Tag Archives: World Trade Center

Cruise to Bermuda, September 2017

I am very far behind on this blog.

We had spent the weekend before the cruise in NYC with our son and his fiance.  We stayed at our usual Club Quarters virtually across the street from his apartment.

I had a huge growth hormone fail on this trip.  I packed it exactly like I did here, but there was no fridge in the hotel.  I’d planned on leaving it in Michael’s apartment but the first night we were tired and I left it in a container of ice.  Of course, the ice melted and got into the cartridge so I threw it away.  There was no GH for the entire cruise 😦

According to my Swarm Check-ins, we went to all these places:

Club Quarters Hotel, Wall Street (our hotel, so we were there lots)
Friday, September 15, 2017, · 5:54 PM

Cipriani Wall Street (his former apartment)
Friday, September 15, 2017, · 6:45 PM

11 Hanover Greek (dinner)
Friday, September 15, 2017, · 7:01 PM

Zaitzeff (breakfast)
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 10:30 AM

St. Paul’s Chapel (Passing by – After September 11, 2001, St. Paul’s became the site of an extraordinary, round-the-clock relief ministry to rescue and recovery workers for nine months. Though the World Trade Center buildings collapsed just across the street, there was no damage to St. Paul’s, earning it the nickname “the little chapel that stood.”)
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 11:22 AM

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice (Boba AKA bubble tea!)
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 11:36 AM

Woolworth Building (Passing by, but we touched it for luck)
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 11:46 AM

City Hall Park (walked through)
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 11:48 AM

Bryant Park (checked out the books in the library carts)
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 2:03 PM

Tisserie (Pastries)
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 2:13 PM

Theater District
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 2:41 PM

Chelsea
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 3:18 PM

Liberty Park
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 3:31 PM

Elevated Acre (We took salads here to have a picnic.  We noticed some tables set up by the edge, near the East River.  Then people looking like waiters.  We decided we didn’t fit into what looked like a wedding.  A bagpiper appeared and started playing.

The guests- many in kilts – came up the stairs, as did the wedding couple.  Tom, in his cut off jeans, took pictures from the top of the escalator.  Talk about crashing a wedding!

The Elevated Acre is precisely that: a one-acre meadow flanked by delightfully designed gardens and plantings elevated above the city streets. Its entrance is fairly anonymous, an escalator at 55 Water Street, set back from the sidewalk. Currently surrounded by construction, passersby will often overlook it. But if you venture up the escalators you will find the marvelous Elevated Acre.

The secretive urban oasis features a lawn, an amphitheater, a summer beer garden, winding paths of Brazilian hardwood, spectacular views of the East River, Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn Bridge, and above all, pleasant solitude. This elevated one-acre park is one of Manhattan’s most relaxing secrets.)

Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 4:25 PM

Duane Reade
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 4:48 PM

Club Quarters Hotel, Wall Street
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 6:57 PM

This next section is very weird.

We took an Uber to China Blue
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 7:21 PM

in

Chinatown
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 7:41 PM

But they were full and it would be a half hour wait so we called for another Uber, which turned out to be the same one.  He took us to

Da Gennaro
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 7:53 PM

in

Little Italy
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 7:56 PM

There was some festival going on and the streets were crowded.  So were the restaurants.

we next tried

Puglia Restaurant
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 7:56 PM

also in Little Italy.  They said they could seat us and we waited and waited and finally left.  We could have eaten at China Blue in the same amount of time.

We Ubered back to

Harry’s Cafe and Steak
Saturday, September 16, 2017, · 9:17 PM

which is in walking distance of our hotel. <sigh>

Koyzina Kafe (breakfast)
Sunday, September 17, 2017, · 9:28 AM

Liberty Park (passing through)
Sunday, September 17, 2017, · 10:16 AM

Brookfield Place (Michael’s office)
Sunday, September 17, 2017, · 10:29 AM

Nelson A. Rockefeller Park (passing through)
Sunday, September 17, 2017, · 10:47 AM

Irish Hunger Memorial (The Memorial represents a rural Irish landscape with an abandoned stone cottage, stone walls, fallow potato fields and the flora on the north Connacht wetlands. It is both a metaphor for the Great Irish Famine and a reminder that hunger today is often the result of lack of access to land.

