This cruise we are sailing out of NYC something we have never done before. We have 3 sea days on the Atlantic Ocean and into the Caribbean Sea. Our ports of call are St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Maarten and we end our cruise in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
This cruise is a very much needed rest and rejuvenation. A regain of emotional balance of stability. An affirmation of life and living. We are aware even more so of life being taken. It is imperative that we live the rest of our life fully, full of joy, love, family and adventure. I want to experience life, feel it, explore it, see it, touch it smell, and taste it. I want to live my dreams and live new dreams. Start doing those bucket list items not just waiting for someday to do them. Someday may never come. Today is here. Now is the only moment there is.
We are have been calling this our Freedom Cruise. Life has held us down this last year and we weren’t able to take a cruise last year. Mom was in her finally stages of Alzheimer’s and she passed away in January of this year. It may seem strange to others that we are feeling free but all of us are free. Mom is free from the body and mind that wasn’t functioning for her anymore. And Susan is free from the stress, constant attention and time she has dedicated to taking care of mom day to day. For me the freedom is deeply emotional, I am free from the emotional hold my mother held over me, from the guilt of not becoming who she wanted me to be. Free from the guilt I felt from the conflict of her overwhelming love and her desired control on what she believed was right for me. I am free now to step more fully into myself without her critical eye upon me. Mom is at peace now and can finally be happy. We are very glad to be able to get back to our yearly cruise trips.
Mom would be happy that Susan and I are together. Not so sure about taking the cruise and I am sure she wouldn’t like the fun or the activities we will be enjoying. So we will just focus on the fact that she will love us being together.
October in the Atlantic isn’t warm enough to spend the days out on deck soaking up the sun and the hurricane season isn’t over just yet. Hurricane Gonzalo has affected both the islands of Antiqua and St. Maarten. It is not even sure yet if the ship will be able to pull into either port. The weather and rough seas will not dampen the excitement of being on a ship again. I am up for whatever adventure happens. Being on the ocean is what makes me free!
It has been a long time since we have sailed on the Atlantic. Memories of that very first cruise and the hurricane we encountered flood back to the surface. I love being at sea. My dream is to do a transatlantic someday.
It is the day before our cruise. After the last cruise with my flight being delayed and the tense moments that ensued we have decided to never fly into port on the day of a cruise again. So we are heading to New York City the day before we board the Carnival Splendor. Since Susan lives in Massachusetts she is taking a bus to New York City. She will arrive in NYC before I do. I will meet her at the hotel.
As much as I like to travel I hate the first day of the journey, the getting to where the journey will truly begin. I am tense and nervous, anxious until I check-in and go through security and get to the gate. I don’t begin to relax until I have made my connecting flight and will soon be landing in New York City. Once I arrive in NYC and meet up with my sister at the hotel only then will my anxiousness subside and the excitement will rise up and the fun will begin.
New York City
I haven’t been to NYC in at least 25 years. Living outside Boston we sometimes would go to NYC to visit with family. We most often stayed out on Staten Island or Long Island and would just come into Manhattan to do the sightseeing stuff. I would like to come back and indulge in the atmosphere and culture of the city beyond the normal tourist sights. It is exciting to go back even for just overnight.
Ink48 – is a boutique hotel located on 11th Avenue near the cruise terminal. I chose this hotel after researching the hotels in the port area of New York City. Besides the location just around the corner from the cruise terminal, I was drawn to this hotel because of its history as a former printing house. I love the written word and all that it encompasses. I couldn’t resist the history of staying in a hotel where an old printing house had been located. I was also captivated by the rooftop bar, the wine reception and the pictures of the rooms on the website. www.ink48.com
Arriving at the Ink48 Susan is waiting in the lobby for me. The staff has been extra helpful to her, holding her luggage while she did some sightseeing. The short time I am there I don’t have any time to do any sightseeing myself. Checking in is easy and quick and we are off to our room. The staff is attentive, friendly and helpful.
The room is large compared to most hotels I have stayed in. Can’t compare it to other New York hotels. There are 2 queen size beds, nightstand, couch by the window, a dresser with large screen television and a desk. The room and hotel has all the amenities one would expect in a Midtown Manhattan hotel. And there is a splash of red around the room, my favorite color so that makes me feel extra comfortable.
Susan and I settle into our room and head to the wine reception at the spa. Catching up on each other’s lives and relaxing with a glass of wine before we head to dinner. I have made reservations for dinner at Buenos Aires www. Buenosairesnyc.com which was recommended by a friend who lives in NYC. The cab driver was annoyed with us when we told him where we wanted to go. He kept saying “Why do you want to go way over there just eat at the one of the tourist restaurants near your hotel.” He muttered and uttered under his breath the whole ride over.
I had my favorite dish, Spaghetti Bolognese and a glass of wine. The pasta was perfect al dente and the sauce was a wonderful combination tomato sauce and pork and beef. I love this dish and have it in many restaurants. This was one of the best. I savored every bite. The best part was watching the regulars come in. Watching people greet each other, enjoy dinner and drinks together on a Friday night. I think we might have been the only tourists in the restaurant. It wasn’t easy getting a cab back to the hotel but at least this cab driver didn’t mind driving tourists around.
I have one more place I have to see in my short stay in NYC, the rooftop bar at the Ink48. Stepping out of the elevator we can see that the bar is busy with activity. Not sure we are going to find a seat. We maneuver through the crowded room to get outside to take in the skyline of New York City. It is a cool October night with a north chill in the air. Despite the cold air it is worth it to step outside to see NYC in the dark with all the lights aglow.
It is an awe inspiring sight. I am shaking with chill so inside we go. We manage to find a seat among all the people mingling about. We sit back on a couch sipping drinks and continuing to absorb in the view and the hustle and bustle of New York City.
I do love the hustle and bustle of the city and all the wonderful restaurants, and places to see. Part of me loves the excitement and the busyness of the city. I love the culture and history. I wouldn’t want to live here though it would become overwhelming. I am an island girl after all.
In the morning I wake up and out the window I see the Carnival Splendor!
She has come into port early this morning. Now I am excited. I can’t wait until we are onboard! 9 days! This will be our longest cruise yet! Most of the cruises we have taken over the years are 7 day cruises. And the best part is the three days at sea at the beginning of the trip.
A little more time still left in NYC. Breakfast is on the agenda. We don’t want to venture far from the hotel. The hotel has a restaurant called PRINT. The restaurant is simple stated elegance. The food is farm to table. I have a basic breakfast of friend eggs over medium, bacon and toast with a cup of tea. Simple but wonderful. Breakfast is the most expensive meal we have eaten in NYC!!
Returning to our room we repack our bags. Our brief stay at Ink48 met all my expectations. I would stay here again.
Anxious and excited we decide to head down early hoping we will be able to board.
We grab our luggage and roll it out of the hotel and down the street towards the pier. It seems strange to be walking the streets of NYC towing luggage. We thought this would be simple since we can see the ship from our hotel but it isn’t as easy as we thought. We stop several times to rest and adjust our load. And then here we are at the Port of New York with the Carnival Splendor sitting there waiting for us.
This cruise took place October 2014. I continue to catch you up on our past travel adventures. I am working my way up to the present. My next installment is the cruise where I suddenly realized I should be blogging our adventures. After that you will be up to date when we head out on our next Sisters Travel Adventure, October 2016.