Coming in from Toronto, Canada this cruise was a whole new experience. Usually we use the southern Florida ports like Ft. Lauderdale or Miami but we wanted to try something different. It was five of us all together, my wife and I and our 3 adult ages 17-23 daughters. One daughter was on a reading week break from university which made our decision for this cruise. We stayed pre-cruise one night at the Hilton Newark Airport. Nice clean hotel, good service and great little bar area for some Valentines day cocktails and food! The next day we took the shuttle from Unipark services I highly recommend them. No way an Uber XL could have taken all five us with luggage to the port. We also arranged for them to take us from the port to the Airport when we disembarked and that went smoothly was well.
Arriving at the cruise port around 11:00 am was smooth hardly any traffic because it was a Sunday. After dropping off our luggage at the porters we headed into the terminal. It was a little chaotic. They were doing a little pre-screening for the coronovirus, basically asking us if we had travelled to China or been in contact with anyone from there and if we were felling unwell. No to all and we were on our way. I think we were on the ship in half and hour total. We headed to the Solarium right away and just relaxed. We had lunch in the Solarium Bistro and that was fine and plentiful. No crowds either.
After Lunch we headed to our cabins our key cards were there. We were mid-ship 9580 and 9574 Balcony cabins. Excellent vantage point as we could use the Forward or Aft elevator equally or the stairs most of the time for exercise. The cabins are genius in there design for space. There was no problem for all our clothes and luggage. Our bed was right by the balcony which I liked. Our cabin attendant Dwayne introduced himself and he was excellent. Luggage arrived right after the Mustard Drill and we unpacked and got ready for the sail away under the Verrezano Bridge. Back into our winter gear so unreal to do this and on top of Deck 14 for the sail away. But first a real treat, the Captain was able to get special permission to cruise right by the Statue of Liberty twice! He went by it once and then stopped turned the ship around on a dime in the tight harbour and then went by it again. It was a great experience seeing the Statue of Liberty so close and in the sunset. After this we proceeded to the Verrezano bridge and whooped and hollared as we went underneath it.