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We wake early and glance outside. It’s still grey and overcast but the forecast for today is supposed to be better and warmer at 20c. We shower and dress. We are not breakfasting onboard today and head out shortly after 8am. Again we walk up to 11th avenue and hail a yellow cab. We are headed to East 45th St. It takes a little while as the traffic is chaotic, not helped by the roadworks dotted here and there. At E43rd we decide to hop out and walk the rest of the way.

We are headed to a diner called the Comfort Diner that we found on our visit last summer. It’s an excellent little eatery serving traditional American style breakfast. We both order the same. Eggs (mine scrambled, Peters fried), bacon, sausage. It comes with toast, orange juice, coffee and a friendly smile. Once done we walk to the Empire State Building. We visited this iconic landmark many years ago and as we went up the Freedom Tower last year decided to do this again. We have express passes and soon find ourselves in the lifts to the 80th floor. We then get in another lift to the 86th. Thinking we may not be able to see anything due to the weather we are surprised to find we can see quite far. True it’s not the best of days for this kind of thing but take a few snaps anyway and buy some nice souvenirs from the shop.

Back at ground level, we decide to walk around. We don’t have any real plans. The need for a bathroom takes us back into Macy’s. They are located on a lower level we missed yesterday and Peter finds himself another bargain with some Calvin Klein underwear. From Macy’s, we find a gift store where we buy some further items before eventually finding ourselves back in Times Square. It’s busy as usual but not horribly so. We take some pictures and carry on up to 50th St. We stop for coffee to rest our weary legs. We are both lucky in that our current phone plan allows us to use our 4g data here in the US and so we don’t have to constantly try to find WiFi and password codes

We head down 50th which we know ends at Pier 90 where our ship is docked. It’s a little after mid-day. Conscious we have to be back onboard by 4pm anyway and feeling already knackered from all the walking we decide to board and have lunch. We note as we board there seems to be a lot of new staff joining the ship. I guess some staff will also be leaving as contracts end. The OVC is delightfully quiet and we get a nice window seat where we see Seven Seas Mariner leave at 1pm. After lunch I wander around a very quiet ship taking some video that I can use to make a holiday video when I get home. My last one from Reflection had over 6,500 views on youtube last time I looked. Hardly viral but nice to know someone is watching it.

At 5pm, under a quickly darkening skies, we slip our mooring and manoeuvre out from the pier. The clouds have cleared and Manhattan is putting on quite the show. She may no longer be the tallest but the Empire State Building looks amazing all lit up in pink and orange. All the other buildings twinkle and try to compete but only the Chrysler comes close. We sail down the Hudson and again past the Freedom Tower. She is fully visible this evening so it makes up for yesterday. We have multiple cameras, phones and videos going off in an attempt to get the perfect shot. Peter heads up to the top deck to get some pics of the Statue if Liberty which is on the starboard side. Not long after we sail under the Verrazano Narrows bridge again and back out into the Atlantic Ocean. New York was fun.

Dinner is in Murano tonight. Our second visit of this trip. We dress accordingly in jackets. Most don’t but if it’s a nice restaurant we like to do it. I order Anjou Pear and Roquefort for my starter. It’s was really good. Peter has Heritage Tomato and Mozzarella Salad for his. We both order the Murano Lobster for main. We saw it being prepared last time and it looked good. One thing we have noticed on cruise ships is that some people adore lobster night whenever it happens in the main dining room. We have had it before but don’t see the attraction as we find it a little bland, rubbery and boring. However, given Murano’s reputation, we decided to try it. Our waiter carefully prepares it on his little stove next to our table. Flames are soon leaping into air as he adds seasonings to the sauce. The sauce was the best thing about it. We surmise that we will never be lobster lovers. It wasn’t bad, it was just ok.

Silent disco again tonight in the main atrium. It’s always well attended and as always lots of fun. From there I drag Peter to the Sunset Bar at the back of the ship in the hope it will be balmy and warm with some other guests enjoying a drink outside. It’s not and they aren’t. Perhaps there will be as we sail to warmer climes. Next stop Bermuda.

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Patrick O'Halloran

Escape With Us

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