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Grill Class on Queen Elizabeth
BY STEVEN B. STERN FRIDAY AUGUST 1, 2014 12:11:46 PM  
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The 90,400-ton, 2,068-passenger Queen Elizabeth entered service in 2010. The unique feature on this ship, as on all the Queens, is the existence of a special section known as "Grill Class" for the guests opting for the most expensive accommodations. On these ships there are two Grill Classes: the Queen's Grill and the Princess Grill. Passengers who select suites  ranging in size between 506-to 2,249-square feet enjoy the privilege of dining in the Queen's Grill, while those booking the less expensive (but not inexpensive) suites ranging in size between 335-and 513-square feet dine in the Princess Grill. Both dining rooms are very elegant and enjoy panoramic views out to the sea. The service is impeccable and the menu choices are more extensive than found on the rest of the ship. In both, dining times are flexible; however guests have assigned tables. Non Grill-Class passengers dine in the Britannia Restaurant with the higher priced Britannia-Class staterooms seated in their own special section.

        All Grill-Class passengers enjoy certain exclusive areas on the ship accessible only with their room keys, including an outdoor courtyard for alfresco dining, their own deck area atop ship with sun beds and beverage service, and a private bar and lounge, as well as a dedicated concierge. The amenities in the room are also more generous and include pre-dinner canapĂ©s, flowers and fresh fruit, and a welcome bottle of Champagne for Queen's Grill guests and a bottle of wine for Princess Grill guests. Queen’s Grill guests enjoy somewhat greater perks. They have butlers, a greater number of menu choices and receive 2 bottles of spirits upon arrival (wine and/or liquor) which  will be  replenished upon request.  

        Other than as described above, wine and alcoholic beverages are not included, nor are shore excursions or Internet. However, passengers who have sailed frequently with Cunard earn various hours of free Internet access. Actually the amenities are not any greater than suite guests receive on most other ships. The big attraction is the private dining rooms, lounge and outside deck space.

        During our voyage we dined in  both Grill rooms as well as the Britannia Club and Britannia Restaurant.  When weather permitted, we especially enjoyed breakfast and lunch in the open-air courtyard, which was available to both Queen's Grill and Princess Grill guests. An excellent dining experience is the Veranda, a specialty, reservation-only, a la carte restaurant created by Michelin-stared chef, Jean Marie Zimmermann. Here, guests can choose between an impressive array of individually priced French and continental selections and a $35 price-fixed menu.

As for the ship itself, she is a traditionally decorated vessel with most of the common areas and the plethora of activities found on premium vessels of this size. Although most Grill guests seem to prefer the exclusivity of their private dining rooms or room service, other dining possibilities include: an English pub serving the likes of fish and chips and bangers and mash, the afore-described Veranda, and an extensive buffet facility. A section of the buffet restaurant is sectioned off in the evening and offers an alternating Asian, Indian and steak-house cuisine.($10 charge). Needless to say this venue is seldom frequented by Grill guests.

        Of course the public areas throughout the ship are available to all Passengers. The Royal Court serves as a showroom for production shows and movies; the Queens Room is the setting for cocktail receptions, concerts, afternoon tea, pre- and post-dinner dancing and even fencing lessons; the Commodore Club, the Chart Room, CafĂ© Carinthia, the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar, the Winter Garden, Churchill's Cigar Lounge and the Gold Lion Pub are just a few of the popular venues to imbibe. The ship also boasts a two-story library,   an internet cafĂ©, a  casino, the Royal Spa and Health Club, card rooms, shops, complimentary self-service Laundromats, and two swimming pools with adjoining spas.

        Noteworthy on all Cunard ships is the lecture programs which feature speakers from varied walks of life. Helpful port talks cover information both for those going on tours and those choosing to travel independently.

 

        Queen Elizabeth offered a variety of Mediterranean itineraries during the summer and fall of 2014, departing for a world cruise in early 2015. Our cruise departed from Venice and terminated in Athens. During our seven days aboard, we visited Korcula, Heraklion, Rhodes, and Kusadasi with two days at sea.  Shore excursions were offered at all of the stops. Having visited these ports previously, we opted to avoid the rather hefty expense of the tours and go off on our own. Although Grill-Class passengers received priority embarkation and debarkation, the cost of the tours was not included.

        Overall, luxury as exemplified in Grill Class on Cunard's three Queens is of a more formal, or if you will, a more British-elegant style. Men and women dress for dinner and the waiters and maitre d' are always very polite, proper and solicitous of passenger needs and requests.  In many ways it is a blast from the past of cruising on the great ocean liners.

 
 
     
 
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