The Queen Mary 2 has implemented some big changes during its two-week refurbishment. Well over 18 miles of carpets have been replaced within the ship and major updates have gone into all of the ship’s staterooms as well as several of its bars.
The biggest and most controversial change has to do with the home port location painted directly below its name on the stern, in the tradition of all Cunard ships. The familiar location of “Southampton” UK now reads “Hamilton” which is located in Bermuda. This marks the end of an era, because this is the first time in the company’s 171-year history that they will have no ships registered within the United Kingdom.
The change in home port took place on December 1st of last year. This change allows the cruise line to allow weddings at sea. Prior to this, ceremonies carried out at sea were invalid due to British law, which does not recognize them.
Other rumors say that the change in registration may have been motivated by a desire to avoid Britain’s employment laws. The introduction of the 2010 Equality Act means that ships registered in Britain are required to pay all staff from European Union countries wages equal to those of British citizens. Registering the ship outside the EU will allow Cunard to sidestep this law.
The refurbishment, which was carried out in Hamburg, included new carpeting for the entire ship, curtains to match said carpets and new bedspreads for the ships 1,310 rooms. The Commodore Club, the Veuve Cliquot Champagne Bar, Sir Samuels’s bar and both of the Grill restaurants have acquired new furnishings along with the carpets.
The traditional British style pub, the Golden Lion has seen a complete redesign, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub has been upgraded, and the children’s area called the Play Zone has new gaming technology installed.
The Grand Lobby has a specially commissioned portrait of the Queen, by Gail Graham on display.
This refurbishment was carried out by more then a 1,000 workers over a two week timetable. They used 20,000 liters of paint and varnish and 1,250 loads were craned on to the ship.
Peter Shanks, president of Cunard said, “Queen Mary 2 is an iconic leader in the world of luxury ocean travel. We are committed to maintaining that impeccable reputation, and this significant refurbishment is an important investment on behalf of our guests.”
The ship returned to service on December 19th, when it sailed from New York to the Caribbean.