I spent 5 nights in a 152-square-foot room on a luxury cruise ship named after Queen Elizabeth, where I was treated like royalty. Take a look inside.

Mikhaila cruise room
A selfie in my stateroom. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
  • I spent five nights on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth cruise ship.
  • The British cruise line, owned by Carnival, charges around $US856 ($AU1,154) for a Standard Inside Stateroom.
  • My room – which had many references to royalty – was fit for a queen.

I was one of 1,248 vaccinated guests on board Cunard’s first cruise to leave the UK since the pandemic.
I'm currently on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth.
Mikhaila in front of the Queen Elizabeth ship. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
Cunard (the popular British cruise line owned by Carnival) announced its return to sailing with a Western Europe voyage on the Queen Elizabeth from October 13-18. 

It marked Cunard’s first cruise to set sail from the UK since January 2020. All passengers were double-vaccinated and the ship operated at 60% capacity, a spokesperson informed me via email.

Launched in 2010, the Queen Elizabeth is Cunard’s newest luxury ship. At 964.5 feet (293.98m) long and with 12 decks, the ship is certainly large.
Cunard's Queen Elizabeth ship in Amsterdam
Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth ship in Amsterdam. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
The Queen Elizabeth was launched at a naming ceremony in 2010 by the UK’s monarch Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen Elizabeth is the third Cunard ship to take the name, according to its website. The original RMS Queen Elizabeth was in service from 1939 until 1968, and the Queen Elizabeth 2 was launched in 1969 and retired in 2008. 

The Queen was at all three naming ceremonies, the website states.

I booked a Standard Inside Stateroom for £628, or around $US856 ($AU1,154), which was described on Cunard’s website as having a king-sized bed, a TV, and tea and coffee making facilities.
Cunard stateroom
The website’s description. Cunard
Cunard has a multitude of cabins and staterooms to choose from, including rooms with an ocean view and others with a private balcony.

However, when I went to book my ticket, the only room available was the Standard Inside Stateroom. The cruise later sold out. 

Upon arrival at my room on Deck 6, I was surprised by how luxurious it was.
Mikhaila room cruise
My room. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
The windowless inside stateroom is considered one of the less desirable rooms on the Queen Elizabeth. I didn’t think of the room in this way — it may be small, but it had everything I needed. 
There was a complimentary bottle of champagne and flowers waiting for me from Cunard’s press team.
Champagne and flowers
The champagne and flowers. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
For full disclosure, Insider paid for the cruise ticket, per our reporting standards.
A bottle of wine was in the mini-fridge, which was a gift from Cunard to all guests on embarkation day.
Ship mini fridge
The mini-fridge. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
It was accompanied by a note from the captain, welcoming all guests on board. 
My TV was already switched on when I arrived and was playing a safety instruction video.
Emergency instructions video
The safety instruction video. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
The video detailed where to find my life jacket (the closet) and where to go on the ship if there was an emergency alarm.
There were two sets of drawers on each side of the bed, left open for me when I arrived.
Drawers
The drawers. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
Since the voyage was just five nights long, I didn’t end up using them. Most of my things were left in my suitcase. 
The closet also had plenty of space.
Cruise ship closet
The closet. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
The closet had hangers for my clothes, a complimentary pair of slippers, a life jacket, and a safe for my valuables. This came in handy for storing my laptop and jewelry during port days.
There were both US and UK outlets in my room.
Cunard ship outlets
The outlets at the coffee station. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
Before we set sail I had purchased a plug adapter because I had been told that some cruise ships use European outlets, but I never had to use it.
As a tea lover, I was excited that the room had a kettle, tea bags, and milk.
Tea and coffee
The room had a kettle, tea bags, coffee, and sugar. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
However, when I asked for water for my tea, I was charged $US4.49 ($AU6) for a 2-liter bottle.
My room had a full-length mirror, another mirror next to the TV, and another in the bathroom.
Room mirror
The full-length mirror. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
It made getting ready for the day pretty seamless. 
The bathroom was tiny, but the space was utilized well.
Ship bathroom
The bathroom. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
The bathroom had a toilet, a toilet roll holder, a shower, a full-length mirror, a sink, two towel rails, four small glass shelves, and two hooks on the back of the door.
This mirror selfie, taken before the ship’s black-and-white themed Gala Night on October 14, shows another angle.
Mikhaila bathroom selfie
A bathroom mirror selfie before the Gala Night. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
Since I was traveling alone and had nobody to take my picture, the bathroom mirror became my go-to place for photos before the formal nights.
There were plenty of references to royalty, including the shower gel, shampoo, and hand gel from Royal Warrant holder Quercus.
Cruise shower gel
The shower gel and shampoo. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
Royal Warrants are provided to companies who provide goods or services to the Queen, the late Duke of Edinburgh, or Prince Charles, according to the official Royal Warrant website.
When I researched Hildon, the brand of water delivered to my room, I discovered that it also had a Royal Warrant.
Hildon water
The Hildon water. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
Even the water on the ship has the Queen’s stamp of approval.
The pillows had Cunard’s logo on them, which was chosen for its links to royalty.
Cunard pillows
The pillows had Cunard’s logo on them. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
The logo features a lion rampant, a crown, and laurel leaves.

The lion rampant was chosen “because of its association with the Royal Standards of English and Scottish Monarchs,” Cunard historian and the cruise line’s former PR manager, Michael Gallagher, told Insider via email.

He said it was also considered to be the king of beasts, “which fitted with Cunard’s Atlantic supremacy.” 

 

The logo was also on a pair of slippers that had been left for me in the closet.
Cunard slippers
The slippers were in my closet when I arrived. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
“Today’s version of the logo was designed in 1994 and I had a hand in it,” Gallagher told Insider.

“Former owners Trafalgar House wanted to spruce up the single lion rampant so in a meeting we came up with the surrounding laurel leaves and King Edward crown,” he said. 

Gallagher added that the crown was replaced in 1997 in favor of a blue rectangle. But when the Carnival Corporation took over in 1998, they decided to revert back to the 1994 version of the logo.

 

Overall I was pleasantly surprised with my stateroom, which seemed to be made for royalty.
Mikhaila cruise room selfie
In my stateroom. Mikhaila Friel/Insider
I thoroughly enjoyed researching and learning about all the hidden references to royalty that were in my room. It’s something that most guests might easily miss. 

Despite the small size, I didn’t feel like I was missing out. What it lacked in space, it certainly made up for in luxury.