After very long flights from Australia, my husband Fred and I had a chilly weather welcome to New York. The Wingate Inn Midtown was an excellent choice for our stay in Manhattan. Only twelve months old this accommodation included complimentary breakfasts and free internet service. Boy... did I enjoy those make-yourself waffles! It is only half a block from Macy's Department Store so the position was perfect. Very friendly staff greeted us at the desk. We had two full days to explore the city and take in the beautiful sights of the Christmas lights and decorations. Unfortunately we didn't get to see a Broadway Show because the actors were on strike.
We arrived at the dock of the Queen Mary 2 a little after midday. I couldn't believe how quickly we were onboard. We found our cabin and then went and had a very nice lunch in the Kings Court. Our luggage was in our cabin when we returned. Everyone was very friendly and all the staff gave us a smile and a greeting. Our Cabin Steward (Lou) spoilt us with excellent service during the cruise. A few extra chocolates on our pillows some nights. Our cabin was below the Promenade Deck and the early morning joggers. We can't say it disturbed us too much but next time we would choose another position.
We had first seating in the Britannia Dining Room and shared a table with four great table mates. Our only problem with the food was trying to decide what to order. All meals were wonderful and our Table Stewards Ronchito and Bernadett bent over backwards to please. Now...I must mention how delighted we were to receive an invitation to join Captain & Mrs Rynd for dinner. I found myself very relaxed and enjoyed the experience as Captain Rynd and his wife Julie are especially easy to talk to. Mrs Rynd also proved to be the perfect hostess at our Cruise Critic meetings. She is also an Australian. This Cruise Critic group of happy cruisers were called the "Crown Celebrities" As this was Fred's and my first Cunard cruise and we couldn't believe our luck when we were also invited to join Captain Rynd and Senior Officers for cocktails.