Wednesday, June 11, 2008

NCL Dawn Bermuda - Pre-Cruise New York

Our 7 night cruise to Bermuda on Norwegian Dawn sailed from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York. As usual, we arrived the day before the cruise and stayed at the New York LaGuardia Airport Marriott Hotel. We chose this hotel due to the proximity to the cruise port and also because it offered a shuttle service to and from the airport and the hotel.

After claiming our luggage, we called the hotel and arranged for the shuttle to pick us up outside the baggage claim area. The weather was quite warm with overcast skies. At first we debated about venturing out from our hotel at all, but after talking with the Bell Captain at the hotel, who encouraged us to complete our original plans, we headed for the World Trade Center Ground Zero site.

It is possible to get to Ground Zero via bus and subway. The hotel sells the MetroCard, so we purchased them there and took the hotel shuttle back to the airport. From there, we took the M60 bus to the Astoria Blvd subway station where we took the N train to Canal Streeet. Note that on weekends, the W train doesn't operate, so it's necessary to go this route and then walk a few blocks to the WTC site.

There are obviously many things to do in the New York City area. You might be wondering why we chose to go to what will become the site of the Freedom Tower, a memorial to the World Trade Center disaster. For us, it seemed very fitting because Sepember 11, 2001 was our 25th Wedding Anniversary and we were on a NCL cruise in Europe. We learned about the terrorist attacks while in Paris, France. Most of the passengers on our cruise were from the New York City area, since the cruise was a Trans-Atlantic crossing which had been scheduled to arrive in New York at the conclusion of the cruise.

As the mural on the Firehouse wall says, "May We Never Forget". Visiting the site was a very moving experience for us. Before then we had only seen pictures on TV and in print. Seeing it in person gives one a different perspective. When visiting New York, I'd recommend this visit if you are so inclined. Additional pictures will be posted on our Cruise Vacations website once we have time to process them.

We walked back towards the subway, stopping at City Hall Park before returning to our hotel. We got back to the hotel just in time because it started to rain while we were having dinner.
The next morning we had breakfast, checked out of the hotel and had the Bell Captain call a limo for us to go to the pier. About 30 minutes later, we arrived at the pier, checked in, and got onto the ship. I'll continue from here in my next post.

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