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Queen Elizabeth

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Queen Elizabeth captures the glamour of yesteryear when steamer trunks, formal dining and ballroom galas were all the rage at sea. At the same time, it provides the expected conveniences of modern times like computer lounges and plenty of shopping opportunities. But while it's a modern ship, Queen Elizabeth relies on its chic, geometric Art Deco-inspired interiors to set the tone. There's no neon or glitz, and there are few gimmicks. Instead of capturing the public's imagination with water slides and high-tech nightclubs, Cunard cashes in on its nostalgic heritage with ballroom dancing, lawn bowls and afternoon tea in the Garden Lounge.

If the onboard aura and sentimental pursuits call up the past, so, too does Cunard's cabin category system in which the cabin you're staying in dictates lounge and dining room access. While this might add to the exclusivity of the ship, it isn't exactly a luxury experience. While the main dining food (and even room service) are high quality, there's some of the same nickel-and-diming that you'd find on any other big ship (charging for water in cabins and on shore excursions, for example) -- just in a more polished setting. Sadly, with so much going for it, our biggest disappointment onboard came from the service -- a far cry from the touted standard of White Star Service we were expecting. Aside from a select few crew members who were exceptionally helpful or friendly, service onboard was surprisingly lacking. Cabin attendants seemed disinterested or downright depressed, staff bickered in the spa, bar managers reprimanded waiters loudly in front of passengers and servers seemed annoyed by simple requests. Crew either went above and beyond or couldn't be bothered at all.

Apart from a few high-trafficked areas, like the buffet or close to the theatre after a show, you'll never feel crowded on Queen Elizabeth; there are plenty of nooks and crannies to settle into and enjoy the quiet that comes with this style of cruising. If you've been feeling like you need a break from the rat race, a cruise on Queen Elizabeth offers you the chance to just sit and watch the world go by. For more details about cabins, dining and things to do, see the separate sections of this review.

Daytime: During the day, stylish casual wear, including jeans and shorts, is fine onboard. The Britannia Restaurant requires a casual wear dress code for breakfast and lunch.

Evening: The evening dress code comes into play at 6 p.m. On informal nights, which are still more formal than on most cruise lines, smart attire is required; men should wear a jacket (ties are not required) and ladies may opt for a dress, skirt or trousers. No jeans or shorts are allowed. There is no limit to the glamour on formal nights, called gala evenings -- typically three on a 10-night sailing (two on Alaska voyages). People make a big effort to dress up, with lots of long gowns. Many gala evenings are also themed -- masquerade or Roaring Twenties -- so be sure to check out the schedule before packing to include any costume elements. For passengers who don't want to dress up on formal nights, the nightly dinner buffet in The Lido -- along with the Golden Lion Pub, the Carinthia Lounge, the casino, the Garden Lounge and the Yacht Club -- has a casual and relaxed dress code (still no shorts). You'll have to be dressed up to visit anywhere else onboard, including the theatre. There is a relaxed dress code in the Britannia Restaurant on the first night of every cruise, which does not require a jacket.

Not permitted: Swimsuits, sarongs and gym wear are allowed poolside, on deck and in the spa and fitness centre, but passengers must be covered up in any other areas of the ship. Shorts, torn or tattered clothing, sandals or sleeveless T-shirts are not permitted in any part of the ship after 6 p.m. ## Cunard Queen Elizabeth Inclusions

 

