Cabins & Dinner Sittings
If you have young children, it’s worth asking for a cabin towards the stern of the ship. We were given a stateroom at the extreme forward end of deck 6, whereas the Play Zone is at the extreme aft end of deck 6. That meant we had to walk a sixth of a mile from cabin to Play Zone to sign the kids in, then a sixth of a mile back again to get changed. It proved impossible sign the kids in at 6pm when the Zone opens, walk all the way back to the cabin, get changed into formal dress, then walk forward again to the Britannia restaurant for a 6pm sitting.
From this experience on our outward crossing, we changed our sitting for the return crossing to 8.30pm. The evening then worked better, although some after-dinner films or shows finished after midnight so could not be attended without leaving early to collect the kids. The dinner tended to take up much of the evening. A stateroom near the Zone, and dressing for the 6pm dinner sitting before taking the kids to the Zone, might be the ideal solution, but my wife’s and my opinion is divided!
If you’ve small children, remember to take your folding buggy . It’s a big ship!
Other useful information…
What Is The Best Location To Stay In New York
We recommend staying in one of these 5 areas: Midtown: Ideal for your first visit to New York. Upper East Side: Ideal for luxury, shopping, and museum lovers. Chelsea & Greenwich Village: Ideal for New York romantics. Soho & Lower East Side: Ideal for hipsters and coolhunters. Queens: Ideal for travelers on a budget.
Qm2 Disembarkation In Southampton
A note explaining QM2 disembarkation procedures appears outside your stateroom a day or two before arrival, and each deck is allocated a disembarkation time. Disembarkation takes place between 08:00 & 11:00. The upper decks with the more expensive cabins disembark first , other decks such as 4, 5 or 6 later.
Labels for your bags appear outside your stateroom the day before arrival. You put a label on each of your bags and place them in the corridor outside your stateroom between 20:00 & midnight before arrival. Your bags will disappear and will be waiting for you in the terminal hall next morning, in an area marked with the same colour as your labels.
It’s then just a matter of going through the UK immigration check. They you walk out of the terminal.
Express disembarkation: If you want to get off sooner and are happy managing all your own bags, you can register for Express disembarkation at the purser’s desk on deck 2 the day before arrival. You are given an express disembarkation card. Express disembarkation passengers gather in the Queens Room from 06:45 onwards with all their luggage, and at around 07:00 when the gangway opens you simply walk off the ship with your bags, straight into the terminal.
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Shopping Dining And Night Life In New York City
A cheap flight to NYC will allow visitors to further indulge in the maze of consumerist delights found throughout the city. Just about every national chain has a store somewhere in one of the five boroughs and in some cases in multiple locationsMacys, Bloomingdales, Sacks Fifth Avenue to name a few. Food appreciators can enjoy the wide range of gastronomic delights by treating themselves to the many ethnic restaurants around NYC. Brooklyn is arguably now the hippest of New Yorks five boroughs with a variety of trendy restaurants and bars. Visitors booking a flight to New York City to experience the nightlife should visit Marquee and OAK nightclubs.
From Jazz clubs and sports bars to supper clubs and dance halls with VIP rooms there is something for everyone in New York. Book a ticket to NYC and meet friends for a night of fun and laughter at one of the Comedy clubs or see a band at a rock club.
Other Options For Your Itinerary
Theres a lot of things to see and do in NYC. You will literally never run out of things to do here. Its impossible. Some other options to add in if youre not into museums or walking around as much:
1. See a TV Show NYC is home to tons of TV shows that film here regularly. TV shows like Saturday Night Live, The View, Late Night with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show, Last Week Tonight, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon all offer free tickets to their tapings. Tickets need to be reserved long in advance so youll need to plan ahead.
2. Explore the Bronx Zoo Opened in 1899, the zoo spans almost 300 acres and sees over 2 million visitors each year. Home to over 650 different species, its a great place to visit with kids. Gorillas, birds of prey, bison there is a huge assortment of animals here and youll definitely learn a lot during your visit!
3. See a Yankees/Mets/Rangers/Knicks Game Like sports? NYC has some world-class sports teams. Im not a big sports fan , but games are fun when you have friends to share the experience with. If you have a chance and the desire, dont miss a sporting event, because New Yorkers are serious about their local teams!
4. Take a Food Tour NYC is a foodie city and there are tons of amazing tours that can introduce you to the best food the city has to offer. Here are a few tours worth checking out if you want to eat your way around the Big Apple:
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How Much Does A Shopping Session In New York Cost
It is one of the most difficult budgets to anticipate. Even if your not a regular shopper, the prices in New York are so attractive that one quickly falls into the shopping fever.
