Met Studio boards QE2 without McNeece

Met Studio is masterplanning a 12m refit of Cunard’s flagship liner, the QE2. McNeece, joint masterplanner with Met Studio on the QE2’s disastrous 1994 revamp, is not involved this time around.

A Cunard spokeswoman confirms that Met Studio is sole masterplanner on the current refit, but declines to comment on why McNeece hasn’t been retained.

McNeece director Mark Hilferty says he’s not surprised McNeece isn’t involved. “I’d be surprised if we were asked to do the same work again – there’s no reason for us to be involved because it’s not a major design effort.”

Met Studio is working on “fine-tuning a lot of the concepts put into place in 1994”, says project manager Chris Cawte. “We’re also working on small areas where no work was carried out in the last refit,” he adds.

The current work comes two years after the liner’s last refit, after which passengers complained of exploding toilets, exposed cabling and unfinished cabins. The debacle cost Cunard 8m in compensation, but both Met Studio and McNeece were absolved of blame for the delays in completing the refit.

A Cunard spokesman says the 1996 refit is “standard practice. Cunard overhauls its ships every two years and we’re taking advantage of this opportunity to upgrade some of the accommodation and public areas”.

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