Queen Mary II is boost for island economy - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Queen Mary II is boost for island economy

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by Janjeera Hail

Guam - The island welcomed one of the world's premier cruise ships this morning as the Queen Mary II docked in Apra Harbor.  As tall as a 21-story building, 147 feet longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall, and more than four city blocks in length, the massive vessel was a sight to see this morning as it cruised into port.

Guam is just the latest stop in her round-the-world voyage.  In the past two months, the Queen Mary II's made port calls in Italy, Portugal, Egypt, India, Malaysia and Vietnam, just to name a few. But for many of the 3,750 passengers and crew, Guam was a breath of fresh air.  "Perfect," said one such passenger, Denise Spinks.  "The big cities are a bustle, really busy and a lot of hassle to and from the big cities. We're looking forward to a lot more relaxing port."

Added Hans Mente, "That's a good thing. We like it. We don't like the big cities in fact. They more or less are becoming universal, they all look alike. This is better, this is more unique."

Visitors were greeted with warm skies and warmer smiles - traditional dancers and local vendors provided a first look at Guam's local art and culture.  "So far, it's beautiful. It was a lovely warm welcome and the weather's gorgeous," Spinks continued.  "I love the color of the water and we're looking forward to driving around and seeing more of it."

The Queen Mary II is only docked on Guam for one day, but it'll provide a welcomed boost to our local economy.  Many visitors signed up for tour groups, while others opted to rent cars and explore Guam on their own. But it isn't just tourists buying souvenirs.

Port Authority of Guam Spokesperson Bernadette Meno says the ship itself brings business, telling KUAM News, "Not just with the passengers going out to the stores going out into the stores and in the local community, spending there money. But also as you can see we do, the ships do request for provisions so the agents coordinate with the ship directly."

More cruise ships are expected to make port here in the coming months, no doubt ensuring that Guam will continue to grow as a premier cruise ship destination.

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