Zenith 1998
Itinerary Show Map = ports at anchor
29th May
- Fly to New York, USA
& stay overnight
Saturday-New York, USA
(pm) embark Zenith
Sunday-at sea
Monday-Hamilton, Bermuda
Tuesday-Hamilton, Bermuda
Wednesday-transfer to St George, Bermuda
Thursday-St George, Bermuda
Friday-at sea
6th June
-New York, USA disembark
& fly to UK overnight
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Dad admires the view at Spanish Point Park, Bermuda

Back to familiar territory for John, Dad, Andrew & me but this time on the sister ship to Horizon. After our less than impressive experience of Celebrity Cruises in 1995, we had lowered our expectations this time and spurred on by a 2-category upgrade offered as an apology from Celebrity, any improvements would come as a pleasant surprise. And in fact, we had a lovely time!
Friday 29th May
Flight to New York, USA

This was our first time on Virgin Atlantic and we were reasonably impressed, though I thought the red-and-white uniforms of the female flight attendants a bit much; but Dad seemed to like them!

Unlike 3 years ago, when Celebrity's "meet-and-greet" arrangements went badly wrong, upon our arrival at John F Kennedy Airport, our Limo-transfer was there to whisk us to our overnight hotel, the Marriott East Side Lexington Avenue, which turned out to be just around the corner from the Waldorf Astoria in Park Avenue, where we stayed in 1989.

By the time we had checked-in it was already early evening, so after a bite to eat at a nearby Diner, Andrew & Dad turned-in while John & I went to find the Male Burlesque Club near Times Square.

Saturday 30th May
New York, USA

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We had the following morning free, so after breakfast back at the Diner (where we saw someone beaten-up outside!), we took a walk down to United Nations Plaza on the East River.

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Art Deco on Lexington Avenue A Typical
"We Shall Beat Our Swords
into Ploughshares"
The Secretariat Building
United Nations Plaza
So far, Celebrity had gone to great lengths to make sure they didn't repeat last time's mess-up, leaving umpteen messages for us at the hotel. And today, we had a Limo-transfer again, this time to the 50th Street Cruise Terminal.

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Alas, the check-in process had not improved and we stood in the queue from 1 until 2.15pm before we boarded.

But we quickly settled-in to the familiar surroundings and after Boat Drill at 4.30pm, Zenith departed for Bermuda.

Leaving New York, we overtook NCL's Norwegian Crown, which was in the adjacent pier and which actually left before us. At 34,242grt & 1200 passengers, she was built in 1987 as Crown Odyssey and though we didn't know it, she would be "stretched" to 43,537grt & 1750 passengers in 2007 as Balmoral for Fred Olsen Line. Show Picture Full Size

Sunday 31st May
A Day at Sea

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Aside from yesterday's lengthy check-in, the only problem we discovered (albeit a predictable one, given what happened last time) was that our Restaurant table reservations were all wrong again!

Show Picture Full Size But this was easily corrected and the table we were given proved a good one, with an excellent waiter Dario, an effusive Croatian!

After a relaxing day doing absolutely nothing, tonight was Formal and the Captain's Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party.
(left) The Caravelle Restaurant aboard Zenith & (right) A Typical Dinner Menu
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Monday 1st - Tuesday 2nd May
Hamilton, Bermuda
Bermuda Flag Map >> Show Map

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Arriving promptly at 8.15am and being well-acquainted with the "Bermuda Routine", by 10 o'clock, we had bought our bus passes and were aboard the Ferry to the Maritime Museum at Dockyard.
(left) Dad, John & Andrew on the Dockyard Ferry & (right) At the Maritime Museum
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After a snack lunch, we took the bus to Mangrove Bay where we paddled before the rain blew in and spoiled everything; we got drenched going back to the ship, after the bus dropped us in Hamilton!

Day 2 in Bermuda
Norwegian Crown (which left New York at the the same time as us) arrived in the berth next to us at 8.00am, having spent yesterday in St George - where Zenith would be heading tomorrow.

