Caribbean Princess SJ to NY - May 2 - 12, 2010

Caribbean Princess
San Juan, Puerto Rico to New York, New York
(ports of call: St. Thomas, Antigua, & Bermuda)
May 2nd - 9th, 2010 on the cruise
(Debe & her mother - Betty)
May 9th - 12th, 2010 in New York
(Bob, Debe & Betty)

After an exciting flight including rides to the gates at the airports, we arrived in San Juan PR. (Our flight was with Air Tran with $15 per 1st luggage each. Grrrr) Seeing that big wonderful Caribbean Princess in port was lovely. We had prepaid the tranfers thru the ship so it was an easy arrival and quick embarkation. Since hubby and I had just been on this fabulous ship in February - it was like going back home. Just a reminder that if you see a photo that is small, you can click onto the photo to make it bigger. Just be sure to hit the back button to go back to the blog because hitting the X will close the blog.
First stop, our cabin #A536 inside cabin. We picked out beds and headed to the mandatory lifeboat drill. Hahahahahahaha Our dining room table was full even though it was the first night. We had a great group of tablemates for dinner. We later enjoyed the sailaway with the cruise critic people even though mom was very tired. It was a 11 p.m. for the sailaway.

First port of call was the very next day. St. Thomas. I have to admit, I am getting so sick of St. Thomas. It seems to be on almost all caribbean cruises. But oh well, made the best of things. Mom and I decided to take a ship tour that would take us up the skyride to Paradise Point and a short trip to the Botanical Gardens with stops on the way for kodak moments. Very nice tour - cost $49 per person. It was both of our first time on the tram.

Next it was off to Antigua. We had nothing planned at this port. This is another port that we both had been to before so we just walked off the ship and around the main area and then back on the ship. We found a place at the back pool in the shade that afternoon and I hit the gym while my mom sit around the pool. Later, I moved into the sun and she headed around the ship.

After a couple days at sea, it was off to beautiful Bermuda. The water is so pretty there. We again choose a ship tour that would take us to the hideaway places and millionaire homes. Have to admit, it was very disappointing because we knew no one that owned homes there. lol You must be Bermudian to own a house. The thought of seeing movie stars homes didn't happen. We did get to see the house that John Lennon spent his last summer in. They also told us about where Micheal Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones had a home but you couldn't see it. Our ship was docked at the Naval Dockyard which was a walk up to the main area. We took that walk and really enjoyed ourselves.

Since I have posted many photos from this cruise ship (Feb 2010), I decided to just post these three ship photos and then some of the people onboard. Like the Cruise Director and entertainment other than the production shows which were the same as the Feb 2010 cruise. One of our favorite entertainers this cruise was the Hypnotist. He was so great and the cruise passengers picked made the show so funny. Very good. We also enjoyed a comedian and I took part in the Line Dancing and Country Hoe Down. Top this with the great production shows and we had a great cruise. And when we didn't have anything to do on the sea days, there were always Movies under the Stars and/or movies in the Princess Theatre that were first run shows so that was great. Oh, and of course, the casino is open while at sea for your donations.

Our dining experience was part of the highlights of the day with our table of fun people. Genevieve, Scott, Sherry, Steve, Paula, and Jane along with our Waiter and Assistant Waiter made the experience so fun. We are happy to have made some new friends.
And before the cruise ends, and New York begins - I had to get and post a beautiful sunset. Just my way of showing that God surprises us with his beauty no matter where we are.

You had to be up early to see the ship come into port in New York and by accident, I made it. So up on deck in the early morning I went to get those great shots coming into New York. And gosh was it worth it. (considering it was bone chilling cold and windy) What a site that Statue of Liberty must have been for those immigrating to the wonderful USA. As we went under the George Washington Bridge (I think), the sun was rising making a stunning site. My mom came up later and I got some shots of her with the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan behind her.

After a horrible disembarkation from the ship, and even worst wait for a taxi in the blistering wind and cold - it was off to our next home away from home - The Manhattan at Times Square. Yes we were just a couple blocks from Times Square and convenient to about everything. Bob met up with us and it was off to figure out what Broadway show and dinner place for the night.
Our next two days, we would see New York, Brooklyn, and Harlem by taking the City Sights Hop on Hop off bus. We chose this over the Gray line Hop on Hop off because it included the Circle Line Boat tour (photos later) The only bad thing, it was an open top, no bottom and it was very cold while we were there. We didn't do a lot of hoping off the bus but we saw a lot anyway.
Photos below include many highlights and/or buildings in New York. Photos below of: Times Square, China Town, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, Manhattan Municipal Building (also used as Gothic City in Batman), Flat Iron Building, Woodworth Building, United Nations Building, Madison Square Garden, Macys Building, Radio City Music Hall Building, Carnigie Hall Building, Rockefeller Center, NBC's Building, Metopolitan Museum of Art and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Building Museum

Below's first photo on the left is the St. Pauls Chapel that was used during the 9-11 historical event. I have more about it later. Also included in these photos is our pass through Harlem. First photo in Harlem is the Apollo Theatre (marque is giving honor to Lena Horne upon her death), another building was a church but can't remember if it still is and the Harlem Market.

