Captain Ronald Warwick
, master of Cunard Line's new Queen Mary 2, has been awarded the rank of commodore, the highest position a cruise line can bestow on one of its captains. The announcement was made December 26, 2003, as Queen Mary 2 was welcomed to Southampton - her British home port - for the very first time.
"I am pleased to make this appointment, which recognises Ron Warwick
's long and distinguished career with this great company," said Pamela Conover
, Cunard's president and chief operating officer. "It befits his position as the first master of Queen Mary 2, the new flagship of Cunard Line and the greatest liner of the new century."
Queen Mary 2 is the first ocean liner to be built in over three decades. The 2,620-passenger vessel is the largest (151,400 tons), longest (1,132 feet/345 metres), tallest (236 feet/72 metres), widest (135 feet/41 metres) and most expensive ($800 million) passenger ship ever built.
"This great honor only enhances what has been a wonderful week for me personally and for Cunard Line," said Warwick. "First I took command of Queen Mary 2, now I am appointed Commodore, a position my father held with honour."
Warwick's father, the late Commodore W.E. Warwick
, was a prominent figure in Cunard history. The senior Warwick was the only captain to serve as master of both Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
in the mid-1960s and he also was the first master of QE2.
During his tenure at Cunard, Warwick has also served as master aboard Cunard Countess, Cunard Princess
and Cunard Crown Dynasty. Before assuming the rank of master, he served for a short time as marine superintendent, based at Cunard's Southampton office. The first time this master mari
ner ever cruised the world was in 1958 on a cargo ship.
Commodore Warwick has also been involved in military campaigns while at Cunard. He served as chief officer aboard QE2 when England commissioned her in the Falklands conflict and was the master of Cunard Princess when she was chartered by the U.S. government during
the Gulf War.