my advice is to spend a couple of days in New York, tagged onto a brief cruise, on the Queen Mary from Southampton, hope this helps.
Why not look at a short stay in New York & a short cruise to Bermuda, plenty of 5 nights Royal Caribbean. Also 6&7 nights on NCL & Carnival.
I dont think QM2 is "mega-expensive" at present! Have a look at the offers currently available for '09; transatlantic - starting at about £699 p.p.( i.e. about £300 less than "usual" lead in prices.) Sounds like a bit of a bargain to me! Cynthia.