Yes, it’s New York City. Yes, it’s the Manhattan cruise terminal. And yes, it’s walking distance to Times Square. It’s the perfect afternoon.
With a little advance planning (like printing out a map of Manhattan and highlighting a few must-sees) your eight or so hours spent docked in Manhattan can be chock full of fun.
If the timing is good, head over to the Theatre District and take in a matinee (except on Mondays).
Stroll around Broadway and play tourist and hop on a HoHo Bus (Hop On/Hop Off) to see all of the famous sights and neighborhoods. My favorite activity when I’m passing through New York City for the afternoon is to have lunch and a cocktail at Café Un, Deux, Trois. A Manhattan in Manhattan, to be precise.
Café Un, Deux, Trois is only a short walk to Times Square and the famed Theatre District. Head straight out from the cruise terminal at 12th Ave and you only have to walk five blocks to put you right in the middle of 47th and Broadway. Along the way, you’ll walk past the tiny urban oasis of the Clinton Community Garden. Next, a newly renovated apartment building aptly named “Terrific Tenement” and an assortment of delicatessens and Irish pubs until you reach the heart of Times Square.
In my quest (and thirst) for the “perfect” Manhattan in Manhattan, I knew from past experience that Café Un, Deux, Trois was the place to go. Located in what was once the lobby of the Hotel Gerard, this hundred-year old landmark has experienced the best of Broadway’s luminaries. According to manager Randy St. Louis, it was the place to be seen before going into Studio 54 in the 1970s.
The original bar is still in use, the old wood polished to a sheen and the mirrored wall behind it reflecting the gleaming crystal chandeliers in the adjacent dining room. Occupying more square footage than most neighboring eateries, lunchtime at the café attracts mostly local business people and a few wandering tourists, leaving quite a few tables unoccupied on non-matinee theatre days. The demographics change dramatically in the evening. Pre-theatre diners are followed by post-theatre cast members looking to unwind and have a late repast.
Once again on my latest visit, my “perfect” Manhattan was as I remembered it. Made with brandy instead of bourbon, the reflection of the maraschino cherry gave the otherwise brown-tan color a beautiful reddish glow. It was a generous cocktail that would last through my entire meal.
If your cruise ship docks in Manhattan, walk over to Café Un, Deux, Trois. It’s a wonderful place for lunch to escape from the frenetic pace of Broadway just steps away or for a relaxing dinner, should your ship leave later in the evening. Whether you are headed to a Broadway play matinee or merely want to absorb the atmosphere of a bygone era, Café Un, Deux, Trois will please your palate as well as your wallet. Prices are within a New York reason and the cocktails as generous as the food portions.
Located at (guess…) 123 West 44th Street, Café Un, Deux, Trois will be a highlight of your cruise visit to the Big Apple, no matter what the weather.
I’m the editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com, a solo traveler cruising the world on waves and wheels, collecting recipes along the way. I hope my articles and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Take a breath…stop for a local meal and a glass of wine along the way.