Queen Mary 2 – A Wondrous Lady Gets A Lovely Makeover
by Vanessa Lee
Captain Wells and Vanessa
Veuve Cliquot Lounge
Ella Bean, a Yorkie mix, enjoys the remastered kennels on the Queen Mary 2
The pride, and indeed, the love for the venerable Queen Mary 2 is evident throughout the newly
remastered ship, but none more so than when one speaks with the Master,
Captain Christopher Wells.
During a private visit to the Bridge I was able to engage withthe Captain and ask questions about
the changes to the vessel under his command
and to do a little reminiscing too.
As we spoke and I heard his perspective on the changes wrought on
this iconic ocean liner, I learned about the additions, enhancements,
environmental improvements and more, but what was most striking is the man's
love for his ship. Other officers, crew and staff I spoke with demonstrated the
same passion for the liner and were also proud of its
And when asked to sum up the Queen
in one word, Captain Wells simply said "elegant." And
indeed she is, even more so now since this extensive renovation which I judge
to be a fantastic success.
The ship, since her christening in January, 2004, has always
an air of understated
Queen Mary 2 naturally has thatvery
feeling,in keeping with her storied heritage.
The legacy must live on and Cunard Line has very carefully respected the
history of the QM2's fabled predecessors, particularly and
in harmony withthe original Queen Mary, a beautiful Art Deco ship still docked to this day in
Long Beach California.
In a nod to the tradition of the grandera of trans-Atlantic ocean liners,this Queen's new décor, carpets,
decorative items have taken into account the grande dame that came before.
Being a Cunarder since the age of 15, and having had the fortune
to sail on a number of the Line’s ships, I have also sailed on the
on a number of occasions, but not inmorerecent years.Therefore there were afew changes in the remastering that
had me a little confused.
the addition of Deck 13 Britannia Club staterooms with
a superstructure change that fits
seamlessly into the ship. One would never know this area had just been
Then there’s theremoval
of two glass elevators in the Grand lobby which took you up to Deck 7 and the
King's Court buffet area and as a consequence, the enlarging of that space to
better serve guests in a very popular casual dining area. I must say I was
wandering about a bit trying to figure out where those elevators went!
And likely one of the most important changes was to take the
under-utilized Winter Garden, which never quite made it with its chopped up
spaces, and turn it into the Carinthia Lounge, now a convivial room well-used
by guests for all manner of things. The
and extensive collection of very special ports – many from years pivotal to
Cunard’s history -- is fabulous and the
bar, musical entertainment and light bites throughout the day add to the
guest's enjoyment of just relaxing in the Carinthia.
I had expected something a little more dramatic and perhaps even
spectacular but this is really a change to afford the guests a comfy lounge and
an extension of the Kings Court
asit is just across the hallway. Reports from the Hotel Manager
indicate that guests are really using this space and it is becoming a very
I still adore the sexy, chic and sophisticated Chart Room on Deck
3 adjacent to the equally fab Champagne Bar from Veuve Clicquot. These have
always have been big hits, and as we gathered one evening for the Black and
White Ball, everyone bedecked in their finery and a good two thirds of the
gentlemen looking dashing in their tuxes and dinner jackets – well, it just
seemed to sum up what sailing on this glamorous ship is all about. Sipping on a
glass of very good champagne seemed totally fitting.
The addition of the Godiva Chocolates space in a part of Sir
Samuels's is a tasty and clever moment and, saving the best for last, it was
the new Verandah Restaurant on Deck 8 that was a true wow for me.
The superb cuisine, attentive service
and wonderful atmosphere make this a must-do for an intimate and delicious
I was also impressed withthe
both the Princess
and Queens Grills
shared cocktail lounge, all of
I adored. Rich fabrics, suitable colours and lots of gorgeous carpets,
wall coverings and draperies, many designed with a nod to the original, make
this ship even more elegant and charming. The “makeover” has done wondrous things
to this very fine lady and was well worth the more than £80 million invested.
Bravo Cunard – thank you for taking such good care of this
wonderful ship and remastering her so beautifully.