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Queen Mary 2 shows off $132 million makeover

Cunard’s flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2 arrived in Brooklyn, New York, on July 6 all spruced up after a $132 million facelift that gave her new contemporary interior designs and passenger experiences — many of which take their design inspiration from the original Queen Mary, which debuted in New York 80 years ago.

There was much pomp and circumstance at her arrival with a VIP guest list that included Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corp., who spoke at the occasion. “More than any other ship in our Carnival Corporation fleet of more than 100 ships, Queen Mary 2 is the most famous, the most recognizable and certainly the most unique. It was the dream of our chairman Micky Arison to build the Queen Mary 2 almost 15 years ago. He aspired to recreate that luxurious ocean liner experience from the past and Queen Mary 2 is the glorious result.”

The refurbishing was done in the Blohm + Voss Shipyard, in Hamburg, Germany, one of the only shipyards in the world large enough to hold Queen Mary 2. It was a 24 hours a day operation, officials said. 

New enhancements & updated amenities

New details include:

  • Redesign and refurbishment of the Queens Grill and Princess Grill suites and restaurants, as well as Britannia staterooms, the latter to be fully completed by the end of the year
  • The addition of 30 further Britannia Club staterooms, 15 Britannia single staterooms and five Britannia inside staterooms
  • Redesign of key public spaces and restaurants, including the transformation of the former Winter Garden into the Carinthia Lounge, the introduction of The Verandah as the ship’s new specialty restaurant, and the complete refresh and restructuring of the Kings Court, the ship’s popular buffet area
  • 12 additional kennels and other enhancements
  • And as befitting the flagship of the Cunard fleet, a complete repaint of the ship exterior and significant technical enhancements and structural changes

Amenities for dogs and cats

As the only passenger vessel to welcome dogs and cats, Queen Mary 2 has expanded its kennel service during this multi-million dollar renovation. Seems Americans can’t travel without their pets so Cunard has added 12 new kennels for a total of 24.

In addition, the ship extended the kennel area, adding an owner’s lounge, new pet playground, and a larger outdoor area with an historic English lamppost and American fire hydrant so canines from both sides of the pond will feel at home.

The artwork in the lounge was created by Karen Katon-Oprey, daughter of Captain Kevin Oprey, Master of Queen Mary 2. A full-time Kennel Master takes care of daily pet responsibilities including feeding, walking and cuddling the pets onboard.

Cunard’s pet-friendly policy dates back 176 years to the maiden voyage of the Britannia in 1840 when the ship sailed with a cow to provide fresh milk for passengers. Famous canines such as Rin-Tin-Tin, Elizabeth Taylor’s pampered pups and the Duke of Windsor’s dogs traveled on Cunard and to continue that tradition, NYC’s top Instagram dogs, @ChloeTheMiniFrenchie, @WallytheWelshCori, and @EllaBeanTheDog, joined Cunard on board the ship to cut the ribbon on the new kennels.

The Queen Mary 2 is currently making transatlantic crossings to Southampton, England, a voyage Richard and I  will be making in the fall and we can't wait to tell Cruiseable readers about it.

Patti Pietschmann
I'm the LA Travel Diva and spend time cruising with first mate Richard, traveling the world, reviewing fine restaurants, going to plays, movies and events. It's the good life.