Cunard's Queen Mary 2, which had literally just begun its 38-night South American voyage, has encountered mechanical problems. The issue, related to one of the ship's four pods, surfaced after the ship exited Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, a scheduled port of call yesterday. A company statement said that "the ship came into contact with the side of the underwater channel upon departure from Fort Lauderdale yesterday." Queen Mary 2 then returned to Ft. Lauderdale. That city was just the second port of call in Queen Mary's long journey; the vessel departed from New York on January 15.
At this point, a Cunard statement notes that "the decommissioning of the inoperable propulsion pod has taken somewhat longer than expected. While we are endeavoring to leave Fort Lauderdale as soon as possible, we anticipate departing after midnight tonight."
Interestingly, Cruise Critic member Ricker, currently onboard, reports that "I have learned more from the boards than from the staff at this point."
The pods are not a safety issue; rather they provide propulsion, or speed. Queen Mary 2 can operate on just three out of the four, should the last remain out of commission, but the itinerary most likely will be affected. The folks at Cunard are not yet sure of what the adaptations will be at this point -- since the ship is berthed at Port Everglades for a second, unexpected day -- but we'll keep you posted.