Circling Eyjafjallajokul - Late Summer 2010 travel blog

Millionaire

 

Princess @ dock

familiar view

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(MP4 - 3.38 MB)

Millionaire


The last time we cruised into New York we docked in Manhattan and it was a frustrating experience that we will never forget. Three other ships were disgorging passengers in addition to ours and there was no organization for the chaos of all those people looking for luggage, going through customs, and finding a taxi. Those yellow cabs came intermittently and picked people up randomly. After almost an hour went by, we schlepped our luggage into town and caught a taxi there, almost missing the flight home. Luckily, we were fit enough to haul our bags; we left behind many seniors who were not. I was so aggravated, I even wrote a letter of complaint to the port authority, something I rarely do.

I never got a reply, but someone was listening. With a substantial infusion of funds from Princess, a new port has been built in Brooklyn within eyeshot of the Statue of Liberty. When we emailed the car service and told them we wanted to be picked up at 9:30, they were there and so were we. Princess is always well organized and combining customs and immigration cut the lines in half. Nicely done New York!

The city was reeling from a huge storm last night. Apparently tornados touched down in two spots. We had sailed through the same storm to get here, but hardly noticed it except for some spectacular lightening. The huge cruise ships are very good at handling swells at sea. Our view of the Statue of Liberty was a bit obscured by the storm after effects, but by the time we got into our condo, the sky was blue.

New York is one of the most expensive cities in the world and we struggled to find an affordable place to stay. Many of our fellow passengers chose to stay in Newark, but will spend significant amounts of time and cash getting back to Manhattan where all the major sights are. We were happy to find a condo near Times Square for less than hotels in the area, but it is an odd living experience. It has a well stocked kitchen with micro, stove top, oven, etc., but there is nowhere to sit down and eat what you have prepared. It has a washer/dryer, but nowhere to hang our clothes. But the walk back here from the theater took fifteen minutes maximum. For that I'll eat my cereal on my lap.

We enjoy watching television shows being recorded and have gone to quite a few over the years, but these days most of them take place in Los Angeles. We've seen David Letterman here, and would have loved to see Jon Stewart, but the only show we heard from was Who Wants to be a Millionaire. We were surprised to meet a couple in line who had just gotten off our ship as well, but for the most part the kind of people who spend the middle of the day watching Millionaire are not "our kind" of people. Most of them were there to take the qualifying test so they would have a shot at the millions and were surprised that we were just there to watch. I briefly considered taking the test, but it you qualify you have to pay your own way back to NYC and considering what we are paying to stay here, that isn't going to happen again any time soon. A comedian with marginal talents was there to whip us into a frenzy of excitement so that we would applaud uproariously whenever something noteworthy happened. One camera man focused almost exclusively on the spouse of the competitor and they mostly sat there like bumps on a log clapping politely. Coincidentally we both wore bright yellow shirts and sat near the board where the questions are displayed. Our shows air November 2 & 3. We will record them and look for the bright yellow blobs.

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