By Sue Bryant
Cruise Critic Contributor
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Cabins

There are 1,046 cabins onboard Queen Elizabeth. Eighty-five percent are outside, and of those, 71 percent have balconies. Inside cabins (standard and deluxe) range from 152 to 243 square feet, outsides from 180 to 197 square feet and balcony cabins from 228 to 352 square feet. The decor is calming and serene with shades of gold, green and brown, and there's plenty of storage, both under the beds and in the wardrobes; the under-the-bed drawers were added after complaints about lack of storage on Queen Victoria.

The biggest disappointments in the design of standard staterooms are the bathrooms. (Again, this applies to insides, outsides and verandahs.) They're stingy in size, shower-only (including a clingy shower curtain) and dreary in decor (everything is beige). They're also not very well designed; the little bottles of Gilchrist & Soames shampoo and conditioner don't fit properly on the soap dish holder and kept falling off, as did the soap. Towels were small, too. We used the pool towels supplied in our cabin for the duration of our cruise.

Another gripe, particularly for women, is that the hair dryer is fixed inside a drawer of the dressing table/desk. You need to keep the drawer open to operate it and the cord isn't particularly long. A higher powered plug-in hair dryer would be much better.

All cabins have flat-screen TVs with more than 40 channels, including movies in French, German and Spanish, as well as in-house channels on which the port and enrichment lectures are rerun. Our balcony cabin had a mini-bar stocked with sodas and mineral water, which cost $3.50 for a large bottle.

Princess Grill suites (335 to 345 square feet) are essentially elongated versions of the standard verandahs; the balconies are roughly the same size. Beyond larger living areas, there's also more closet space, and the bathrooms have full-size tubs and very pretty tiling that renders them charming -- one of the touches that makes the difference between standard and luxury.

The Queens Grill suites (595 to 671 square feet) are scattered around the ship, either aft, with views of the wake, or in the bulge midships, where the balconies are deeper. Deck 7, in addition to several Queens Grill penthouses (508 to 596 square feet), has the biggest concentration of top suites -- two Grand Suites (1,375 square feet) and two of the four Master Suites (1,493 square feet), which include features like huge balconies, whirlpool baths and separate dining areas. These six suites are named after the half-dozen Cunard Commodores who have been knighted: Commodore Sir Arthur Rostron, Commodore Sir Edgar Britten, Commodore Sir Cyril Illingworth, Commodore Sir James Bisset, Commodore Sir Ivan Thompson and Commodore Sir James Charles. If you want a bath with a sea view, go for one of the Master Suites. For a wraparound balcony, outdoor dining and reclining steamer loungers, choose the Grand Suites, the top category on the ship.

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