October marks the maiden voyage of Cunard’s newest ship, the Queen Elizabeth, and, as befits a queen, she is making a spectacular entrance. As the second largest Cunard ship ever built, and possibly the most exquisite, the Queen Elizabeth promises to be a floating palace, with offerings you won’t find on any other vessel.
Some of my faves: The outdoor space on Deck 9, a venue for garden parties not unlike those held at British country houses at the turn of the century; the Garden Lounge, where occasional “supper club” evenings will be held; the Games Deck, where one can play croquet and bowls (how British!); the Britannia Club, where guests in higher-level staterooms can enjoy single-seating dining at a time of their choosing; and the gorgeous marquetry “wall” by David Linley, depicting the original Queen Elizabeth, in the central lobby behind the grand staircase.
The maiden voyage of the Queen Elizabeth sold out in an unheard-of 29 minutes when it was first offered, but you can still book for 2011. The Southampton, England-based ship calls on glamorous destinations, including St. Petersburg, Russia and the Baltic states; the British Isles; the Canary Islands; the Adriatic Sea; and, of course, the classic transatlantic crossing. For those who want to take an extended honeymoon, the maiden circumnavigation of the globe departs in January and sails for 104 glorious days.
The Garden Lounge … Tea party, anyone?
The lobby: Talk about making a grand entrance.
Exquisite dining options abound. In British custom, guests are required to dress for dinner.