Refurbishments are challenging at the best of times, however coupled with a ships return to service post pandemic creates even bigger challenges. The refurbishment of Queen Mary 2 encompassed improving guest experience and crew welfare, many of which had been at home for 18 months or more.
The project, managed by the Carnival UK Team was seamless, even when new challenges became evident. In particular, the Hotel General Manager, was a key driving force. Work was carried out in every guest cabin, and included stone refinishing, tiling, silicon sealant replacement, carpets and in some instances deckhead refinishing.
Elsewhere there was extensive wall covering replacement, alterations to table layouts, and thousands of carpet fitting and hard floor covering and timber flooring laid. The team also reupholstered over hundreds of pieces of furniture – key to sustainability – by refurbishing chairs, seating and even chesterfield sofas and tub chairs.
Whilst some areas were not entirely stripped out and redesigned the team worked for more than 8 weeks in restaurants and hotel areas to refresh and refurbish to ensure that the guests joining for the first return to service cruise would have the very best experience.
Much of the work was carried out at sea or anchor off the south coast, this came with its own challenges, ensuring that different trades were able to join the vessel on turnaround days. Also materials – many of which were in short supply or on very long lead periods were delivered in a timely fashion in readiness for the first cruise.
It was identified during the ships laid up period that the crew mess was in need of total refurbishment, from new deck to bulkhead and deckhead refurbishment to make it a better dining experience than previously for the returning Crew. The team set to work and stripped back to the structure and their own in-house Designer Guri Blindheim MMIL was utilised to select finishes and reconfigure some of the spaces. FF&E was largely re-used to keep sustainability targets, these being in previously good condition. Improvements to the servery and pot washing areas where also incorporated.
The area is a huge success and caters for over a thousand crew each day. The space is light and airy with both large seating areas and smaller more intimate areas for night workers to take a break.
We believe this refurbishment should be considered for an award because of the complexity of working at sea, the resourcing of materials and labour, the outstanding refurbished crew area and the facelift of multiple areas aboard the ship to ensure the guest experience was to the same high standard post pandemic.
The Hotel General Manager and the whole CUK Project Team working with Atlantic Marine Interiors and dozens of other specialist domestic contractors became one team, that had a common goal to return the ship to service in better condition than she was previously, one that is difficult to replicate within a short duration.