New look QM2 sails into Southampton after £90m ‘remastering’

Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 sailed into Southampton early this morning following a 25-day refit costing around £90 million.

The so-called ‘remastering’ of the 12-year old ship sees 50 new cabins added, including 15 for single travellers.

Ten additional kennels have been added for passengers taking their pets on transatlantic sailings, complete with a lamp post from Liverpool and a fire hydrant from New York to make dogs “feel at home”.

The work at a shipyard in Hamburg has seen a redesign and refurbishment of the Queens Grill and Princess Grill suites and restaurants, as well as Britannia cabins, with the remainder of the accommodation to be fully completed by the end of the year, according to Cunard.

A new speciality restaurant, The Verandah, has been introduced while the Kings Court buffet area has been completely restructured.

The redesign of key public spaces and restaurants includes transformation of the former Winter Garden into the Carinthia Lounge.

Queen Mary arrives in Southampton after Major Refit.

The ship’s exterior has been repainted, using more than 15,000 litres of paint applied to the hull alone, and “significant technical enhancements and structural changes” have been carried out.

More than one million man hours went in to the refurbishment over the 25 days with 55,200 square metres of new carpets laid – the equivalent of 10 football pitches.

A total of 4,000 new framed pictures have been brought on board as part of the refurbishment.

Cunard senior vice president, Simon Palethorpe, said ahead of the ship departing for New York later today: “Cunard’s passion for delivering a service and experience that both meets and exceeds guest’s expectations is transforming the way we travel by sea.

“Remastering Queen Mary 2 honours the heritage and iconic status of our magnificent ship to take our passengers forward into a new era of ocean travel.”

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Norwegian Dawn debuts after extensive refit

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn sailed into her seasonal homeport of Boston, Massachusetts on 17 June following a month-long drydock.

Norwegian Dream, which was renovated as part of the US$400 million The Norwegian Edge programme, now has two new restaurants, three new bars and lounges, updated design and décor in all public spaces, and refurbished staterooms and suites.

“As with each of the ship refurbishments in the Norwegian Edge programme, this was not your average drydock,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and COO. “Norwegian Dawn was brought down to the steel in many spaces and rebuilt to evoke the look and feel of the newest Norwegian ships, allowing guests sailing on her to enjoy all of the freedom and flexibility that only Norwegian offers, along with a more premium experience from bow to stern.”

Norwegian Dawn debuts after extensive refit

New dining venues include Mexican restaurant Los Lobos Cantina, which will open on 1 July, and the popular O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill. Now, guests can also visit bars such as Sugarcane Mojito Bar, Bliss Lounge (formerly Spinnakers Lounge) and The Cellars, a Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar to enable guests to enjoy tastings and educational events. This venue was previously the Pearly King Pub.

Existing complimentary dining venues, such as The Venetian, Aqua, Bamboo Asian Restaurant and the Garden Café, have all been revamped with new flooring, wall coverings, furniture, artwork, signage and decorative lighting.

Similar upgrades where completed in the ship’s speciality restaurants, including Cagney’s Steakhouse and Moderno Churrascaria, which has been moved to Deck 13 adjacent to Sugarcane Mojito Bar. Le Bistro and La Cucina have also switched places, while Teppanyaki restaurant has been doubled in size to add to more tables and a divider between Bamboo and Teppanyaki.

The ship’s existing bars and lounges – such as Gatsby’s Champagne Bar and the Cigar Bar – have also been fitted with new flooring, furniture, decorative lighting, artwork and more. All staterooms received updated carpets, bedding, drapery, artwork, flat screen TVs and furniture. The two Garden Villas were completely remodeled with new flooring, inside and outside furniture, ceilings, lighting, bedding, décor and 42-inch flat screen TVs.

Other highlights include refreshed décor in the public spaces, elevators, toilets, the library and the Atrium – which also features an additional seating area – while the upgraded shopping area has been renamed Tradewinds. Tides, which sells jewellery, was added to the Atrium. The Photo Gallery also features individual digital monitors and larger photo display panels, while the Dawn Casino and Entourage teen space and video arcade were refurbished. The Stardust Theater has reupholstered and recushioned seats, and will offer performances of Band on the Run, Showdown and Elements.

Meanwhile, the pool deck has new decking, white awnings, exterior showers, pool loungers, and a fresh look to all exterior corridors. In addition, the Bimini Bar overlooking the main pool deck was redesigned, the Pulse Fitness Center now offers Techno Gym equipment, and the Mandara Spa has updated treatment rooms and a new barber shop, nail salon, spa pool and eight heated loungers.

Norwegian Dawn will sail from Boston to Bermuda each week until the end of October, spending three nights in port. In the winter, the ship will sail from New Orleans to the Western Caribbean, calling at Norwegian’s private island Harvest Caye, as well as Belize.