Most tourists buy souvenirs from $ 1 to $ 10 but they also buy at least a pair of sneakers from $40 to $50, a pair of jeans from $40 to $50, 2-3 t-shirts at $10 each
You can save money going to one of the outlet stores near NYC. For nice souvenirs at wallet friendly prices, you can go to Cocoblues.
Tight Budgetfrom $30 to $65Average budgetfrom $250 to $400Large Budgetaround $650- $1300
Top Things To Do Outside Manhattan On Your First Visit To New York City
See the best street art in New York City by spending a couple of hours in Brooklyn.
Watch a baseball game. Head to the Bronx on the BD or 4 trains to see the Yankeesor the 7 to Queens see the Mets at Citi Field.
Go to a market in Brooklyn. Smorgasburg is a foodies delight and Brooklyn Flea sells vintage and antique clothing, housewares, and collectibles.
Traveling with children? Theyll love a day at the Bronx Zoo.
Coney IslandAmusement Park and Boardwalk are right in Brooklyn and a perfect place for fun and ocean breezes to cool off from NYCs summer heat.
Stroll through the Botanical Gardens in Brooklyn or the Bronx. Theyre gorgeous in the fall!
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Take The Train To And From The Airport
Whether you fly into JFK or La Guardia, you will be pretty far from the city when you land. Instead of hailing a taxi or Uber, which will cost you at least $40 $50 , take the shuttle to the metro. It is super easy to do and will save you a lot of money.
Heres how to do it:
For us, it was easiest to buy the 7-day metro pass , which allowed us to use the bus and metro unlimited times for our entire time in NYC. You can purchase the pass from the Metro Card vending machines which have very simple instructions to follow.
Once you have your card, simply use Google Maps and direct yourself to your hotel via public transportation.
Where To Eat And Drink
New York City is known for its plethora of food options, including iconic dishes that are must-eats on any trip. Be sure to grab a slice of pizza, a bagel with lox, a bodega egg and cheese on a roll, a classic deli sandwich, and a hot dog. And dont forget to partake in brunch, a NYC tradition. But the best part about New York City is that you can find foods from across the globe here thanks to immigrants from around the world, be it inside Michelin-starred dining rooms or hole-in-the-wall eateries serving everything from Ethiopian to Burmese to Korean to Italian to Israeli to Mexican and beyond. You can go big at a steakhouse or find cheap eats throughout the five boroughs. And every neighborhood has something unique to offer if you look hard enough even Times Square.
Drinking is just as important as eating in NYC and there are plenty of craft cocktail bars, historic taverns, breweries and taprooms, wine and Champagne bars, and even alcohol-free drink spots. And, there are some incredible coffee shops to start your day at.
Explore our articles on the most romantic restaurants, the best family-friendly restaurants, and the most expensive restaurants in NYC.
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What Should I Do On My First Trip To New York
10 Must Dos in New York City for First Time Visitors Visit Central Park. View fullsize. Watch a Broadway Show. Musical theater or stage performance is not for everyone, but I say Broadway is. Take in Times Square at Night. View fullsize. Eat, Eat, Eat! Go to the Coney Island Boardwalk. Catch a View of the Skyline. Spot the Filming of a Show or Movie. See the Statue of Liberty.
Nyc Drink & Dessert Prices
Its easy to be tempted by all the desserts, coffee, and alcohol in NYC. In fact, its good to treat yourself but it doesnt come cheap. In fact, alcohol is a real budget killer.
- Cocktails tend to start around $12 but can easily be $18-$22.
- A typical domestic beer costs $6-$8 but nicer beers are $8-$12. You can find cheaper alcohol options during happy hour if you seek them out.
- An espresso or simple black coffee will run you around $3-$3.50. Cappuccinos and similar coffee drinks will set you back around $4.50-$5.00.
- Two scoops of quality ice cream will cost $5-$8.
- Really good cookies are generally around $2.50-$5.
- Specialty doughnuts cost $3-$5/each.
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Average Nyc Hotel Prices
If you have the cash, I recommend staying in Manhattan. Specifically, I recommend staying in downtown Manhattan but most visitors end up staying in Midtown .
Here are average hotel prices for Manhattan :
- Average Two-Star Hotel Prices: The average price per night is $175 .
- Average Three-Star Hotel Prices: The average price per night is $225 .
- Average Four-Star Hotel Prices: The average price per night is $270 .
Free And Discounted Sightseeing Tours
Of course, we would love for you to join us on one of our pay-what-you-wish tours. But you have many other options too.
Below are some articles we have written about many ways to sight-see for free or at a discount.
- We have a vast array of downloadable and free self-guided tours, as well as many GPS-enabled audio tours.
- See the city from the water for free, or as close to free as possible. Our post, Free New York Boat Tours, tells you how.
- Take a hop-on-hop-off bus for a convenient way to explore the city. Click here to get 20% off ticket prices with Big Bus.
- For other bus tours, read our informative post on Which New York Bus Tour is the Best. We compare cost and quality.
