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Frugal Husband’s Anthem of the Seas Review

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Friday, August 3.

 

Up and out early today. We have 9 AM tickets for the 9/11 museum. Before we left my in-laws suggested we Uber everywhere we wanted to go. Weeeeellllllll Uber was coming in at around $25 a trip! No thank you. I will take the subway for $2.75 a pop.

 

So off we go to try to navigate that impossible subway system the couple from Colbert was telling us about. So confession time. I watched a YouTube video on how to do the subway! That’s how big of a planner/dork I am.

 

It really isnt that hard. Once you enter the station head to the kiosk, select the one time card, select how much you want on it and swipe that credit card. I put everything on my credit card because of the points which will come in to play later.

 

Anyway, you are allowed pass back your card. So I went through and handed the card back to my wife. Made our way to the platform. Checked the monitors for the train we needed and then as the train pulled in looked for the sign in the window confirming it was Red 1.

 

It’s not hard, but you do need to pay attention. Best thing I did was download the MYmta app. It’s free and you enter your destination and it tells you which station is closest and which train to get on and when it should next arrive.

 

So anyways we take Red 1 from Times Square to the Rector St station. No problems. We got there about 8:20-there I go being way early to things again. But that gave us time to check out the Fearless Girl and the Charging Bull statues.

 

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This is as close as we got to the bull. That family in my picture got there just before us and then every single person had to hand their phone to someone to take the group picture. Hello! Take several on one and then send it to the group. Sigh. Whatever. I was there. Moving on.

 

Then we moved up to Wall Street

 

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We then passed the church from National Treasure! (I’m a history teacher so I know it’s not famous because of Nic Cage) I was tempted to see if I could get downstairs...it would help pay for future adventures.

 

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The graveyard next to the church had gravestones that predated the revolution. This is where the history dork comes out. I just stood there for a few moments trying to picture what this area looked like back in 1750 when this funeral might have been taking place. Surely it was not the epicenter of hustle and bustle that it is now.

 

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At this point it’s time to head towards the 9/11 museum. Standing at the fountains where the towers once stood made for an emotional time. It was just a warm up for things to come.

 

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So into the museum we go. We had already paid for our tickets so we got to go right in. (I tend to space out our purchases for a trip in advance so we are not buying everything all at once). There was a sign saying all bags and purses must be put in a locker but people were wearing their backpacks and my wife was allowed to keep her purse so maybe they have changed their rules.

 

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This museum is so so so so well done. I teach high school World History and the very last lecture I do is 9/11. So going through and collecting all of my info for my lecture was very emotional and draining reliving that day. I was in high school myself when it happened.

 

I say that because my wife was in tears walking through the museum because she really hadn’t relived it since that day. So prepare yourselves. I think it is a must do while in New York.

 

Now on the website they suggest 2 hours to fully experience the museum. Forget that. We were there for 2 and a half and we could of easily spent another hour. The only reason we left was because we had to get to the Statue of Liberty.

 

Here is my suggestion. When you come to the main floor you can go right or left. We went right and that was a mistake. Go left. That is where the majority of the artifacts are and the timeline and the bulk of the museum. Not that going right is bad-they have a room with a picture of every single person you perished that day on the wall and you can type in a name and it brings up almost like a Facebook page of the person. Pictures, a summary of who they were, and a friend or family member talking about them. Very emotional.

 

You aren’t allowed to take photos in a lot of parts of the museum so here are some that I could.

 

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Another pin for our collection-if they aren’t from Disney pins are so cheap. This was $6

 

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So off we walk down to the Statue of Liberty in silence, just reflecting on the museum of experience.

 

We make to Battery Park for our 1pm ticket time-again we had bought tickets months in advance. We were able to get pedestal access tickets. I was very disappointed that I was unable to get crown access tickets. But I bought tickets too late. So if you want to get crown access being checking the Statue cruises site months in advance.

 

So there are two lines. One is for people who bought their tickets online and the other for those who did not. Holy. Mother. For your sanity but your tickets in advance. The other line was miles long-shoot there I go talking in hyperbole-and was not moving much at all.

 

Us on the other hand sped through the line and made it to the security tent. Aha, here is the airport style security I have been missing, NOW I’m on vacation!

 

Oh hello Adventure of the Seas. Maybe one day I will get on you.

 

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They pack you on these ships like sardines. I don’t mind but if you are claustrophobic you may want to head to the top deck.

