Why Just Cruise? Go a Few Days Early - Part 2
Extending your cruise vacation by a few days is a great way to enjoy wonderful embarkation port cities. Here are a few of our favorites with our recommendations of a few things not to miss.
New York City
Many Bermuda cruise vacations start in the city that doesn't sleep, New York City. This is one city that you can definitely spend some time before AND after you cruise and still not have enough time to take it all in. There are the traditional tourist spots such as Times Square, The Statue of Liberty and Little Italy that everyone should see at least once. You can visit Central Park a dozen times and each time see a different area. Strawberry Fields, dedicated to the memory of John Lennon, is a peaceful favorite.
For breathtaking views be sure to visit the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center - where U2 performed as the first musical guest on the new Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. For a culinary delight be sure to visit Harlem's Restaurant Row. Harlem has emerged as one of the city's hottest dining scenes in recent years with lots of restaurants and bars to satisfy every palate.
You will also want to visit the 9/11 Memorial, watch a Broadway Show and take a walk on The High Line, a park built on a section of the elevated former New York Central Railroad which runs along the lower west side of Manhattan.
View from The Top of the Rock in New York City
San Juan, Puerto Rico
A Southern Caribbean cruise will often originate in San Juan, Puerto Rico. If it's nature that you enjoy, El Junque National Rainforest has over a dozen trails for hiking, many that will lead you to breathtaking waterfalls. To tour one of the world's largest cave networks visit the Rio Camuy Caves Park (Parque de las Cavernas del Rio Camuy). Plan accordingly as the caves are approximately 1.5 hours from San Juan.
If it's history and architecture that your are longing for head to Old San Juan with it's cobblestone roads and European Charm. Plenty of shops, restaurants and a sizzling night life are just a few of the things you can expect. Just a short distance away is El Morro. Castillo San Felipe Del Morro is the full name of this fort with spectacular ocean views that took over 200 years to build. It has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. On the weekends it is common to see many families on the grounds flying kites.
Finally, for the foodie in your group, we recommend that you try Mofongo. It is a fried plantain based dish mashed together with broth, garlic, olive oil and pork cracklings. It is often filled with shrimp or fried pork chunks (carnita). Don't be surprised if you find yourself craving this when you are back home. Fortunately there are plenty of recipes to be found online.
One of the Streets in Old San Juan
If Hawaii is where you'll be cruising you may find that Honolulu is your embarkation port. Pearl Harbor and the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, two of the most historical and significant sites in U.S. history are at the top of everyone's list of things to do therefore it is recommended that you plan ahead and even purchase your tickets ahead of time.
For the golf lover in the group there are plenty of courses to enjoy. If you want a little more adventure be sure to sign up for surfing classes at the beautiful Waikiki Beach. Be sure to inquire about the many hiking options in search of beautiful views and waterfalls. If you prefer a little less adventure sign up for a hula dancing class.
With plenty of helicopter and seaplane tours available you can enjoy the ultimate bird's view of this paradise.
Surfing at Waikiki Beach
New York City and Honolulu are both ADA compliant and therefore safe options when planning a vacation with someone with a special need. Much of San Juan is accessible however some of the older buildings are not wheelchair accessible. We always recommend that you plan ahead if you have any special needs.
Special Needs Group / Special Needs at Sea has wheelchairs, electric scooters, walkers and much more available to rent at over 135 cities worldwide, including all major cruise embarkation port cities. We can also accommodate most of your oxygen needs including portable oxygen concentrators that are approved for air travel. You will definitely want to consider our Joy on the Beach wheelchair if you will be visiting beaches. The Joy on the Beach makes it possible to go from the sand right into the ocean (with assistance).
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”Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
July 24, 2014