Cunard (who own the QM2 & QE2) carries around 50% American and 50% British passengers.
In their winter cruise schedule the ship mainly sails from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades). Flights are normally operated from EGLL, EGKK or EGCC. Cunard reserves many seats on BA
’s schedule services into KMIA using their B744’s.
When Cunard ‘hire’ charter aircraft they are normally operated by Virgin Atlantic and they are nearly always the A343 type. I have heard of Virgin using their B744’s on certain long haul routes for Cunard when due to performance penalties the Airbus A343 don’t make economical sense.
When Cunard charter a Virgin Atlantic aircraft, certain services won’t be offered, even if you have paid extra to sit in ‘Upper Class’.
For example the following will not be offered on any Virgin Atlantic/Cunard charter (does not include services where Cunard buys seats on a scheduled route). Ground transfers (limo), entry into Club House, in flight beauty therapy & Freedom meals. You will also find that often the bar area is also not opened esp on night flights or when on the Boeing 744.
Cunard also use Britannia Airways (Boeing 762 & B763) and Monarch Airlines (A332 only). These two airlines are used with Cunard are sailing in and out of Port Everglades.
P&O Cruises (the largest British cruise line, where all passengers are British) position two ships in the Caribbean from late October until early to mid April. The two ships (Arcadia & Oceana) have a total of 3,968 berths (that’s how the cruise industry measures how many passengers can be taken on-board).
From early November thru to late March load factors onboard are very high, at least 90% (and totally full two weeks before, during and three weeks after Christmas and New Year).
Each cruise lasts for 14 nights and the turn around for most cruises are completed at Bridgetown (Barbados). As there are two ships, it means that every Friday there is one ship in and up to 2,016 passengers who need to be flown out and then 2,016 to be flown home to the UK. The week after, the other P&O Cruises ship will arrive to turn around.
P&O fly from EGLL, EGCC, EGHH, EGBB and sometimes other smaller regional airports. While passengers can upgrade to British Airways or Virgin Atlantic scheduled services most PAX opt for the airline that is included in the cruise price.
P&O Cruises normally uses the following airlines (see below), I have listed the aircraft but they change them all the time, hence why passengers can never pre-book a seat on a P&O Cruises air charter.
Britannia Airways (Boeing 767’s), Monarch Airlines (Airbus A332’s) & Thomas Cook Airlines (A332’s). These aircraft are normally fitted out with a single class (where possible) and if premium seats are fitted these are issued to ‘suite’ passengers only.
When flights leave smaller airports, like EGFF, EGTE,EGAA, EGPF or EGPH P&O will normally use Britannia Airways (Boeing 752 or Boeing 762) or Thomas Cooks (Boeing 752).
When P&O Cruises have cruises leaving South America they try to use the Airbus A332’s have they have a better mission range. However a tech stop normally takes place in TBPB or SBEG on the outward and TBPB or TTPP on the return.
On a Friday during the winter season anyone who lives near Grantley Adams Intl should pop down at around 3pm local time, it’s a site seeing up to nine aircraft arrive in the space of three / four hours.
If anyone has questions or wants me to find something out for them from the Carnival air department about which aircraft, where and when send me either a instant msg or e mail me and I will happy to help you.