Friday, March 9, 2007

FKN - 047 - Cruise Ship Queen Mary 2 on her visit to Cochin.

Stock Image No: FKN - 047
Photograph 2:
Contrary to the traditional practice on ocean liners, the main public rooms of the Queen Mary 2 are on the lowest public decks of the ship, with the passenger cabins stacked above. This allowed for larger rooms to be contained within the stronger hull, as well as for more passenger cabins to have private balconies - something highly demanded by ocean passengers in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Payne attempted to create a central axis to the two main public room decks (similar in fashion to the Normandie), but a full vista is broken by various public rooms that span the width of the ship. The dining rooms were placed further aft, though not directly at the stern, as done on some cruise ships like Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas, where vibration from the propellers at full speed would cause discomfort to dining passengers, as well as where fore-aft pitching of the ship is most noticeable.

Deck 2, the lowest passenger deck, contains the Illuminations theatre, cinema and planetarium; Royal Court Theatre; Grand Lobby; Empire Casino; Golden Lion Pub; and the lower level of the Britannia Restaurant. Deck 3 holds the upper levels of Illuminations, the Royal Court theatre and the Britannia Restaurant, as well as a small shopping arcade, Veuve Cliquot champagne bar, the Chart Room, Sir Samuel's wine bar, the Queen's Room, and the G32 Nightclub. The other main public deck is Deck 7, on which are the Canyon Ranch Spa, Winter Garden, King's Court, the Queen's Grill Lounge, and the Queen's Grill and Princess Grill restaurants for higher-fare passengers. The public rooms on Deck 8 include the à la carte Todd English Restaurant, the largest library at sea (the record was previously held by QE2), a book shop and the upper part of the Canyon Ranch Spa. Also on Deck 8 is a large outdoor pool and terrace at the stern.

The King's Court area on the ship is open 24 hours a day, serving as a buffet restaurant for breakfast and lunch. The overall space is divided into quarters, with each section decorated according to the theme of the four separate alternate dining venues that are "created" each evening through lighting, table wear, and menues: Lotus, which specialises in Asian cuisine; the Carvery, a British-style grille; La Piazza, with Italian food; and the Chef's Galley, which offers an interactive experience to food preparation. From midnight onwards the La Piazza section remains open as a buffet until 6:00 AM, when the full space opens again to serve breakfast.
It has been argued that the separation of passengers into different restaurants based on the price of the cabin they booked (the Britannia as "standard" for regular cabins, the Princess Grill as "middle" for those in junior suites, and the Queen's Grill as "superior" for deluxe suite occupants) makes the QM2 a ship divided into three classes, despite the fact that all other public rooms are used by all passengers equally. Though this situation is similar on the QE2, it is further enhanced on the QM2 by the fact that "Grill Passengers" (those dining in the Princess Grill or Queen's Grill) also have a private outdoor deck with its own whirlpool on Deck 11.
As the QM2 was the first single-class ocean liner built since the immigrant ships of the early part of the 20th century (unlike her fleet-mate the Queen Elizabeth 2, which was originally built for three classes, and in her early years operated partly as a single-class cruise ship and partly as a "classed" liner), the QM2 could afford to have a clearer arrangement of staircases and passages that does not have to allow for doors and partitions being closed off when the ship is in a "classed" transatlantic mode.
However, due to the arrangement of the public rooms, there are some "kinks" in the design. For instance, as the Britannia Restaurant takes up the full width of the ship on two decks, a 'tween deck, called Deck 3L, was devised to allow passengers to walk from the Grand Lobby to the Queen's Room without traversing the dining room mid-meal. The deck consists of two corridors that run beneath the upper balcony of the Britannia on Deck 3, and above the main dining area on Deck 2. This is why the balcony of the Britannia has tiers that step up towards the hull. This arrangement is illustrated on the hull where there is a stack of three rows of windows in the area where the main restaurant sits - the two upper- and lower-most rows illuminate the dining room, while the centre row serves Deck 3L. There is a similar arrangement through the Royal Court Theatre. As well, the passages that run on either side of Illuminations on Deck 3 ramp upwards to compensate for the change in deck elevation between the entrance to Illuminations and an elevator bank forward of the room.
More than 5000 specially-commissioned works of art are visible in the QM2's public rooms, corridors, staterooms and lobbies, having been created by 128 artists from 16 different countries.[24] Two very notable pieces are Barbara Broekman's two-storey-high tapestry in the Britannia Restaurant - an abstract depiction of an ocean liner (possibly the original Queen Mary), bridge, and New York skyline - and John McKenna's sheet bronze relief mural in the Grand Lobby, inspired by the art deco mural in the main dining room of the original Queen Mary.
Source: Wikipedia

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