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NCL's Norwegian Crown arriving from St George
(ex-Crown Odyssey 1987 34,242grt - 1,200 passengers)
alongside Front Street
Front Street
Policeman in the "Birdcage"!

Today we took the bus out of Hamilton to Spanish Point Park which was so peaceful and beautiful, with a fabulous view across Grassy Bay to Dockyard and the Maritime Museum. Close to the water's edge, there's what looks like an iron wreck but it's the remains of Bermuda's famous Floating Dock.

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Spanish Point Park
Native Cedars & the remains of the Floating Dock (see left)
The View across Grassy Bay to Dockyard

Map of Navy Dockyard & the Floating Dock Bermuda's Floating Dock
Built in England in 1869 and towed to Bermuda in 35 days by HMS Agincourt & HMS Northumberland, assisted by 3 other ships including HMS Warrior (now restored at Portsmouth), it was the second largest floating dock in the World and became an integral facility at the Navy Dockyard on Ireland Island. 381ft long & 125ft wide, it could accommodate ships up to 25 feet wide but fell out of use in 1906, with the arrival of the new generation of warships.
Sold for scrap, it was being towed away when it was caught in a gale and broke free, eventually getting stuck on the reef off Spanish Point. It was finally abandoned in 1908. They tried to blow it up with dynamite in 1950 but the remains of its rusting hulk can still be seen just above the water (see photo above, far left). Bermuda's Floating Dock 1869

As the weather deteriorated, we waited for the expected arrival of Zenith's sister ship Horizon, due in at King's Wharf, Dockyard today, having left New York on Sunday.

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Celebrity's Horizon arrives from New York
(1990 46,811grt - 1,350 passengers)
at Kings Wharf, Dockyard
Crystal Caves
(apologies for poor photo!)

Show Picture Full Size Dad & I went on to visit the Crystal Caves and by the time we returned to Hamilton, the weather was perfect again. Note the Wind-Compass on top of City Hall (instead of a clock); the weather-vane is the Sea Venture wrecked here in 1609.
(left) NCL's Norwegian Crown alongside Front St, Hamilton
(right) Hamilton City Hall's Wind-Compass & Weather-Vane
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Wednesday 3rd - Thursday 4th May
St George, Bermuda
Bermuda Flag Map >> Show Map

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Zenith departs Hamilton Zenith
en-route to St George
Passing through
"The Town Cut"
St George's Harbour

Day 3 in Bermuda
I caused some concern at the gangway, going ashore at 5.45am; the ship was about to leave! But I caught the bus to St George at 6.45am and walked out to Gates Fort, in time for Zenith's arrival, passing through the narrow Town Cut, blasted-out in 1917 to improve the access into St George's Harbour. Much to everyone's surprise, I was back aboard in time for breakfast at 8.30am!
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One of the best places for shallow water snorkelling is at nearby Tobacco Bay. It's a brisk walk from St George but today we were lucky because a bus service had been laid on. Protected from the sea by jagged coral rocks, its still warm waters are perfect for paddling or snorkelling, and although the facilities are modest, the tiny beach is also ideal for sun-bathing.

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Tobacco Bay Sailboat
& Coral Arch
Paddling & Snorkelling Dad!

Show Picture Full Size The town of St George is the historical heart of Bermuda; it was here in 1609 that 150 castaways from the wrecked Sea Venture took up residence while they built a new ship, Deliverance to continue to their original destination, Jamestown, Virginia. About 50 settlers returned 2 years later however, and founded St George in 1612. A number of historic buildings and important features lie close to King's Square, including the Town Stocks, a Ducking-stool and a full-size replica of the Deliverance on Ordnance Island.
View of St George, with NCL's Norwegian Majesty (ex-Royal Majesty 1992) at Ordnance Island & Zenith at Penno's Wharf

That evening, we took one of the ship's tours to local night-spot The Clayhouse Inn, for an evening of entertainment including limbo-dancers and the Coca-Cola Steel Band!

