Though the dimensions and prices for these have not yet been put in the public arena, this represents a very welcome move by the company. While the veteran Queen Elizabeth 2 had a fair number of single cabins, none of her three successors- Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth- originally featured any at all.
Needless to say, many people- including yours truly- will hope that both of the other, above mentioned ships will also be retrofitted with some single cabins. Though nothing has been said on the subject, it does seem likely.
In doing this, Cunard is following the example set by sister company P & O Cruises, which incorporated a small number of single cabins into the then new Azura, and then retrofitted a number into both her sister ship, Ventura, and the adults only Oriana.
As well as the single cabins, Queen Elizabeth will also benefit from the installation of 32 inch flat screen televisions in all cabins, the addition of two new, luxury shops, and enhancements to the passenger flow in the self service part of the Lido Restaurant.
The single cabins bandwagon is slowly gathering speed across the mega ship market. Even Royal Caribbean International has been busy retro fitting some of its ships with them. But the slow surge in single cabins can actually be traced back to 2010, and the debut of the Norwegian Epic.
Then, the brand new ‘studio concept’ was introduced, with a block of 128 small, clubby interior cabins done up with funky lighting, as well as a communal bar and lounge. This was so successful that it has now been rolled out on both the new Norwegian new builds that followed, and will also feature on the next two ships, Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss.
None the less, it is hugely gratifying to see Cunard at last tipping it’s head in the direction of the single traveller who, in the past, was put off by the 175 per cent surcharge levied by the line on most of its sailings. It does provide another option for travellers seeking a somewhat more formal ocean going experience than that offered by the opposition.
That said, the dimensions, locations and status of these cabins- are they insides, outsides or both?- plus the per diem rates- remain to be seen. But at least it can be said that Cunard is listening, learning, and adapting to demand, and that is always to be applauded.
As ever, stay tuned.
Update: it seems that eight of the new cabins will be outside with an ocean view, and the ninth will be a standard inside.