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Medtech2

NYC Breakaway 9-15-2013 w/ pics

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I am going to write a mini-travel blog here of our trip to NYC and cruise on the Breakaway September 15, 2013. Hopefully I will be able to include some pictures...

 

September 9 2013

 

Flew to New York City JFK from Charleston on a nonstop JetBlue Flight. Smooth and right at 2 hours. Took the Airtran to Jamaica Station, $5/person. Bought 7 Day Metro Cards, $30/person (plus $1 for the card itself--if you buy a Metro Card they advise you to keep it to reload or you will pay the extra $1 again, as NYC is trying to cut down on waste). Used the Subway to Queen's Plaza, which was an easy 4 block walk to the Country Inn & Suites in Long Island City.

 

I highly recommend this hotel for price. It was clean. They had the typical hotel breakfast in the morning included plus internet. I would not bother getting a City View room. I actually did not look into one but judging from the location I find it hard to believe the view would be that great. (If any one has been in one please chime in). It was right next door to a gas station/shop mart and down the street from a Laundromat. We ended up buying snacks and half and half for my coffee here. (That was the bad thing about the breakfast area--no creamer!) Going into Manhattan from here was easy as Queensbridge Plaza station was 2 blocks away for the subway and the bus stop for various routes.

 

We walked to the Court Square Diner which is open 24 hours and very reasonable. A lot of locals came in to eat or get takeout. $12.95 got you many choices of dinner specials with huge portions. I got half a chicken with rice and vegetables plus choice of soup or salad. It was a very tender chicken covered in a cream of chicken soup type sauce with leeks. There was no way I could finish it. Luckily the hotel has mini fridges and microwaves in the rooms. DH got a half pound grilled hamburger steak which was definitely grilled and tasty. It came with soup or salad, onion rings, vegetable and potato. We decided to split a dessert as they all looked so good. Well, we picked the wrong one. The Chocolate Cream Pie looked gorgeous, very tall, covered in whipped cream. Unfortunately the pie "crust" was a thin slice of dry chocolate cake (!). While the chocolate cream was good, that layer was thin compared to the copious amount of whipped cream, which was the stiff probably fake kind...

 

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great review, looking forward reading more. What a great idea and save money by booking a hotel in Queens rather than Manhattan!

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September 10 2013

 

Using the subway we went to Chinatown and Little Italy. There they were setting up for the Feast of San Gennaro, .We started walking towards the September 11 Memorial as we knew it would be packed and way too emotional to visit the next day. We went by Bryant Park where we stopped to eat at some stands. I had the most amazing Falafel which was sooooo good and sooooo big for $4. I gave the guy a 5 and told him to keep the change and he was very demonstratively appreciative--do most people not tip? We saw Wall Street, Trinity Church, The Bull (which I was surprised to learn was not outside the Stock Exchange), and the 9/11 memorial. I didn't think I would be as affected as I was--I had to really choke back the tears.

 

We were so far south by this time that we took the Staten Island Ferry to go past the Statue of Liberty. The ferry was a little confusing for me. There are no tickets and no lines. Everyone herds onto the boat but no worries, there was plenty of room. A hint here for newbies like myself. There is a small open deck at the rear of certain ferries that gets roped off while the boat is underway. If you don't get there before they get underway you can't enter. This one had that but I missed it. Those folks were able to get tremendous views of Manhattan while we were leaving. I tried to find the same place on the way back but that ferry was built differently and had no such place. (When you get to Staten Island they make everyone get off and go around the terminal and back inside to catch the next one---one dock over)

 

We had done so much walking by this time that DH and his arthritic hip could not take another step so we found the nearest subway station and went back to the hotel.

 

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Did I mention DH is a postman?

 

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Didn't go in but this looked interesting:

 

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Can anyone tell me what this is?

 

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Thanks! We were in NYC such a short time and used the subway or walked so did not know some of what we were seeing....

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Thanks for the review! We are from Columbia (right up the road from you) and were already looking at staying at Country Inn for the 2 room suite! Thanks so much for your information! Pretty much seals it for us. Looking forward to the rest!

