The Queen Mary 2 met the British Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth during the carrier’s first visit to the U.S. on Thursday.
The rendezvous between these vessels celebrated the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom and their committed alliance, Cunard Line said, in a prepared statement.
“Luxury cruise line Cunard is a company known for its rich history and significant role in both World Wars. Having deep roots in both England and the U.S., it’s an honor for the brand to welcome the Royal Navy carrier to its U.S. homeport of Brooklyn, New York. Cunard launched the first royal mail service route across the Atlantic in 1840, connecting people between North America and the United Kingdom,” said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. “We continue to sail regularly-scheduled Crossings between the two countries, which makes meeting the Royal Navy on this side of the pond a particularly significant occasion.”
After saluting the aircraft carrier, Queen Mary 2 sailed out to sea to begin a seven-night trans-Atlantic Crossing to England. The HMS Queen Elizabeth spent the preceding weeks conducting its first trials with the F-35B Lightning II fighter jets onboard and when she departs New York, the 65,000-ton ship will head down the East Coast and conduct the second phase of developmental trials.
- RMS Queen Mary 2 makes $60,000 per hour profit.
- QM2 power plant generates 118 million Watts of power – enough electricity to light up a city of 200,000.
- For a Transatlantic crossing, the QM2 fuel consumption is 1850 tons of diesel oil, plus another 1000 tons of fuel for the ship’s gas turbine. Only to to fill the ship’s huge fuel tanks takes 6 hours.
- It takes 10 hours to disembark all 2,600 passengers and all their luggage, in the same time getting ready for the embarkation of the 2,600 new ones. In these 10 hours: 1,300 beds will be made, 2,000 bathrooms will be cleaned, 2,.520,000 ft2 (234,116 m2) of carpets will be vacuumed, many hundreds of windows will be washed, and there is the laundry:
- On a during turnaround day (in the ports of Southampton and Brooklyn, New York) the QM2 hotel staff wash about 3,200 towels, 1,700 hand towels, 3,000 face cloths, 8,000 linen napkins. This is also the time when QM2 staff processes 4,500 pieces of luggage, and the ~400 tons of supplies, of which 150 tons of food (wine, caviar, vegetables, fruits, meat, milk). Every free bar tender, waiter, cook and house keeper is involved in this process.
- An these are the “RMS Queen Mary 2 food facts“. On a 7-day cruise are consumed: 65,000 eggs, 4,000 bottles of wine, 2 t potatoes, and of course, the 26,000 tea bags! Plus (per day) 3,3 kg caviar, 73 kg lobster, ~350 champagne bottles, 460 eggs, 1,200 L milk.
- There are 1,070 deck chairs on the ship.
- The artwork on the QM2 is worth more than £3,5 million.
- The teak ship-around Promenade Deck length is 2,034 ft (620 m).
- RMS Queen Mary 2 is a floating self-sufficient city. There is enough food on board to feed an army, plus the world’s biggest most extensive wine cellar afloat – with ~40,000 bottles (343 different labels), ranging in prices per bottle from US$25 to US$4,000. On the ship per year are consumed ~230,000 bottles of wine, and around 1,5 million drinks.
- There are 150 chefs and 9 separate galleys on the QM2 ship, producing ~16,000 meals a day. Dishing out 16,000 meals day after day is a monumental feed of organisation. A computer program keeps track of what’s ordered, and what they’re running out of. The ship’s provision department is plugged into the same system. That way the F&B manager knows exactly down to the last crumb what the ship exactly has in stock.
- Like on every big cruise ship, QM2 uses a lot of water – for drinking, for the 2,000 bathrooms, for the galleys, plus a hell of a lot water for washing. On a daily basis, ~80,000 pieces of china are used, so they have 85 people in charge only to wash dishes and they work 24 hours (day and night shift).
- The QM2′s two whistles (attached to the funnel, length of 2,1 m, or 7 ft) are audible for 10 ml (16 km). The starboard one is an exact replica of the RMS Queen Mary (1) ship’s whistle.
- QM2 has three anchors, each of 23t. They are 770 m (2,526 ft) long with the breaking force of 9,300 kiloNewtons.
- The QM2 ship illuminated name signs near funnel are the history’s biggest ever – length 22 m, height 2,4 m (72×8 ft).
- The QM2 ship’s Captain is called “Commodore“. It’s a military (navy) rank superior to Captain and below Rear Admiral. Commodores are usually commanding more than one ship at a time (flotilla), while Captains command a single ship.
- When docked at the New York, Brooklyn or the Southampton cruise port terminal, huge number of computers are being linked to the QM2 database through fiber optics. Every cruise passenger gets a photo ID (it doubles as a room key and charge card as well). Passengers use it everywhere on the ship – from the gift shop to the casino (Cunard doesn’t accept cash on board).
- One hour before departure the QM2 passengers experience the muster drill – to make sure they all know what to do/where to go in case of emergency.
- The crew practices the fire drill once a week. Crew takes the fire drill so seriously, they manufacture smoke to make it more realistic, with the electric/ventilation systems being shut down in the “affected area”.
- If QM2 is late for departure in NYC, she loses light for maneuvering, plus the ocean tides rise making the sailing under the Verrazano bridge a challenge – a very tight squeeze. Note: the New York’s Verrazano suspension bridge connects Staten Island and Brooklyn in NYC at the Narrows strait (between the sea protected upper bay and the larger lower bay).
- The total number of all Cunard ships since the company’s establishment is more than 250.
- And remember – the RMS Queen Mary 2 ship’s owner is Carnival, Cunard is the vessel’s operator. The reason I’m pointing this out again? Because good folks (ahem) can lose a bottle of expensive liquor or whatever over this one.
The huge difference with other liners is that when you book the Queen Mary 2 ship, you don’t book a cruise ship holiday – you buy an oceanic adventure. On each of her sailings, no matter the destination or the itinerary length, passengers always expect the ultimate White Star service and the traditional British cruising experience, a story of a lifetime – exactly what the Cunard QM2 ship was built for! She is not a queen to be missed!