Dinner Cruse
Spirit of NJ
Weehawken harbor, July 26th 2007

I surprised the wife with a special dinner trip, trying to figure out what to do this summer.  We did go to Point Pleasant, NJ for a couple of years to a "booze cruise" down the Manasquan river with buffet dining.  Cute trip and we usually went with friends. That trip is no longer offered after a drunk 22 year old jumped from the top of the boat into the water.  The captain didn't want any more problems.  So I just told her that we're going out to a fancy dinner Thur. night.  She kept asking about what to wear, kind of shoes if we dance, will we be outside do I need a shaw.  I finally just E-mailed her the spirit cruse's web site's "dressing suggestions". She figured out the rest...   While driving there I asked what she would have thought if I just drove her there without her finding out.  She said she would have thought we are dining in N.Y.  Not quite, I think the pictures below show a better experience then just looking out the window of a restaurant.

Hints... 1: it's not as formal as it seems on the site.  Just look nice.  2: If you are traveling there, leave youself an HOUR from the time you hit Rt. 495.  It was bumper to bumper on the NJ Turnpike about 4 mile to Rt. 495.  You exit only quarter mile from the tunnel. This was at 6:30 pm.  Not sure what the traffic would be on a weekend or lunch time. I don't think they will wait. 3: they only put a small sign outside by the dock, it's only 700 feet from the last turn along the river.  4: you can only get on the boat at 7:00, so cold weather will leave you in the car or outside until them.

The trip:  The onboard entertainment.. cannot say... I and my wife were seated by a window and did not care about the "show".  The food is not good, it's excellent.  Here, you get what you pay for.  And coming from two different persons, a meat and potatoes person and fine dinner, we both were impressed.  Want more, it's a buffet  and all you can eat.  There are two serving spots so it didn't take an hour for the line to get short, real nice.  Drinks... bring money... but you can charge it.  It's NY drink pricing.  $8 a beer and $10 mixed drink, nuff said.  There are package deals, all on the site.   This was Thurs. night during the summer vacation time and there was only a few empty tables.  There are two decks to go outside.  TINY bathrooms.  Dinner is served when the sun is setting... glad the buffet was open almost all night.  High heels, if you can walk in them on a rocking boat.  Most of the rocking was during dockside.  The trip was rather smooth.  Only when a large boat passed did you feel much. 

Hope this helps, check out the shots. 

(Reminder:  These photos are with a digital SLR Pentax *ist D with a Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 zoom.  This lens is one hunk of glass and evening shots were at ASA1600 / 3200.  Plus  they are at 1/4 second hand-held and braced when possible.  Your little "point and shoot" digitals will look like my wife's evening shots even in "night mode", blurry.  I have been doing photos since 1971, these shots show I still can get them at times.  Plus the boat rocks and is moving sideways, more slow speed problems.  Just a warning if you bring a camera.  My lens weight 4 lbs, without the camera.)

Just leaving the port... these are the condo that seemly are taking over the NJ coast.  You should see the "boats" by the nearby docks.


As I said.. the condos by the Jersey side.  What else is new!


The Spirit of N.Y. was right behind us all through the trip.


Sunset... just when dinner was starting to be served.



NYC during the evening sun setting.  Pretty blah now.


It was a beautiful day.. clouds but enough sun.


Checking out the upper deck with a evening drink.


Lots of "love birds" were on the trip..  Ahhh yes, including us.



Jersey side... can't ask for much more !


And you're going to just sit and eat ! 



And evening comes


We catch a rainbow just above the bridge.  Not that bright, but visible.



In just a few minutes the bridges are transformed.  Interior shots are difficult, reflections.  
Note the flying saucers above N.Y.C.  Yep, that's how may UFO shots were faked.


After the boat turned around and I grab some dinner, we return to that dull sunset photo site.



Quite a change... well worth the trip




Pictures cannot show the immense size of the bridges and the view.


A shot of all three bridges we passed under... evening is quite a bit nicer.





Bye New York City  !


Have to add the "Lady".  We stayed at this spot for about 15 min.

That's all folks.