I had the pleasure of visiting Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2. Cunard Line has taken such pride in the the ship. The Queen Mary 2's most recent extensive refit occurred in May/June 2016. The Remastering was the largest renovation effort undertaken by Cunard in their 175 year history.
The work was carried out in 25 days at Germany's Blohm+Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany between May 27 - June 21, 2016.
The $132 Million dollar refit touched many areas of the ship providing a new and youthful feel to the 16 year old vessel. Updates included: Installing new colorful, but sophisticated carpeting in all public areas and staterooms; Remodeling of the Princess and Queen's Grills and associated lounges; The conversion of the Todd English Specialty Restaurant to a new signature restaurant - The Veranda. The Veranda features upscale, seasonal French Cuisine for lunch and dinner (for an added fee); The addition of 15 spacious single occupancy staterooms; The addition of 30 Britannia Club Balcony Staterooms (accomplished my adding another 1/2 deck of staterooms above the ship’s bridge). It should be noted that travelers in the Britannia Club Staterooms enjoy open seating in the Britannia Dining Room; Forward of these cabins, a new lookout area has been created allowing passengers panoramic views of the sea. The creation of a new photo gallery - The old photo gallery was converted into single occupancy staterooms; The remodeling of the Grand Lobby including the removal of 2 glass elevators; Replacing the Winter Garden with the New Carinthia Lounge - ideal for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea, the room transforms into an entertainment venue for evening entertainment; The buffet dining area - the King's Court has been transformed into a high-end sophisticated area - providing casual dining in an elegant atmosphere. The traffic flow and serving areas have been greatly improved and the decor is bright and lively; The Canine passengers should not be left out, Cunard Line has added 10 new kennels in addition to the 12 already in place plus an NYC fire hydrant and Southampton Street post to make the dogs feel at home.
The Queen Mary 2 is expected to undergo another refit in October 2020. Although the details of the refit have not been disclosed, work completed is expected to further enhance the public spaces, refresh the staterooms; and perform electronic and mechanical maintenance.
Cunard has also make a conscious effort to elevate the quality of their dining experience. The food experienced on-board was exceptional.
The Mayfair shops offer a gallery of boutiques which include the normal souvenir type items, perfumes, liquors and jewelry. In addition to these shops there are upscale establishments like Hermes, Dunhill, Chopard, H. Stern and Harrods. There is also a formal shop with Tuxedos for sale or rent.
The Queen Mary 2’s library is a very impressive room. Located forward on Deck 8, the room has floor to ceiling windows that overlook the bow area of the ship. The room is very pleasant with rich wood tones, comfortable seating and 8,000+ volumes of interesting reading materials. The QM2 is said to have one of the largest libraries at sea.
The QM2’s Cyber Centre is located in the Cunard ConneXions Room and provides 9 terminals for passengers to surf the internet. Internet access is also available in the Library and the ConneXions Classroom which is used to teach computer related classes.
The Queen Mary 2 features, standard cabins and categories, including inside, outside, veranda, suites and the Grand Duplex apartments measuring a whopping 2,249 square feet. All accommodations offer adequate storage, are brightly decorated and provide ample space. The stateroom bathroom facilities are functional and adequate. All cabins are brightly decorated in subtle colors that extend the sophistication of public rooms into your private space. In total, the ship has 1,355 staterooms varying from the Duplex apartments to the standard interior staterooms. The QM2’s normal passenger capacity is 2,961 passengers, double occupancy, well below capacity a ship this size can carry.
The Queen Mary 2 features three main dining rooms. Passengers are assigned to a dining room based on the category of cabin chosen. Those booking standard staterooms onboard the QM2 will dine in the elegant 3 tier Britannia Restaurant. Decorated in friendly warm Mediterranean tones, the room is elegant and inviting. The Britannia restaurant offers two seatings for dinner.
Those guests staying in the Princess Suites and Queen Grill Suites will have the opportunity to dine in the exclusive Princess Grill and Queen’s Grill respectively. Both the Princess Grill and the Queen’s Grill offers an upscale menu, more attentive service and single seating dining.
