officers who also lived on the Isle of Writ (I believe that is the Isle the Rosenberg's lived on not Man and forgive my spelling) has a son who wanted to work with Disney but could not get the proper interview. This was mentioned to Mr. Rosenberg and suddenly the lad had not only the interview but a position with Disney.

 

At one port they left the ship to be met by their chauffeur and their own Rolls Royce that had been flown in for the day.

 

Sadly they may have been the last of the truly wealthy that traveled Queens Grill in the day because that was how they lived at home.

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