Guam says Hafa Adai to Queen Mary II - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam says Hafa Adai to Queen Mary II

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - The luxurious liner the Queen Mary II made its second visit to Guam, carrying thousands of passengers to our island. She's the largest passenger cruise ship to ever sail into Apra Harbor, and this happens to be the liner's second visit to Guam.

The Queen Mary II is the grandest, most luxurious oceanliner ever built. It is as tall as a 21-story building, 147 feet taller than the Eiffel Tower and more than four city blocks in length. So you can tell the liner is packed with so much to do. She can could hold up to 4,000 passengers and crewmembers.

The liner is complete with its own elegant lobby, a large royal court theater which can hold up to a thousand people, a casino and even a Queen's Room where the guests can learn some graceful ball room dancing. Social Hostess Gun Sukwanna says the Queen Mary II is unique in a lot of ways, telling KUAM News, "It's a pinnacle design of cruising lining. Queen Mary II was especially made for cruising the Trans-Atlantic. She's very sturdy, she's very big. The venues are very vast and much like the original Queen Mary, which is docked in Long Beach, California and is used as a floating hotel."

The Queen Mary II made her first visit to Guam back in February of last year. This is her fourth world voyage, which started in New York, and her second passage sailing on an east-west route around the world. The full world voyage, which can take over a hundred days, can cost almost $20,000 a person.

"A lot of our guests come for the cultural experience," explained Sukwanna. "We have a lot of guests on tour excursions and tours to make the most of the short amount of time we have on Guam, for the most part of the day until 5pm. They're trying to get the most out of the cultural experience as possible."

Guam Visitors Bureau chair and president of the Micronesian Cruise Association Monte Mesa says this is a great way for Guam to bring more money into the economy, saying, "This is not only one way to bring in airplane loads of people to our island. The long-term strategy is to bring cruise within the region, similar to what is done in the Caribbean cruise. We hope that Guam, the FSM, Palau and the CNMI will create a great and unique destination that each island would have to offer."

He says the Association's long term goal is to build a cruise terminal in Hagatna Bay. He says bringing in cruise ships can help put Guam on the map, adding, "This is as a result of our last conference that we attended in Miami, Florida and we will be attending it next week in Miami again. We're building relationships with the cruise ship owner. The reason the Queen Mary is here today is because of the personal relationship with the president and CEO of Conard."

In the meantime, Mary Brown from Scotland says she enjoyed her brief stop in Guam. She told KUAM News, "It was superb. We walked on the beach. We shopped and we thoroughly enjoyed the weather. The people are wonderful here but thank you for our visit in Guam."

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