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You travel all the way to NYC and one of your top bucket list things is to do is walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, but did you know there is right way and wrong way to do it? In this video and blog post I will be sharing the local-tried and tested best ways to walk the bridge without making the seven biggest tourist mistakes, fun facts and history.

NYC Travel Guide: How to Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge - YouTube

Here are the seven biggest mistakes most tourists make:

1. Walking the wrong way: Direction matters. If you walk from the Manhattan side to the Brooklyn side, you’ll have to look behind you to appreciate the view. Walk from the Brooklyn side to the Manhattan side to enjoy the city skyline the whole way.

2. Walking in the bike lane: There is a dedicated pedestrian walkway elevated above the cars and taxis but be aware of the white line marks the bike lane. Everyone does it but just keep an eye behind you, so you don’t get hit by a biker trying to take a photo! Some of the angriest bikers I’ve ever seen ride this bridge.

3. Walking at the wrong time: Do not go at 12 noon, go early to avoid crowds and to enjoy the best lighting. Go during a weekday for fewer crowds.

4. Scheduling another activity in 30 minutes: Give yourself plenty of time. The bridge is just over 1 mile long or about 2 km long. If you’re going to walk across it, you will likely be taking photos. It takes 30 minutes to walk across it if you’re not taking any photos OR an hour if you’re stopping to take photos and enjoy the view. Often, I spend almost 2 hours on the bridge taking photos or video.

5. Wearing uncomfortable shoes: Wear walking shoes as you have to walk from the nearest subway station to the bridge and then across it. If you want a photo in heels, pack them in your bag!

6. Forgetting to wear layers: Most times of the year it is chilly on the bridge especially at sunrise because you’re on the water, so bring layers so you’re not cold!

7. Expecting to find bathrooms, food or water on the bridge: If you need one of these, they will be a walk from one of the bridge entrances or exits.

How to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge:

If I had to summarize how to do it in one sentence: The best way to walk across the bridge is to start on the Brooklyn side walking to the Manhattan side, at sunrise, yes I said sunrise, when there are less people and there is golden early-morning light.

1. The easiest and closest Brooklyn subway station is accessible from the A or C to the High Street-Brooklyn Bridge stop. Exit the station and take a right on Pearl Street and a left on Prospect Street to the underpass entrance on Washington Street.

2. If the 2 or 3 subways are more convenient from where you are, you can take them to Clark Street Station, a farther walk down Henry Street before you get to Cadman Plaza East park, and then you’ll see the underpass on the left.

3. Lastly you can take a longer route from the 2, 3, 4, 5, N or R subways from Borough Hall.

Once across the bridge you can return to Brooklyn by walking back across it, taking the subway or even taking the NYC Ferry.

Also, many people forget this, but you can also walk from one side, go half way, and then just walk back. This is best if you have limited time and want to end up on the same side after walking the bridge.

The closest subway station on the Manhattan side is the 4, 5, 6 subway stop at Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall, but keep in mind the views of the skyline will be behind you as you walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn, that’s why I recommend walking the other way from Brooklyn to Manhattan!

Fun facts and history of the Brooklyn Bridge

When the bridge opened it connected two cities, Brooklyn and NYC. At that time Brooklyn was the fourth most populous city in the country – it still is behind only New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.

1. Boss Tweed, a corrupt politician, gathered $65,000 in bribes to win the $1.5 million bond issue to build the bridge. He was going to skim money from the bridge contracts, as he had done with other public works, but was arrested in 1871. It is estimated he and his cronies stole at least $45 million during his lifetime.

2. Many people died during construction, including the bridge designer, John A. Roebling. He was taking compass readings when his foot was crushed between a boat and some pilings. His toes had to be amputated and he later died of a tetanus infection. Additionally, a number of workers fell off the towers or were hit by falling stones. Many works also suffered from “the bends”, including the designer’s son, Washington Roebling. He was bedridden for the next thirteen years, leaving his wife Emily to carry his messages to the workers on the bridge. She eventually became an engineer and a designer herself.

3. A massive celebration marked the opening: The New York Times described that day in Brooklyn as “the greatest gala day in the history of that moral suburb.” Canon fire, speeches and an hour-long fireworks display inaugurated the bridge opening. The bridge opened just before midnight and over 150,000 people walked across it in the first 24 hours. (Compare that with 4,000 on average that walk across it today on a weekday or 27,000 that walk across it on a weekend day.)

4. Only a few days after the opening a woman tripped on the bridge and her scream caused the other pedestrians to run thinking something was wrong with the bridge. The stampede killed 12 people and wounded 35.

5. After the stampede, P.T. Barnum guided 21 elephants over the bridge in May 1884 to show it was safe.

6. Peregrine falcons live on top: Peregrine falcons are the fastest animals on record, flying over 200 miles per hour. They now thrive in NYC and 16 pairs live in NYC, including a few lucky birds who claim the bridge as their nesting site.

Comment below your favorite fun fact or thing you learned!

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The post How to Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge, NYC Guide appeared first on The Travel Women.

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If your NYC bucket list includes walking over the Brooklyn Bridge then you could probably use some photo inspiration and even a shot list! Keep reading for the ultimate photo collection of top Instagram photos to take across the Brooklyn Bridge. These are real photos with very minor edits that you can take in one sunrise photo shoot. Go at sunrise if you want the bridge almost empty, because later in the day the crowds will make some photos impossible. My friend helped me shoot these photos (and video) in about one hour on the bridge around 7am on a sunny day in June. I will also include some things to avoid like shadows to get an even better shot than these below. Only thing, if you use this as inspiration, please tag me on Instagram @thetravelwomen or #TheTravelWomen, I would love to see and share your shots!