Day 4 in Bermuda
Today John & I took the bus to Spittal Pond, one Bermuda's Nature Reserves renowned for its own micro-climate. But the Reserve was much bigger than we expected and we never did find the Pond! Nor did we find Spanish Rock, where the Spanish landed in 1543. (It has since been discovered that it was the Portuguese who landed, not the Spanish, so they renamed it Portuguese Rock in 2010!)

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Spittal Pond Reserve
& Portuguese Rock
Woodland Walk Flowering Cactii
Spittal Pond Reserve
Sea Song Cottage
Overlooking the South Shore

We then walked down to Devil's Hole Aquarium, Bermuda's oldest attraction, dating from 1830. Although on Harrington Sound, its water comes from the South Shore and it got its superstitious name from the eerie noises the wind made in the cave-tunnel that fed it. A small attraction by today's standards, it has a variety of fish and turtles, as well as 6ft long resident Moray Eel!

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Harrington Sound near Devil's Hole Feeding the Turtles
at Devil's Hole Aquarium
The ex-Astor Mansion
across Ferry Reach

The Astor Family's Bermuda Estate
The sprawling 22-acre estate stands across Ferry Reach and you can see it as the bus passes the Airport. Although today in private ownership, it was owned by Vincent Astor, who at 20 years of age, became the richest young man in America when his father, 47 year-old John Jacob Astor IV was lost in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.
In 1914, he married Helen Huntington and the Bermuda Estate was developed in the 1930's. As well as his philanthropic interests, Vincent Astor had a passion for trains and his private railway once connected to the Bermuda Railway at a small Halt you can still see the remains of today on the Railway Trail west of St George. Vincent Astor in Bermuda with his private train in 1938

Show Picture Full Size Zenith left St George at 3pm, passing close to NCL's Norwegian Majesty before slipping back through the Town Cut into a choppy sea en-route to New York.

Formal Night again; wonderful Dinner, aweful Show!
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(above) Ready to Depart; view of St George from Zenith & (right) Norwegian Majesty (before she was "stretched" in 1999)

Friday 5th June
A Day at Sea

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After 4 busy days in Bermuda, today was for doing as little as possible - apart from the packing!

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The Zenith Lobby The Fleet Bar Rendezvous Lounge The Martini Bar
Heralding a future!

By this time, the problems of 1995 were long behind us and while there were still aspects of life on board we didn't like (conga-line deck parties and taped music everywhere!), we had concluded that there was much to recommend Celebrity's cruise concept, not least the excellent food and service!
Read more about the ship at the Horizon/Zenith Ship Gallery >>
Saturday 6th June
New York, USA

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Disembarking and being transferred to our "day-room" accommodation at the Sheraton Russell on Park Avenue, we spent the morning on foot, back to being classic British tourists!

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Chrysler Building Empire State Building NYPD
Bicycle Cop
St Patrick's Cathedral Fifth Avenue

John wanted to visit the Museum of Modern Art, so we spent some time there but I was more interested in getting a hot-dog from the stand outside; and there's no shortage of art there either!

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by Lee Lawrie
Friendship Between
America & France
by Alfred Janniot
Morning, Present, Evening (1932)
Centre-panel of Robert Garrison's 21ft-long
Art Deco bas-relief next to Radio City Music Hall
Only in America!

The Rockefeller Center is a feast of Art Deco decoration, having been developed in the 1930's over more than 6 city blocks including Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Plaza, The GE Building and the headquarters of America's NBC. We've been here before of course but this is my kind of art!

For our overnight flight from John F Kennedy Airport to
London Heathrow, we were back aboard Virgin Atlantic.

This was our second cruise with Celebrity Cruises and after the upsets of 1995, everything had gone so well; so well in fact, that we came back to do the same cruise in 2001 and again in 2006!

See Detailed Mileage Log for this cruise >>

Cruise Mileage: 1,344 nautical miles
Total Mileage to date: 63,663 n miles

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