The problem involves wall panels in bathrooms in about 900 cabins. While the ship underwent an intensive and comprehensive inspection before it launched last January, the issue has arisen because the area, according to Cunard, is in low-fire-risk sections of staterooms -- and didn't require certification in the first place. "This is despite the materials used conforming to the relevant certification before the ship entered service in January 2004," reads Cunard's statement, which goes on to say there have been no problems to date with the materials.
Regardless, Cunard is acting immediately on MCA recommendations and plans to install smoke detectors tomorrow during the ship's turn-around in Southampton -- and increase fire patrols. A spokeswoman says Cunard anticipates no delays as a result of the effort, which will continue through Queen Mary 2's next sailing, an Atlantic crossing from Southampton to New York that departs Friday evening. Through the next week, workers brought onboard will be extending cabin sprinkler services into the bathrooms and replacing the offending front panel of its vanity unit.
The ship's certification remains valid and the actions have been endorsed by the MCA.