Thursday, 19 February 2009
As promised, here's a few of the highlights from our honeymoon.
We went on a 12 night Royal Caribbean (RCI) cruise which, on the whole, was excellent. Their UK customer service support is terrible but the service on board the vessel was outstanding.
We flew from Heathrow to JFK via BA.
T5 was a smooth process. It was the first time we have flown from Heathrow and expected the worst. It was quiet and empty at stupid o'clock when we arrived. It's more focussed on self service which was a bit of a disappointment, given that we were on our honeymoon. Self service is great if you are on business and need to move fast. If you are a holiday maker, a personal service is preferred, IMO.
The flight left a little late after a couple of passengers failed to turn up and the aircraft stairs truck couldn't start. Oops! For those of you who are interested, plane food consisted of a cooked breakfast - with a lamb steak. The mind boggles.
The entire holiday was managed by RCI, so they took care of everything. When we landed at JFK, we boarded our transfer coach that took us to Doubletree JFK. As a business hotel, it's OK. As a tourist hotel, it's terrible. Poor quality expensive food (e.g. buffet breakfast (choice of half a dozen items) for $25 a head) coupled with the fact that it was a million miles from civilisation meant it wasn't a great choice by RCI. Apparently it was better than some of the other guests' hotels - say no more :-D
Nevertheless, jet lagged at 3pm local time, we went into New York. Having never been, it would have been a shame to travel to their airport but never see the city itself.
We grouped with 4 other Brits and together saw the Empire State building, the Chrysler building, Times Square and Grand Central Station. We also popped into Macy's and bought our first ever Starbucks! It's a sad tale!
It was freezing but the sun was out. No snow unlike the UK though ;-)
We headed back to the hotel (it was about an hour each way by taxi) where we had a light meal before heading to bed. From our Orlando trip, I know I take a few days to settle into the new sleep pattern so I was up at 5am :-( . We didn't have to leave until 11am so there was a lot of sitting around. At 11am we boarded the transfer coach and headed on the 1 hour journey to the "cruise terminal". Cape Liberty is fairly typical for the ship our size - it's generally a container port with a tourist arm attached to it. In this case it was a giant tent, or several to be more accurate. It was nothing special but it was OK and did the job.
The bags were unloaded onto big crates and were whizzed off by fork lift trucks. It took us about an hour to pass through the terminal. A short bus transfer took us to the entrance where we boarded.
This is turning out to be a long article so I'm going to have to split it up! The next page is about the ship.
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