Daytime

During the day, there are plenty of activities to choose from on Queen Elizabeth, but a lot are unhosted: paddle tennis, shuffleboard, croquet, deck quoits (similar to ring toss), darts, needlework and knitting, and chess. Other options might include dance lessons, movie screenings, daily trivia and bridge lessons. Foil fencing lessons are held in the Queens Room at no charge, though you will need to get on the sought-after sign-up list to participate. An instructed watercolour class is held a handful of times (in a section of the Britannia Restaurant) for $35 a session (and limited to 25 spots). Bridge lessons are available free of charge. Collect stickers from the various activities in a booklet and redeem it for prizes at the end of your sailing. Cunard is also well-known for its enrichment program, and there are technology seminars, cooking demos and art talks -- proper ones, not just attempts to sell the art in the Clarendon Fine Art Gallery onboard. Guest lecturers vary as part of the Cunard Insights program and offer in-depth talks on wildlife, architecture and politics -- largely depending on your itinerary. An onboard naturalist joined us for our Alaska itinerary and was heavily involved in the onboard programming. An interesting behind-the-scenes option is the free galley visit, held once per cruise, which provides cruisers a sneak peek at the logistics involved in the ship's culinary operation. Daily meetings include get-togethers for solo travellers, Christian fellowship, LGBTQ and Friends of Bill W.

By Night

There's live music all over Queen Elizabeth. Evenings kick off with either a harpist or a pianist in the Grand Lobby, which is lovely if you're enjoying a pre-dinner drink in the Cafe Carinthia or the Midships Bar, both of which overlook the area. A singing pianist entertains in the Golden Lion Pub, interspersed with quizzes and karaoke, while there's mellow piano up in the Commodore Club, another great pre-dinner and late-night drinking spot. At the heart of a Queen Elizabeth cruise is dancing, and there is dancing every day, morning, noon and night. Most of it is in the Queens Room, a lavish ballroom built for this very purpose. During the day you can find dance lessons here. Every night, there's ballroom and Latin dancing before and after dinner, usually to a live band, as well as dancing at afternoon tea and classes in the mornings. Single ladies are kept on their toes by gentleman hosts. The Queens Room is also the venue for jazz concerts and classical piano recitals. Formal Royal Balls take place every few nights (on the gala evenings).

The other big evening events are the shows in the stunning theatre, complete with 20 V.I.P. boxes. A dedicated Royal Cunard Company of singers and dancers stage variety and dance spectaculars (including a performance based on "The Greatest Showman"), which are interspersed throughout the week with guest acts -- a comedian or a capella group, for example. For $69 (plus 15 percent) per couple, you can book one of the boxes. The full package includes a Champagne cocktail and a tray of petit fours in a private lounge, attended by Cunard's scarlet-uniformed White Star Bell Boys, and a half-bottle of Laurent-Perrier in the box. It's a lovely idea, and there's a real sense of excitement when the ticket, like a proper theatre ticket, is delivered to your stateroom. Our only criticism is for the plastic screen in front of the seats, which means everything on the stage is slightly distorted. Evenings bring plenty of other diversions, as well. Forward of the Queens Room is the Empire Casino with the Golden Lion Pub on one side. The casino has table games like roulette and blackjack, as well as numerous slots. Bets range from a $5 minimum to a $200 maximum, or $25 to $500 on a high-rollers' table.

 

Queen Elizabeth Bars & Lounges

There are a number of comfortable and stylish places to drink onboard Queen Elizabeth, including a traditional British pub, a lounge with a surprising cocktail menu and a not-so-hidden gem.

Cafe Carinthia (Deck 2): Cafe Carinthia is a light-filled space that serves as a coffee and tea lounge as well as a bar. Complimentary pastries are offered for breakfast, with light bites in the afternoon for lunch and tea time. Speciality coffees and teas are served alongside wine and mixed drinks. All drinks carry a fee.

Queens Room (Deck 2): The venue for afternoon tea and occasional galas, the Queens Room is an elegant space with a stage and a spacious dance floor lit by a huge Swarovski chandelier. Big band nights with ballroom dancing and Latin nights are regular occurrences here. On port days, the lounge often serves as a meeting point for tours.

Golden Lion Pub (Deck 2): Golden Lion is a traditional British-style pub and the place to be for viewing sports tournaments or playing trivia over a round of draft beers. The beer selection is respectable, with a selection of British brands like Boddingtons. Occasional pub lunches and dinners are served here, for free. Karaoke is held here on select nights.

