February 4, 2007

Queen Mary 2 Set To Dock In S.F. On Sunday


(CBS 5) SAN FRANCISCO Margaret Dolan enjoys her crossword puzzle, on a hazy San Francisco day. She sat next to the water on Friday, and has never been on a cruise.

"Do I get pampered?," Dolan asked. "Then sign me up!"

And would she get pampered on the Queen Mary 2, set to make its first visit ever to San Francisco on Sunday.

It's billed as the largest and grandest ocean liner ever built, and towers 200 feet above water, as tall as a 23-story building.
From the looks, everything is grand.

The Balmoral Suite at 2,250 square feet, is the most luxurious accommodation on board. Your fantasy can come true if you can pay the price. $185,000 for an 81-day, around the world voyage.

On Friday, a crew is hosing down the deck on the SS Jerimiah O'Brien. With surprising speed, all 856 tickets sold, for a short cruise out the gate, to greet the Queen Mary 2 when it arrives Sunday afternoon.

As the two ships get close to each other, guests on the O'Brien will fill their glasses with champagne.

"The captain will make an announcement at the right time, probably blow the whistle and we'll toast the ship," said Phil O'Mara, shipkeeper of the SS Jerimiah O' Brien.

Maneuvering a ship that size will be a first here in the bay, and it will take several hours before the Queen Mary 2 actually docks.

So the host, the Port of San Francisco says locals will get a good long look between 3:30 and 8 P.M., while the liner moves into position, before dropping anchor at Pier 27.

But the city does gain more than gawking from the visit.

"Based on our data, this ship should generate a little over $1.2 million, in direct purchases of goods and services," said Gerry Roybal of the Port of San Francisco.

So for Margaret Dolan, how does the Queen Mary 2 sound?

"I don't think I could afford it quite frankly (laughs,) I think it'd be fun," Dolan said.


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