Debbie

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Random Shrine to a Cyclist?

 

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This is called a ghost bike. This would be where a cyclist has died. There are a few around the city mostly downtown.

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I don't know why it is customary to touch "parts" but when in Rome....

 

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The Bull was cordoned off by a temporary fence but everyone was inside the fence so it was difficult to move around or get a good picture. People were nice enough, though, and everyone took turns. It would be better if they went ahead and took down the "protection"...

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When we stopped for lunch in the park there was a long line of food stands. All were basically empty except for a 50 deep line at this Falafel Stand so I joined in. Boy was it good. Ask for extra sauce and to mix in the hot sauce--a great combination! DH, on the other hand, got a beef hotdog from a Halal stand, very adventurous, lol.

 

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The 9/11 Memorial usually needed tickets in advance I am told but we walked right up and in...

 

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Bravo! You really got around Downtown Manhattan! :)

 

Great review, looking forward to more!

Thanks! Yes, I was surprised we did as much as we did because DH was just diagnosed with arthritis in his hip and limps pretty badly. We didn't do as much as I had planned a year ago but did much more than I thought we would do after the diagnosis. He was a real trooper and would keep going until he just got to his limit and then would stop, and I mean stop, lol. I am glad folks are appreciating the NYC part of our trip. I was a bit hesitant posting as I know this is Cruise Critic but so many people are like us. This was our first time to NYC and we were not about to fly in just to get on the cruise and leave. We flew in early to try to see New York, having seen it all our lives on TV and in movies.

 

Sometimes I felt like the Clampetts....

 

Have to go back to work in the a.m. So will be posting the rest in fits and starts... :)

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I love your writing style, I'm reading your other reviews. On the CC Fantasy cruise, you walked to Junkaroo Beach, saying it was a 10 minute walk. I'm traveling on the Breakaway to Nassau and my Dad is in a wheelchair (can't walk long distances) so I'll be pushing him. I want to take my parents for a day pass to the British Colonial Hilton. Everyone says it's walkable, and I see your daughter walked on a sprained ankle to Junkaroo, so is it an easy walk from the pier to the British Colonial Hilton??

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Thanks! Yes, I was surprised we did as much as we did because DH was just diagnosed with arthritis in his hip and limps pretty badly. We didn't do as much as I had planned a year ago but did much more than I thought we would do after the diagnosis. He was a real trooper and would keep going until he just got to his limit and then would stop, and I mean stop, lol. I am glad folks are appreciating the NYC part of our trip. I was a bit hesitant posting as I know this is Cruise Critic but so many people are like us. This was our first time to NYC and we were not about to fly in just to get on the cruise and leave. We flew in early to try to see New York, having seen it all our lives on TV and in movies.

 

Sometimes I felt like the Clampetts....

 

Have to go back to work in the a.m. So will be posting the rest in fits and starts... :)

 

we also did Breakaway with stay pre and post cruise New York and can relate to the walking difficulties-hubby has 2 metal hips courtesy of arthritis and a dodgy left ankle so takes quite a bit of planning to keep the walking minimal

 

My review of trip is via link in my signature if you want to compare notes re walking!

 

Lyn

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I love your writing style, I'm reading your other reviews. On the CC Fantasy cruise, you walked to Junkaroo Beach, saying it was a 10 minute walk. I'm traveling on the Breakaway to Nassau and my Dad is in a wheelchair (can't walk long distances) so I'll be pushing him. I want to take my parents for a day pass to the British Colonial Hilton. Everyone says it's walkable, and I see your daughter walked on a sprained ankle to Junkaroo, so is it an easy walk from the pier to the British Colonial Hilton??

The Hilton is before you get to Junkanoo and there was sidewalk or pavement the whole way. Unfortunately I do not remember if the curbs slant for handicap or stroller access, but I do remember people coming and going with strollers, just don't remember seeing a wheelchair...

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we also did Breakaway with stay pre and post cruise New York and can relate to the walking difficulties-hubby has 2 metal hips courtesy of arthritis and a dodgy left ankle so takes quite a bit of planning to keep the walking minimal

 

My review of trip is via link in my signature if you want to compare notes re walking!