Midships (Gin & Fizz) Bar (Deck 3): The Midships Bar is the perfect place to go for a drink before or after dinner. Also known as the Gin & Fizz Bar, you'll find menu of more than 40 gins with thousands of tonic combinations. Even if you think you don't like gin, bartenders might change your mind with their scholarly level of knowledge and a flourish when it comes to complementing flavours that enhance or hide the gin, depending on your preference. For the already converted, we recommend one of the perfect pours (go with Queen Victoria). For sceptics who don't mind sweet, try the Mary Rose cocktail -- it was a favourite on our sailing.

Garden Lounge (Deck 9): The Garden Lounge is a popular hangout space during the day, accommodating readers and crossword puzzle-doers with comfy cane chairs and speciality coffees, teas and a full bar. The sunny solarium setting was inspired by the glasshouses at Kew Gardens in London. In the morning, a great selection of fresh juices and smoothies are available for purchase. Fencing lessons are held here, along with live music performances in the afternoons. On Alaska sailings, an Alaska Outpost is located in one corner with maps, educational materials and office hours with the onboard naturalist.

Lido Pool Bar & Grill (Deck 9): The Lido Pool Bar, at the back of the ship, is the site of the sail-away party on the first afternoon with a DJ playing party music, while onboard performers encourage passengers to dance and there's even a Champagne cart (but you'll have to pay for drinks). Other days, the bar serves patrons at the adjacent pool, weather permitting. A selection of drinks -- including great mocktails -- as well as crisps are on offer. Some afternoons you can even grab a hot dog or hamburger and munch under a shaded canopy.

Yacht Club (Deck 10): The casual nighttime venue onboard Queen Elizabeth is the Yacht Club, which serves as a nightclub with DJ-ed music after hours (9:30 p.m. and later). There is a dance floor, a bar and plenty of seating near windows overlooking the pool outside. The Yacht Club features a full bar with a specialized menu of Old Fashioneds (whiskey and bitters)if you're feeling adventurous, ask if your drink can come in a tiki cup. (Drinks are not permitted on the dance floor.)

Commodore Club (Deck 10): During the day this space functions as an observation lounge with excellent views of the sea from the front of the ship. By night, the relaxed atmosphere continues with mellow musical performances, low lighting and intimate seating. The lounge boasts a nautical theme that is complemented by a series of detailed (and pricy) drinks inspired by former Cunard captains. We were also impressed by the breadth of the drinks menu -- virtually any spirit you might want (and some you have never heard of) can be poured in the Commodore Club. It's the ultimate spot for a nightcap.

Churchill's Cigar Lounge (Deck 10): Enjoy a cigar at Churchill's (purchase from Commodore Club first, prices range from $20 to $40 apiece). A nod to the former British prime minister and his affinity for cigars, it's one of the few places to smoke (but not cigarettes) inside of the ship.

Grills Lounge (Deck 11): The dedicated lounge for passengers booked in suites is at the top of the ship, near the Grills restaurants. There is also an upper terrace and outdoor courtyard.

 

Queen Elizabeth Outdoor Recreation

Pools

There are two pools on Deck 9: the Pavilion Pool, midship and the aft Lido Pool, which is surrounded by a huge sunbathing area and serves as the venue for sail-away parties. Each pool has its own bar and two Jacuzzis.

Recreation

Queen Elizabeth offers some unusual outdoor activities -- though none involve water slides or adrenaline-pumping attractions. The covered Games Deck, a throwback to simpler pursuits, is up on Deck 11, with paddle tennis, short mat bowls and croquet. Vintage murals and white lampposts complete the nostalgic feel. Nearby, a netted golf area allows you to practice your swing. Table tennis is available on Deck 9, outside of the spa near the midship pool.

Sun Decks

Passengers seeking sun on Queen Elizabeth can find real estate (and padded loungers) near both pools (midship and aft on Deck 9). Suite passengers can relax in privacy on the Grills upper terrace on Deck 12\. Padded wooden loungers providing some shade (good for reading) can also be found around the promenade area on Deck 3.

