The QM2 is the largest passenger liner ever built, according to Cunard, the company that operates it, and the Red Hook cruise-ship terminal is now the largest ship terminal in New York City, capable of berthing the extra-large ships Manhattan's West Side terminal cannot. It's expected to bring in $200 milllion in port charges through 2017.More on QM2 here.
We asked the captain about piracy, of course--what were the procedures if attacked? Is it that common for a passenger ship to be attacked? (Piracy is more prevalent today than it has ever been. Yaargh!).
He told us that Somalia and Malaysia are currently very dangerous, but assured us that his ship is equipped to protect its cargo, passengers and crew; he wouldn't elaborate further.
More on revamped cruise terminals here:
Cruise terminals, onetime stepsisters of industrial ports, are turning into Cinderellas. Their benefactors, the cruise lines, are spending hundreds of millions to rejuvenate old facilities and build new ones as the lines ride a wave of growth.All is not rosy in the world of cruise ship operations:
That's good news for passengers, who are enjoying more ports with more perks, such as shops, cafes, lounges and even private beaches and pools.
A spate of high-profile problems on the high seas, hurricane fears and weak demand for Caribbean sailings are leading cruise companies to offer discounts in an effort to lure leery consumers aboard.
The problems are combining to make this the most challenging cruise season for the industry since 2003, when Iraq war fears and post-9/11 woes hurt bookings.
The bulk of the issues are occurring in the Caribbean, the most popular cruise destination and where most first-time cruisers tend to sail. The busy port in Cozumel, Mexico, for example, continues to be under repair after being severely damaged by Hurricane Wilma last fall. Travel agents also say that memories of last year's brutal hurricane season are dissuading some would-be cruisers. And some travelers have been spooked by concerns about cruise safety. A number of recent onboard incidents -- including a passenger disappearance and a pirate attack -- have sparked a congressional inquiry and increased the likelihood of new legislation or regulatory oversight to help protect passengers.