The cruise liner Queen Mary 2 with its 2.600 passengers is currently sailing for Ushuaia and Punta Arenas after having spent thirteen hours in Montevideo where Cunard Lines put on a big public relations operation.
The world's largest, longest, tallest, grandest ocean liner ever was received last Sunday in Montevideo by the Uruguayan Minister of Tourism Hector Lescano and a display of typical River Plate music and dance groups.
At mid day Captain Ronald Warwick held a reception on board for Uruguayan officials, special guests and the local press that was given a treat of Cunard hospitality plus a tour of the impressive 345 metres long and 14 stories tall vessel.
Although it was a particularly hot and damp day, many passengers visited the old city and port market of Montevideo, while other took special tours to resorts and ranches with all the South American cattle breeding show.
However in spite of the good public relations this cruise has proved particularly troublesome with some passengers having threatened to sue Cunard because of last minute schedule changes including cancelling calls in St. Kitts, Barbados and Salvador. Queen Mary actually suffered two days delay when it had to return with a damaged propeller to Fort Lauderdale for repairs January 17.
However when the company promised a full refund, including flight transfers, if passengers decided to disembark in Rio do Janeiro (Friday January 27) tempers cooled and the vessel was back on schedule.
"Passengers are delighted that they have at last been dealt with reasonably and have been compensated fairly for their loss. Capital Law can confirm that in these circumstances it will discontinue its class action against Cunard", said the legal firm's release.
In Montevideo a couple of British travellers quoted by the local press said that only "a few passengers" were involved in the protest since they considered the half refund originally offered by Cunard was "insufficient".
"It is part of the American culture of protesting: give me back my money or I'll sue you: that was their attitude. The cruise has been wonderful and we're looking forward to the Cape Horn crossing and Tierra del Fuego channels".
The ship, based in Southampton, started its planned 38-day cruise around Latin America from New York.
Queen Mary is scheduled to call again in Montevideo next March.