 

Queen Elizabeth Services

The front desk, also known as the Purser's Office, is located at the foot of the atrium on Deck 1. Adjacent are the tour office for shore excursion assistance and the voyage sales office for booking future Cunard cruises. Many of Queen Elizabeth's public spaces can be found surrounding the stunning three-deck Grand Lobby, which features curving staircases and a carved wooden panel by the nephew of the Queen, David Linley. Above, stretching from Decks 2 to 3, is the library -- a dying breed on many cruise ships. Here, it is a venerated space. Polished wood paneling, stained glass and a two-story spiral staircase draw you in to a space packed with approximately 6,000 volumes, including a notable reference section that includes works on the various ports and destinations from each itinerary the ship sails. A mini-museum of ship memorabilia is at the front, and ocean-view desks are at the back. The library desk is staffed on and off throughout the day, and a librarian must be present to borrow any books. Next to the library, on Deck 3, is a card room with bridge tables and an alcove where a jigsaw puzzle is almost certainly in play. Deck 3 is also where the shops are located, along a stretch called the Royal Arcade. The onboard shops feel more like boutiques -- featuring designers like Max Mara -- than the standard duty-free souvenir grab. You'll find logo items and duty-free goods, along with a book shop selling curated books and curios. The Port Shop sells necessities, like toothpaste and shampoo. The Clarendon Fine Art Gallery is also on Deck 3. The photo gallery is on Deck 3, toward the Britannia Restaurant, and utilizes digital kiosks to display photos to passengers, reducing the waste of unnecessary printouts. The space also sells camera and video equipment and accessories. A computer lounge is on Deck 1, with plenty of stations for passengers to log on and check email. Internet packages are available for a fee. There are a handful of meeting rooms onboard Queen Elizabeth on Decks 1 and 3, designated as ConneXions 1, 2 and 3. The Admiral's Lounge on Deck 10 can also serve as a meeting room. Self-service launderettes are scattered throughout the ship between cabins on Decks 4, 5, 7 and 8. They're a much cheaper alternative to the ship's laundry services and completely free (even detergent). Just be aware that doors lock at 9 p.m., even if your clothes are still in the dryer! Smoking is permitted in designated sections on Decks 3 and 10, starboard only. The medical centre is located below Deck 1 on Deck A. The Mareel Wellness & Beauty centre (run by Canyon Ranch) is located on Deck 9 and houses a hair salon, treatment rooms, a fitness centre and a thermal suite.

Spa

Drawing its inspiration from the ocean and the elements, the calming spa offers marine-themed treatments under the "Ocean Discovery" moniker, including seaweed bathing rituals and a luminescence massage. The 80-minute Taste the Ocean includes samplers of these treatments for about $209. The spa menu includes a variety of body treatments, acupuncture and reflexology, along with manicures, pedicures and hair styling. Prices range from $135 for a 50-minute Mareel massage to $300 for a 100-minute deep-tissue massage. Facials run about $76 for 30 minutes. A one-day pass to the thermal suite is $35 and includes access to a thalassotherapy pool, heated ceramic loungers, various steam rooms, aromatherapy showers and a sauna. Voyage-long passes are available, but pricing varies by cruise.

Fitness

A fitness centre can be found inside the Mareel Spa. The space is not massive but contains about 36 machines (including 11 treadmills) for complimentary use, as well as fit balls and free weights. Spin bikes are available by booking a class for an additional fee. Personal fitness instruction is available, also for a fee, as well as a number of classes such as yoga or boot camp -- these typically range from $12 to $18 per class. A wraparound promenade on Deck 3 provides a nice space for a walk -- jogging is only permitted between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Three laps equal 0.9 miles.

