So it wasn't on the Pacific Princess...but my husband and I sailed on the Norwegian Gem on a one-day cruise for our seventh wedding anniversary this weekend. It left from a pier in Manhattan on 45th and 12th on Friday and came back to that same spot on Saturday morning. We essentially cruised to nowhere but that was fine with us. It was convenient and grandma watched our kids for one night and we were able to pick them up by noon the next day.
We each took off work on Friday and were able to board the ship at 11:30 (even though the ship didn't leave NYC till 6PM). We had lunch with views of the water at noon and by 1:30 our room was ready and we took a two hour nap. Since we got the least expensive interior cabin with no windows, it was cozy and pitch black, so we slept great! The cabins were nice and well organized. The bathrooms were clean and the bed was very comfortable.
At 4 we explored the ship and at 6 had dinner. The restaurant was pretty and the service was good. Then we went up to a lounge with a band to slow dance for an hour. Afterwards, we went to another deck lounge to sing karaoke at 8. We sang a duet of Endless Love, our wedding song. This was a lot of fun and there were some really great singers there! At 9:30, we went to see an aerial show in the theater, which was quite amazing and well produced. Afterwards, we heard a singer for awhile and then went to our cabin by 11:30. My husband played guitar and we sang some songs together. (We wanted a good night's sleep, but if you wanted to stay up there were dance parties and activities until much later too). In the morning, we had a good breakfast at 8am and disembarked the ship at 9:30. There were three free restaurants where you could order whatever you want. The food was good but not terrific. I think it has declined in quality over the years but it's still as good as an average nice restaurant and there is good variety and snacks are available all the time. So on a cruise you will never go hungry!
All the activities I've mentioned so far were included but there are also things you could pay extra for: photo services, spa services, bowling, specialty restaurants and other activities.
As for the money, they advertise that it is $50 a person for this one day cruise but once they add the taxes and service charges it is $300 a couple. When you board they hold at least $100 on your credit card in addition to the $308 you paid as a couple. If you do not use this credit on board, they will refund it to your credit card 3 days to a week later. Also, parking by the pier in NYC is $40 a day so we just took public transportation to get there. You can use www.hopstop.com to help you get from your home to the right pier by train or bus. Lastly, soda and alcohol are not included in the $308 price per couple. So, you can bring your own closed soda if you wish but you can't bring on alcohol. There are soda and alcohol packages that you can purchase on board for extra but we just drank the free lemonade, iced tea, coffee, juice etcetera, which was good. There was a free alcohol tasting in the gift shop so we had a free shot of Kahlua and Malibu there too.
Cruising was fun and romantic and in the end I think it would have been more expensive in NYC to have a good hotel, three meals each, a show, dancing, activities, a great water view etcetera.
I was even thinking that taking a cruise might be a good way to take a family trip. With a three year old and five year old, we haven't wanted to fly. But this cruise (and some others) leave right from NYC and they have free activities for the kids. A few cruise lines even allow kids to travel free, so we will check into this. There was a fold down bed (even in our small cabin) so I think it would be possible and perhaps a less expensive and more convenient option than other family vacations. Longer cruises allow you to see a number of places too.
So, just wanted to offer you the details for a romantic night away that won't break your bank, and that you can do year round!
So, enjoy and happy dating!
Contact information is below.
My Best in Love,