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Frank Romano gets a tour of the print shop on the Queen Mary 2

Published on September 19, 2012

This week Frank gets a tour of the printing operation aboard Cunard's Queen Mary 2 from Rosemary Keough, Chief Printer.

Frank Romano: This is Frank Romano for WhatTheyThink.com. I’m coming down a hallway to one of the most secret facilities in the world. No, it’s not Fort Knox. It is the print shop on the Queen Mary 2. And here you see one of the first digital print shops at sea. Here’s Rosemary. She is running—well actually I don’t know if we actually run things anymore, do we? They run themselves, don’t they?

Rosemary Kehoe: Basically, most of the time.

Frank Romano: You tell it what to do, and it does it.

Rosemary Kehoe: Most of the time, yes.

Frank Romano: And you’re printing the programs for the ship right now.

Rosemary Kehoe: Yes.

Frank Romano: And these programs are going to be given out tonight.

Rosemary Kehoe: Full color.

Frank Romano: Again, you’re not using the folder on this machine because when you give them to the room stewards, they fold them.

Rosemary Kehoe: Yes.

Frank Romano: So that’s your folding system?

Rosemary Kehoe: Yeah.

Frank Romano: If you will.

Rosemary Kehoe: But we do have a folder on it, and we do fold them for the captain's office and other departments. But for house keeping they prefer to be able to count it and fold them themselves.

Frank Romano: And you also print a single sheet of paper that’s printed two sides as well that’s inserted into that.

Rosemary Kehoe: Yes, the Discover which hasn’t been printed already.

Frank Romano: And would you show us? You’re printing actually a pre-printed sheet. It’s a blank that has the dark maroon on it and the gold, and a tinted area. And that’s how you print the sheet. And that saves toner. Again they’re all consistent in that regard, you can do it.

Rosemary Kehoe: Yes.

Frank Romano: So they’re printed shore side, and all that paper comes on board. And I understand this entire room was filled with paper when you started the world cruise.

Rosemary Kehoe: Yes. We had four months-worth of paper in here.

Frank Romano: Four months-worth of paper. In this tiny room.

Rosemary Kehoe: Well we have a storage room down the hallway as well, but that filled up and then we filled up this as well.

Frank Romano: I see. Now this is a Canon color printer.

Rosemary Kehoe: Yep.

Frank Romano: Now, you had to go to school to learn how to repair this machine, correct?

Rosemary Kehoe: Yeah.

Frank Romano: How long was that?

Rosemary Kehoe: Canon in Chicago for three weeks.

Frank Romano: So every Chief Printer will have to go through that process?

Rosemary Kehoe: Yes We will learn all the maintenance all the part changes, troubleshoot it.

Frank Romano: So you have spare belts, spare parts, etcetera, etcetera.

Rosemary Kehoe: If anything happens, I can fix it.

Frank Romano: Well that’s confidence. When you get shore side, do you ever have a technician come in just to double check it?

Rosemary Kehoe: No, we’re the technicians. We’re certified technicians.

Frank Romano: Wow, that’s fascinating. So, again, at one time in this room there were two printing. There was one printing press and a large plate maker. Now there’s this machine, and then on this side, we have Shail who’s running a black and white machine. And he’s printing all of the newspapers. And there are newspapers. This particular one is for the Philippines. He just finished the one for India. But I guess there are 15 of them or so that you do?

Shail Patel: Indian was 15 Phillipines was 28 and we just filled them in.

Frank Romano: Wow, so if something goes wrong with the color machine, they can always print black and white on this machine. This machine also prints all the menus for the ship. So the printer’s actually know what we’re going to eat before anyone knows that. This is one of the great secrets of the print shop. And then, lastly, there’s a small cutter over here. And you also have a folder somewhere, correct?

Rosemary Kehoe: No, each machine has a folder inline.

Frank Romano: Oh, so the folder’s built into the machine?

Rosemary Kehoe: Yes.

Frank Romano: And Rosemary is a full-time employee as the Chief Printer. And Shail is her assistant. And he goes back to school, when?

Shail Patel: September.

Frank Romano: So that machine has a life of its own by the way from what I can see. And by the way, there’s one advantage to the students at RIT, and it says over here, because these are RIT students who do the printing on Cunard's Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and the new Queen Elizabeth. So thank you very much, and have a great trip.

Rosemary Kehoe: Thank you.

Shail Patel: Thank you.

Frank Romano: How is the printing industry doing here in United Emirates?

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By John Meyer on Sep 19, 2012

Congratulations Rosemary and Shail! You've hit the big time when you are in one of Frank Romano's WTT.com video productions! Great job!


By Mike Chiricuzio on Sep 19, 2012

Very cool. Good to see RIT students end up in interesting positions.

P&O Cruises also has print shops on several of their ships, HP Indigo 1050 machines, which they use for daily newspaper, etc. Do you suppose the ink sloshes around in high seas?

Happy Cruising Frank!


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