Whether it was molasses-glazed reindeer loin (we sailed in Alaska) in the main dining room, a burger in the pub, a salmon appetizer in the steakhouse or tomato soup sent to our cabin, the food onboard Queen Elizabeth was consistently tasty and well prepared. Service, however, was inconsistent -- from slow to downright aggressive. Though you could easily spend 10 days onboard and never get tired of the selections in the main dining room, the ship does offer a handful of extra-fee venues, and though our alternative dining experiences were mixed, they were mostly positive. The Verandah steakhouse is an incredible value and well worth the time and extra expense, while La Piazza, the Italian night in the for-fee section of the Lido, was mediocre and dragged on for too long. We were told by other passengers that the extra-fee Asian night in the Lido (called Bamboo), was excellent with a delicious black cod; some went two nights in a row. Passengers can bring one bottle of wine or Champagne onboard, but larger quantities need to be approved by Cunard before the voyage. A $20-per-bottle corkage fee applies for wine brought onboard and consumed in the restaurants.

Free

Britannia Restaurant (Decks 2 and 3)

Meals: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L) and Dinner (D): The main dining room is the lofty, two-tier Britannia Restaurant, where everybody -- except those in Grill suites and Britannia Club cabins -- dines. There are two set dinner seatings: 5:30 and 7:45 p.m. Tables are allocated in twos, fours, sixes and eights. Britannia is also open for a full, cooked, waiter-served breakfast (including pancakes, waffles, omelettes and eggs Benedict) from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on sea days (7:30 to 9 a.m. on port days) and lunch from about noon to 1:30 p.m. every day, with open seating at both.

At dinner, there's a wide choice on the dinner menu, and *everything* changes nightly -- even on a 10-night sailing. Expect about eight appetizers and entrees (at least one of which is a vegetarian or vegan choice) and six desserts, as well as a cheese plate. Typical dishes include broiled lobster tail or duck. Vegetarians should note that there's also a full veggie menu available on request with plenty of choices, so coupled with the options on the main menu, it's easy to have a varied and meat-free vacation. Passengers with any special dietary request are asked to place orders 24 hours in advance.

In all the main restaurants, the more healthful dishes are marked as "Canyon Ranch Spa Selections" (Canyon Ranch is the company that operates the onboard Mareel Spa). Desserts include global classics like creme brulee and chocolate parfaits, as well as some English classics like rhubarb pie; plus, there's always a sugar-free option. Waiters bring around petit fours after dinner, which is a nice touch.

Lido Buffet (Deck 9)

Meals: Open 24/7: The ship's all-day casual dining venue is the Lido. Breakfast begins early -- 4:30 a.m. -- and takes various forms until to 10:30 a.m., followed by lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Afternoon tea (considered a "snack") is served until 6 p.m. and dinner is from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with late-night snacks available from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. The variety is respectable, with a mix of British, American and Asian options: eggs (to order if you want), bacon (English and crispy American), sausages, fried potatoes and other usual morning items. Coffee and juice come out of machines, which attract long queues.

Lunchtime has a pizza and pasta station (open until 4 p.m., which can be a life-saver on port days), a sandwich station, salad and dessert bars, and hot choices like grilled sole, steak and traditional English dishes like roasts, hot pots and meat pies.

Dinners are typically themed and might offer dishes that incorporate the destinations on your itinerary. The layout of the Lido is not particularly user-friendly; it took us a while to work out where everything was and to realize some counters are duplicated. The waiters don't serve much of a purpose here -- every morning we hoped someone would pour us a cup of hot coffee, but it never happened.

Golden Lion Pub (Deck 2)

Meals: L, D: The British-themed Golden Lion Pub serves free pub lunches, featuring staples like bangers (sausages) and mash, fish and chips, cottage pie and ploughman's lunches (a platter of cold meats and cheese). There are also occasional (free) evening meals with a mile-high house burger with a brisket patty on top of lettuce, tomato, onion and a burger patty on a crunchy bun (with fries served with a tangy beer ketchup).

