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Queen Elizabeth
The Art & Soul of a Cunard Liner

Queen Elizabeth Library

Queen Elizabeth Library

by Linda Coffman

Part Two

There's no doubt that the Grand Lobby is the heart of Queen Elizabeth. From this triple height reception area, you'll find a places to work (the Internet Center) and relax (the library and lounges).

Cocktails & Conversation
Although the decidedly nautical Chart Room found on Queen Victoria is noticeably missing from Queen Elizabeth, you'll find an expanded Cafe Carinthia on Deck 2 near the Britannia restaurants for pre-dinner libations. On Deck 3 the intimate Midships Lounge is where cabinets house memorabilia from QE2 and a pianist provides the opportunity for entertaining musical evenings.

Should you be a bit hungry before dinner, satisfy your craving for canapés and a martini shaken or stirred in the Commodore Club forward on Deck 10. Don't let the view over Queen Elizabeth's bow distract your attention; you'll want to concentrate on which stuffed olive to select for that icy martini.

Next door is Churchill's Cigar Lounge, the ideal retreat for an after-dinner cigar from the well-stocked humidor and a single malt scotch or fine port. We're told that the clubby enclave is reserved strictly for cigar and pipe smoking and no cigarette smokers will be welcome to light up there. This seems fair as cigarette smoking is allowed outside in designated areas of the open decks; the outdoor promenade on the starboard side of Deck 3, along with the forward and aft area of Deck 10 are smoking areas. Cigarette smoking is also permitted in staterooms/suites and on private balconies; however, cigar and pipe smoking are not allowed there.

Don't get the ideal that Queen Elizabeth's lounges are stuffy... back on Deck 2 forward you'll find the the Casino Bar and nearby Golden Lion Pub, where a seat near the faux fireplace is a cozy spot for a pint of ale with your mates.

Before we take a look at formal entertainment, I consider reading a favorite pastime and found Queen Elizabeth's wood paneled Library a haven for readers. On two levels, a spiral staircase affords access to shelves containing nearly 6,000 books. Don't miss the leaded glass ceiling overhead and a globe from the era of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I on the main level.

Along Deck 3, the "Cunarders' Gallery" displays captioned black and white photography from the line's Stars Aboard collection of Cunard celebrity guests on Cunard liners, which are available for purchase (just in case you'd like a picture of a very young Elizabeth Taylor and her pampered pooch aboard Queen Mary) and iconic travel posters advertising Cunard voyages. You'll also find displays of  memorabilia from previous Cunard liners as well as special exhibits along "Exhibition Way" on Deck 2.

A particularly appealing and 'entertaining' pursuit at sea is shopping and Queen Elizabeth passengers are in for a treat in the Royal Arcade. Dust off those gold cards, ladies, the selection is as long as your next bill. You'll find luxury boutiques stocked with high end  merchandise, as well as tax-and-duty-free perfumes, jewelry, and logo items. Located on Decks 2 and 3 in 4000 sq ft of shops, the two-deck arcade is a sort of "second" lobby with a dramatic staircase grounded by a classically designed clock, the work of Dent & Co., whose most famous timepiece is "Big Ben" in London's Clock Tower at the Palace of Westminster.

Queen Elizabeth Royal Court TheatreAnd the pièce de résistance of entertainment is the three-tiered Royal Court Theatre. Very posh throughout, its walls are covered in regal blue and gold and a blue velvet curtain adorns the stage, which is framed by sixteen private viewing boxes. For a fee, box occupants are served champagne and petit fours or chocolates during intermission or the show. Servers are only as far away as their private (and silent) velvet bell pulls. In addition to full-blown production shows featuring Queen Elizabeth's own company of singers and dancers, the Royal Court Theatre is also the setting for concert-style shows ranging from classical to contemporary.

While the nautical Chart Room is missing from the public room line-up, Queen Elizabeth features an equally worthy lounge, the Yacht Club, named after the very popular entertainment space that was located aft on QE2. Certainly it's a great spot for cocktails with a commanding 270-degree view from atop the ship, but late at night it morphs into a pulsating dance club. Even if you aren't a dance fan, you may find yourself entertained by deciphering the message in the nautical flags rimming the ceiling.

Wait, there's more...

Queen Elizabeth -> Part Three

Queen Elizabeth -> Part One

Photographs © Linda Coffman,

From Cruise Diva's Blog Archive:

  • Queen Elizabeth Naming: “Pomp & Circumstance Fit For A Queen”...

  • Queen Elizabeth: The Royal Naming Ceremony

  • Queen Elizabeth: Ready for Her Name

  • On Board Queen Elizabeth: Art & Memorabilia

  • Meeting A Queen

  • Queen Elizabeth II Sits For An Official Portrait For Queen Elizabeth

  • Retail Therapy: Cunard Line's Queen Elizabeth

  • Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth To Feature All-New Theatre Company

  • Cunard Line Unveils Artwork With a Royal Connection for Queen Elizabeth

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