Built to survive financially Queen Mary 2 is no speed queen. Speed cost money and balcony cabins produce revenue, thus she is a combination cruise ship and ocean liner.
Built to serve as a troop ship and ship of state, the United States is a sleek racing machine. Balconies and speed don’t mix when a ship is heading into a cold wind at 32 knots (36.8 mph) At that speed it wasn’t even safe to open a porthole.
Having sailed on both I offer the following comparison in the style of ‘Comparo’ from Car and Driver magazine
h2>1/2 + 1/2</h2>
R.M.S. QUEEN MARY 2.
+ The British persona, stabilized ride, getting there is still half the fun. A floating maritime museum. The last alternative to the indignities of air travel.
– Its no ocean greyhound but who cares. Strong family resemblance to a Carnival cruise ship. Miss those ‘Bon Voyage parties.’
= Transportation for those who still believe that staggering round a transatlantic liner in a dinner jacket with a martini is the normal, rational, reasonable way to cross the Atlantic. A grand ocean liner that preserves In style and spirit the classic the rituals of the traditional transatlantic crossing.
- Gross tonnage: 151,400
- Horsepower: 157,168
- Top speed 29.6 knots
- Service speed: 26 knots
- Passengers: 2,620
S.S. UNITED STATES.
+ Speed and good looks, the ‘Concorde’ of the North Atlantic liners. Friendly personal service. Living in an unplugged world, no cells, TV, internet. A thrilling ride.
– The roller coaster ride in heavy weather (it was still a thrill), Titanic style class division isolated passengers and cut the ship up. Required a generous taxpayer subsidy to operate. Antiseptic luxury. Two Star accommodations in Tourist
= An American original. To sail on her was to experience a superb sailing machine with dashing good looks and comfort of an ocean going yacht. A technological marvel loaded with ‘Wow’ factor.
- Gross tonnage: 53,300
- Horsepower: 240,000
- Top speed: 42 knots
- Service speed: 32 knots
- Passengers: 2,008