The Memorial contains stones from each of Ireland’s 32 counties and is elevated on a limestone plinth. Along the base are bands of texts separated by layers of imported Kilkenny limestone. The text, which combines the history of the Great Famine with contemporary reports on world hunger, is cast as a shadow onto illuminated frosted glass panels._

Sunday, September 17, 2017, · 10:53 AM

 

We had lunch, got our bags and headed to the Cruise Terminal.

September 17, 2017

Embarkation in New York was the fastest we have ever experienced.  We went through security and had to ask which way to go next.  Our area seemed to be Haven only, but it was ours, too.  After getting our health form, we moved so quickly there was no time to fill it out, so we did while we were getting out cabin key cards.  We had a new trainee checking us in, and that slowed us down by about a minute but I think we went from Uber to onboard in about 15 minutes.

We went up to lunch and our cabin was available right after that.  None of our luggage got lost!  We had an aft cabin/balcony which we love.


September 18, 2017

The ship is really rolling tonight – I’m having trouble sleeping due to the closet doors opening and shutting themselves. The chairs on the balcony have rearranged themselves to be right up next to the door.

From Cruise Critic:

Jose is projected to be directly between NYC and Bermuda on Sunday when we are scheduled to sail.

As of the latest run of the GFS Jose would be due west of Bermuda half way to SC coast on Sunday the 17th. [I will attach the map of this.] After that Jose is projected to slide north then recurve out to sea heading NE. Late on Wed. the 19th Jose is forecast to be 350-400 miles SE of Nantucket.

IMNHO, the Breakaway will sail to Bermuda heading a bit more out to the east than its normal straight line course. Going to the North or to the South would take the Breakaway into Jose direct influences. There may be a bit of a swell, but by going [fast] to Bermuda will avoid most of the winds of the storm.

All this said we are talking about events 6+days out. A lot can change in that time

~~~

I had trouble flushing the toilet about 4 am – at 6:59 it flushed itself!

Wave height 14.5. normal is 8

~~~

After breakfast, we checked out the Library.  Not much – Princess has a much better library.  There was no librarian – ever – so Tom couldn’t get books.  What’s the point of a library you can’t use?

We went to the Cruise Critic Roll Call then walked around, back to the library, Tom complained about library to  Guest Services.  They said they couldn’t do anything.

Tom called the special number they gave us at Roll Call – they’ll call back.

Lunch

People out on deck huddled under towels in rain.

Back to cabin.  Read on deck, fell asleep

Tom to meeting

Texted with Michael

Did some work, Posted online.

Guest services sent up chocolate covered strawberries because Tom complained.  He got to eat them all since I’m allergic to strawberries.  Red wine always gives me a headache so our steward, Gusti, got that as a gift.

I shared this on cruise critic:

They’re reporting that the waves are 14.8 and have been most of the day. The TV calls them “rough mounting” but I’m not sure what that is.

The upper decks are closed but there are hopeful folks in deck chairs wrapped in towels – and it’s raining.

We used my backpack to stop the doors from crashing so much.

Internet is working fine – it’s all good for me as long as I can get online. LOL

Our path keeps changing and we’re going further north and west, then heading back to Bermuda. I’ve been taking screenshots of the TV and I’ll post them in a bit.

Here’s an image I edited this morning as an overview for the folks back home.

 

Naptime!

6:21 Waves 21.3

Sea state Rough

Night 3, no Growth Hormone


September 19, 2017

The wind is blowing quite loudly

We’re heading home on Thursday at 5:00 PM instead of Friday due to the hurricane 😦

Posted on Facebook

Update, for those interested… We’ve had to go further and further around the storm (Jose) and the waves have been buffeting us around a bit.

We’re doing ok and I have lots of books on my Kindle so I’m good for a long time. The people who wanted to lie out by the pool are out of luck. The pools are closed and drained, often the decks are closed so everyone is eating and shopping – and in the casino, I guess.

The captain just announced that we’re going to have to cut our time in Bermuda short by a day because we’re going to have to skirt a hurricane (the same one?) on the way back.

