Late April brought an early sunrise. Everyone stood on deck aboard the MSC Poesia, braving the cold air as we cruised into New York Harbor at dawn. Passengers, officers and an assortment of crew members huddled near any alcove or windblock they could find. The pre-dawn breeze quickly turned into a chilling north wind as we wound our way into the channel. It didn’t matter. No one was going to miss this experience.
I set my alarm clock with barely enough time to throw on my coat, grab a cup of coffee at the Lido Buffet and head outside. I’ve cruised beneath the Verrazano Bridge many times yet it is always exciting. Perhaps the widest smiles of all were on the faces of the crew members. Most were from the Philippines or Indonesia and had never been this far from home. Our ship would be docked right downtown in Manhattan until 11PM that evening. A day of great exploration and experiences were in store for the crew.
The New York Cruise Terminal location is within a walking distance of Times Square, Rockefeller Center and if you’re up for it, Central Park. It’s a perfect city-center cruise port. On the other hand…if you planning on debarkation here, be prepared for a bit of chaos if you are going to need a taxi. My suggestion, assuming you’ve packed fairly light and can wheel your luggage, is to walk two blocks east to 10th Avenue. From there, it is much easier to hail a taxi than fight the masses waiting at the terminal. If that corner looks full, simply walk one more block east. You’re sure to hop into a cab by the time you make it to 9th Avenue.
Whichever direction you’re going to cruise in or out of New York City, it is a moving experience. To pass under the bridge, view the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island connects us to our distant past, no matter when our families immigrated to America.