Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 Gets a Royal Refurbishment

The eldest of Cunard’s three sisters, Queen Mary 2, is about get a birthday present: a scheduled refurbishment of mostly soft goods, just in time for her eighth year celebration in January, 2012.

In a mere fourteen days, the Queen Mary 2 will be taken out of the water, refitted with new carpets, curtains, bed covers and linens and some new furniture as well. Beginning on November 24 and faced with a December 7 completion date, thousands of workers will be deployed into precision teams to complete this time-sensitive massive project. More than 6,000 items will be replaced or recovered.

The last refurbishment of the Queen Mary 2 was in 2008, so it’s just about time for a sprucing up collaboration. Once again, the noted Tillberg Design AB in Höganäs, Sweden will partner with Cunard, as they did with the Queen Mary 2’s original design, to maintain the inherent charm and sophistication of this iconic ship . The refitting will take place at Blohm + Voss Shipyards in Hamburg, Germany; a city where thousands of residents excitedly line the pier whenever the Queen Mary 2 sails in or out of Hamburg.

What to expect during refurbishment

Cunard Queen Mary 2 original balcony stateroom
Before:  Old balcony stateroom Photo credit: Sherry Laskin

Staterooms – All 1,310 staterooms aboard Queen Mary 2 will receive a fresh look with new carpeting, curtains and beddings, and some will receive new furniture. The revised design will be in keeping with current designs but with an enhanced sense of luxurious comfort, as can be experienced in luxury hotels around the world.

Cunard Queen Mary 2 Golden Lion Pub
Cunard Queen Mary 2 Golden Lion Pub artist rendering

Golden Lion Pub – With its increasingly popular traditional British pub lunch menus, busy bar, exciting sports events and nightly music offerings, the pub will benefit from a complete refurbishment and redesign to enhance its endearing appeal. The new design retains the British pub atmosphere and also evokes an American country club feel similar to the warm colours and plush seating in the same venues aboard sister ships Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. Upgraded television screens will also be installed.

Canyon Ranch SpaClub – An extensive refurbishment of the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea will include the teak surrounds of the hydrotherapy pool and adjacent wet areas, and a general upgrade of all the facilities. In addition, new exercise machines in the fitness centre and new and improved features in the Beauty Salon will be installed.

Queens Grill and Princess Grill Restaurants – A new, lighter carpet design for both of Queen Mary 2‘s exclusive Grill restaurants will enhance the existing ambience, maintaining the reputation of these fine dining venues as among the best at sea or on land.

Cunard Queen Mary 2 Commodore Club
Before: Cunard Queen Mary 2 Commodore Club Photo credit: Sherry Laskin
Cunard Queen Mary 2 Commodore Club
After: Cunard Queen Mary 2 Commodore Club artist rendering

Commodore Club – One of the most visited public rooms aboard Queen Mary 2, this breathtaking lounge overlooking her bow will be refreshed with a new carpet design and additions to the white leather furnishings of chairs, sofas and bar stools.

Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar – An airy and elegant lounge featuring the exquisite Veuve Clicquot brand of champagne will see a new carpet and soft furnishings design.

Sir Samuel’s – This busy venue which features specialty coffees during the day and an impressive menu of wines at night, will receive a new compliment of carpeting and furniture coverings.

The Play Zone/Kids’ Zone – Cunard’s first-rate facilities for younger guests will undergo a complete refurbishment, including new soft play areas, plus upgrades to the very latest in electronic gaming technology and entertainment.

Carpeting of public areas, central walkways and landings on Decks 2 and 3 will also be completed. In addition to the current major refit, when Queen Mary 2 returns to service on 8 December, she will introduce several new on board features, details of which will be disclosed soon.

Cunard Queen Mary 2 Grand Lobby
Cunard Queen Mary 2 Grand Lobby Photo credit: Sherry Laskin

Queen Mary 2 was recently named the world’s Top Large Resort Ship in the new 2012 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising. By continuing to invest in both her technical and hotel areas and retaining her grand status with signature White Star Service, the largest ballroom at sea, the only planetarium at sea, the first Todd English Restaurant at sea, and the largest library at sea, Cunard endeavors to ensure a consistently special voyage experience that will meet loyal guests’ expectations and turn first-time guests into true Cunarders.

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  1. Hi Brian,
    As of now, no date has been set for the ship to go into drydock for refurbishment. As soon as I hear anything, I’ll post it here. Thank you for your question.

  2. When exactly is QM2 having a refit this year 2023 or next year 2024 many thanks Brian

  3. Hi Barry,
    Thank you very much for reading my article and taking the time to write. I, too, have not been on Queen Mary 2 since April 2019. I have a few colleagues who are on board now (it’s their first time ever) and so far I haven’t read anything negative like you mentioned. But then, they may not be aware of the details that a seasoned Cunarder would notice.
    Given Cunard’s former attention to detail, I would hope that by 2023, anything that was not up to par will have been painted/repaired/replaced. I’m looking forward to a 2023 crossing, too. It’s been way overdue!
    Thank you again for your comment.

  4. I have enjoyed eight (8) crossings on Queen Mary 2. Judging from what I have read about this ship following her inactive years stranded out in the Atlantic during the pandemic, the physical condition of the ship has suffered. Inoperative elevators, rusty exterior and interior surfaces, and a host of other maintenance issues have faced passengers, many who had not sailed on her before maintenance took a nose dive. Aside from new decor, I trust that all of the visible deterioration will have been corrected following the refurbishment.

    I have not traveled on Queen Mary 2 since December 2019. I need to know if all of the maintenance issues will be resolved by the time I sail again in 2023.

    Looking forward to hearing from you at Cruise Maven,

    Barry Maguire
    bm [email protected]

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