If your cruise stops in New York, you are in for a treat. Even if you only have a half a day or a day and a half, New York is a city that is easy to navigate and fun to get around. Here are a few tips if you’ve booked a cruise that counts New York Harbor as one of its stops.
If your ship is docking at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal you are set. Do not worry about paying money for an excursion while in NYC. You can easily get to wherever you want to go on your own two feet. The port is located ridiculously close to Times Square and then once there, you can choose where ever you want to go. If you are docking in Brooklyn or New Jersey, you may consider using the cruise’s excursion to get you easily and quickly to midtown.
1) Hop on/hop off buses – I am not usually a huge fan of tour buses, but if you only have a short period of time, these hop on/hop off buses are an easy way to navigate the city, get to the must-sees and get a little information about the city on the way. Also, watching the city go by from a double decker bus is a different experience from drudging through the subway (which also has its advantages!). Buy a day pass and get to explore your favorite sites like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Empire State Building or the Central Park Zoo.
2) Metro Card – If you want to skip the tour and get an authentic NYC experience, just pick up a Metro Card day pass. You can hop on and off the subway and buses as you please. But this time you might need to be a little handier with a map. You will get to see New Yorkers in their natural habitat and maybe even spot a celebrity or two.
3) Walking tours – If you don’t want to cover a lot of ground, stop in the Times Square visitor office and see if there are any tours leaving shortly. You can sign up for a Sex and the City tour, popular film locations, literary New York, or just a historical tour of the city.
4) Shop till you drop – If sightseeing isn’t your thing, you can always hit the stores. It is easy to make a beeline from Times Square to 5th Ave. where you can enjoy window shopping or spending large sums on designer items. If you are feeling fancy, grab a cab by flagging one down on a street corner – preferably a little off from Times Square — and take it uptown. If you have kids you can even enjoy shopping at FAO Schwartz and the giant Disney Store.
5) People watch – If you are tired and don’t feel like joining the hustle and bustle, sit down in one of the lounge chairs in the middle of Times Square and enjoy all of the people watching!