When planning this trip over a year ago we knew how we wanted to return home; a trans-Atlantic cruise sailing into New York Harbor. Luck was with us because the Queen Mary 2
was making the voyage at the beginning of June. We were coming home in style!
We set sail on Friday June 3rd and had six days at sea before arriving in New York on June 10th. During our days at sea we read and napped and I worked on the presentation of the trip that so many people have requested. The ship had many activities available as well including guest lecturers and trivia contests several times a day. We dressed for dinner every night and met lots of interesting people.
There is a five hour time change between Southampton and New York but we had seven days to accomplish it. On each of the first two nights and the last three nights the clocks were set back one hour making the time change a luxury of 25 hour days rather than a struggle with jet-lag.
On the morning we sailed into New York Harbor, John and I got up at 4:30am. When we got on deck the
ship was passing under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which is 228 feet above the water. Interestingly, this bridge was the design parameter that decided the height of the ship and we sailed underneath the bridge with only 13 feet clearance between the top of the mast and the bottom of the bridge.
As the sun rose, the New York skyline came into view and while the buildings grew larger I was looking for one icon in particular. I finally spotted it off the port side…the Statue of Liberty, her torch shining brightly in the early morning light.
We bypassed Manhattan and headed for Brooklyn. The Captain did a hockey stop with the ship turning her 180 degrees then gently backing her into the dock. It took 30 minutes to very carefully cover the last 100 yards but finally ropes were thrown and walkways were lowered proving we had arrived.
With mixed emotions we packed our bags and disembarked the ship; after 322 days and 22 countries, we were home.
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