QUEEN ELIZABETH, Triple Decked!
Top to Bottom Tour, Part One: Decks 12 through 9
QUEEN ELIZABETH makes her maiden appearance in Southampton on October 8, 2010. Photo and copyright Patsy Dempsey 2010.
The new QUEEN ELIZABETH is the latest entrant in the Carnival Corporation-owned platform of ships sharing similar hull and machinery blueprints that include her near twin, the 2008-built QUEEN VICTORIA, Holland America Line’s two Signature (EURODAM and NIEUW AMSTERDAM) and four Vista Class ships (ZUIDERDAM, OOSTERDAM, WESTERDAM, NOORDAM), P&O’s ARCADIA, a quartet of Costa Line vessels and Carnival’s four member SPIRIT Class.
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QUEEN ELIZABETH at Southampton, October 11, 2010.
MV QUEEN ELIZABETH Principal Statistics:
Owners: Cunard Line division of the Carnival Corporation
Built by Fincantieri’s Monfalcone (near Trieste) shipyard: Hull number 6187
Registry: Southampton, U.K.
Gross Tonnage: 90,900
Length: 964.5 feet (294 meters)
Beam: 104.8 feet (32.25 meters) hull/120 feet (36.6 meters) bridge wings
Draft: 26.2 feet (8.0 meters)
Passengers: 2092 double occupancy
Passenger Decks: 12
Propulsion: Six Mak M43C diesels that drive 2 ABB pods
Speed: 21.7 knots (23.7 maximum)
QUEEN ELIZABETH builder's plate.
The contract for the QUEEN ELIZABETH, the successor to the 1968-built QUEEN ELIZABETH 2, was signed in October of 2007. The first keel blocks were laid in July of 2009 and the hull was floated out in January of 2010.
QUEEN ELIZABETH at Monfalcone, Italy in February 2010. Photo and copyright Peter Knego 2010.
The first sea trials began in the summer of 2010. On October 1, 2010, the new QUEEN ELIZABETH was handed over to Cunard and sailed for Southampton via Algeciras to begin her career as the second largest Cunard vessel ever built.
QE bow at Southampton.
She arrived in Southampton for the first time on Friday, October 8, 2010, remaining at the Ocean Cruise Terminal to be inspected by media and the travel industry prior to her maiden voyage (which sold out in a mere 29 minutes when it was announced for sale on 1 April 2009), a thirteen night Atlantic Isles cruise that departed on Tuesday, October 12.
HM Queen Elizabeth (seated in cerulean blue) prior to naming the new MV QUEEN ELIZABETH at Southampton. Photo and copyright Peter Knego 2010.
The ship was christened by HM Queen Elizabeth in a gala ceremony on the afternoon of Monday, October 11, invoking the royal launch of the first QUEEN ELIZABETH by the Queen Mother Elizabeth in 1938, attended by the then 12 year old HRH Princess Ellizabeth and her sister, Princess Margaret. The young Elizabeth, first as princess, then as queen, went on to launch and or name a series of important cruise ships and liners, including Cunard’s CARONIA in 1947, Shaw Savill’s SOUTHERN CROSS in 1954, Canadian Pacific’s EMPRESS OF BRITAIN in 1955, Cunard’s QE2 in 1967 and Cunard’s QUEEN MARY 2 in 2006.
QUEEN ELIZABETH at Ocean Cruise Terminal on Sunday, October 10, 2010.
All Photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2010 unless otherwise noted. Please click on image to view a larger version.
Additional deck "crowns" new QUEEN. Photo and copyright Peter Knego 2010.
Externally, the twelve passenger deck QUEEN ELIZABETH differs from the slightly smaller QUEEN VICTORIA with the additional glass-enclosed structure atop her bridge on Deck 11, as well as her more vertical stern which houses more accommodation and a larger lido than the VICTORIA.
Our Decked! tour will begin at the highest passenger level and work its way gradually down, from fore to aft.
