Queen Elizabeth emerges from major refurbishment ahead of 2019 World Cruise

Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth cruise ship has completed her refurbishment at a shipyard in Brest, France, where a team of 2,000 workers remodelled the spa, the Golden Lion pub and the décor throughout the vessel ahead of her 2019 World Cruise, which includes a Cape Town cruise itinerary.

At the time of writing she was bound from Brest for Southampton, where she will sail her first post-refurb cruise, a two-night roundtrip voyage visiting Zeebrugge (Bruges) in Belgium.


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According to Cruise Critic, which was given a tour of the ship during the dry-dock, the refurbishment is more subtle than dramatic, keeping the look and feel of the ship very similar to what it was before, but updating or replacing soft furnishings that had become worn round the edges.

“It’s a really graceful upgrade. It’s really special,” says David Bristow, maritime commercial manager, projects and planning.

Cunard has made an effort to keep the refit and refurbishment subtle, although some areas, such as the Royal Spa on Deck 9 and Deck 10, have received a lot of very obvious work.

Many of the mocha mosaic tiles are being painstakingly replaced with blue ones in areas like the sauna and the laconicum, and brand new blue day beds big enough for two are being brought into the sanctuary.

At the heated beds section, SoSounds technology has been introduced so passengers don’t have to listen to the same music as their fellow spa goers as they unwind.


Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Arcade has received a makeover.

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The spa also now has a new Serenity Suite and Harmony Suite. The Serenity Suite features a huge spa bath where treatments will take place, and the Harmony Suite features a series of upholstered relaxation loungers and a flat screen television.


Elsewhere on the ship, Cunard is upping its focus on ‘Britishness’, with two traditional beer pumps, with a classic wooden base and brass and black handles, installed in the Golden Lion pub on Deck 2.

The Golden Lion Put has also been given a new red, yellow and blue carpet, and the soft leather seating has been reupholstered.

More than eight miles of thick new carpets have been laid across every deck of the Queen Elizabeth.

The Queen Elizabeth’s coffee and cream colour scheme is still apparent in the new carpets, but there is a much greater use of the colour blue.

Of particular note are the new carpets in the Yacht Club on Deck 10 with their splashes of rich royal blue, those on the grand stairway on the entrance to the two-tier Britannia Restaurant with their sky blue swirls, and those in the restaurant itself, which feature a spectrum of blue hues from aquamarine to deep sea blue.

The Royal Arcade has been redesigned to be more contemporary and new outdoor spaces, in particular a new afternoon sun deck, have been created.

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