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American beauties

01/07/2016

To celebrate Independence Day in the United States, we ask some of our well-travelled guests to tell us about their favourite Stateside ports of call and give us a taster of their unforgettable experiences on shore

View of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of San Francisco’s most iconic sights

Our favourite Stateside ports of call

 

New Orleans by Keith Boldy

The best thing about New Orleans is just being there. Simply stand in Bourbon Street in the famous French Quarter and feel the vibes.

 

From 5pm onwards, Bourbon Street comes alive. Music plays from every venue – jazz, rock and country and western. There are street musicians, jugglers, human statues, and the street is crowded with people enjoying every moment in a wonderful party spirit.

 

In the Big Easy you have to try the local dishes: shrimp Creole, red beans and rice, and jambalaya (a rice dish with chicken, spicy Andouille sausage and shrimp) are a must, washed down with a bottle of the local Nola beer. And don’t leave without sampling a Sazerac cocktail, a powerful combination of French cognac and bitters.

 

Some of the best architecture can be found in Royal Street, one of the oldest and, in my opinion, the most beautiful streets in the city. The Creole townhouses and shops have upper floors with ornate iron balconies adorned with bright flowers. Royal Street’s galleries and boutiques are the place to pick up a memento of your stay.

 

But New Orleans is more than the architecture, music, food and the French Quarter. My other top tips are to visit the National World War II Museum and other areas, such as The Garden District and Central City.

 

San Francisco by David George

If you go to San Francisco, be sure that you are still able to wear flowers in your hair. The city is every bit as relaxed as I expected and along Fisherman’s Wharf, young and old mingle in the sunshine. Street musicians relive the sounds of the Sixties and a Penny Arcade museum of games machines adds to the sense of going back in time. The games brought back fond memories and of course I couldn’t resist the 1950s fortune-telling machines.

 

The former prison of Alcatraz still stands proud in the bay and it makes for a great excursion. I can only imagine what it must have been like to be locked in the barest of cells, ice cold in the winter, yet able to listen to families enjoying themselves on the mainland.

 

A bite to eat on the hoof was followed by a cable car ride up and down the switchbacks and a bus ride across the Golden Gate Bridge to the exclusive backwater of Sausalito. Here’s a tip: stop off at North Point Street and visit the chocolate shop in Ghirardelli Square. Walls and counters are stacked high with chocolate and the taste of those dark chocolate raspberry squares is enough to guarantee my early return to this city on the Bay.

 

New York by Angela & Howard Greaves
The sail into New York is magnificent. I will never forget that beautiful morning as we watched the amazing skyline emerge – the buildings that you only see in the movies and the Statue of Liberty welcoming us in.

 

There’s so much to see. We spent the first afternoon visiting Broadway, Fifth Avenue, Grand Central Station and Times Square and in the evening we booked an evening tour, which was brilliant. We saw New York lit up, the 9/11 memorial, the Dove of Peace and many other famous landmarks as we drove through the different areas of the city hearing about New York life. The views over Brooklyn Bridge were so special.

 

The following morning, we were up early to go up the Rockefeller Center to the Top of the Rock observation deck. From up high we admired the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building… and even caught a glimpse of Aurora’s funnel between the skyscrapers. Other highlights were walking around the zoo, seeing Central Park full of joggers and squirrels, and a visit to the amazing Guggenheim Art Gallery. What a city. We’ll definitely be back, especially as I didn’t get the chance to shop at Macy’s.

Guests Keith Boldy, Angela & Howard Greaves and David George

Guests Keith Boldy, Angela & Howard Greaves and David George on their travels in the USA

Find out more about cruises to the USA >

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