Design secrets of Queen Elizabeth

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It’s still more than a year before Cunard’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth, is scheduled to make her maiden voyage, but the publicity machine is already being cranked into gear.
Alastair Greener, entertainments director on board sister ship Queen Victoria, has visited the Fincantieri shipyard at Monfalcone, in north-east Italy and reported back with a selection of pictures and video clips on his We Are Cunard blog.
Intrepid Alastair even climbed a 200-ft crane to get some good pictures. “Everywhere you looked you could see parts of our new ship. Each carefully numbered block will eventually become part of this massive jigsaw, but in the meantime it waits its turn to either become part of a larger block or be lifted on to the emerging superstructure,” he wrote afterwards.
Meanwhile, Cunard president Peter Shanks has interrupted Carnival blogger John Heald’s weekend off to get him to post an update on Queen Elizabeth’s progress.
If Royal Caribbean’s boss, Richard Fain, can write his own blog – as he has been doing throughout the building of Oasis of the Seas – I’m not sure why Peter has to forward his views through a cruise director for American-orientated Carnival Cruises, but perhaps he’s biding his time for a big reveal.
Anyway, here are some of the highlights of what he had to say:
“Our beautiful new liner is certainly going to turn heads. Earlier this week I spent a full day reviewing the designs for each of the public rooms on Queen Elizabeth.
Grand Lobby – The reaction to the Queen Victoria Grand Lobby has been very warm and appreciative – Queen Elizabeth will be just as special. We reviewed the colours of the marble floors, the intricate carpets, quite different railings on the sweeping stairs and of course the major piece of art that will dominate the Grand Lobby. More of that in weeks to come.
Britannia Club – This is new to Queen Elizabeth, a separate restaurant twinned with the premium balcony staterooms and offering dining at individual times to suit our guests. A grand entrance, engraved glass panels, evocative light fixtures, and beautiful carpets.
Carinthia Café – This bar and café has proved to be very popular on Queen Victoria throughout the day and evening. We have expanded the seating area, beautiful carpets, some very interesting ‘art deco’ comfortable and striking furniture, wonderful and intricate glass panels on the ceiling.
Midships Bar – A new room for Queen Elizabeth. We have taken the name from previous famous liners. The area will be steeped in reminders of famous Cunard liners of the past. The highlight will be a large piece of art taken from the original Queen Mary showing the two continents and the transatlantic routes, the moon and the stars and all set in beautiful gold brass and silver.”
There’s big news on the theatre, although Peter is not quite ready to share it with us yet.
“How could we possibly beat the theatre on Queen Victoria? The layout is the same, the private boxes just as special, but we have changed the colours in the room from Queen Victoria’s traditional theatre red and gold. This is a brave move. We researched and visited many famous and provincial theatres in the UK. And we have come up with . . . actually that I am not going to tell you just yet, that is something we will keep up our sleeve so our guests can marvel on the first day they see it.
“The day was one of the most motivating and satisfying days at work we have had in a long time. The new ship is coming together very well indeed. I am going to leave news of other rooms to another time, too much to share with you all in one go.
“In particular I look forward to sharing our plans with the Yacht Club and the links to QE2 and of course our plans on art, which are very special indeed. There is also a story to tell about the Queens Room, and that too will have to wait till next time.”
No word yet on who Cunard will be getting to launch the ship in October 2010. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall named sister ship Queen Victoria, and famously failed to break the Champagne bottle against the hull. Peter will no doubt be hoping to persuade Her Majesty the Queen to do the honours for her namesake – and with more success.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:37+00:00 26 September 2009|Cruise News, Cruise Ships|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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