Pier 88, New York City

Photo from Barbara Ramsay Orr

  There is nothing in the cruising world quite so exciting as the christening of a brand new boat. The christening ceremony of the Scenic Eclipse was especially highly anticipated – not just because the ship is revolutionary and ultra-luxurious. Not just because it has two helicopters and a submarine. Not just because it is drop dead gorgeous. Those are all true and compelling reasons for excitement. But the reason we are all a bit giddy is …

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New York, Not Your Typical Port of Call

A cruise leaving out of the city can be amazing, not only for what you will experience on your cruise ship, but for the endless opportunities while your in New York. We planned a weekend stay there, so we could fully taste what the city had to offer. Flying into LaGuardia was a little rough, unusually high winds made landing over water and between skyscrapers a bit treacherous. Once landed the airport is pretty easy to navigate, …

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New York City: An emotional visit to Ground Zero

ABOARD THE CRYSTAL SERENITY – Yesterday morning we arrived in New York City and our plan for the day consisted of only one activity: To visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum which opened earlier this year in Lower Manhattan at “Ground Zero,” where the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed 13 years ago after a terrorist attack. While the ship did offer several shore tours that included this, we decided to plan our …

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Royal Caribbean International sets sail down the streets of New York City this November in the 87th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

A magical voyage will begin this Thanksgiving as Royal Caribbean International®, the award-winning global cruise line returns to the lineup of the 87th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®. On Thursday, November 28th, the brand new Royal Caribbean float will set sail for a fun-filled family journey that will help ring in the start of the holiday season for millions. “Royal Caribbean cruise vacations are known as the ultimate in family entertainment at sea, so it’s fitting that …

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Statue of Liberty to re-open by 4th of July

The National Park Service is aiming to reopen the Statue of Liberty to visitors by July 4 after carrying out months of repairs to Ellis Island, which was damaged by Hurricane Sandy last October. The storm destroyed the docks, crippled the energy infrastructure on the island and wiped out the security screening system. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a statement that authorities were committed to reopening Lady Liberty as soon as it was safe …

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Central Park is a great place to start a family trip to NYC

Where to start? Sure New York has everything—shopping and fine restaurants, world-class museums and Broadway, but with a preschooler on a sunny day, we head straight to New York’s Central Park — just across the street from where we’re staying at the legendary Plaza Hotel  – with 843 acres with places to play (21 playgrounds!), ride a Carousel, visit a zoo, ride horses, go running, or just sit on a bench — there are nearly 9,000 to …

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Spending a cold, snowy morning at the 9/11 Memorial

DAY TWO — The next morning, we headed downtown on the subway, despite the snow and sleet to the 9/11 Memorial. (Tickets are free but it is necessary to get them in advance.) The Memorial is helping to spearhead a rebirth of lower Manhattan with shopping, hotels, (The Conrad New York is the latest, expected to open in February) museums and restaurants. The World Trade Center, of course, was a 16-acre commercial complex in lower Manhattan that …

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A weekend spent in a NYC penthouse with seven teenaged boys

DAY ONE — Some of my friends thought I was nuts. When I won a weekend stay at the Hilton New York’s five-bedroom penthouse, I invited along seven teenagers to share the fun at New York’s largest hotel. The boys, from inner city areas across the country, go to high school in my suburban town under the auspices of A Better Chance. After a successful weekend in Boston late last fall, I figured it was time to …

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Disney Comes to New York

Disney is a name known worldwide, and those of you that have experienced a Disney Cruise with your children know that the magic of the parks translates nicely to a cruise. Over time, the Disney Magic has brought its special brand of cruising to ports around the world; Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, England, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Russia; in the eastern and western Caribbean, Mexico, the Bahamas, St. Maarten to name but a few. And now, …

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Sometimes the best vacation experiences are free

That’s what we discovered when we went out to explore Lower Manhattan with a volunteer from Big Apple Greeters (www.bigapplegreeter.org). Because greeters are not professional tour guides, these are called “visits” rather than “tours,” but what a great way to experience a New York Neighborhood—with a bonafide New Yorker who knows and loves her city—including where to eat lunch in Chinatown for just $6. You can ask for a Greeter to show you a specific neighborhood (next …

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