I had a snorkel trip planned for that day so I’m a bit unhappy about that but it’s better to be safe…

Posted on Cruse Critic

We’re still trucking along, due to be in Bermuda tomorrow morning at 5:30 am as planned.

The pools have never been opened, as far as I know, and the decks are usually closed due to high winds.

Earlier today, the captain said we might have sun by Thursday.

Tonight he announced that we would be leaving Bermuda early, on Thursday afternoon at 5 instead of Friday at 4 to continue sailing around whatever hurricane is out there now.

I was able to reschedule the shore excursion I had lined up with an outside tour company, so that’s good. We did an excursion, but not through NCL, although the same one was offered through them.  We were supposed to go out on Friday, on the Rising Son but, when we learned that our ship was leaving port on Thursday afternoon, I contacted them to cancel.  They offered us a Thursday morning snorkel trip, which I accepted.    Had we been on the same excursion as offered by NCL, it would have cost us more money at the outset but it would have been automatically canceled, so we would have missed out.

~~~

Response to above post on CC:

Wow, thanks for the live update – been looking at ship webcam off-and-on, looked like ship is still sailing in large swells w. bits of small whites, guessing it’s 10′ to 12′ seas & windy. we ran into that for a day last year coming back from Dockyard … a bumper.

Must be one packed atrium lobby with all the displaced outdoor chair hogs unable to sunbath …

Hurricane Maria doing major damages down in the Caribbean, expected to hit Puerto Rico directly & hard starting tonight, then continue its path as a Cat-5, possibly missing some of the Bahamas islands … and maybe weakened somewhat – turning north/northeast in the direction of Bermuda. This latest forecast model is probably what prompted NCL is modify your time on the islands, sorry – it’s mother nature – 2 full “fun” day at sea to sail around & outrun Maria next.

From BDA’s local forecast office: Bermuda will maintain showery and thundery conditions into Wednesday. Moderate to strong winds gradually ease light to moderate by Wednesday evening. Thursday is a mix of sun & clouds, high of 82 degree. (Seas outside the reef for arrival, 6 to 10 ft.)

Night 4, no Growth Hormone


September 20, 2017

Made it to Bermuda! If it does turn around, it makes this sound like the book I told you about – The Ship and the Storm: Hurricane Mitch and the Loss of the Fantome  If so, I sure hope there’s a better ending here.

When I told the snorkeling company about us leaving early, they were able to change us to tomorrow so we don’t lose out on that trip at all. Hooray!

9:45am  Excellent – we’re now having a practice fire drill for crew only involving “fake smoke” whatever that is. Time to disembark, I think!

We took the ferry to St Georges.  We’d been there before, so we knew what we wanted to see and where we wanted to eat.

We ferried back to the boat and Tom had a meeting

We ate fast to get to Bermuda Triangle trip.

There were lots of people waiting for elevators. I got in an elevator but Tom wasn’t there.  I went back to 14, not there.  Waited about 15 minutes.  Nope.

I finally went down to the gangway.  Nope.

So, I went back to the cabin.

The steward there so I sat on the balcony.

The phone rang from ShoreEx, asked if we were coming.  I said I couldn’t find Tom so no.

The phone rang from Tom who had gotten to the ShoreEx office. I said I wasn’t going. He was angry with me.  I was angry and upset and told him there was no way I’d get off the ship without him.

Food was Italian night

We walked around decks

Night 5, no GH

 

Message from NCL

Weather Updates 2017

September 20th at 11:30 AM (4:30 PM UTC)

At Norwegian Cruise Line, the safety and security of our guests and crew is of the utmost importance. The company is closely watching Hurricanes Maria and Jose in the Atlantic, and will be slightly modifying the itinerary for Norwegian Breakaway, to ensure that our guests have the best vacation experience possible.

To avoid the storm’s path, Norwegian Breakaway will sail a longer route back to New York for her cruise that departed on Sunday, September 17. Norwegian Breakaway will now spend two days in port in Bermuda and depart a day early at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 21 and will arrive back in New York on Sunday, September 24, as scheduled. Norwegian Dawn will sail as scheduled and return to Boston on Friday, September 22.

We are saddened by the devastating impact Hurricane Irma has had on several islands in the Eastern Caribbean, ports that we have called on since the start of our 50 years in business. We are working with our partners on the ground to provide assistance to ensure these spectacular destinations are up and running and ready to welcome guests again very soon. In the interim, due to the destruction caused by the storm, we have altered the itineraries for Norwegian Escape’s Eastern Caribbean cruises for the remainder of 2017. Travel Partners and guests booked on these sailings will be receiving updated itinerary information shortly.

