This was our last day in New York as Sky Princess was scheduled to leave in the late afternoon. Our plans for the day were to use the water taxi to take us up the East River so we could resume sightseeing in Manhattan. We had visited Liberty and Ellis islands the day before and now we were ready for some more sightseeing in Manhattan.
Day 13: 6th October 2022: Brooklyn
In order to try and miss the queues at the ferry pier we skipped breakfast and headed out of the terminal. Unfortunately lots of other passengers had the same idea.
We joined the queue right at the top of the dock. The first ferry came and went and we didn’t seem to move a lot closer down the ramp.
Just as the day before locals walked past the queue and took a position in the open area between the ticket machine and the gate. Equally the queue jumping passengers buying tickets didn’t bother to walk back up the ramp.
When the second ferry arrived, there was a mad crush as everyone surged forward to try and get through the barrier. We were some of the ‘lucky’ ones to make it!
Wall Street Pier
Once at the Wall Street pier we went down to the next dock to wait for the water taxi that would take us up the East River to 35th Street. We had learnt that the tickets on the first ferry were valid for a period of time if used on a different ferry.
We were joined by two other couples off the ship who had had the same idea.
The East River
The ride up the Hudson was spectacular, on the way we went under the Brooklyn Bridge and passed many of the sights of Manhattan on our left.
According to our Transit map the first stop after Wall Street was 35th Street. So we checked with the New York Transit folks on the boat and we were told that this was the 35th street pier and we all left the ferry.
20th Street Pier
Once off the pier we discovered that we were now at 18th Street in the middle of a construction zone. Quite a way down from where we wanted to be.
FDR Drive alongside the East River
The walk up the FDR Drive alongside the East River took us past large complexes of apartments. The really bad news was that these blocks seemed to be two or three times larger than average!
We were by now getting very hungry and as yet we had not passed anywhere to eat. So we turned left and headed into Manhattan around 23rd street.
Our fellow passengers left us as we crossed 5th Avenue. But we carried on walking, looking for somewhere to eat.
We passed the Flat Iron Building. This was nowhere near our originally planned tour of the city.
Bagels for breakfast
It was now 10.45 am before we stopped at a bagel place. This was by now more to rest our feet than to have a very late breakfast.
This was a small restaurant, and there were only two or three other customers. Much more relaxed that the Brooklyn Diner off Times Square. No hassling. All things considered, the bagels and coffee were very welcome.
Into the city
After breakfast we continued walking West away from the East side before we turned North and started to look for 35th Street.
But once we reached 34th Street, we turned back towards the Hudson to try and find the 35th Street pier. Once there we hoped to catch a ferry back to Wall Street.
35th Street Pier on the East River
The 35th Street pier was enormous with several large boats tied up and best of all the ferry building had a huge sign proclaiming 35th. This is good to know if we ever had to catch a water taxi up from Wall Street again.
Back down the East River
The ferry going back down the Hudson was very busy but we did find room up on the top deck.
The views were again spectacular as the ferry went down stream. Unlike earlier we did make stops, but none on the Manhattan side of the East River.
Leaving the water taxi at the 20th Street Pier and then walking up the FDR Drive was not how we had planned our day. By the time we made it back to the Wall Street Pier we were tired and a little frustrated at the lost opportunity to see more of Central Park.
Wall Street Pier
At Wall Street the queue for the ferry back to Red Hook was again very long with passengers off Sky Princess.
As we queued we were told that all the ferry services would be stopping later as the President was coming to New York. Strangely the people leaving the arriving ferries were not told!
After our rides up and down the Hudson it was now disappointing that we had to sit inside this ferry as we crossed back over the Hudson for the last time/
The checks on photo ID and Medallions were in place at the cruise terminal. Security were as grumpy as ever as we went through screening to get us back on the ship.
President Biden arrives in New York
After a long break in the cabin, we went out to the top decks to watch Sky Princess leave. As the evening drew in, we watched US Coast Guard boats pass by coming up the Hudson and all congregating off the opposite the Wall Street pier on the East River.
We could see lots of blue flashing lights on the roads at the end of Wall Street. All the roads appeared to have been closed.
Our sail away was running late by now. Then overhead we could see more Marine Ospreys coming up the Hudson.
Then a Marine Sea King helicopter appeared followed by more Ospreys. Further out across the river a second Marine Sea King flew up to Manhattan. One of the Sea Kings was probably Marine One carrying the President.
An Osprey then flew in circles over the Hudson for a further seven or eight minutes. The river was lit up by all the flashing blue lights on the Coast Guard boats in the East River.
On the opposite shore we could see a rows of red lights from the Staten Island ferry building to past the Wall Street pier. Police cars blue lights were flashing where all the roads around Wall Street pier were closed.
Sky Princess leaves New York
Eventually, Sky Princess slowly began to leave the Brooklyn terminal and make her way into the middle of the Hudson.
The evening was by now dark, and we had distant views of Lower Manhattan before passing Liberty Island.
Evening onboard Sky Princess
After being outside we went to the Vista Lounge for the last 30 minutes of the Captain’s Circle. Instead of leaving at 7 pm, we stayed to hear the solo singer on the piano.
The room was not very full when he started. His first song was ‘Hotel California’ We lasted a couple of minutes and left. It has not been very often that we walk out of a performance on a ship BUT this was truly awful.
Dinner was unusual as several of us on the table, send our main courses back and asked for a replacement. I chose to have the mild chicken tandoori as a replacement.
After dinner, we went to the Piazza to listen and dance to the house band playing there.
Our next port was Newport, Rhode Island.