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About MarlboroBell

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Briarcliff Manor, NY

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  1. One restaurant I haven't seen mentioned here (and it's my go-to in the Theater District, and a block from my office!) is Osteria al Doge on 44th. Great food, pleasant ambience. I've been to Frankie and Johnnie's -- it's pretty good but very traditional. But honestly, there's so much great food in Midtown that you'll be able to find something: just prebook on OpenTable well ahead of time for pre-theater dining.
  2. From your history, it seems like you're in Redding... so really the best answer is Metro-North here. If Danbury branch trains are a bridge too far, get a friend (or Uber) to take you to Katonah or South Norwalk (there's long-term parking at South Norwalk but it's limited to five days max, or at least it was a few years ago when I used to park there long-term; Katonah is a pain and a half for parking) for more frequent trains. The fare will be about $12 each way to Grand Central. Then just a straight shot cab to the port. It will be more of a pain than just parking at the port but you'll save about $300. Your choice.
  3. Not from Cape Liberty, but you can park at Port Imperial in Weehawken and take a ferry from there. It drops you off about ten minutes' walk from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, so if you are in reasonable shape and can roll your luggage, it's quite doable -- or of course it's a quick cab ride.
  4. Just check which terminal Brilliance is using -- I know Rhapsody of the Seas uses Terminal 6 and I got the impression that Royal Caribbean in general uses 6. (It's on the map, just a bit further north from the circled terminals.)
  5. I stayed there many years ago and it was pretty good. Right next to Grand Central, which makes things easy if you're coming in on Metro-North. (Why would you come in on Metro-North? Well, if you're coming in from New England, cheap parking at an outlying station like West Haven would do it.)
  6. RCCL starts boarding in Tampa around 10:30am. Peak is around noon, and by 1pm when we arrived last week, the terminal was dead and we got from the port entrance to Deck 4 in about 10-15 minutes. Make your own choice!
  7. We were called with the last group to get off the ship, and we were in an Uber pulling away from the port at 9:40. If you tell them you have an earlier flight, they'll get you out earlier. (One caveat -- fog in Tampa Bay can wreak havoc, but I don't think it's very common.)
  8. Yes, self-carry is fine and very doable in Tampa. And the port is right in the city with a good supply of taxis/Ubers.
  9. Getting an extra key isn't a problem -- we've cruised a couple of times with the kids, where my son and I are booked in one room and my wife and daughter are booked in another, and then we switch and put us in one room and the kids in another. They've always been happy to give us a duplicate key at guest services. As for cabins that accommodate a third or fourth person, they're fairly widespread: you just need to look at deck maps to figure out whether they will. I imagine your cabin steward will set up a third bed in a room equipped with it if you ask him/her and explain.
  10. It's going to really depend on which ship you're on. If your ship has O3B Internet then it'll likely work. My kids were on YouTube morning, noon and night on Anthem. (Sigh.) I was even able to participate in a video group chat, which blew my mind. On a ship without O3B (or out of range of their satellites) it's going to be harder.
  11. Oh yes, definitely book Montserrat on your own. Drop your luggage off at your hotel and get yourself to Espanya station. (Honestly, you could find a hotel in that area -- it's convenient for both Montserrat, the city and the airport. We didn't explore that part of Barcelona as much as I'd have liked to when we visited last year.) The trains to Montserrat run every hour or so. There's a combo train+admission ticket for about €50 per person: that includes the rack railway in both directions. We chose to get off the train one stop early and take the cable car going up (one-way tickets are about €7) so that we would experience both. It was a transcendent experience and you definitely want to stay at your leisure and not be constrained by someone else's schedule.
  12. I second that. I got pickpocketed on the Metro last August -- the only time in my life I've ever been pickpocketed. Thankfully he just dumped my wallet on the ground... but without the €200 I'd just gotten out of the ATM. It could have been a LOT worse. But Barcelona is beautiful. If you can possibly stay more than one day, do: but for sure go to Sagrada Familia, which is breathtaking, and to La Pedrera (aka Casa Mila). And if you have time to get out to Montserrat, it's well worth it. (My personal recommendation: Sagrada Familia first thing in the morning, followed by Montserrat, fills a day quite perfectly, and because Montserrat is up in the mountains, being there in the afternoon gets you out of the heat of the day.)
  13. Another place you can drop a car is North White Plains. There's a Hertz office directly across the street from the station, and the trains are every half-hour or so to Grand Central taking about 40 minutes. The station is about three minutes from I-287.
  14. So here's the thing. If you come to the cruise port from the north, along the Henry Hudson Parkway, you don't need to do any city driving -- the entrance to the port is directly at the end of the highway. Assuming you're coming in along I-80, you have two major options: (1) Many cruisers stay in the Parsippany area before the cruise, and then come in on the morning of the cruise over the George Washington Bridge. The GW can be somewhat scary and congested (two levels, 14 lanes), and you need to know to take an exit immediately afterwards to get onto the Henry Hudson. But it's the shortest route. (2) The other option is to come a little bit north the night before, cross the Tappan Zee bridge, and stay in the Tarrytown area (disclosure: we live near Tarrytown!) If you get on the Saw Mill River Parkway, you'll have a direct shot (neither turning to the left nor to the right) onto the Henry Hudson Parkway to the port. I've driven this often right after the rush hour, and as long as you're hitting NYC after 9:30 or so (have a decent breakfast and you will) it's a pretty clear run. It's about 45 minutes from Tarrytown to the port. As for going to the memorial afterwards, I'd actually recommend loading up the car and just driving down the West Side Highway (the extension of the Henry Hudson) to the memorial area. Use SpotHero (website or app, Google it) to reserve a parking space in a garage you're comfortable with driving to. Most likely that will be another $30 or so, but the advantage is that your luggage will be packed in the car and you can get on the road directly afterwards. Don't forget that they'll usually charge an extra $10 for a decent-sized SUV or minivan and that you'll need to tip the valet when you pick up the car, but that's how I cope with driving into Manhattan :)
  15. That works if you're coming into Bayonne, but there's absolutely no reason to get an insanely expensive cab or car service out to Newark when you're coming into Manhattan. New York Penn Station is about a mile and a half from the cruise terminal.
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