Should there be any further updates, guests will be advised and updated information will be posted on www.ncl.com.

 


Cruiseline Review

A “Swell Time” Was Had By All

 

Embarkation

Embarkation in New York was the fastest we have ever experienced.  We went through security and had to ask which way to go next.  Our area seemed to be Haven only, but it was ours, too.  After getting our health form, we moved so quickly there was no time to fill it out, so we did while we were getting out cabin key cards.  We had a new trainee checking us in, and that slowed us down by about a minute but I think we went from Uber to onboard in about 15 minutes.

 

Restaurants

We only ate in the buffet so I have no experience with the specialty restaurants or main dining room.  We ate in those last time we were on this ship and saw no need to again.  The buffet was fine for our needs – always a great selection of foods.  People weren’t usually too pushy, which was nice.  We never had trouble finding a table.  One thing that was new this year was specialty nights in the buffet – Italian, Oriental, Country Western, Grill Extravaganza.  Even with the specialty nights, it was possible to get non-specialty items.  They always had a selection of Oriental food and Indian food, as well as grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, pizza and mac’n’cheese.

 

Onboard

I can’t rate this because we didn’t do any of them this time.  I would think that most people had a bad time with these, though.  We had some serious hurricane activity and the pools were usually closed as were the rock-climbing wall, ropes course and many of the decks.  We did enjoy sitting in the comfy chairs on Deck 8 when the cushions were available, though.

 

Steward

Our steward was phenomenal.  He knew our names from the very first day and he was always there to get anything we needed.  I never had to bug him for ice – he saw that I used most of the bucket the first night and brought ice 3 times a day after that.

 

Cleanliness

We had an aft balcony on deck 14, which we loved.  There were a couple nights when a band was playing somewhere (Spice H2O?)  and we got a fairly steady drumbeat but when we closed the balcony doors, it wasn’t a problem.  Common areas were clean – the last day of the cruise, they’d even drained the bool and were cleaning it out.  I don’t think it was probably even used more than a day so may not have needed that.  The window washing apparatus went by us in Bermuda, keeping everything shiny.

 

Cabin

The cabin was what we expected it to be.  Not super-large, but on par with other cruises.  The bed was very comfy and possibly king-size.  We had hurricane conditions for most of the sea days and the closet doors would rock back and forth on their rollers and slam into the opposite wall.  Very noisy at night until we used backpacks as stoppers.  One thing that was new to me was the inclusion of used sharps containers in the cabin bathroom and around the ship.  I’m on daily injections now and it would have been good to know this before investing in travel-sized sharps containers.

One morning, there was an issue with non-flushing toilets.  My DH complained and it turned out someone in another cabin had put something in the toilet that shouldn’t have been there.  Guest services sent us chocolate covered strawberries and wine for his efforts

 

NYC

We love NYC as a port since our son lives there and it’s a great chance to visit.  We did not do any excursions – just places with our son and fiancé.

 

Bermuda

We love Bermuda, which is why we chose this particular cruise.  Unfortunately, due to the hurricanes (Jose and Maria), we left a day early.  I particularly like the new NCL ferry to St. George.  That was very convenient and saved us some money.  We did an excursion, but not through NCL, although the same one was offered through them.  We were supposed to go out on Friday, on the Rising Son but, when we learned that our ship was leaving port on Thursday afternoon, I contacted them to cancel.  They offered us a Thursday morning snorkel trip, which I accepted.    Had we been on the same excursion as offered by NCL, it would have cost us more money at the outset but it would have been automatically canceled, so we would have missed out.

 

Disembarkation

Disembarkation went as well as possible.  We put our bags out by 11 on Saturday night, vacated our cabin by 9:00 am and went to the buffet with the carryon bags.  The only problem was hearing them call the groups to disembark.  Some of the areas he signs that said, but the buffet did not.  We were one of the last groups to be called so it was quite a long line getting to the final checkout but we walked off the ship pretty quickly.  Our baggage was altogether in the “Blue” area.  We got that and customs was quite speedy.  And, we were out on the street.  Our son and fiancé met us and we were in an Uber within about 10 minutes.

 

