Queen Elizabeth cruise ship: An insider’s take on Cunard’s latest launch

Los Angeles Times Assistant Travel Editor

“This is a ship for adults who want to be adults,” Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor in chief of Cruise Critic, a consumer information website, said Wednesday of the Cunard Line’s latest passenger vessel, the Queen Elizabeth. In a telephone interview after attending Monday’s naming ceremony in Southampton, England, Spencer Brown gave her take on the ship’s pluses and minuses. And more important: Who should cruise on the Queen Elizabeth?

“People who are young at heart but don’t need to zip line after every dinner would find this ship appealing,” she said. “This is an introvert ship. You can just be peaceful there. You can really sort of find a place to be quiet or be entertained quietly. We’re talking about libraries, bars with music that is soothing or comforting.”

And there’s even a little romance.

“The Queens Room is beautiful, special,” she said. “It’s so romantic. My husband actually wanted to dance.”


Casual cruisers may get frustrated, though.

“The challenge with this ship is that it’s a little more formal,” Spencer Brown said. “There is a formal dining room. That part I’m not crazy about.”

Although “absolutely a sister ship,” to Cunard’s Queen Victoria, the 16-deck, 2,092-passenger Queen Elizabeth has some differences, she added. Among them:

“The décor is altogether more low-key in an elegant way,” she said. The casual Lido Cafe is “more sophisticated” and easier to navigate than its counterpart on Queen Victoria because it has buffet stations instead of a single cafeteria line, she added.


In the end, though, the ships are not radically different, Spencer Brown found. And that means choosing between them comes down to itineraries: Where do you want to go in the world?