[This is the introductory blog post for a trip we took on the Queen Mary II in December 2008.  The rest of the blog for this trip is collected in a Kindle ebook called Travel With Us on the Queen Mary II.  See our Travel With Us page for more information.]

What a great week – on Tuesday Obama wins the election, and on Wednesday we “win” a free cruise to the Caribbean on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2!! Needless to say, we had a bit of trouble focusing for the rest of the week – Mary had to obsessively read all the election post-mortem, and Lis had to obsessively plan airfare and shore excursions.

So, how did this come about? Some time ago, Lis took Cunard’s Commodore Training Course, which included a free Graduation Cruise for her and a companion upon completion of the program. But, whenever graduation cruises were offered, they were always 1) in about 2-3 weeks and 2) snapped up before we could decide whether to do it.

On Wednesday, however, what with all the Post-Election excitement (and the after-effects of the Election Night champagne), our normal check-and-double-check-before-making-a-decision instincts were blunted. Lis got an email about some Graduation cruises and called out “Do you want to go to the Caribbean on the Queen Mary on December 9?” Mary responded, “Sure,” Lis called Cunard, and it was done.

Afterward, our instincts kicked in and we thought maybe we shouldn’t have done it – Lis was actually saying “maybe we should cancel” when her dad happened to call. She told him about it, and her reservations. He said, “OK, let me get this straight. It’s 10 nights, you only have to pay for airfare, all the food is free, and you’re thinking of not doing it?” Well, when you put it that way…

So, we’re very excited, pouring over travel books and Cruise Critic posts, trying to determine what we’re going to do in each port. Later we’ll post our itinerary and ideas for excursions.