Cruise News: A First Look at the Queen Mary 2's New Makeover

by  Fran Golden | Jun 8, 2016

The famous, transatlantic ocean liner Queen Mary 2 is out of the water at the Blohm & Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany for a 25-day makeover. Visiting this week on a hardhat tour, we got a sneak preview of what's to come when the ship sets sail again later this month.

It's clear that the 12-year-old Cunard Line ship is getting much more than a wrinkle or two removed -- this is an all-out redo. Right now, the shipboard is a hub of activity: 4,000 contractors and yard workers, plus crew, are working round-the-clock shifts; the decks are covered in sawdust and the smell of fresh paint is in the air.

Significant changes include removing an elevator bank to add more space to areas like the King's Court Buffet -- which is also undergoing a much-needed reconfiguration -- and replacing now-defunct features with high-tech, modern ones. For instance, the old-fashioned Winter Garden will become the sleeker, more contemporary Carinthia Lounge.

In addition to upgrades to the current staterooms, 35 new rooms arrived in prefab blocks and were hoisted into place on Deck 13. Plus, there are 15 new cabins for solo travelers, which -- even unfurnished -- look impressive. Snag one on Deck 3, and you'll get a light-filled space with two giant portholes. The new additions will bring the ship's total passenger capacity to 2,961.

Last but not least, since the Queen Mary 2 is the only ship to carry pets, the facelift wouldn't be complete without a little lift for our four-legged friends. The kennels are getting an upgrade that includes the addition of original art (yes, for the dogs and cats).

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