Cunard Line’s famous QE 2 liner has left New York for a round the world cruise.
The big ship pulled out of harbour Thursday afternoon on the first leg of a 95-day journey to 32 ports with some 18-hundred passengers aboard.
Cunard’s self-proclaimed “City at Sea” will spare no expense to pamper its high paying passengers and bury memories of a cruise one year ago which turned into a floating nightmare because of an incomplete refit.
The QE 2 was polished and ready to go Thursday afternoon on one of the most exclusive and extravagant cruises available.
It was all smiles for some 700 passengers boarding in New York as the liner’s thousand- member crew made last minute preparations to get underway.
The QE 2 will eventually host more than 18-hundred passengers on its trademark world cruise.
It has hosted 27 of these global tours since its maiden voyage in 1969.
The trip is yours if you happen to have at least 24-thousand dollars to spare.
That’s how much passengers will pay for a regular cabin.
For about 147-thousand, you get a penthouse suite.
The QE 2’s captain says running the 70-thousand ton liner is like managing a city, rather than a ship.
“My primary responsibility is the safe conduct of the voyage. But fairly close to that is the profitable side of the voyage. So, therefore what the hotel manager and the chief engineer and those people do, the other side, it lands on my desk.”
SUPER CAPTION: Captain John Burton-Hall, ship’s master.
It was this time last year that angry passengers were put to sea among debris, half- completed cabins and a luxury whirlpool which was out of order.
But the liner’s reputation has survived intact and many of those boarding in New York are veterans of the QE 2 round-the-world trips.
All consider it a unique experience.
“This is the 23rd year. And the ’75 is my first world cruise, and I’ve been doing them ever since. I usually do the whole cruise, but this time I’m breaking it up and doing it in two segments. And, I love it.”
SUPER CAPTION: Rose Everett. American passenger
“I would say everybody would like to do something. We’re very lucky that we have the chance to do it. And we’ve been looking for this opportunity for a long time. We are celebrating 33 years of marriage that’s why.”
SUPER CAPTION: Carlos Hidalgo. Spanish passenger.
Cunard says QE 2 is in top shape for the cruise, after a 45 (m) million dollar refit last month.
QE 2’s guests will feast on haute cuisine in seven restaurants.
They’ll have access to a health spa, a shopping arcade, swimming pool and much more.
The British company hopes this trip will be plain sailing with no repeat of the lessons of the past.
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