December 17, 2004
DOING THE QUEEN'S GRILL...
As we had seen pictures in brochures and also online from individuals, the cabin (a Q2 in the Penthouse level, cabin 8006) was not a huge surprise. But the good news is that we really like it. The décor is fairly traditional as you would expect, with lots of light wood. The beds were put in twin format, although I was sure we had asked for them to be King. The balcony is very large, with round table and loungers (although we are unlikely to get much use of it). The bathroom is very large and has 2 basins.
Maureen, who is on of the stewards came and introduced herself, followed by Gordon (an elderly and charming gentleman) and a younger butler called Peter. Maureen is from Liverpool and has worked for Cunard for 16 years. All of them are lovely. They are very helpful, and sorted out some issues like a loose cupboard door and the beds quickly. I guess you could argue there should be no faults - but the ship has just got back from a 31 day cruise to the Falklands and the crew we have has been on 4 weeks holiday before re-joining to go on the world cruise that this trip to New York is the start of.
Mark and I then headed off and had tea in the Queen's Lounge (not to be confused with the Queen's Grill Lounge which only Queen's Grill people can use). The Queen's Room is a beautiful room. We sat by one of the large windows with the sun streaming in, having tea with very yummy sandwiches (with the crusts cut off) of ham, egg and of course cucumber. This was followed by cakes (including fruit, éclairs etc).
After tea we strolled about and visited the Spa (quite a challenge to find!), the gym and other areas.
As they were running late with loading all the stores, as they take on a lot of stuff for the 3 month world cruise and the late arrival of the QE2 in the morning we eventually only left at 8.30 pm instead of the planned 5pm.
In fact, we were well into our dinner by the time we set sail as in Queen's Grill there is open seating from 7 - 9 pm (this means you can go at anytime between those hours). We had been in there earlier as this is also our "muster station" for emergencies and had gone there at 4.30 for the drill.
The Queen's Grill is a lovely room, which is beautifully done. It is very tasteful and also plush. We are at table 37. This is table for 4 - although no-one came either at breakfast. We had said we wanted to be at a large table. Although the largest seems to be 6 and there are lots and lots of tables for 2. Now that we are here we think a table for just the 2 of us would have been nice. We will see if anyone arrives at our table tonight. (Although as the seas so rough and the ship rolling all over the place, I am guessing a lot of people will not be going to dinner).
The service is amazing. Warren is our main waiter, supported by young chap from Edinburgh called Adam. The wine waiter is a Dale Winton type and in looks called Kevin. He was also good and fun. Although the fact that we are not huge drinkers and wine buffs will no doubt disappoint him (although we did have a bottle of wine on the first night, for the rest of the time we had a glass or two of champagne each night which cost more than the bottle of wine so maybe he was not too disappointed!)
We had fabulous food, and ate too much. The menu is huge. There is a "set menu" and an a la carte menu. You can choose from any - and if you don't like any of it you can also request something else. They pop the menu for the lunch and dinner under the door overnight and then at lunch show you the full menu for dinner so you can make up your mind if you want something else.
Last night we got a bit "merry" as we had drunk almost a bottle of wine, then went to the Yacht Club and had a drink (did I mention we had a drink before dinner too..!). We watched a bit of the show in the Queen's Room - which was the Cruise Director introducing various members of staff and was all a bit embarrassing so we fled it. Then we went to the casino, where I did fairly well on the poker machines winning $125 on my 2nd go. We left just $2 between us down - although after a whirl this afternoon we are now $21 up. Last of the big gamblers! The casino is not huge, but nicely done with 2 roulette tables, 2 or 3 blackjack tables, a couple of poker tables and loads of machines. The croupiers all seem to be East European or South African.
This is all for now. It is VERY rough now and the ship is bobbing up and down like crazy, with drawers opening and closing. The flowers they gave us toppling off the side and spewing all over the floor. Bizarrely, I am starving and off to run the bath for us to get ready for dinner. We may go to dinner for 7 and the captain cocktail party for Queen's Grill at 745