Breakfast and lunch is served in the ship’s extensive Kings Court dining pavilion. In the morning, there are stations where guests can order eggs, omelets, pancakes and waffles. At lunch there are carved meats, regional hot dishes, deli sandwiches and salads.
In addition to the dining rooms there are also 7 specialty restaurants – some requiring an added cover charge. Additional restaurants include The Veranda Restaurant featuring the chef’s French creations. Other dining options include the Bamboo for Pan-Asian Cuisine; Aztec for Mexican cuisine; Coriander - for Indian cuisine; the Chef’s Galley (additional fee), Italian food in the La Piazza; Smoke-House - Southern US Cuisine; the Golden Lion Pub featuring fish and chips and the Boardwalk Cafe offering burgers, hot-dogs and more. For the late night snack there is always 24 hour room service.
The QM2 does have a children’s program. The Nursery is for children 1-2 years old.. The Play Zone is for children 3-6 years old. Activities to keep these youngsters busy include Pirate parties, Pizza parties, movie nights and arts and crafts to name a few. For those children 7 and older there is The Zone. Activities for these children include scavenger hunts, ship tours, quizzes, Bingo Xboxes, DJ booth and pizza nights – just to name a few of the activities. It should be noted that depending on the sailing, time of the year and the upscale nature of the QM2 - the number of children can vary greatly with some sailings having only a few in each category and other times a larger number of children onboard.
One feature that is immediately evident once you venture outside on the Queen Mary 2 is the large amount of deck space. The Aft pool area on deck 8 and 9 is very impressive. It is on these decks that you truly get an appreciation for the great width of the ship. There are ample deck chairs and the pool are an adequate size for cooling down on a hot day.
The Canine passengers should not be left out, Cunard Line has added 10 new kennels in addition to the 12 already in place. plus the addition of an NYC fire-hydrant and Southampton Street post to make the dog feel at home.
The Queen Mary 2 usually sails from the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook Brooklyn. There are occasions when the Queen Mary 2 does sail from the Manhattan
Cruise Terminal - but those departures are rare.
Refit aside - the Queen Mary 2 is one of my favorite ships. Her spaciousness and upscale decor truly makes you feel that you are at a high end resort. The Queen Mary 2 caters primarily to adults. Her modest passenger capacity for a ship her size, eliminates the feel of always standing in line and being herded around. The Queen Mary 2 has many features found on traditional ocean liners including vast open decks for sunning; a wrap around promenade deck; white glove service; the largest library at sea; A kickin' disco (G32) as well as traditional entertainment.
Overall the Queen Mary 2 is a very impressive ship with an air of luxury and grandeur. It is for the sophisticated traveler. Traditionally the QM2 will attract the more affluent, older traveler. The QM2 is not the wild party ship, but more for those seeking a vacation with old world charm and sophistication. The ship itself is very impressive and has to been seen for yourself to appreciate the décor and the total cruise experience.
7 Regular and Speciality Dining Britannia Main Dining Room Queens Grill (available to select guests) Princess Grill (available to select guests) Todd English King's Court Italian Asian Carvery Chef's Galley Boardwalk Cafe Terrace Pool and Bar Cafe
26 Bars and Lounges Including a Champagne Bar Cigar Lounge Piano Bar Observation Area on Deck 13 More
Spa / Wellness / Fitness Spa Managed by Canyon Ranch Spa Club Fitness Center Full Service Spa Sauna/Steam Room Beauty Salon 5 Pools Basketball Sports Court Yoga Palates Fitness Track Putting Green Virtual Golf Simulators Quoits Shuffle board Deck Games Giant Chess Set Deck Games Table Tennis
Public Rooms Bars/Lounges Library Internet Center Children / Teens Organized Age-Specific Activities Outdoor Children's Play Area Dedicated Teen Center Teen Programs Children's Pool Youth Staff Babysitting Available Other Facilities / Services 22 Elevators Duty-Free Shops/Boutiques Self-Service Laundromat Concierge Desk Infirmary/Medical Center Kennels
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