Last updated: 10:13 PM ET, Thu August 11 2016

The Queen Mary 2 Remastering Shines Bright

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Cunard Line | Jason Leppert | August 11, 2016

The Queen Mary 2 Remastering Shines Bright

 Photo by Jason Leppert  


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Following a 25-day, $132 million refurbishment, Cunard Line’s flagship Queen Mary 2 has reentered service, and I was just onboard to evaluate the vessel’s extensive remastering, including shiny new digs for both human passengers and canine and feline ones as well.

The Queen Mary 2 was already a beautiful one-of-a-kind ocean liner, and now she more closely resembles her classic predecessor with fresh art deco styling that is first showcased in the newly opened up Grand Lobby. To accommodate an expanded Kings Court buffet above, two underutilized central elevators were removed here, and the effect is an atrium that better soars with less visual congestion.

Speaking of congestion, the formerly crowded aforementioned buffet has been freed up thanks to a new set of food stations that stretches from one side of the ship to the other, now uninterrupted. Moreover, the decor has been greatly improved and brightened up with beautiful new geometric tiles on the floor and colorful destination paintings along the walls.

 READ MORE: From Fencing to Fondue: Activities on Queen Mary 2 

Also for dining, the Todd English restaurant has been replaced with The Verandah specialty restaurant as an homage to the original Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. The carnival aesthetic hosts cuisine that is a step above the former venue. Food is now French and Spanish inspired and features excellent dishes for both lunch and dinner service.

Additionally, the Princess Grill and Queens Grill restaurants, exclusive to guests within the namesake suites, have been updated with a more spacious layout and extra tables for two. The appearance conveys the expected grandeur in a newly refined manner while the Britannia Restaurant main dining room also remains as elegant as before.

Also taking cues from Cunard Line’s storied past are the private accommodations which display stunning new black-and-white photographs of the company’s historic buildings in Liverpool, Southampton and New York. Refreshed blue and yellow tones further set the classic scene that is modern where it counts, namely with new flat-panel televisions. Upgraded furnishings and fixtures finish off the wonderful improvements.

See some of the remastering for yourself in this video:

I’d be remiss to not point out a few areas where the cabin remodel has fallen short. Rust stains in the ceiling have been merely painted over with a darker shade that does not blend in, grungy shower pans haven’t been replaced, aging thermostats still have worn through buttons and flaking handle pulls in the bathrooms remain. I was also surprised to already see new rust emerging from balcony surfaces.

A final pass is surely warranted in these areas to complete the otherwise excellent improvements and will hopefully come as the remainder of the Britannia cabins are updated through the end of the year.

Elsewhere, 30 extra Britannia Club Balcony staterooms have been seamlessly added to the forward upper deck, and 15 new Britannia Single staterooms have also been introduced in one of the mezzanine levels as well as displacing a portion of the casino. Of course, suites have also been updated and so have the kennels with a count of 10 more plus an expanded outdoor deck than now sports a Liverpool lamp post and New York fire hydrant.

Beyond the subtly enhanced spa and theater and carpet, paint and surface overhaul, the Winter Garden’s replacement, the new Carinthia Lounge (pictured above), further impresses. The space now serves as a multipurpose venue for complimentary cafe snacks thought the day and entertainment into the evenings. The layout has even been pushed out all the way to the promenade windows to maximize the footprint. Altogether, the golden hues make for one of the ship’s most handsome signature spaces.

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