 

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Now I have heard/read from others that the Statue of Liberty isn’t anything special and that it’s smaller than you think. I do t know what those people are talking about. We LOVED being at the Statue and being able to walk up to the pedestal. They are also building a new museum which will be opening soon.

 

So Ranger Rick says that there are 195 steps up or you can take the elevator. Because it was so hot we opted for the ride.

 

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You dont exactly get the best view of last Liberty from the pedestal.

 

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More for a view of the city

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Another pin!!

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And then I saw an animal that I thought had gone extinct....

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As I mentioned before we took the train from Richmond to NYC. We had debated whether to do the train or drive. When I crunched the numbers (I like crunching numbers) it was like $50 more to do the train plus getting from the hotel to the terminal than driving and paying for parking at both the hotel and terminal.

 

My wife and I have a wedding to attend in D.C. We were going to drive but after researching that the Mayflower Hotel charges $60 a night for parking we decided to Take the train that costs $49 dollars each round trip. We will also be saving money on gas and tolls plus a less aggravation driving than driving in traffic from Long Island. Other than the Long Island Rail Road we have never taken a train for travel.

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So off the train we go and into Penn Station up a flight of stairs. Alright where do we go...how do we get out of here and up to street level? I’m certainly not going to ask the two soldiers with guns hanging off their backs with a German Shepard-they seem like they have more important things to be doing at the moment.

So by some luck we find the exit to street level we need and up the escalator we go! At the top I meet the first of 235 Hop On-Hop Off Bus Tour wieners I will encounter during my 3 days in NYC. And then we step out and onto the sidewalk. We had about a mile walk from the station to our hotel, Yotel which is at 42nd and 10th.

 

Now look. I thought I had been to cities before. I grew up in Detroit. I have been to DC. I have been to LA. But none of those experiences prepared me for what I walked into. First, yes, the buildings are tall. Really tall. I tried not to act like a tourist and look up but I couldn’t help it. And the people. Everywhere. All moving quickly and with purpose.

 

Ok. Time to kick it into Disney mode. You know that “my fast pass for Space Mountain is going to expire in 10 minutes and I’m in Frontierland” walk. So we join the masses and make our way up to 42nd. Both of us wearing backpacks and dragging carry on luggage behind. I thought we looked ridiculous...until I saw countless other families doing the exact same thing.

 

I learned that you don’t wait for the crosswalk guy to light up to start walking you wait for the light to turn yellow then just go! It was also hot and that backpack made my back feel like Niagara Falls with sweat-and we run marathons!

 

Anyways we finally made it to Yotel. All those calm relaxing feelings of the train gone, dead, and buried.

 

OMG...Your first impression of NYC is dead on. We will also be sailing on the Anthem which is why I started to read this tread. The Amtrak information was a bonus for me. The menu prices seem reasonable.

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So many interesting tips and facts here! Love it! And jealous you got to see Colbert! I did see the show with BobCat -- I'll have to look to see if I kept it on the DVR and look for you.

 

Did you really give your phone/camera to a stranger so you could have your picture taken in Times Square? You are brave, although I always ask people if they want me to take a picture with their phone or camera. I'm a gray-haired senior citizen, guess I'm trustworthy (at least I like to think I am!). Glad you found a trustyworthy person, too!!

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So many interesting tips and facts here! Love it! And jealous you got to see Colbert! I did see the show with BobCat -- I'll have to look to see if I kept it on the DVR and look for you.

 

Did you really give your phone/camera to a stranger so you could have your picture taken in Times Square? You are brave, although I always ask people if they want me to take a picture with their phone or camera. I'm a gray-haired senior citizen, guess I'm trustworthy (at least I like to think I am!). Glad you found a trustyworthy person, too!!

 

Yeah I was very weary of doing that but it was another couple who also wanted their picture taken. I was ready to take off after them if they ran.

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We’re not sailing on Anthem, but I’m going to enjoy this review because I love reading reviews and traveling vicariously.

 

 

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Hi there! Im a fellow high school teacher (Italian, Spanish and cosmetology...crazy combo, I know!), fellow lover of Disney World (been there 6 times already with my husband and kids since 2008 and have DVC timeshare), my hubby and I are going on the Anthem to Bermuda in April during spring break (first big vacation without the kids who are staying with my parents that week), and I’m a New Yorker. I’m loving this review so far! Glad you enjoyed the beautiful city I call home! Although I live in a quieter part of Brooklyn lol. I do love going into Manhattan, but I could never live in Manhattan, it’s just not for me.

 

I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. It was my third year teaching, and it was 2 months before I got married. Everyone I know was so scared here. We didn’t know what would happen after that in NYC let alone this country, it was so unpredictable and horrifying at the same time.

