As two senior ladies we had always fancied the "Queens" experience so when attractive pricing was offered we took the opportunity. We arrived for embarkation at the suggested time( a good idea I feel) to find the crowd quite light . As we had received an upgrade we were whisked through and escorted to our penthouse 9076. Having read a negative review of this very suite and of the staff attitudes we did not know what to expect but were pleasantly surprised by what we found. It was spacious with fresh orchids in the dining area, roses on the coffee table and the chilled bottle of Verve next to some delicate sweet treats. It was minutes before we were greeted by our butler Noly and steward Bien of whom I cannot speak too highly. Indeed the friendly and helpful attitude of these two men contributed greatly to our enjoyment of the cruise.The same must be said of the staff in the Queen's dining room who attended our table. We found all staff only too willing to help- I cannot help wondering if you get what you give and if you treat staff pleasantly as human beings they will respond accordingly. We were delighted at Easter to return to the suite to find two large chocolate bunnies had somehow hopped into our dining room- a nice playful touch- others received eggs so I guess it was thought we didn't mind a bit of fun.
The ship is on its way to refit so we expected some wear and tear and indeed some small things did need fixing but great attention was paid to rapid repair of these. For example when the TV died a brand new flat screen arrived when we were at a lecture and was fitted by the time of our return. The general appearance of the ship was not shabby either though I am sure if you spent time looking for faults you might find some.
A pleasant surprise in the Queen's grill was the ability to order whatever you desired, just giving a little notice so that the kitchen could prepare. The set table idea did not seem to fit well with the anytime dining as it was possible to find that if you dined at 7 Pm others at your table for 6 may not arrive until 8PM so you dined alone for most of your meal. Maybe the set table went with the set dining times of old.One slight disappointment was the quality of the buffet offerings. A bit "shopping centre eatery " we thought though all had access to their dining room if they desired.