“Yeah so what?” one might ask. These three queens, Cunard Line ocean liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria, will all meet up in New York today for the first time.
The line’s flagship, Queen Mary 2 will arrive and dock at Red Hook, Brooklyn. The Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth will sail up the Hudson and dock at the Passenger Ship Terminal in Manhattan.
“In January, 2008, Cunard Line’s first Rendezvous of their three Queens took place. It was quite exciting as it was the first time Cunard had three ships with Queen in the name and all three were together.” said cruise industry expert Stewart Chiron CEO, CruiseGuy.com adding “It was the last time for many to see Queen Elizabeth 2, as she would depart the fleet later that year.”
The Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth will have sailed in from Europe, doing what Cunard calls a “tandem crossing” where the ships sail side by side.
All three were expected to be passing under the Verrazzano bridge about 6:00 am today then spend a day in port before sailing by the Statue of Liberty to enjoy a fireworks salute to the famous ships before sailing off around 6:40 Eastern time.
“This time, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria meet the brand new Queen Elizabeth amid fanfare fit for royalty. New Yorkers love these types of events and what’s bigger than three Queens passing by the Statue of Liberty amid a gala fireworks show? QE2 had a very special place in New Yorker’s hearts as the ship made countless visits during her 39 years in service.” said Chiron.
When Terence and Cynthia Milner booked a 15-week, $100,000 round-the-world cruise on Cunard’s Queen Victoria, they were expecting the trip of a lifetime. Instead, they claim the experience was so horrible that they had to get off the ship early in Hawaii, at which point they were “in a terrible state.”
The problem: apparently the first night they heard unbearable noise in their cabin. They were moved, and moved again and again but continued to find each successive cabin equally unsatisfactory until they could take it no more. Cunard refunded the couple nearly $80,000 for the portion of the cruise they missed, but the Milners wanted more. The took Cunard to court, and were awarded an additional 22,000 pounds (about $36,600) with the majority of the money awarded for “distress and disappointment.” Another portion of the settlement was awarded to cover the £4,300 worth of formal dresses Mrs. Milner bought, which she is now unable to wear because they are an “unwelcome reminder of the cruise.”
According to the BBC, the Milners claim they were first moved to a cabin fitted for the disabled, which was located near the engine and was very noisy. They were then moved to another cabin, but were concerned that they wouldn’t have it the whole time because it was booked by another couple joining the cruise later. By this time, Milners were terribly afflicted with mouth ulcers and breathing difficulties, so they jumped ship in Hawaii, where they vacationed for six weeks, all the while “exhausted and inconsolable.”
Exhausted and inconsolable in Hawaii? I suppose that could be true….if they Milners couldn’t find contentment on a $100,000 round-the-world luxury cruise, I doubt they could find it anywhere.
When I think of a cruise ship deck, I think a swimming pool, shuffle board and lounge chairs–maybe a tennis court. I’m not that imaginative, but those who design ships for Royal Caribbean certainly are. The latest undertaking of this company that already boasts the world’s largest luxury cruise liner is another ship that will be large enough to have a park as big as a football field. Think town square with eateries, entertainment and large trees. This deck will be only one of the ship’s fifteen others, according to this article published in The Daily Mail.
When complete, this liner will weigh 220,000 tons. And by the looks of one of the mock up drawings, if placed on the Thames River, it will dwarf London. St. Paul’s Cathedral looks small next to it.
As the airline industry is going through its woes due to fuel costs, and whatever else seems to be ailing it each week, cruise lines are doing swimmingly swell. Passengers’ desires to enjoy luxury and the wow factor when they head out on the high seas are adding to the push for bigger and bigger cruise ships.
Genesis, being built in Finland, will be ready to set sail in 2009. Its home port will be Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Join the other 5,399 paying customers who’ll be climbing aboard. There will be space since it can hold 5,400 passengers. I don’t think you’ll have a hard time spotting it because it will be 40% bigger than the other ships–until someone gets the urge to build a bigger one.
If you have an urge for a monster cruise ship trip before then, here are other options.