 

I can’t wait to read about your experience on the Anthem. I’ve been to Bermuda a few times, but never on this ship.

 

My husband and I are also frugal travelers. We love a good deal, and I always look for ways to save as much as we can on our vacations. For next summer we booked an all inclusive resort with the kids for a week. I researched and researched, found the lowest price I can (my younger son is free with this deal I found), and price matched with the travel agency we’re using. I do my homework and I can’t wait to see your thoughts about the Anthem!

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We are enjoying your review from the West Coast. :D We have never been to NYC and you are giving us great ideas for things to see and do when we visit. Thanks! :D

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OMG...Your first impression of NYC is dead on. We will also be sailing on the Anthem which is why I started to read this tread. The Amtrak information was a bonus for me. The menu prices seem reasonable.

 

It was like nothing I had ever experienced. It’s a whole different world.

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Hi there! Im a fellow high school teacher (Italian, Spanish and cosmetology...crazy combo, I know!), fellow lover of Disney World (been there 6 times already with my husband and kids since 2008 and have DVC timeshare), my hubby and I are going on the Anthem to Bermuda in April during spring break (first big vacation without the kids who are staying with my parents that week), and I’m a New Yorker. I’m loving this review so far! Glad you enjoyed the beautiful city I call home! Although I live in a quieter part of Brooklyn lol. I do love going into Manhattan, but I could never live in Manhattan, it’s just not for me.

 

I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. It was my third year teaching, and it was 2 months before I got married. Everyone I know was so scared here. We didn’t know what would happen after that in NYC let alone this country, it was so unpredictable and horrifying at the same time.

 

I can’t wait to read about your experience on the Anthem. I’ve been to Bermuda a few times, but never on this ship.

 

My husband and I are also frugal travelers. We love a good deal, and I always look for ways to save as much as we can on our vacations. For next summer we booked an all inclusive resort with the kids for a week. I researched and researched, found the lowest price I can (my younger son is free with this deal I found), and price matched with the travel agency we’re using. I do my homework and I can’t wait to see your thoughts about the Anthem!

 

Thanks for following along and the kind words. When do you start back? We just had teacher work week and students start Tuesday!

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We are enjoying your review from the West Coast. :D We have never been to NYC and you are giving us great ideas for things to see and do when we visit. Thanks! :D

 

Thank you! NYC is a fun city. It just takes a little bit of time (for me anyway) to get used to it.

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We were done with Lady Liberty and got in line to board the boat for Ellis Island. The line was massive but we got on the second boat. This was also the time the heavens opened up. It had been threatening rain all morning but man it came down hard. Lucky for us we were under a canopy in line. Others got drenched. Onto the boat we go and off to Ellis Island.

 

I am geeking out and taking pictures of everything. So much history here. But, first order of business is another pin!

 

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We were running out of time. I wished we had gone here first because we are dorky museum people. So we were flying through the rooms and halls. Not giving them the full time they needed.

 

My favorite room was the registration room. This is the room you mainly see pictures of with the huge American flags. Back in the day there were long wooden benches/pews jammed with people. They would wait for their turn and their fate was in the hands of the official. They could send them through to America, send them to quarantine, or send them back to their home country.

 

When I’m at these sights I just try to picture what it was like. I looked around that registration room and now it’s a tourist spot. People are chatting, kids running around. And that’s fine, but I feel like the gravity of the place is lost when you don’t pause for a moment and reflect. I stared up at the ceiling and thought “a person stood right year 100 years ago and stared up at this very ceiling and prayed to god that they would be let in.

 

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Also, my great grandmother came through Ellis Island and she stood in that registration room, and here I was years later in that very same spot. I never met my great grandmother so it was a special moment

 

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So like I said we went way faster than we wanted to but we were short on time.

 

This was basically the court where an immigrant had one last chance to plead their case to not be sent back home

 

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Hallways that looked and felt like they have never changed.

 

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This was one of the male holding rooms, we counted 36 bunks

 

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36 bunks and one bathroom

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This was the baggage room. Immigrants picked up their bags here

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As I mentioned my great grandmother went through Ellis Island and I had my grandmother write her name down before our trip because I wanted to look her up. Fair warning you have to pay $7 for 30 minutes to look up the manifests. Which I think is crap. I understand that the money goes to keep Ellis Island up but I feel everyone should have the right to look up their ancestors.

