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Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 gets a major makeover

This item was written by Johanna Jainchill, who covers the travel industry for Travel Weekly. Jainchill is serving as Guest Editor of The Cruise Log while USA TODAY Cruise Editor Gene Sloan is away.

The Queen Mary 2 has returned to service after a two-week refurbishment that touched every cabin and many of the 8-year-old ocean liner’s public areas.

Cunard Line said the QM2 returned to its homeport in Southampton this week ready to welcome passengers for its winter cruise season.

The refurbishment took place in a German shipyard from Nov. 24 to Dec. 6 and required thousands of workers to replace the equivalent of almost 10 football fields of carpet and manufacture about 18 miles of fabric for over 6,000 individual items, Cunard said.

The work targeted several bars and restaurants. The Queens Grill and Princess Grill Restaurants, Commodore Club, Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar and Sir Samuel’s Bar and Lounge all were given new carpet designs, furniture and furniture coverings.

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The ship’s Golden Lion Pub also was completely redesigned, Cunard said, with a new colors scheme and plush seating that reflect the same venues on the Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, as well as upgraded plasma televisions.

All 1,310 cabins and suites on the QM2 received new carpeting and fabrics; the Canyon Ranch SpaClub was given a general upgrade of all its facilities and new exercise machines in its fitness center; and the QM2’s children’s area, the Play Zone, was completely refurbished, with soft play areas and new electronic gaming technology and entertainment.

In addition to the upgrades, a portrait of Her Majesty The Queen was commissioned for the ship, in honor of her naming the vessel during its 2004 launch. The portrait, by London-based artist Gail Graham, will be displayed in the Grand Lobby, and depicts the queen during her final visit to the Queen Elizabeth 2 in Southampton on June 2, 2008.

Cunard president Peter Shanks noted that the queen has named named four Cunard ships: the Caronia in 1947, the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1967, the QM2, and the Queen Elizabeth in 2010.

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