 

Lyn

Actually I read your review before we left. It's what gave me the courage to go forth and conquer! :)

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September 11 2013

 

Again we walked all over, visiting Times Square, the iconic New York Public Library, Macy's (ate lunch at the Cellar in Macy's--good but a bit pricey--nothing beats the street food stands). Walked to see the Flatiron Building and FAO Schwartz. Had frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3 then headed back to LIC. Dinner was kabobs from a small shop right next to the entrance of Queensbridge Plaza. The guy cooks a decent kabob and then ruined it with bottled Barbeque Sauce so be mindful of that if you go there...

 

"The Ball"

 

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You never know who you may meet in a restroom at Times Square

 

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A wooden escalator--now that was cool!

 

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Great restroom...

 

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Cool piano in FAO Schwartz

 

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Check out these NYC prices!

 

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The wooden escalators at Macy's are one of my all-time favorite NYC things! Makes me feel like I went back in time and I'm in Miracle on 34th Street!

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September 12 2013

 

Rain was forecast so we went to the Museum of Natural History. Afterwards we ate hotdogs at Gray's Papaya. The papaya drink reminded me of a liquid yogurt drink. Dinner that night was brick oven pizza from Bella in Queen's. They deliver to the hotel and have eggplant as a topping--what could be better?

 

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Medtech, I am thoroughly enjoying your review so far! Can't wait to read more:D

 

I have to admit that I never even knew that wooden escalators existed. I love that photo ... it is so cool!!!

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WOW... I am totally impressed with the amount of NYC tourist ground you covered in just a few days - can't wait to read more, and you still haven't even gotten to the actual cruise part yet :D

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September 13 2013

 

We saw the Trump Tower and used the restroom in Bergdorf Goodman. That was one nice thing in NYC. Restrooms were easy to find in fast food places and department stores. We walked past St. Patrick's Cathedral, Rockefeller Center and St. Thomas Church.

 

We had met an Irish Pedi cab driver on Wednesday who assured us he took credit cards so we had called him to arrange a 12 noon pick up time. He brought beer to drink in coffee cups during our ride all around Central Park. It was a 2 1/2 hour ride and he was quite entertaining but at the end he said his credit card machine had busted in the rain the day before and would need cash. Well, we knew we needed that cash for Bermuda so came to an impasse. He had to find a buddy with an Iphone credit card reader but then we had to pay tax on top of the fee we had agreed to. I'm not sure if that is correct or not, to tell you the truth. I suppose if we had paid cash he would have dropped the tax part but again not sure. I liked him enough though and I don't feel we wasted our money on this excursion. It was fun and the beer was good!

 

We went back to Little Italy for the Feast of San Gennaro. The festival seemed to go on forever. We tried Torrone candy from a booth and that was most excellent. It is like a white glossy fudge or nougat with almonds. We ate at Lombardi's Pizza (est. 1905) but both agreed the pizza from Bella's was better. We were heading to MOMA because it was free on Friday evening and somehow ended up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was not free but the man at the ticket counter said we could donate any amount we wanted so that was good. That place is huge and there was no way we could see it all. We ended the evening catching a bus right outside the Museum and seeing Times Square at night.

 

Didn't I just see this on a new show?

 

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I love the juxtaposition of old and new all over the city!

 

 

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The view from the Roof Garden at the Met--a must do!

 

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Hard to believe my parent's dining chairs are an art...

 

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September 14 2013

 

We did laundry at the very conveniently located Laundromat down the street in preparation for the cruise the next day. We walked to Queensborough Park and ate lunch at The Burger Garage in LIC. I highly recommend this place. The fried pickles were great, as were the fries and onion straws. And of course so were the burgers. Not healthy but oh so good!

 

 

The view from Queensbridge Park:

 

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Edited by Medtech2

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Wow, you certainly got around! I was impressed that you were able to see lower Manhattan, now you're on the roof of the Met! I've lived in Jersey all my life, been to Manhattan many times, I even work a day or two in the city during the week ... but I haven't done half of what you both accomplished!

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The view from the Roof Garden at the Met--a must do!

 

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