 

Anyways frugal husband wasn’t going to let $7 stand in his way. We got our computer, typed her name in and there she was. Well, her name anyways. It had everything, the date, ship name, occupation, date of birth, who was traveling with her, and who was to pick her up, and it was a scan of the original hand written paper. It was a feeling you can’t describe.

 

They wanted something crazy like $25 to print a certificate with her name on it. I looked into it but it wasn’t a copy of the original hand written paper it was a normal print off with her name on it and the Ellis Island logo. Eh, no thanks. If it was a copy of the scan I would have bitten the bullet and bought it. As it was I just took a picture of the computer screen.

 

They have a countdown clock in the corner so you know how much time you have left. Also, they have workers available to help you if you are having trouble finding your person.

 

Ok they are getting ready to kick us out so off we go to the boat to get back to Manhattan.

 

Ellis Island is another must in my opinion. Just so much history and so many of us can trace our family beginnings to this place. Go. Walk in their footsteps. You won’t be sorry

 

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Back to the subway. And it was 5 pm. Whoa. I didn’t even think about rush hour traffic on a subway. But it’s a real thing. It was hard to hear the conductor calling out the station names because of the noise in the subway car so we had to read the station names and know when to get up and start fighting our way towards the door because you don’t have much time from when the train stops to when they take off again.

 

So we hadn’t eaten anything all day. Now, that’s fine with me. I’m like a camel when it comes to food. I eat twice a day. And I can go all day without eating. And with everything we were doing and trying to pack into one day there just wasn’t time to stop and eat. My wife is a different story. She needs to eat meals-like a normal human being.

 

So we stopped at Theatre Row Diner. It was really good! I don’t know if it was the best burger I’ve ever had but it was big, juicy, greasy, and pink in the middle. It was yummy. Sorry no pics of this meal we were so hungry we ducked that food down without even thinking.

 

Then it was back to Yotel to change because we were ending the night with a broadway show-Aladdin.

 

Now more tips. We crammed too much into one day. We had to cut our trip to the 9/11 museum short because we had to get to the Statue of Liberty. Then we ran out of time at Ellis Island because they were closing. Do yourself a favor and do these two things on separate days so you can take your time and fully enjoy them.

 

 

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Following you..my question got answered...BigHouseFootball...saw your tee shirt....are you a Michigan grad? GOBLUE!

 

 

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I’m glad your question got answered! If you have any others please ask away!

 

And that goes for everyone! I learned so much from past trip reports I want to return that favor. Please ask away.

 

And yes I am a Michigan grad. Class of 08! GO BLUE!!! We need to get our football on the right track.

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Enjoying your review a lot! It’s been years since I have been to Ellis Island (circa late 80s!!). All 4 of my grandparents passed thru Ellis Island to get to America and their names are on the wall there. My mother was able to do a lot of research thru the Mormon Church genealogy groups (we are not Mormon..which reminds me I think they are trying to go by a new name now can’t remember what it is though )- you should be able to get copies of all of those real manifests from them!!

 

And we are also huge Disney fans (honeymooned there, DVC, current AP Holders, already researching how our kids can get into the CP, etc)....the pin collecting is cracking me up! We collect pins, pressed pennies, and sometimes a tree ornament for our vacation memories.

 

We don’t have a cruise on Anthem booked but it would be much easier for my family to get to NY ports than Florida, so I always enjoy reading the reviews. Maybe one day we will sail from there! Until then we are sailing from Galveston and Florida (our next cruise is April vacation week on Symphony), but my current planning efforts are focused on our November Disney trip and booking FP this week!

 

Thanks for writing!!!

 

 

 

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Wonderful review and photos! I love train travel (when Amtrak is on time :)). Glad you enjoyed my hometown. Looking forward to the rest of your review.

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Thank you! NYC is a fun city. It just takes a little bit of time (for me anyway) to get used to it.

My wife commutes to NYC daily and I go on occasion. The closest that I have been to the Statue of Liberty was from a cruise ship and now your photos. I've lived on Long Island for the entire 58 yrs of my life. Never been to the Statue or Ellis Island. It's on my bucket list but it never gets checked off. My wife just can't bring herself to go Manhattan anymore than she has to after dealing with it all week. I have been to the top of the Twin Towers in my younger years and for a time in the 80's I walked through one to get to work at Merrill Lynch. I will never forget the day I witnessed the attack on TV. We had just moved into our new home and the kids had just started school. My first though was to go pick them up from school but then I figured that if there was another attack that they would be safer there than at home. I have not been to the museum but your photos stirred up a lot of emotions for me.

Thanks for sharing.

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