Queens Grill first impression, priority embarkation means nothing except 3 dedicated staff, we still had to sit and wait while general boarding passed through security?
The Queens Grill Suite was not that impressive. A freshen up especially the grouting in the tiles which were discolored and missing. The Vanity lighting (VIP) was poor, no magnifying mirror, the cheapest cotton buds you have ever seen break as you pick them up. No i pod dock or pillow concierge, which were both in brochure.
The Butler service was fair but he didn't fall over himself meeting our requests. Coffee served in the room we were directed to the concierge area to help ourselves. The laundrette in our case either 1 floor up or down with only 3 irons available was far too busy at the start of the voyage with ongoing passengers catching up with there laundry.
The food was disappointing until we complained bitterly, the quality improved dramatically and the restaurant staff were all very good.
2 days out we went from force 3/4 to force 7/8, this is a big deal which no one tells you about, even on this gigantic liner we were all over the place and the higher you are the worse it is. Queens Grill is on 9th floor, so far too much movement for anyone except regular sailors. Always cold and windy out on deck even in late May (no one tells you that either).
The biggest issue on what should be the experience of a lifetime is the useless scheduling of events, classes and talks. There is no co-ordination and if you would like to try one thing you can guarantee that another of your choices will be on at the same time or start before you are finished. A classic example is the beginners bridge class, (full) crammed in to 45minutes at 9.30am followed by pushy intermediates (poorly attended) then nothing else all day? What is the rush, no one is going anywhere.
The evening's entertainment under the control of the very smoothy E Director was holiday camp standard at best, where are the big shows?
The photographer had left by the time we arrived to have our picture taken with the Commodore but we caught him in the corridor, he took all the complaints and ribbing in his stride and has obviously dealt with grumpier passengers than us. In any event 7 days is too long with the same scenery every day but all is forgotten when you arrive in NY on a beautiful morning and watch the sun come up over the world's most spectacular city.
Even though service is included tipping on top is definitely expected.
Disembarkation was a treat (for QG) out in 15 mins. TSA please copy at all US airports.