Facing forward from midships/port Deck 12.
Deck 12, facing port from forward.
Facing aft along port Deck 12.
The platform surrounding the funnel on Deck 12 is the highest point on the ship.
Funnel from starboard.
It overlooks the Pavilion Pool area midships and glass screens provide a certain degree of shelter from the wind.
Forward Deck 11
Bowls Court, facing starboard.
Deck 11 is divided into fore and aft “islands”. The forward Games Court or “English Garden” is housed under the distinctive canopied structure atop the superstructure that distinguishes the ship from her sister, QUEEN VICTORIA. It has many design trademarks of senior Princess architect Giacomo Mortola and resembles similar “Sanctuary” fixtures atop the Mortola-designed GRAND and CROWN class Princess ships.
Bowls Court instructions.
The QUEEN ELIZABETH features the world’s first sea-going bowls court (although several Brit. based lines such as Fred. Olsen and Voyages of Discovery do offer improvised versions of the game. The astroturf-decked area surrounding the radio mast housing also features paddle tennis and croquet courts.
Midships Deck 11, facing aft.
Games get a bit more cerebral in the aft portion of the forward island of Deck 11 with an elevated, oversized chess board.
Facing aft from Deck 11 over midships pool area.
Surrounding the chessboard is a semi-circular platform that overlooks the Pavilion Pool from forward.
Midships Deck 11
Midships Deck 11, facing aft from starboard.
Midships Deck 11, facing starboard.
The external portion of Midships Deck 11 begins with a sunning and observation terrace.
Grill Lounge, facing starboard.
Grill Lounge, facing starboard from center.
The domed, 34 seat Grill Lounge begins the small, exclusive group of public spaces on midships Deck 11. This “ship within a ship” portion of the QUEEN ELIZABETH is reserved for the vessel’s Grill category passengers. The lounge is used for afternoon tea as well as pre and post dinner aperitifs and drinks for those dining in either the Princess or Queens Grills, just aft.
Queens Grill, facing forward.
Queens Grill, facing inboard.
Queens Grill guests enjoy the ship’s most opulent suites and the grill that spans the port portion of midships Deck 11. The crescent-shaped space with a cream and gold decorative palette offers spectacular sea views, exemplary service and some of the richest foods on the high seas to please even the most discriminating palettes.
Princess Grill, facing forward.
Princess Grill, facing inboard from aft.
The 122 seat Princess Grill is the starboard side complement of the Queens Grill with a similar layout and decorative fixtures.
Grill Patio, facing starboard.
Both grills share a sheltered, al fresco patio with a water fountain, just aft, that accommodates 28 guests for meals and afternoon tea.
Commodore Club, facing starboard.
Commodore Club corner, facing aft.
Deck 10 begins with the 122 seat Commodore Club observation lounge. Seating lines the perimeter of the room which has floor to ceiling windows on three sides and handsome alcoves featuring paintings depicting Cunard’s most recent QUEENs by maritime artist Robert Lloyd. A bar and small dance floor are located in the aft/center portion of the room.
Admiral's Lounge, facing aft.
The small Admiral’s Lounge is located directly aft of the Commodore Club on the starboard side and is accessed by the starboard passageway.
Churchill's, facing aft.
Churchill’s cigar lounge is located aft of the Commodore Club and is also accessed via the starboard passageway.
Deck 10 couples' therapy room, facing port.
Just aft of the Commodore Club on the port side of Deck 10, there are couples spa therapy suites, which are connected to the Cunard Royal Spa on Deck 9 via a private staircase.
Yacht Club, facing starboard.
Featuring 270 degree views, the 90 seat Yacht Club is one of the QUEEN ELIZABETH’s more striking venues. It features a domed skylight, modern decor, floor to ceiling windows in its aft portion, a small bandstand, bar and dance floor.
QE2 model in Yacht Club.