Summary

Despite hurricanes, chilly weather, wind and waves, we had a great time, reading and relaxing.


Here’s my Cruise Critic review of last September’s cruise:

We chose the cruise because we found out we had CruiseNext deposits expiring in November. We had taken this cruise about 3 years ago and thought it would be fun to do it again. Personally, we like embarking from NYC since our son lives there so we get a mini visit with him on both ends of the cruise.

Embarkation in New York was the fastest we have ever experienced. We went through security and had to ask which way to go next. Our area seemed to be Haven only, but it was ours, too. After getting our health form, we moved so quickly there was no time to fill it out, so we did while we were getting out cabin key cards. We had a new trainee checking us in, and that slowed us down by about a minute but I think we went from Uber to onboard in about 15 minutes.

Disembarkation went as well as possible. We put our bags out by 11 on Saturday night, vacated our cabin by 9:00 am and went to the buffet with the carryon bags. The only problem was hearing them call the groups to disembark. Some of the areas he signs that said, but the buffet did not. We were one of the last groups to be called so it was quite a long line getting to the final checkout but we walked off the ship pretty quickly. Our baggage was altogether in the “Blue” area. We got that and customs was quite speedy. And, we were out on the street. Our son and fiancé met us and we were in an Uber within about 10 minutes.

The cabin was what we expected it to be. Not super-large, but on par with other cruises. The bed was very comfy and possibly king-size. We had hurricane conditions for most of the sea days and the closet doors would rock back and forth on their rollers and slam into the opposite wall. Very noisy at night until we used backpacks as stoppers. One thing that was new to me was the inclusion of used sharps containers in the cabin bathroom and around the ship. I’m on daily injections now and it would have been good to know this before investing in travel-sized sharps containers.

One morning, there was an issue with non-flushing toilets. My DH complained and it turned out someone had put something in the toilet that shouldn’t have been there. Guest services sent us chocolate covered strawberries and wine for his efforts

We didn’t do any of the entertainment or activities this time. The ones we were interested in we did last time around and this year, most of the activities were closed due to some serious hurricane activity. The pools were usually closed as were the rock-climbing wall, ropes course and many of the decks. We did enjoy sitting in the comfy chairs on Deck 8 when the cushions were available, though.

We love Bermuda, which is partly why we chose this particular cruise. Unfortunately, due to the hurricanes (Jose and Maria), we left a day early. I particularly like the new NCL ferry to St. George. That was very convenient and saved us some money. We did an excursion, but not through NCL, although the same one was offered through them. We were supposed to go out on Friday, on the Rising Son but, when we learned that our ship was leaving port on Thursday afternoon, I contacted them to cancel. They offered us a Thursday morning snorkel trip, which I accepted. Had we been on the same excursion as offered by NCL, it would have cost us more money at the outset but it would have been automatically canceled, so we would have missed out.

We did not travel with children.

We would go again in a heartbeat!

 

 

All our pictures on Flickr

 

9/11 – We Remember

We will always remember 911

I originally wrote this on 9/11/01…

I, too, was stunned to hear the news this morning and continuing throughout the day.

It was just something unbelievable.  My husband and I were on a Land Rover 4X4 tour of the off-road areas of Barbados when we first got the news.

At first, when we got the very first news, around 9:30 am, I thought that it was some tale that the driver was weaving…and that there would be a punchline.  As the day wore on, more interest was on the radio than on the tour.  Some of the people in our Land Rover were from New York City and they were terrified for friends and family.

What an awful day in history this is, one of those that we’ll always remember where we were when we got the news.

Like the rest of you, I am stunned, absolutely shocked that this could happen, using our own planes, no less.  I cannot imagine the terror of the people on those planes, or in the World Trade Center…or the Pentagon.

The rest of the story:
