MV ZENITH The View From Onboard In The Wake of the Furness Liners


Jim Kalafus

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The late summer voyage to Bermuda from NYC has become one of the favored traditions of my post-21 year old life. It is one of the rituals, in the spirit of always wearing black (and muttering 'sh*t' and snapping off the radio station when I hear the piano intro to "Imagine,") which have defined my adult being. This Saturday, after an overnight in New York and a visit with a friend carried over from the most scandalous and repulsive
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part of my personal history (the video store job) Mike and I are embarking on the Zenith to Hamilton, and I hope that the ensuing postings in which I describe the voyage, and also the closely parallel histories of Furness Bermuda and Celebrity Bermuda (one a line I wish I COULD have sailed on-the other a line I always regret NOT being aboard when I deviate from the pattern and go elsewhere) will highlight a kinder, gentler side of myself than the QM2 postings did
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Hey, any voyage which begins as the Republican convention in NYC is dispersing, and sails towards Cape Hatteras in hurricane season HAS to be memorable.
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Jim Kalafus

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I am posting the "photo section" first, and out of chronological order, since I will not be able to do so from the ship, and it will be easier to get the references with pictures towards which to scroll back.
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Jim Kalafus

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NEW YORK PALACE: Formerly the Helmsley Palace. Located on Madison Avenue between E.50th and E. 51st, this hotel serves as my NYC 'address.' The forward portion is the Stanford White designed complex of mansions built for the Villard family in the late 19th Century. The adaptation of the mansions to "luxury hotel prop" was a controversial example of preservation in its day, and many still do not like it, but more of the houses were 'saved' than were lost, and at least the Madison Avenue frontage looks as it always has.
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Jim Kalafus

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The lobby was always a favorite place of mine to meet people before heading out for the evening back in college. I was years away from being able to afford to stay there, but owned quite a variety of evening wear and so could easily pass myself off as one of the guests.....
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Jim Kalafus

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Funny thing is, I hate Stanford White architecture, and find most of the beaux arts style buildings and ship interiors tacky, but there is just SOMETHING I like about N.Y. Palace.
I always take the same 38th floor room,. with excellent views over St. Patrick's to Rockefeller Center:
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TRAVEL TIP: The Palace is not a cheap stay, but can be made quite cost effective if one takes advantage of the FREE FOOD available for all but the lowest priced rooms. The base rate for a 38th floor room is $350 P.N. but one is allowed access to the Executive Lounge on the 39th floor. The Executive Lounge has a progressive series of complimentary buffets during the evening hours, the food at which is considerably better than most NYC restaurant food. Factoring in the money saved by two people taking all their meals in the Executive Lounge (where the bar is also free
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) the actual cost of the stay can drop more than $100.00 per day.

Istana, the Hotel Restaurant, is also excellent but having to pay for the food kind of kills the fun.
 

Jim Kalafus

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"The Author" as seen in native Texan garb. The combination of black multilayering and a desert setting is a bit risky (that heat stroke thing) but what- the-h*ll-you-only-live-once. Compare this to the ca. 2000 NYC photo in my profile to illustrate the dual lives I lead.....
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Jim Kalafus

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Was just eyeing the story about the hurricane expected this weekend, and am now wondering if we are going to end up in Nova Scotia or (merciful God please no) Martha's Vineyard from which we will be able to see Mike's beach house on the mainland. Last time I was on a Celebrity cruise rumored to be diverted from Bermuda (Hurricane Erica 1996) the announced destination WAS The Vineyard- but somehting happened and our departure from Hamilton did not occur- in fact, we got a few extra days there.
 
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Mike Anderson

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I had no idea ships of that line had such nice interiors. Thanks for posting those. Last one's a bit sad, though.

Anyway, good luck with the weather.
 

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