Afternoon Tea at the Queens Room (Deck 2)

Meals: Snacks: Like clockwork, every day at 3 p.m., the doors to the Queens Room open, white-gloved servers carrying silver trays appear and you are expected to politely clap as Afternoon Tea commences. It *is* worthy of applause, as crustless sandwiches, cakes and, of course, a choice of tea (a black afternoon blend or Earl Grey) is served to you in courses against a sophisticated backdrop featuring classical music from either a harpist, a pianist or the string trio. And don't forget the scones, accompanied by cream and jam. We were surprised how good they were, to be honest, considering this is a daily included experience.

Britannia Club (Deck 2)

Meals: B, L, D: One step up from the Britannia is the Britannia Club, a separate dining room for anyone staying in the Britannia Club cabins. Small and intimate with a cream and teal color scheme, this pretty room has windows all along one side and tables for two, four and six. The menu is a tweaked version of what's found in Britannia, and you get a more exclusive atmosphere, with a team of ultraprofessional staff who quickly remember your name and personal likes and dislikes. Dinner is open seating from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Princess Grill (Deck 11)

Meals: B, L, D: Located on the upper decks of the ship are the two Grill restaurants reserved exclusively for passengers staying in Princess or Queens Grill cabins, in an area accessible only with a special keycard or up a staircase marked "Grill guests only beyond this point." Both dining rooms, which share a cocktail lounge with views over the pool, have a chocolate and gold colour scheme and are adorned with ornate, backlit glass panels and flooded with early evening sunlight from windows all along one side. The two Grills share a pretty outdoor terrace, decked out with Italian tiles and a splashing fountain, partly sheltered from the wind by high walls. Princess Grill offers a similar menu to the Britannia Restaurant but with more items and a long, always-available a la carte menu.

Queens Grill (Deck 11)

Meals: B, L, D: Queens Grill has an even bigger a la carte menu than Princess Grill -- essentially, you can have whatever you like, whether it's beef Wellington or lamb flambeed tableside. Tableside cooking is a special feature of the restaurant, with options like crepes Suzette for dessert.

Room Service

Meals: 24/7: The room service menu has a great selection at no charge. Favourites include a tomato soup with basil oil, a steak sandwich and a hearty super-food salad with squash, pomegranate, avocado, spinach, toasted seeds and more. There's a brunch menu, a day menu, a children's menu, desserts (cake in a mug, anyone?) and even a late-night menu with offerings from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. -- still at no cost. Drinks and a selection of speciality items carry a fee.

 

For Fee

Pricing was accurate at time of review but may have changed since.

Alternative Dining at the Lido Buffet (Deck 9); $19.50

Meals: D: In the evenings, one side of the Lido turns into a themed, waiter-service venue, which changes every three days or so (open 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.). Themes include Aztec (Mexican), Bamboo (pan-Asian), Coriander (Indian) and La Piazza (Italian). It's a low-cost way to spend a night out if you need a break from the main restaurant or the buffet, but note, just because it's in the Lido doesn't mean it's informal -- jackets are required for men.

The Verandah (Deck 2); $25 for lunch, $39 for dinner

Meals: L, D: The Verandah is a chic steakhouse open 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. each evening and for lunch on sea days from noon to 1:30 p.m. The food and service are excellent, and the atmosphere is elegant but relaxed. We delighted in the small touches, like presenting the cuts of meat before ordering or being able to choose your steak knife from an appealing selection of handles and blades. Nonmeat-eaters will still be satisfied with plenty of seafood choices or a gourmet veggie burger.

Champagne Tea (location varies); $35

Meals: Snacks: Once per voyage, a full-scale Champagne tea is served, including a glass of Laurent-Perrier (rose or brut) and a selection of loose-leaf Twinings tea, as well as a tempting array of cakes. On our sailing, it was held inside the attractive Britannia Club restaurant, and a harpist played as we nibbled on pumpkin scones, maple butter tarts, butter-poached snow crab on an avocado bagel and cold baked Alaska mousse with a lemon sponge.

