Written by on Tuesday August 19, 2014
I have just returned from a fabulous 3 night trip to New York. We most definitely picked the best weather with glorious sunshine the entire trip. We arrived at the Hotel Beacon in New York which is on 75th Street, very close to Central Park. Whilst initially I thought it may have been a little far out (from Times Square) it transpired this was a beautiful area with the subway only a few minutes walk. The hotel is surrounded by cafes and shops. I stayed in a 1 bedroom suite on the 18th floor, which had amazing views over the New York skyline. The room was beautifully decorated with a large kingsize bed, separate living area, kitchenette and lots of wardrobe space. This hotel would be ideal for families also with their separate rooms choosing either a 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom suite.
Day 1 after arriving at our hotel we had a lovely champagne reception and the Manager Tom, kindly gave us a history lesson on New York and advised on how best to get the most from our trip. We then went for a beautiful meal at a Mediterranean restaurant a short walk from the hotel on Amsterdam Street.
Day 2 consisted of a sightseeing day where we got tickets for the "hop on hop off" bus which took us to lots of the major attractions and is definitely a great way to see New York (make sure you pick a fun guide on the tour bus) After being dropped off we then took a water taxi on the Hudson River which again is an excellent way to see New York and has the benefit of getting up very close to the "Statue of Liberty" for a photo opportunity. We then went to ground zero and the memorial garden which was a very humbling experience. Battery Park was our next port of call which is a great place to relax and people watch. My feet were sore by now but we continued taking in China Town and stopping off at "Little Italy" in a beautiful outdoor terrace for a cocktail of course!
Day 3 took us to see the Celebrity Summit where we had the pleasure of having a ship tour and lunch on board. I had only ever visited the Solstice Class ships so it was lovely to see one of the millenium class ships albeit with a touch of "solstizization" The ship was beautiful and filled with passengers excited about their forthcoming Bahamas Cruise. We were very fortunate to see the higher end grade suites. The Penthouse Suite was beautiful with a huge decking area, I could only but dream! All the staterooms and suites were spacious in size and decorated to a high standard. We had lunch in the "Bistro on Five" which carries a covercharge of $5pp. It had a lovely menu with starters/appetizers where I tackled the french onion soup which was beautiful. Main dishes consist of savoury crepes/paninis/chicken and beef dishes. Deserts were also gorgeous try the brownie desert!
After our ship visit we then went to "Jersey Gardens Mall" which is very close to Newark Airport. To say I was in shock is an understatement. It is huge with all the name brand stores of which lots are outlet stores. We had 4 hours to shop which definitely was not enough. I would highly recommend taking a full day here if you are a shopper. There is a bus which runs from "Port Authority" and it is $14pp return. This evening saw us in Times Square which is a hub of activity. We had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe (no trip would be complete to New York without a trip here)
Day 4 Our final day had arrived and I was adamant I wanted to go to the Rockafellow Centre and the "Top of the Rock". After a short queue we were in the lift (with all its flashing lights) and zooming up to the 67th floor. The views were breathtaking and the photo opportunities amazing. I would definitely recommend Top of the Rock as opposed to the Empire State Building, however go after 11am as it can be hazy in the mornings. After a quick bite to eat it was time to head back to the hotel and meet our transfer back to the airport.
I had an amazing trip, and I will definitely return to New York in the not too distant future.
Charlotte Guest, Cruise Expert