- Sightsee by bike. NYC is very bike-friendly. You can rent a bike and explore on your own or join a guided bike tour.
- Get 20% off bike tours of Central Park and Brooklyn, as well as the cost of rentals by using the promo code use code FTBF.
- You can take a free tour at many of New York Citys most famous landmarks like the Federal Reserve, Grand Central, and Federal Hall.
- Get a discount on a Helicopter Tour! Our post provides tips on how to get discounts for chopper rides.
TIP: Before booking a tour, note that many sightseeing tours are included for free in several tourist passes.
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How Much Do Visits Attractions And Shows Cost In New York
First of all, I think that for a first visit of New York, the purchase of a Pass is very useful, like the New York CityPASS since it offers the main visits and attractions in NYC.
Then, if you want to see an NBA game, whether its the New York Knicks or the Brooklyn Nets, you could find tickets at $26-40. For a baseball game, its starting at $20-25, a football game is starting at $40-50. You can read more information here.
If you like shows and plays, you can go see a musical on Broadway, starting at $ 65-90 per person.
One of the must-see activities in New York is a helicopter flight, starting at $215 per person. It is impressive and allows you to see the whole city from an extraordinary point of view.
In short, there are thousands of things that can be done in New York, not to mention concerts, museums, bus tours, boats, guided tours
Tight Budget$120 per personAverage budget$330 and $650 per coupleLarge Budget$650 or more
How To Use This Guide
When reading this guide, keep in mind the following:
the prices are for one adult traveling in March. This is a non-peak time of year with moderate to pleasant weather.
To find out about other good times of the year for your trip, take a look at our posts on the best time to visit NYC or the cheapest times to visit NYC.
Prices are per day so that you can use that amount to budget for whatever number of days you plan to come to NYC. We also list, in parentheses, the total cost for a 3-day trip and a 7-day trip.
We include two price points: budget and moderate.
Budget is for someone who wants to spend as little as possible but still get a lot out of New York City. This means staying at very inexpensive accommodations, not dining at full-service restaurants, and spending money on activities that are unique to New York City.
Moderate is for someone who is flexible with the amount of money to spend. This means staying at mid-range accommodations in a convenient location, eating some meals out, and spending money on some of the best attractions in New York City.
We do not include airfare since prices will vary greatly based on your departure point. We do include costs to/from airports. Take a look at our post on how to find the cheapest flights to NYC.
TIP: Our New York City on a budget post is an excellent complement to this post.
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Average Daily Costs To Visit New York City
These NYC travel prices are calculated based on what youll need to visit New York comfortably so it includes things like food, accommodation, sightseeing, transportation, etc.
But I havent included extra things like big nights out at the bar, club entry fees, souvenir/clothing shopping, tours, random purchases, higher-end dining, etc. Dont forget to budget extra for those non-essentials.
Itinerary Planning Idea #3 Exploring Lower Manhattan
Yes, Times Square needs to be seen, but it should also be left. New York City has so much more to offer first-timers! Take the subway down to Lower Manhattan and do a bit of exploring.
Whether you want to shop in Soho, see classic NYC in Greenwich Village, eat well in Chinatown, or want a detailed Lower Manhattan itinerary, youll glimpse more of the real Manhattan by heading away from midtowns more touristy spots.
A few iconic sights should not be missed while youre at Manhattans southern tip. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is a must! Stroll along the pedestrian promenade to admire the New York City views and wonder over how such an impressive structure was built before the days of power tools.
Pro Tip: Many visitors like to head into Brooklyn and get pizza at Grimaldis. The pizza is delicious, but if you prefer not to wait in long lines, see my recommended pizza stops in the Lower Manhattan itinerary above.
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum remembers and reflects on the events and the lives lost during the terrorist attacks. The experience is emotional but poignant and so well-designed.
The reflecting pools are in the original tower footprints with the names of victims inscribed around the edges. The museum houses artifacts like a damaged firetruck and the personal anecdotal accounts of the day. The memorial and museum simultaneously honor the fallen, inspire a sense of Patriotism, and encourage a continuing faith in the goodness of humanity.
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Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
Even before you arrive in New York, look into purchasing a tourist pass.
Depending on which pass you buy, you could save as much as 55% on the cost of attractions that are likely on your must-see list.
See our guide, Which is the Best Tourist Pass to Buy, to compare what is available and if a pass is right for you.
Likewise, many companies offer bundles that combine their boat and bus tours with popular NYC attractions.
Our post on choosing the best times to visit NYC, which includes a section on the cheapest times, may be useful to you.
TIP: You may find our suggested budget itineraries for 1, 2, and 3 days in NYC helpful when planning your trip.
Also, check on Groupon and Living Social for discounts on tours, tickets to shows, meals, top attractions, and more.