The lure of witnessing the 3 Queens (Victoria, Mary2 and Elizabeth) together in New York was sufficient to convince us to leave the hot (albeit flooded) Australian summer for a New York winter. The snow gods were kind enough to open JFK just for one day (closed either side) to enable us to end our 25 hour flight from South Australia.
Sadly, boarding at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal was a disaster - Cunard's computers check-in systems went "down" while we were in line and for an hour or more the long lines of passengers did not move and simply got longer and longer as passengers arrived but none were being processed.. A brief ray of home when Cunard announced the system was "up" however minutes later it failed again. Limited chairs were available for those passengers physically unable to stand in a queue for 2 hours. While we waiting passengers with aching backs, knees and other bits discussed the need for Cunard to have a contingency for this situation - ultimately the system came alive. On finally reaching our allotted check in desk clerk we presented a dilemma in that we required separate accounts. She had to interrupt another clerk to ascertain how to do this and also how to deal with the fact we were Australian and didn't that mean we had to fill out something. The very helpful other clerk pointed her to the help sheet in front of her that clearly said Australians did not need that other something. Sighh....2 1/2 hours after entering the terminal we were welcomed on board. (note: notwithstanding the "now down now up" system, we were later requested by the purser to attend to re-present our documentation - as were many other passengers).
Uniformed staff at the entrance to the ship greeted us (no champagne as with NCL) and the major delay had one benefit in that our cabin was ready. 7002, balcony category A3 is the forward most cabin on that level, meaning quiet (no passers by and only one neighbour)and negligible movement. It has an overhang from the Bridge making it generally the last booked, but we valued this "extended roof line" as it provided shade and the plexiglass overhang enabled us to see "white shoes" folk periodically above. The cabin offered excellent hanging space (17 hangers each)and the bathroom, while small, was efficiently laid out. Mattresses and pillows-heavenly!