In-Cabin Champagne Breakfast; $75:

If you're looking to splurge, a Champagne breakfast delivered right to your cabin is available for a set fee. Your choice of breakfast entrees is accompanied by coffee or tea, juices and a half-bottle of Champagne. In Alaska, a crab quiche, wild berry pancakes and a loaded salmon bagel are some of the menu selections. A crew member will bring a white tablecloth and china to complete the occasion.

There are 1,055 cabins onboard Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, with 885 in the Britannia (or standard) category and the rest split among Britannia Club, Princess Grill and Queens Grill suites. Most cabins -- about 70 percent -- have a balcony. Overall, cabins are cosy -- small in the standard categories, but comfortable. Most rooms have two twin beds that can be pushed together to form one bed, and we found the bedding to be extremely comfortable. However, storage space is a little lacking, especially for those longer voyages. There are his and hers closets, but space to put folded clothes is limited outside of this area. All cabins come with flat-screen TVs with channels spanning multiple languages as well as ship channels where you can gaze at the bow of the ship or watch a lecture held in the theatre. There are also room phones, mini-fridges, a safe and Penhaligon (British brand) toiletries in the bathroom. Outlets are few, but there are U.S. - and UK-compatible varieties -- find them by the desk/mirror.

We weren't enamoured with the bathrooms in the standard cabins; they are a bit tight, with showers only (and a clingy curtain). Our toiletries didn't fit on the soap shelf in the shower -- we had to keep everything on the floor. (And forget about trying to shave your legs -- it's a little tricky.) We also had trouble hanging our towels on the hook behind the bathroom door; the towels never stayed.

We do like that every cabin comes with a robe and slippers, nightly turn-down service with chocolates, and a welcome drink (a half-bottle of sparkling wine in Britannia staterooms). Fresh fruit is available on request in non-suites. Mini-bars are stocked with for-fee drinks and snacks, and even bottled water carries a charge.

Cabin Categories

Inside: Inside cabins (standard and deluxe) range from 152 to 243 square feet. **Oceanview:** Ocean view, also known as outside cabins, range from 180 to 197 square feet.

Balcony: Standard balcony cabins are 228 square feet or slightly more.

Single: There are nine single staterooms --in Inside and Ocean View categories -- priced specifically for solo travellers without a single supplement onboard Queen Elizabeth. Room sizes range from about 133 to 159 square feet.

Suites: Suites make up about 16 percent of the cabins on Queen Elizabeth and come with an array of perks that depend on the suite category. Britannia Club: There are 43 Britannia Club rooms onboard, starting from 258 square feet. These rooms come with a pillow menu and access to the exclusive Britannia Club restaurant. Princess Grill Suites: There are 61 Princess Grill Suites, ranging from 335 to 345 square feet. They're essentially elongated versions of standard balcony rooms with almost identical verandas. Beyond a larger living area, there's also more closet space, and the bathrooms have full-size tubs. Princess Grill passengers have their own dedicated restaurant with open seating and receive concierge service, wine and chocolates at embarkation, enhanced toiletries, velour robes and slippers, walk-in closets, personalized stationery and an atlas. Queens Grill Suites: There are 66 suites categorized as Queens Grill. These top-category cabins begin at 484 square feet and are scattered around the ship, either aft, with views of the wake, or in the bulge midship, where the balconies are deeper

In addition to several Queens Grill penthouses (508 to 596 square feet), Deck 7 has the biggest concentration of top suites: two Grand Suites (1,375 square feet) and two of the four Master Suites (1,493 square feet), which include features like huge balconies, whirlpool baths and separate dining areas. These six suites are named after the half-dozen Cunard commodores who have been knighted. If you want a bath with a sea view, go for one of the Master Suites. For a wraparound balcony, outdoor dining and reclining steamer loungers, choose the Grand Suites. Additionally, Queens Grill passengers receive all the same perks at those staying in Princess Grill suites but are the only passengers with butler service, welcome Champagne and a complimentary bar. There is a Queens Grill Restaurant open from 6:30 to 9 p.m. each evening.

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