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QUEEN MARY 2- AN EPIC EXPERIENCE

QUEEN MARY 2- AN EPIC EXPERIENCE

Since her major renovation last summer, Queen Mary 2 has once again become one of the most talked about vessels in the cruising firmament. The largest liner ever built for the Atlantic crossing inspires a mixture of curiosity and sheer, jaw dropping awe perhaps unmatched by any other ship afloat. Of course, a big part of that is down to her peerless Cunard heritage, but the ship herself is a revealation in so many ways. What is it that sets a voyage on her apart from conventional, big ship cruising?

Firstly, she carries around 2,900 passengers on a 150,000 ton hull. That's a lot more spacious than cruise ships of the same size, which typically pack in around 4,500 passengers. And, because her hull has to be able to take the often violent Atlantic weather in her stride, the hull of Queen Mary 2 is much stronger and thicker than that of most normal cruise ships.

As a result, the ship cost around forty per cent more to build than a conventional cruise ship of similar size. And her engines are geared to run at around thirty knots with relative ease- far fatser than a conventional cruise ship. Though these days her crossings are meant to last some seven and even eight days, she could realistically cross the Atlantic in half that time, if pushed.

Because of the often variable weather on the Atlantic, the Queen Mary 2 puts a lot of emphasis on indoor activities. The spa is huge and extensive, and the liner boasts the only full scale planetarium at sea. For such a large ship, Queen Mary 2 has only a handful of dining options, but these are all of superb quality. There is only one, extra tarriif dedicated lunch and dinner venue on the entire ship. And, because of the long days spent at sea, her passenger accommodation is the most extensive and inclusive ever seen on any Atlantic liner.

And, because some families actually use her voyages to relocate between continents, the ship also carries a large garage, not to mention pet kennels located in a dedicated spot on the upper deck. Baggage provision is extensive on this ship. And, most tellingly at night, the dress code is formal for at least half of the voyage. And, with an evening emphasis on cocktail parties and formal, ballroom dancing, the Queen Mary 2 stands apart from most cruise ships as being a last, traditional hold out of the old Atlantic lifestyle from the 1930's.

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