New York Sailaway
New York Travel Blog› entry 2 of 9 › view all entries
Our aim was to be at the New York Cruise Terminal by Noon for our check-in. Carnival Miracle was due to sail at 4:30 p.m., but we wanted a sufficient cushion as we didn't know how long it would take to drive into Manhattan, find the crusie terminal, drop luggage, and park. It turned out to be not complicated at all. After breakfast (and last-minute TravBuddy checking on the hotel's computer) Drew, Julia, and I loaded up the luggage. Another family on our cruise was also staying at the hotel. We said we'd see one other on deck!
New Jersey Route 3 was again the route to follow, this time leading to the Lincoln Tunnel under the Hudson River into New York City.
The Manhattan Cruise Terminal soon loomed up. Piers 88-94 were built in the 1930s to consolodate passenger ship traffic in and out of New York City. The piers once saw the great transatlantic ocean liners of the postwar era and now host the great cruise ships of today. Carnival Miracle's superstructure could be seen above Pier 93.
Turning in to the passenger drop off area, the process was very similar to an airport. We dropped off our luggage with a porter and, while Susan looked for the check-in area, I drove up to the parking area.
Embarkation was a very smooth process and we were on board Carnival Miracle at 12:15 p.m. This was the same ship we'd been on from Tampa in 2006 for our Western Caribbean cruise, so we knew our way around. Lunch was at Horatio's on the Lido Deck while we waited for our cabins to be made available. Muster Drill was called for 4:00 p.m., then it was up to the Sun Deck to watch the sailaway.
Promptly at 4:30 p.m. a tugboat drew alongside. The ship sounded five blasts on its whistle and we began to pull away from the pier. This was my first time to sail out of New York Harbor. (Susan, also a life-long traveler, had sailed from New York in the 1970s on Queen Elizabeth II and S.
The ship made its way down the Hudson River, with the Manhattan skyline and famous buildings passing in reivew. Empire State Building, Chrylser Bulding. Met Life Tower. I spoke with one fellow who had sailed from New York several times. He likes to photograph each cross street in succession as it makes it appearance. The sky was overcast and a sudden rain squall put a temporary halt to photo taking. It cleared by the time we reached Lower Manhattan and The Battery. Most importantly, it had stopped raining by the time we passed Ellis Island, the old immigration station, and the Statue of Liberty. A Staten Island Ferry paced us for a ways on its way to Staten Island. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was now in sight. It was the longest suspension bridge when it opened in 1964 to link Brooklyn and Staten Island.
After clearing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the scene became suddenly quiet. Passengers departed for the lower decks. All that could be heard were bells from the buoys marking the channel and the occasional deep-voiced "whoo" from a shoal warning marker. Very peaceful and serene as Manhattan disappeared astern. I finally went below about 6:30 p.m.
We were scheduled for Late Seating dinner at 8:15 p.m. This cruise we were seated in the upper level of the dining room. Our waiters were Pongsak from Thailand and Sorin from Romania. Pongsak told us had been with Carnival for 19 years. It was interesting to converse with him. He plans to retire soon to return to his farm and family in Thailand and had much to say about natural farming techniques. Sorin, on the other hand, was a very new Carnvial employee, but I never did get his story.