One of the special highlights of the Yacht Club of particular interest to Cunard Line fans and ocean liner enthusiasts in general, is the solid silver model of the QE2, rescued from the famed Cunarder’s entrance lobby.
Midships Pool area, facing forward.
Midships Deck 10 continues with two finite open air verandahs on either side overlooking the Pavilion Pool and two jacuzzis on Deck 9.
The Zone, facing aft.
Sheltered outdoor decks lead aft to the child and teen areas of the ship. On the starboard side, there is the Zone, the ship’s dedicated teen tween center with video games, computers and.
Play Zone, facing aft.
Deck 10 outdoor play area.
On the port side, there is the Play Zone area for young children, with adjoining play area.
Night name from starboard Deck 10.
Aft/stbd Deck 10, facing forward.
Promenades span aft to a small terrace overlooking the stern on Deck 10.
Over stern from Deck 10.
From the farthest aft portion of Deck 10, there is a nice view of the QUEEN ELIZABETH’s expanded aft pool and lido.
Forward Deck 9, facing port.
The forward portion of Deck 9 begins with a narrow observation platform that is accessed through the emergency exit doors on either side of the Fitness Center.
Gym, facing starboard.
QUEEN ELIZABETH has an excellent gym with a large variety of cardio equipment (treadmills, ellipticals, stair machines, stationary bikes and spinning machines), free weights, weight machines and an aerobics/stretching area.
Spa meeting room, facing forward.
The Cunard Royal Spa is aft adjacent to the fitness center. On the port side are numerous treatment rooms and the women’s changing area. There is also a small meeting room where classes are held.
Beauty Salon, facing aft.
At the aft end of the port side of the Cunard Royal Spa, there is the Beauty Salon.
Foot therapy suite.
Adjoining the Beauty Salon is a foot therapy suite with three stations.
Men's Spa Changing Area.
Men's Spa Shower Area, facing forward.
The men’s changing and shower area is on the starboard side of the spa, just aft of the gym. During my visit, it still had shipyard workers putting on the finishing touches.
A dry sauna is at the after end of the men’s changing area.
Spa Relaxation Area, facing aft.
Spa Waiting Room, facing starboard.
On the starboard side of the Cunard Royal Spa, there is also a waiting are and relaxation room.
Hydrotherapy pool, facing aft.
The Hydrotherapy Pool is at the aft end of the Cunard Royal Spa.
Pavilion Pool, facing forward.
The open air Pavilion Pool is located amidships and features two whirlpools.
Garden Lounge, facing port.
Garden Lounge, facing aft.
Just aft of the Pavilion Pool is the 134 seat Garden Lounge. Its soaring ceiling is inspired by the glass houses of Kew Gardens. It is the ship’s conservatory style venue, home to afternoon teas and supper club gatherings. Its complement on the QUEEN VICTORIA has a sliding glass Magrodome ceiling but somehow lacks the dynamic scale of this room.
Garden Lounge, facing aft from starboard.
The Garden Lounge has a bar on its aft/port side and space for dancing. Wicker seating lines it perimeter.
Lido Restaurant, facing aft from port.
The Lido Restaurant is the ship’s casual 24 hour eatery featuring floor-to-ceiling windows seating 464 guests.
Lido Buffet serving station.
The QUEEN ELIZABETH’s lido also features three new extra tariff ($10 per person) dining options: Asado (South American cuisine), Azted (Authentic Regional Mexican) and Jasmine (Pan-Asiaan).
Aft/stbd pool bar.
Stern pool, facing forward.
The Lido Pool is served by a canopied al fresco bar on the starboard side. The lido, itself, is larger than that of the QUEEN VICTORIA’s due to the expanded stern that accommodates more suites just below.
Facing forward from fantail.
Here is where we will conclude the first portion of the QUEEN ELIZABETH tour.
End of QUEEN ELIZABETH Triple Decked!, Part One
Click Here for Part Two of QUEEN ELIZABETH Triple Decked!: Decks 8 to 1
Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea. With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications. Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India. He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
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