cruises

Cunard Line Queen Elizabeth Review

The newest member of the three-ship Cunard fleet, the Queen Elizabeth aims for a distinguished cruise experience.

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The newest member of the three-ship Cunard fleet, the Queen Elizabeth aims for a distinguished cruise experience glimmering with a touch of English royalty. Elegance is promised in Cunard literature, along with “spacious luxury and excellent service that attracts discerning travelers.” That kind of hyperbole is rampant in the travel industry, of course, but marketing push aside, the Cunard Line does indeed have a storied legacy to live up to.

Starting in 1840, Cunard was the first company to schedule regular trans-Atlantic crossings between Southampton, England and New York. Over the years the line established other seagoing firsts—the first ship to be lighted by electricity, the first “wireless” (radio) at sea, the first gym and health center, the first swimming pool, and more. In 1936 Cunard’s ocean liner the Queen Mary famously launched a new era in sea travel, and in 1940 the original Queen Elizabeth debuted as the largest passenger ship ever built (although this 83,650-ton Queen Elizabeth was destroyed by fire in 1972, it retained its title as the largest until 1996). At the end of WWII, Winston Churchill claimed the two ships—requisitioned by the British government to ferry 1.5 million troops around the world—had shortened the war in Europe by at least a year. There was also the legendary ocean liner QE2 launched in 1969—after 6 million miles the QE2 left the Cunard fleet in 2008; its ultimate fate is undecided.

Acquired by Miami-based Carnival Corporation in 1998, the Cunard Line got a new lease on life with the arrival of the one-of-a-kind Queen Mary 2, in 2004—at the time the largest, tallest and most expensive ever built. This was followed in 2007 by Queen Victoria, and in 2010 a new incarnation of Queen Elizabeth went to sea, a 90,400-ton, 2068-passenger vessel that is virtually identical in size and layout to Queen Victoria—both considerably smaller than Queen Mary 2. The main differences between the younger “siblings” are in décor, a few venue name changes, and Lizzie boasts an additional 39 cabins. The Queen Mary 2, on the other hand, remains an outlier—not only for Cunard but for the industry as a whole; it’s a true ocean liner designed for speedy trans-Atlantic crossings, much like her predecessors in the Cunard Line.

The new Queen Elizabeth gets around: In her first year alone, the vessel visited 108 different destinations. Upcoming sailings navigate Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia and the South Pacific, many of them starting or ending at Cunard’s home port, Southampton (70 miles southwest of London’s Heathrow Airport); itineraries primarily encompasses cruises longer than a week.

With expectations high and our finest duds carefully packed, we boarded Queen Elizabeth with heightened anticipation.

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Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Cabins
  3. Balcony Cabin
  4. Other Cabins
  5. Cabin Amenities
  6. In-Room Dining
  7. Dining
  8. Drinks
  9. Recreation
  10. Cafés
  11. Lounges and Public Spaces
  12. Royal Spa
  13. Sports and Fitness
  14. Retail
  15. Other Activities
  16. Shows and Other Entertainment
  17. Nightlife and Shows
  18. Empire Casino
  19. Pools and Decks
  20. Pools
  21. Decks and Sun Areas
  22. Services and Staff
  23. Deck Plans
  24. Staff and Ship Policies
  25. Health and Safety
  26. Conclusion
  27. Britannia Restaurant
  28. Lido Restaurant and Lido Grill
  29. Asado, Jasmine, Indian Bistro, Aztec
  30. The Verandah
  31. The Golden Lion
  32. Café Carinthia
  33. Commodore Club and Admiral’s Lounge
  34. The Yacht Club
  35. Queens Room
  36. The Garden Lounge
  37. Midships Bar
  38. The Grills Lounge
  39. Royal Arcade
  40. Emporium
  41. Images Photo Gallery
  42. Art Gallery
  43. Book Shop
  44. Library
  45. Internet Centre and Connexions 1
  46. Royal Spa and Fitness Centre
  47. Pavilion Pool and Bar
  48. Lido Pool and Bar
  49. Games Deck
  50. Outdoor Promenade
  51. The Zone and The Play Zone
  52. Royal Court Theatre
  53. Card Room
  54. Grand Lobby, Purser’s Office, Tour Office
  55. Deck 10
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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