On the route to Brooklyn, we passed Seaport which looks like a very fun place to go hang out and/or take a tour from but we didn't have that on our schedule for today. It was on to Brooklyn.
One of the things that was pointed out on our tour was the below firehouse/tower. See, during the 9-11 event, the communications for the 911 calls were knocked out. That tower was on the World Trade Center building so of course it was gone. The below picture shows the place and tower that was set up during this time. The fire station is now not used but the memory from the event still lives there forever.
As we crossed the Manhattan Bridge, you can see the Brooklyn bridge to our right with the Manhattan skyline. What a beautiful site even on a cloudy day.
And finally - Brooklyn and places you can visit. In the below photos you will see buildings including the Brooklyn Library along with monuments that adorns Brooklyn. After hearing all about Brooklyn it was back across the Manhattan Bridge.

AS I had originally said, the City Sights Hop on Hop off included the Circle Line Manhattan Boat tour. How great was that. Seeing things from the waters was exciting. In the below photos you will see many things that tells about New York. These include the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, the Staten Island Ferry, an outside multi level golf tee off (I remember seeing that in a movie lol) and other monuments along the riverside. OH, and look close and you will see a photo of Donald Trumps new high rise building being built in New York, of course in the middle of all the low rise buildings who are not happy. In one photo, if you look close, you will see the construction going on for the New World Trade Center One.

Another time we hoped off the bus was for Central Parks tribute to John Lennon. In the first photo below you will see the place where he was murdered. Across from this place is Central Park and the tribute to John Lennon. My mom is standing beside the Strawberry Fields sign which is just before the Mosaic that is displayed with the word Imagine in the center of it. Imagine was a song written and sung by John Lennon. It came out as a single in the US but was the hit song on his album named the same.
While at Central Park and driving around it, we found that it really had a lot to offer. From dog walkers, Pedicabs, carriage rides, art, monuments, a kids zoo (for us that live close to zoos we don't realize that big city kids do not really get to see other animals), playgrounds, among many many other things.

Besides the wonderful art that you find around Central Park, you also find many things close to Central Park and/or around New York. Included is the famous bull (in the financial district), Christopher Columbus Column, the Maine Monument that is at the Merchants Gate entrance to Central Park, a World Globe Statue, the unique Sphere 9-11, Duke Ellinton Statue, Statue by the St. Johns Church of Divine, of course the steam vents that I still don't understand and the hot dog carts that you just might see rolling down the streets to the assigned spots for the day of feeding us tourists and of course the locals. ;)

I had mentioned the World Trade Center and posted photos earlier of things to do with 9-11 but here I will show more. First of all, unlike my prior trips to New York, this time it had changed. You could no longer go to the tiles that were on the subway made by children/family members who lost their parents/familes. Or timelines that filled the fences around the whole left by the disaster. Instead a tall fence covered with the future plans were there along with the construction sites towering above them. So, in the future (hopefully the first part will open 9-11-2010) we will have something beautiful to look at. It will be a reminder of that horrible day but a memorial to remember those lost. Also around the area you will find many plaques and/or monuments that tell us of the lives lost by our firemen and policemen. Being there still brings back the memory of that day and the lives lost.

And of course, the St. Pauls Chapel was a huge part of this event. When the towers fell, there was debris that covered the grounds of the church and all its tombstones. This church sits just across from where the two towers once stood. It was used during the recovery and/or search for lives lost after the event. Many rescuers used this place to sleep, rest, eat, or whatever need it could fill. And sometimes it was just to cry and/or pray.
And this one corner has become a display for the many tiles made and put onto a fence as a reminder of those lost that day - September 11, 2001.
When you hear people talk about New York - it is called the City that never sleeps. Yes, they have a huge nightlife also. And one that we enjoy tremendously is going to Broadway and/or Off Broadway plays. There is a "tickets" place at Times Square and at 3 p.m. they offer tickets at a discount for plays that have not sold out. We took advantage of that all three nights getting great shows. The first was Million Dollar Quartet. Yes, that fourth day of Dec when Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis were brought together for a jam section which would be their last. Great show. Then it was off to enjoy Mary Poppins, an old time favorite movie that comes alive on the stage. This musical is a delightful story about a nanny and her magical touch. And the last night, Bob's choice finally came true, Perfect Crime. Yes, for two days he had picked this play and finally - we went to it. Let's just say it was our least favorite. lol It is said to be the longest running play on Broadway and leaves you wondering the entire time who killed the husband! What a thriller - yeah. lol
What a great trip, cruising and New York - two great combinations. Taking this cruise with my MOM was also a wonderful treat. And New York - always a great place to go and you can go back and back and back and just see more and more. It is a very exciting place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. lol I like having a little country in my life.

In closing, thanks again for taking a moment to check out our travel blog. We have some very exciting trips coming up so check back often. As always, we thank you very much for joining us for this trip and hope you have learned just a little about New York.


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