Monthly Archives: August 2014

Queen Mary 2: NYC Bound After Costly Facelift

Should any human have required a $132 million makeover, we would have been taken aback – and then we would have written about it too. Given that the Queen Mary 2 is a 148,000 tonne cruise ship, the price tag comes as no surprise. The world’s only ocean, transatlantic liner, also known as the QM2, set sail today from South Hampton, England for New York.

The epic journey is a chance for passengers to enjoy the revamped staterooms (just 50 in total) and restaurants such as the Carinthia Lounge, The Verandah and Kings Court. Having hosted the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Clark Gable, Winston Churchill and Tilda Swinton in the past, the liner is one that is full of history, which is no surprise, considering that it is 80 years old.

The atrium of Queen Mary 2.

Over the span of 25 days, one million man-hours went into the refurbishment, which includes approximately 594,000 square feet of new carpeting — the equivalent of 10 football fields. For the extra special touch, the ship was also given a fresh coat of paint…3,900 gallons of paint later and the ship was finally ready.

QM2 is in that very special category of ships, using 40% more steel than regular cruise ships. Although Royal Caribbean’s mammoth liners dwarf the QM2, she is till the largest ocean liner ever built – and the first ship to feature a planetarium.

The QM2, by Cunard, isn’t the only luxury liner to undergo a makeover. Regent Seven Seas Cruises began work this spring on a two-year, $125 million refurbishment project that will renovate the public spaces and redesign some of their suites aboard the Seven Seas Navigator.

And earlier this year, Crystal Cruises announced plans to take over the S.S. United States — a historic ship that holds the title of the world’s fastest luxury liner— and turn it into a modern luxury ship. The S.S. United States has carried luminaries such as Princess Grace of Monaco, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Cary Grant and Coco Chanel.

Dramatic New Cruise Terminal for Miami

Designs have been approved for a new, state-of-the-art cruise terminal at PortMiami following an agreement between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Miami-Dade County, it was announced on June 28.

In a press release, global cruise company Royal Caribbean announced that a new 170,000-square-foot terminal had been approved at the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami, aka PortMiami. The terminal will also feature a thousand-space car park, loading bays and passenger drop-off points including taxi and bus stops.

Royal Caribbean estimates that the project will have an estimated economic impact of $500 million and generate approximately 4,000 jobs.


Broadway Malyan and the approved designs

Winners of the design competition were architectural firm Broadway Malyan, who were selected from five of the most prominent architectural groups from around the world. The selection marks the first time that Broadway Malyan has been chosen for a project in North America. Previous projects include: The Tower, One St. George Wharf, London; Lisbon International Airport, Portugal; New Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq; and Trump Tower, Makati City, the Philippines.

Broadway Malyan’s proposal was selected from the other four firms due to its “creative thinking and cutting-edge design.” Their approved terminal has been called “The Crown of Miami” due to its shape when viewed from the water. From the east or west, the building evokes the letter M (for Miami), and from the terminal the different angles give the impression of “waves rising or ships passing.”

The design also proposes several sustainability-focused features such as rainwater collection and recycling, with the structure produced using simple, cost-effective and efficient materials.


Royal Caribbean Cruises invests in Miami waterfront

Royal Caribbean has also announced a further investment at PortMiami in the form of a 20,000-square-foot Innovation Lab next to its headquarters, at an estimated cost of $20 million. The Miami port currently welcomes 750,000 Royal Caribbean passengers annually, which represents around 15 percent of the entire company’s passenger traffic.

Construction of the terminal is expected to begin in early 2017, and operational by late 2018.