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Living Large – Laundry Aboard The Queen Mary II

Standing as tall as a 23-story building and weighing 151,400 gross tons, the new Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is the Cunard Line’s largest vessel and the world’s largest ship. Building began on this majestic lady in January 2002 and $800 million dollars later she was launched from the shipyard on January 2004. The QM2 sports 10 dining venues, a 20,000 square foot spa, five pools, a child care facility, 14 bars and lounges and other posh accommodations to keep her voyagers busy at sea.

And with a crew alone of 1,253 to meet guest’ s needs, there’s no doubt a ship this size with first class accommodations for 2,620 sea faring souls can produce large amounts of laundry.

The QM2 laundry doesn’t enjoy much down time, operating 24/7 with two shifts daily. “Depending on operator efficiency, 3,465 pounds of laundry can be processed in an hour,” said Charlie Malakian, director of Kingson Corp, one of the companies that supplied the ship’s laundry equipment. “The total number of washers has a load capacity of 2,310 pounds.”

Twenty-five people work in the ship’s 450 sq. meter laundry and 50 sq. meter dry cleaning area, according to Tracy Jessop, director of hotel operations for the Cunard Line. That crew includes 1 laundry master, 1 assistant laundry master, 2 dry cleaning personnel and 21 laundry men.

Each cabin has a laundry form that passengers requesting laundry services can complete. Those forms and the laundry are picked up by the cabin steward. Crew members must bring their own laundry directly to the facility.

“There is no laundry chute on board the QM2 so dirty laundry is taken down from the various areas such as the Housekeeping department and the restaurants by hotel utility hands,” said Jessop. “It is then separated and washed by the laundry team. If it is guest laundry it is checked and marked and then either laundered or dry-cleaned. If laundered, once dried, guest laundry is pressed by hand and the ship laundry such as sheets, towels, table cloths it is fed into a Braun flat work ironer which presses and folds the items.”

Turnaround time varies, according to Jessop. It’s usually same day or second day for passengers while it may take longer for crew. “The average water consumption on board is 1,100 tons per day which is approximately 300 liters per day on a full sailing, this figure includes per head share of laundry and galley water,” said Thomas Stirling, Ship’s Services manager. All this distilled sea water (produced on board by the ship’s water treatment plant) is stored in dedicated tanks for both potable use (3830 cubic meters) and technical use (793 cubic meters) for laundry, technical, boilers and fire fighting. Wastewater is pumped to sea according to industry guidelines.

Pumping out crisp tablecloths, napkins, clean sheets, towels and other ship laundry are five 400-pound Edro washer-extractors, two 100-pound Edro washer-extractors, one 60-pound Edro washer extractor, seven 175-pound Cissell tumble dryers, two 125-pound Cissell tumble dryers, a Passat flatwork ironer, a Braun Omega four lane folder/cross-folder, a Braun sheet stacker and a Braun Sigma small piece folder. Three Forenta presses handle all pressing aboard the ship in the laundry area. The ship also has a dry cleaning department and 35 12-pound stackable Maytag washer dryers are available on board for crew and passengers to use.

Although the ship is modern in most respects, most laundry work is done the good old fashioned way. “The only item that is automated is the pressing folding machines that folds all the sheets, tablecloths and towels,” said Jessop. There is no automation between the equipment areas.

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Employee Crushes Hand on Ironer

SOMMERVILLE, Mass. — A commercial laundry has been fined by OSHA after an employee’s had was crushed while lubricating the chain of an ironer that was running. The OSHA inspection found that the machine was not de-energized prior to the maintenance that was attempted. Royal Institutional Services Inc., has been cited by OSHA for four alleged violations of workplace safety standards. The laundry, owned by Angelica Corp., faces a total of $49,935 in proposed fines.