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Queen Mary 2
Cunard Line History
Cunard Line’s tradition of luxury cruising dates to 1840, with the present-day Queen Elizabeth 2
reigning for the past few decades as the world's most famous ship and greatest liner of her time.
In 2000, QE2 was joined by another classic liner, Caronia (formerly the Vistafjord) also helping
recreate a new golden age of ocean liner travel for those who missed the first. Now comes the
Queen Mary 2, debuting in 2004, as the queen among queens, a worthy successor to her original
namesake. Built in the Alstom Chantiers de L'Atlantique shipyard in Sainte-Nazaire, France --
the same yard that built the France, Normandie, Ile de France and other great liners – QM2’s
construction cost of nearly $800 million also ranks her as the most expensive ship ever built.
After a maiden voyage from Southampton, England to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, QM2 is set for 15
ocean crossings in her inaugural year as she takes over the transatlantic liner role of QE2,
her older (actually, much older, having debuted in 1964) sister. QM2 also sails a series of
Caribbean cruises from New York and Fort Lauderdale, a voyage to Rio de Janeiro and back
(for Rio’s Carnival celebration), five European itineraries and two fall foliage cruises
to Canada and New England. With elegant bars and showrooms including a Veuve Clicquot
Champagne Bar, QM2’s destiny is that of icon-to-be, with five indoor and outdoor swimming
pools, hot tubs, a pet kennel, and a children’s facility staffed by British nannies. QM2’s
onboard cultural academy is operated by the University of Oxford. Cunard – part of the
Carnival Corporation portfolio and one of the world’s most recognized brands at sea –
describes the high-tech, yet classic QM2 as “like no Cunarder before her” and “like every
Cunarder before her.”
QM2 has the only Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea, the world’s first planetarium at sea,
the largest ballroom at sea, the largest library at sea, the longest jogging track at sea,
and the largest wine collection at sea. A cultural academy operated by the University of
Oxford unfolds in Cunard ConneXions, with seven classrooms and an auditorium. Need more?
A Pillow Concierge offers a choice of up to nine different types of pillows, and some
royal suites have private elevators. Classic Cunard hallmarks include sweeping staircases
and a grand ballroom, domed salons, and a staff accustomed to delivery of Cunard’s renowned
“White Star Service.”
Year entering service: 2004
Registry: Great Britain
Tonnage (GRT): 150,000
Cruising Speed: 25 knots
Officer Nationality: International
Cruise / Hotel Staff Nationality: International
Destinations: Transatlantics, Caribbean
Depending on accommodation level, suggested gratuities are automatically charged
to shipboard accounts for distribution to cabin stewards, dining room waiters,
and other personnel. Per person, per day tips are $13 for Grill restaurant accommodations,
and $11 for all others. For bar services, a 15 percent gratuity is automatically added.
Gratuities for other special services may be directly presented.
Staterooms in various categories accommodate wheelchair-users and passengers with
Nearly 80 percent of QM2’s staterooms have ocean views and more than 94 percent
of these have private balconies. Choices by Cunard’s own admission range from
merely commodious to shamelessly extravagant. Deluxe staterooms are 194 square
feet, with Grand Duplexes measuring 2,249 square feet. The regal Queen Mary and
Queen Elizabeth Suites in Q class have private elevators. Other Queens Grill
accommodations (Q categories) include Grand Duplexes, Duplex Apartments,
Royal Suites and Penthouses and Suites. Princess Grill accommodations include
P1 and P2 Junior Suites. Standard accommodation are in B,C, and D categories.
All staterooms have computer data ports and interactive TVs for passengers to receive
and send e-mails, choose movies, review seminars possibly missed, or sign up for shore
excursions. Toiletries are by Canyon Ranch. In Queens Grill accommodations, butlers
await to unpack bags, serve canapés and attend to other details.
Kid & Teen Stuff
The camp-style Play Zone has its own Minnows splash pool. Toddlers are supervised by
British nannies, while older children have a separate facility called The Zone,
computer terminals and other learning adventures.
In all, there are10 dining venues, including the only shipboard restaurant by celebrity
chef Todd English. As in ocean liner tradition, each QM2 accommodation is matched with
a reserved table at the Britannia Restaurant (barronial in splendor with Wedgwood and
Waterford and a sweeping grand staircase), Princess Grill or Queens Grill. Signature
Wedgwood patterns for the coveted Grills are made from Connaught bone china with borders
of platinum and gold. Alternatives include La Piazza (an Italian tratoria), Lotus
(for sushis, sashimis and sates), Boardwalk Café (for burgers and fries), and The
Carvary (for British-style roasts). Passengers can learn how to cook and enjoy their
efforts in the Chef’s Galley. Winter Garden is for tea and scones, and the Gold Lion
is for traditional pub grub with televised sporting events. QM2 has the largest wine
selection afloat, and there is, of course, 24-hour room service.
Sports / Health / Fitness
Promenade Deck’s jogging track is the longest at sea – one-third mile full circle --
to accommodate power walkers and joggers passing by the less energetic aboard stretched
out on teak deck chairs. On Decks 12 and 13, are a basketball court, putting green,
shuffleboard, a golf simulator and the classic deck game of Quoits. Canyon Ranch SpaClub
has dozens of face and body treatments, massage therapies, ritual baths, and health
programs from classic to exotic including a Rasul Ceremony, a Mango Sugar Glo, and a
Sea the Difference, the latter to banish cellulite with mineral-rich seawater lotions
Partnering with the University of Oxford, Cunard presents Oxford Discovery, an enrichment
program with talks, seminars and discussions on assorted topics, depending on the sailing,
from global economics to comparing MoMA and the Tate. Jazz sets the tone at the Commodore
Club, whereas dancing is hot at the G32 with its flashing strobes. Dazzling musical revues
unfold in the Royal Court Theatre.
Empire Casino has sufficient table games and slot action for six days and nights at sea.
Among favored watering holes are the Golden Lion Pub with Karaoke performances, the Regatta Bar,
Sir Samuel’s Wine Bar, The Chartroom for nightcaps, and the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar.
Cruise Pricing: Click Here.
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