The year of 911 my mom and my son had been with us for the first week. My son had to be back at college so on Sunday he shepherded my mom through the airport, customs and all and got her back home before he headed back to UMass/Amherst on Monday. Thank goodness they got back before the mayhem started!

On Tuesday we were out on a 4X4 from Island Safari with our favorite guide, Zario. Zario is a fun guy and and very knowledgeable about Barbados and world events. We were very happy to have him again because it was the “luck of the draw” which driver/guide we got.

I remember that morning being kind of stressed already – I was having trouble with one of my contacts and I was just grumpy.

Zario picked us up first, one of the benefits of staying at The Crane – everyone picks us first for everything and drops us off last. Then he picked up another couple from New York City who were staying at Bougainvillea.

The tour started off through the fields, down cliffs as usual. Zario had the radio on in the background. When we got to the first stop he told us that there was a “problem” in New York. That it seemed that a plane had hit a building. We thought that there was going to be a punch line somewhere. There wasn’t.

As the tour went on, the news got worse. The couple from NYC was very worried about relatives.

By the time we got to lunch and met up with the other 4x4s everyone had heard. We were in a little chattal house restaurant, the TV was on CNN and everyone was just watching in silence and horror. Usually this lunch is very festive and fun. Not a care in the world. Not today.

We left the New York people off at their hotel and went “home”. The TV was full of New York news, then Pentagon news. We know people who work at the Pentagon. The news just got worse as we went along.

We were basically stuck in Barbados.  Phones to the US didn’t work well, email was slow to non-existent, all we knew was what we got on CNN, incessantly.  My mother and son had been with us the week before and had just flown back the Saturday before.  I was so glad that they had gotten back home ok, then my son off to college.

We were supposed to fly home on the next Saturday, but if was iffy if that would happen since the airports were closed for the longest time.  We were flying into the DC area. The phone lines to the Barbados airport and to American Airlines were always busy.

Finally, we decided to give it a shot, packed up and went to the airport to see if we could fly out or not.  They could only guarantee the flight as far as Puerto Rico.

The San Juan airport was crowded with Americans trying to get home, flights being canceled due to closed airports, people sleeping all around the airport, using backpacks for pillows.  It was a very difficult time.

We did finally leave for home later that night.  This is what I wrote the next day…

I flew on American Airlines last night (9/14/2001).  We left Barbados on time but the connecting flight, originating out of Aruba was very late, and we waited for a long time in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

After that flight had arrived though, we were all sitting around, hoping they’d board the plane soon.  All of a sudden, there was cheering in the hallway.  We turned to look – our pilot and crew were marching up the hallway with a huge American flag.  He stopped and talked to us.  He explained that the copilot would hang that flag outside his window as we taxied out of Puerto Rico and into Dulles.  The flag was making the rounds of American flights all over the country and that the yellow streamers hanging down were being signed by all the American crew members.  He posed for lots of pictures (I have some I’ll post later, when my eyes are less bleary!), then, as they were going to get the plane ready, he asked us in a loud voice if we were ready to fly to Washington and everyone cheered.

Along the way, he thanked us so much for having faith and flying (like we had any choice!).  The headphones for the movie and the drinks were all free on this flight!  He also told us that there were a lot of fighter planes in the Washington to NY corridor and not to be surprised if we were intercepted by one, who would just be making sure that we were “who we said we were”.  I thought that would be kind of neat to see, but I didn’t see them.  We arrived in Dulles (Washington, DC) with a jet fighter escort.  At the time, that sounded so comforting, but it turned out that they had been there to shoot us down, if we’d made any funny moves.

Then, when we arrived at the terminal, the captain said that we were back in “the land of the free, and the home of the brave” and got some more cheers.

It was a memorable flight for someone like me, who is terrified of flying under the best of circumstances.

Us, on 9/10. Who knew?

9/14, San Juan Puerto Rico:
After the crew marched down the hallway.

The captain, letting others have a chance to fly the flag.

This young woman lead us onto the plane.

MaryOUSAheart

%d bloggers like this: