By the end of 2016, all of QM2's cabins will have received an update with some Britannia cabins still being refurbished. Cabins are well-lit and airy and feel spacious inside. Even the smallest of the cabins, the Britannia Single, with two large circular windows, feels light and roomy. The cabins' new look gives them a more contemporary feel with subtle extravagances -- notably the plush royal blue cushions and soft furnishings – that lead to a more luxurious feel. All cabins feature newly upholstered chairs, brand-new sofas with an oval coffee table and new carpets that feel ultra-soft on the feet.
With the exception of the new Single cabins, all have king beds that can be converted into a twin, sandwiched between a nightstand and a bedside lamp. All cabins feature a brand-new Samsung satellite flat-screen TV with a selection of multi-language film and TV channels. TVs are attached to the wall opposite the bed or placed on a fitted cabinet in the larger cabins. All cabins have a direct dial telephone, refrigerator, hair dryer, safe -- which fits a laptop -- ample hanging and storage space, writing/vanity desk and chair, a two-seater sofa and coffee table. While some of the bigger suites contain illy coffee machines, one new addition to all cabins are tea and coffee-making facilities including a kettle, Twinings English Breakfast tea and Cafe Hag instant coffee sachets.
All cabins carry Luxury Penhaligon toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, a combined shower and bath gel, and a body lotion, plus robes and slippers. All bathrooms feature a hanging rail suitable for drying clothes. There are two 220v British three-pin and two 110V two-pin sockets in all cabins, plus a 220v and 110v shaving socket in all bathrooms. Passengers can control their cabin temperature with their own easy-to-use temperature control system.
All cabins include artwork by Paul Ward, the renowned architectural photographer, featuring photographic details of the three original Cunard offices -- Liverpool, Southampton and New York. Passengers in all cabins also receive a nightly turn-down service and a Godiva chocolate placed on the bed. It should be noted that the cabin stewards are excellent.
As well as the more obvious differences, such as size, subtle variations are visible between the lower and higher category cabins, too. Only suites feature teak flooring on the balconies, for example. Non-suites oddly have their hair dryers attached to the inside of a desk drawer, yet the suites have them in the bathrooms.
Interior: The 194-squarefoot interior cabins, located on Decks 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13, are sub-categorized into Standard Inside and Atrium View Inside cabins, with the 12 Atrium View cabins looking into the ship's Grand Lobby.
All interior cabin passengers receive a complimentary half-bottle of sparkling wine in their room on arrival, in addition to all of the amenities and features listed above. Interior cabin passengers are allocated to the Britannia Restaurant.
Oceanview: There are two categories of Oceanview cabins, made up of 15 brand-new Single cabins -- in two sizes, 178 and 183 square feet -- on Deck 2 and 3 and 62 Standard Outside cabins -- 194 square feet -- on Decks 5 and 6.
Single cabins are decorated in a color palette of fawn, neutral and violet with two large feature windows allowing light to flood into the room, giving a spacious feel. The 178-square-foot cabins include a double bed and one marble-top bedside table containing two drawers, with a stylish hanging ceiling light above, which frees up space on the nightstand to use as a shelf. The 183-square-foot Single cabins include a nightstand on both sides of the bed and a traditional bedside lamp (not an overhanging lamp) to one side, offering more storage space with the added drawers. The new Single cabins feature impressive "no-slam" wardrobe doors, too, which means there's less possibility of disturbing your neighbors.
Single cabins include a built-in window seat and either a large armchair with foot stool or a short-length chaise lounge, a small circular table by the window and a large mirror over the desk space. Because of how new they are, bathrooms in the Single cabins are arguably the most impressive of all the non-suite cabin bathrooms onboard. Finished with contemporary marble-effect gray tiles, the bathrooms include a shower with a small triangular corner shelf and a shower screen door -- meaning no clingy shower curtain -- and three larger shelves by the sink. There is one shelf and one rail for towels above the toilet.
Standard Outside cabins feature a king-sized bed that can be turned into two twin beds.
As with all cabins, the finishing details include royal blue bed coverings with a gold trim and luxury cushions on the bed and armchair. All Oceanview cabin passengers receive a complimentary half-bottle of sparkling wine in their room on arrival and are allocated to the Britannia Restaurant.
Balcony: There are two types of balcony cabins, Britannia Balcony and Britannia Club, with minimal differences between the two. With neutral color tones used in the carpets, walls and furnishings, both feel spacious and light.
Located on Decks 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12 and 13, the 248- and 269-square-foot Balcony cabins, some of which are sheltered (Deck 4, 5 and 6) or with obstructed views (Deck 8), make up the largest proportion of the ship's cabins.
Britannia Balcony cabins include a king-size bed, which can be separated into two twins, with a nightstand and lamp on either side, containing one drawer and a shelf below.
With four drawers and one and a half wardrobes designated for hanging space and a shelf above the hanging rail, there's ample storage space.
The bathrooms contain a shower, vanity sink and toilet, with one small corner shelf in the shower, two soap dishes and two small corner shelves above the vanity unit. Unfortunately, bathrooms have not been modernized in the refit and the uncomfortable shower base and clingy curtains remain.
Balconies feature two plastic-covered sun loungers and a small circular table.
The difference between Britannia Balcony and Britannia Club cabins is that a pillow menu and a full bottle of sparking wine is offered to Britannia Club passengers. Britannia Balcony passengers dine in the Britannia Restaurant.
Suites: Suites are categorized into Princess Grill, Queens Grill, Queens Grill Penthouses, Royal Suites and two sizes of Queens Grill Duplexes. The bigger they get, the more luxurious the suite feels.
Princess Grill: Located on Deck 10, the 381-square-foot Princess Suites are larger and more luxurious than the ship's Balcony cabins. With a stylish ash gray and cream color scheme on the walls, the updated cabins feel like stylish hotel suites. They contain more high-end fixtures, such as the plush nightstand lamps and gray wall padding behind the bed. There's extra desk space with shelf storage above and a short-back armchair as well as the sofa in the sitting area. The balcony is equipped with rattan-style furniture, including two padded armchair seats and a coffee table-size table, and features teak decking.
Princess Grill cabins also contain a separate glass cabinet and walk-in wardrobe with plenty of storage space. There's a bath and shower with a clingy shower curtain in the bathroom.
Added features include a concierge service, sparkling wine and chocolates in the cabin upon arrival, daily fresh fruit, personalized stationary and an upgraded soft velour robe and slippers. There's also an atlas provided in the cabin -- useful for tracking the ship's progress the old-fashioned way!
Queens Grill: Located on Decks 9, 10 and 11, the 506-square-foot Queens Grill suites feature a spacious living area, dressing room with walk-in wardrobe and bathroom with separate shower and whirlpool bath. Extra amenities include 24-hour butler service, concierge service, Champagne and chocolates upon embarkation, complimentary in-cabin drinks (including two bottles of wine or spirits of your choice and soft drinks), pre-dinner canapes, daily fresh fruit and a turn-down "surprise" on formal nights. Regular nightly turn-down service with chocolates is also provided and there's an atlas and a selection of books in the cabin's library.
The luxury factor is upped once again with splashes of red and touches such as the marble-top oval coffee table with stylish gold trim and legs, and other high-end furnishings lending a designer showroom feel.
Queens Grill passengers also receive priority embarkation, disembarkation and tender service. All Queens Grill passengers receive allocated dining in the Queens Grill.
Queens Grill Penthouse: Located on Decks 9 and 10, the six 758-square-foot Penthouse suites feature the same decor style as Queen Grill suites, with a dining room table and chairs, illy coffee machine (in addition to the kettle), a luxury Wedgwood tea set, an L-shaped sofa, two armchairs, a coffee table and luxury thick woolen blankets neatly stacked on an armchair in the living area.
A central island, which holds the TV, separates the living area from the bedroom. There's a walk-in wardrobe and separate walk-in rainforest shower and bath in the bathroom. Additional amenities are provided in the bathroom, including a body sponge, Gilchrist & Soames bath salts and a foot scrub.
While the lower category cabins are light-filled and airy, the more exclusive suites can afford to play with color schemes and patterns because of their size. The Penthouse features red, neutral and gray and a boldly patterned carpet, which actually makes the space feel homelier. Furniture is classic, but has that same designer-showroom quality. The luxury flows onto the balcony, which features teak-decking and timber furniture.
Royal Suites: The four Royal Suites include two cabin sizes, the 1,194-square foot Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth (with balconies) and the 796-square foot Queen Anne and Queen Victoria (without balconies).
Located at the front of Deck 10, the Royal Suites command breathtaking ocean views and feature a marble floor entrance, a dining area for eight (Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth) or four (Queen Anne and Queen Victoria), a secondary living area with a bathroom and flat-screen TV. There's another TV in the bedroom, which also features a walk-in wardrobe and master bathroom with shower and separate whirlpool bath.
Queens Grill Duplexes: There are two types of Queens Grill Duplexes onboard -- Duplex Apartments known as Windsor, Buckingham and Holyrood, and Grand Duplex Apartments known as Balmoral and Sandringham. The only difference is the size, ranging from 1,471 to 2,249 square feet.
Queens Grill Duplexes, located on decks 9 and 10 (accessed via Deck 9), have a luxury beach condo-style feel, with a sweeping staircase taking center stage. Duplexes include two-bathrooms -- one downstairs and one upstairs. There's a butler's kitchen for preparing refreshments or in-room dining, a dining room table and chairs seating eight, a large open sitting area furnished with side tables, a large coffee table, an armchair and foot stool and a freestanding writing desk with chair.
Upstairs, passengers benefit from their own ocean-facing TechnoGym exercise bike, an armchair with a side table and binoculars for spying dolphins and other passing sea life.
There's a large bedroom, featuring a flat-screen TV that leads to more spaces, a writing area with desk and chair and "his and hers" dressing rooms with connecting bathrooms.
One bathroom features a whirlpool bath -- including a window over the bath so passengers taking a soak can also see out to sea -- a sink and vanity unit with a shaving mirror and a toilet, while the other features a shower, sink, bidet shower and toilet.