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Kenneth Eden

Age: 59

Occupation:retired high school teacher

Number of Cruises: 71

Cruise Line: Cunard

Ship: Queen Mary 2

Sailing Date: 2007-12-10

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

Cunard at its best!

Queen Grill was a true indulgence.

A castle at sea, well rounded, something for everyone.

Trust your own instincts - look into beach excursions, if you like to go to resorts, hotels mostly ban cruise passengers these days, an excuirsion is the way to go

Transfering from Laguardia to our hotel was pretty hectic, not easy. We booked air on our own, and booked all airport/hotel and ship/airport transfers with Cuinard LIne. If you are unacustomed to big city travails, be prepared for language barriers even with a tuxedoed limo driver, paid for by Cunard. Our first driver spoke no English and had a Lincoln with a trunk FULL of junk, so, our luggage would not fit. Another limo was promptly issued, and another. A Cunard rep was with us all of this time to make things work. After 45 minutes, a min-van was dispatched , and off we went to the New York Sheraton Hotel and Towers. Our status with Cunard is one of Diamond Members, their highest level of repeater passenger. We have been with Cunard for over 39 years, and Cunard upgraded our hotel room from a standard troom to one in the Sheraton Towers. Nice.

We enjoyed a wonderful supper at a place across the street from the hotel, Regency China, a well priced, old-fashioned eatery. The Mai Tais were to die for. We did not enjoy breakfast at the famed Ellens Stardust Diner. We always enjoy the Stage Door Deli, and the Stage Door was up to our liking, as always. Our second supper was at Tramonti, a stylish, authentic Italian restaurant.

New York at Chistmas time is very special, all lights and shopping. We enjoyed the Radio City Music Halls spectacular show with the Rockettes, and strolled the ice rink and huge tree at Rockefeller Plaza. We took in a matinee of Mel Brokks Young Frankenstein. All was grand in the Big Apple. Cunard Line and New Yrok go together like .......the best.

Transfer to the ship was a breeze. We prefer the Hudson Pier for embarking, but, Red Hook, Brookyn will do for now. We looked forward to our Queens Grill suite. Boarding for us was instantly-no wait. Upon entering our suite, our butler was waiting. He unpacked our luggage and off we went to see the ship, a ship we love.

The ship exuded holiday decor unlike any we have seen at sea before. Towering trees, expensive wreaths and sparkle awaited at each turn, in each public space. We headed to the Queens Grill for our lunch. As we entered a Mennorah stood sentinnel, flanked by a tree, saluting the two holidays.

Our deck 9 had a marbled topped bar, fully stock with our favorite brands which we preordered, as well as other liquers and beer and wine. Live floral arrangements were discreetly place abut the suite. The bath had a full size jacuzzi, marble shower and rich tiles. Linens and bath items were the most luxurious we have had on a ship. Between the bedroom and bath was a full-walk-in closet, sink area and desk. The bedroom contained a king size bed, LCD tv, and sliders to the balcony. The livingroom had a full wall of glass, with sliders, and a full area of couches and comfy chairs. Interactive computer access as well as X-Box and free DVD use was available.

We made our appointments with the Canyon Ranch Spa, and were delighted to learn that Christian, our favotite masseur was on board. The Canyon Ranch Spa on the Quen Mary 2 earns and merits the highest praise of ship board spas, and for good reason. A comlimentary lucheon was part of our Diamond status, and it was in Todd English,. We also dined there, at our expense, once at dinner.

We have sailed with Cunard Line for a long time, on nearly all Cunard vessels, of the past four decades. Many times in the iconic Queen Elizabeth 2, as well asCunard Ambassador, Cunard Countess, the beloved Sagafjord and Vistafjord, the Cunard Dynasty and now, several sailings in the grandest of all liners, Queen Mary 2. On this cruise we received our Diamond pins, real diamonds, set in platinum, Cunards way of thanking us for our loyalty.

We rarely book excursions in the Caribbean. We really can not count how many times we have been on a Caribbean cruise, and can not remember how many times we have been to St. Thomas. Just be advised, hotels frown upon cruise ship passengers using their beach. They used to welcome us, not any more. So, we booked a Tortola excursion to Cane Garden Beach (about five other cruise ships had passengers booked there - not fun). With aiout 7,000 people there, it was horrid.

One excursion worth each buck paid was the Sandals Grande St. Lucia Resort trip, so refined, all inclusive,. We ate and drank as though we were guests. We would book this one again, and recommend it highly.

St. Kitts was barely ok, no Christmas decorations, and shops way under stocked. We have a resort we have been going to for years here, and should have there rather than waisting time in the twon. How sad Bassiterre seemed during our visit.

We were invited to several private cocktail parties, resumably due to our diamond status, and they were quite oppulant affairs. We also hosted one in our suite, with our butler Ibrahim serving as our gentleman bar tender.

St. Thomas was almost spooky. Never, in all of our uncountable callings have we been the only ship in! Charlotte Amalia was deserted. We have stayed on the island and there were ships in. Not so this visit. The shopping was wonderful, the attention to we few passwengers was 4 to one!

The Queens Grill

The room is identical to the Princess Grille, except the Queens is gold-toned, the Princess, silver.

Caviar is available each night, and lobster, and special ordering is encouraged. The menus are of the highest in selection, preparation and presentastion, served perfectly. We indeed special ordered, and enjoyed multiple courses and enjoyed the Queens Grill ample wine cellar selections. A former waiter, from Royal Viking Line, Fernando, was our sommelier in the Queens Grill, what a warm surprise with fond memories.

I hate to rate a ship, as they can vary like the tides, or a cruise line, which can have a weak cruise on occasion. To us Cunard Line is the last of an era, one that we support, and one that welcomes us back again and again with a dignity we are hard pressed to find elsewhere at sea today, be it yesterday, or today. As for tomorrow, we look forward to sailing in the Queen Victoria, and the new Queen Elizabeth.

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