Launched: October 2010.
Cruising speed: 23.7 knots.
Number of passengers: 2,068 at double occupancy.
Staterooms: 1,046, 85 percent with outside views, and more than 70 percent of these with private balconies.
Where she cruises: World Cruise, the Mediterranean, Europe, USA, The Caribbean.
Queen Elizabeth‘s design is that of a traditional liner, boasting elegant double and triple-height public rooms, hand woven carpets and crystal chandeliers. Embracing a new “golden age” of ocean travel, a major wow factor is her distinctive black and red livery and her elaborate Art Deco styling.
Who Should Go?
Things You Might Not Know
Queen Elizabeth‘s maiden voyage sold out in less than 30 minutes. She is the second largest Cunard ship ever built, at a cost of around 365 million UK pounds, and was the third new ocean liner to be introduced by Cunard in six years. She introduces some unique elements to cruising, harking back to that golden age of ocean travel, including country house parties, period dancing, and Ivor Novello style piano evenings.
This ship has a vast number of accommodation options and categories, all of which are beautifully styled in a colour scheme of gold, green and soft brown. At the top end of the scale are the Queens Grill Suites, with four varieties ranging from just under 45 square metres, to a vast 198 square metres, some of which are named in honour of past Cunard Commodores who have received knighthoods. These suite boast an elaborate decor and feature full bathrooms, private balconies, butler service and a range of benefits including in-suite dining from the Queens Grill.
Next are Princess Grill suites, boasting an elegant decor with balconies and separate living areas, and the spacious Britannia Club Balcony and Britannia Balcony wrap up staterooms with outdoor options. At the bottom end of the scale are the Britannia Oceanview and Britannia Inside staterooms, both standard options but like the larger suites are elegantly styled in cream, biscuit and soft gold colours. All staterooms boast standard amenities including interactive TV, a refrigerator, hairdryer and a safe.
Facilities and Entertainment
When it comes to bars and lounges, the Queen Elizabeth has something for every taste. Cafe Carinthia is the place to ease your caffeine cravings, while Churchill’s is where you head for a cigar and a nightcap. Other highlights include the Commodore Club with its leather chairs and sweeping views, the Queen’s Room which is also a venue for themed balls, and Garden Lounge, which is reminiscent of a traditional English conservatory.
Enrichment is a major part of a Cunard cruise and on this ship daytime activities range from literary discussions in the Book Club to lessons in watercolour painting and ballroom dancing. The Cunard Classic Film Club is a venue for screenings of legendary movie classics, and the Royal Spa is the place to head for a spot of pampering, with its oven views, glass encased fitness centre and some unique spa treatments.
Outdoors there are deck games such as croquet to be enjoyed during good weather, and sports including daily tournaments in shuffleboard. There are two pools, four whirlpools, a short tennis court and fitness classes which can be enjoyed on deck such as yoga. Evening entertainment is far reaching and can range from karaoke in the Gold Lion, to a Shakespeare classic performed by the ship’s own Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company. Royal Night Theme Balls are also a popular and common feature of a Cunard cruise.
There are three main dining rooms – the Queens Grill, the Princess Grill and the Britannia – all of which operate traditional fixed seating dining and serve menus of refined, international cuisine. Where you eat depends on your stateroom, with the top suites assigned to the Queens Grill. The casual option is the buffet-style Lido Restaurant which transforms into a regional venue by night; a South American Grill called Asado, an Asian cafe called Jasmine, or a Mexican cantina called Aztec.
The Golden Lion Pub, an authentic venue featuring an impressive selection of beer and cider, is also the pace for a traditional pub lunch such as fish and chips or cottage pie. The Courtyard is an al fresco dining venue, and The Verandah is a formal alternative restaurant which captures the elegance of the legendary Verandah Grill on the original Queen Elizabeth, and is the place in which to enjoy contemporary French cuisine. See some sample menus below.
The Low Down
With her eye-catching design, Queen Elizabeth hails back to a bygone era of ocean travel yet fuses Cunard’s heritage with the best in modern technology. She is traditional and more formal that many of today’s cruise ships, something which won’t appeal to every cruiser, but at the same time that’s a point of different which makes her and her regal sisters a bit special.