March 15, 2016
(3:45 p.m. EDT) -- When its dry dock is complete in June, Cunard's Queen Mary 2 will boast a 1916 lamppost that lit the streets just a few blocks from the company's original building. The purpose of the lamppost? To make the dogs kenneled on the ship feel more at home while at sea.
The lamppost – and a fire hydrant that has yet to be sourced – are just one example of the level of attention that Cunard is paying to its remastering of Queen Mary 2, said Angus Struthers, marketing director for Cunard, at a press briefing at the 32nd annual Seatrade cruise conference in Fort Lauderdale.
"This is a very significant moment for us," said David Noyes, Cunard CEO. "This is the most significant refurbishment that Carnival Corp UK has ever undertaken. Queen Mary 2 is an iconic ship. It is 12 years old and now is the right time for us to invest in the ship to reaffirm its iconic status."
The goal of the Queen Mary's refurbishment, which Cunard refers to as a "remastering," is to "make sure that we remain grounded about all that remains great in British luxury and refinement, while understanding the needs of today's luxury traveler."
Cunard also announced that it will be adding Britannia Club staterooms to Queen Victoria, due in part to the popularity of this particular cabin class on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth. A spokesman confirmed more details will be revealed in April.
Queen Mary 2 goes into dry dock May 27 through June 21 at the Blohm+Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany.
Among the many changes the ship will see include:
- Fifteen single staterooms, a first for the ship.
- Thirty additional Britannia Club Balcony cabins, giving more passengers access to the exclusive Britannia Club Restaurant (which will also be expanded during the refurb). Britannia Club Balcony rooms, which are already available on Queen Elizabeth, will also be added to Queen Victoria when the ship goes into dry dock in 2017.
- The addition of the Verandah Restaurant, replacing the Todd English restaurant, with an all-new menu that will be rolled out to the rest of the fleet once Queen Mary 2 comes back into service.
- Ten new animal kennels, along with a new inside play area and a larger outside walking area.
- A complete redesign of Kings Court, the ship's central buffet, with new serving stations, pre-set tables, waiters serving drinks and a reconfigured seating arrangement to create a less crowded experience. As part of the redesign, a bank of elevators will be removed in order to use the space for a central serving station, also reducing the number of entrances and exits to the buffet to make the flow of traffic less confusing.
- The addition of the Carinthia Lounge (replacing the current Winter Garden), an all-day venue serving a light breakfast and lunch, followed by an afternoon tea and evening drinks, refreshments and entertainment.
--By Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor
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