August/September 2005 | Volume 56, Issue 4
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The accommodations range from interior bunks to huge suites. At a certain level, Junior Suite and above, you are entitled to dine in one of two smaller, very elegant grills. But the vastly agreeable Britannia dining room, which accommodates 1,300 passengers in each of two sittings, is a fine choice too, its only drawback being the imperative of those sittings. You must decide to eat at six or at eight-thirty for the duration. In any of the dining rooms you can ask for a table for two, or risk getting to know strangers at a larger table.
When entering or leaving a port—or at noon at sea—listen for the ship’s resonant whistle. There are actually two whistles, mounted to the left and right of the funnel. The one at left, converted from steam to compressed air, is a treasured relic of the original Queen Mary , on long-term loan from that very ship, which is anchored in Long Beach, California (and at present in bankruptcy, according to its owners). The other whistle is new. Together they produce a mighty blast that will be heard, it is hoped, down through the miles and years to come.