1. The classic shot you must get is straight down the walking path with one of the towers behind you, embracing the symmetry of the cables around you. I prefer taking this shot with Manhattan’s skyline behind the subject.

2. This symmetrical shot is so beautiful I took one facing forward and one facing backwards mid twirl.

3. An angle many do not utilize is a side angle with some of the skyline behind you. Just be careful of your photographer’s shadow and bikers if you quickly step onto the other side of the white line!

4. I love this shot zoomed in but note the lighting here a little bit after sunrise can cause some harsh shadows like the bridge and cables across my shoes and skirt.

5. Portrait shots on the bridge might be my favorite! I left my mic on after filming, but love how the light hits my face as I look towards the light and the background is slightly blurred at an aperture of 2.8.

6. Play up the corners around each tower, especially the one closer to the Manhattan side with the One World Trade Center or Freedom Tower in the background.

7. In these same corners around the towers stand in the middle and try to catch a few cabs whizzing by below you!

8. There is a metal corner or nook ready for photos too. Compare this side with less of a skyline behind it to this same corner from a different angle…

9. Here I am sitting in that same area, but this angle shows the skyline better, but not the bridge. So then we tried the left side…

10. Compare the last angle with this angle, but if you look carefully you can see the Empire State Building!

11. Boom, this is the side for sitting shots! When you’re looking at the Manhattan side, sit on the left side to best frame the skyline and Freedom Tower behind you and the bridge on the right.

12. Or you can sit in a bench and miraculously a matching purse with red details appears.

13. Photos on this bridge usually center around the bridge itself, but I actually love this unexpected shot towards Manhattan as you leave both bridge towers behind you, the symmetry is so stunning to frame a subject in the center.

14. I am pretty sure I was ready to go when I said, “just one more photo” and my friend snapped this one. This is another unexpected angle but I love how it shows the perspective of how grand the tower next to me is and how small the tower behind me is. It doesn’t hurt there’s also a biker in red in the background!

15. Too many photos police then stops by. These mini NYPD scooter things are on patrol and so I decided to embrace the photo opportunity.

16. They seem to love taking photos… no seriously!

17. Had to end it with this super cheesy photo with the very friendly NYPD guy!

If you found this helpful, please let me know in the comments your favorite photo and share this post with friends!

The post Top Instagram Photos of the Brooklyn Bridge appeared first on The Travel Women.

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The Flatiron District is a neighborhood in Manhattan, NYC, named after the Flatiron Building, but there is so much more to see than just this namesake triangular building. I have lived here and worked here for many years, collecting a thorough knowledge of the best places to eat, drink and stay and a few secret hidden gems. The exact area is debatable but lies on the map roughly between 23rd street and Union Square, between 6th Avenue and Lexington. The area includes the Ladies’ Mile Historic District which was a high-end shopping area at the end of the 19th century. Did you know the “Flatiron District” only got this name from realtors in 1985, before that it was known as the “Toy District” because of the large number of toy manufacturers?

Flatiron District NYC Travel Guide: things to do, where to eat, drink and stay - YouTube

Best Places to Stay in the Flatiron District

In 2009 the Flatiron building was purchased by an Italian real estate investment firm, which eventually plans to turn the building into a world-class luxury hotel. Until that is realized, here are a few of my recommendations for where to stay.

1. Gramercy Park Hotel

Check into the Gramercy Park Hotel to gain key access to the private park, Gramercy Park. Since the 1930s, it has accommodated stars like Humphrey Bogart, a young John F. Kennedy, Babe Ruth, Bob Marley and Madonna. It exhibits artwork by Damien Hirst, Richard Prince and Andy Warhol.

2. The Freehand Hotel

This is one of the newly renovated hotels in the area, which transformed the former George Washington Hotel into a vibrant artistic community. You do not need to be a guest though to grab a drink at one of the many bars. The Broken Shaker rooftop can get busy in the summer, so skip the line and try the George Washington Bar or Studio Restaurant & Bar.

3. Airbnb

Save money, especially if you’re traveling in a group by staying in a local apartment. You can use my code for $40 off your next stay.

Top Things to Do and See in the Flatiron District 1. Flatiron Building

The area is best known for the Flatiron Building, one of the first steel-framed buildings in NYC. Built in 1902, its unusual shape was once considered an ugly eye sore. The New York Times labeled it a “monstrosity”. The triangular shape was designed to maximize the land space where Broadway and Fifth Avenue intersected 23rd Street.

2. Madison Square Park

This gorgeous green space is surrounded by historic landmarks from the Gilded age, like the MetLife tower. In 1909, the MetLife Tower was constructed for the insurance company. When it was constructed, the tower was the tallest building in the world. Located in the North Building is Eleven Madison Park. One of the best Michelin-starred restaurants, it was once crowned the number one restaurant in the world, but it slid to number four last year behind restaurants in Italy, Spain and France.

You might also be wondering why Madison Square Garden arena is so far from Madison Square Park, but the current Garden arena is the fourth version, since the original opened in 1879 next to Madison Square Park. The gold-roofed New York Life Building was built on the land of the first two Madison Square Gardens.

3. ABC Carpet & Home

This eclectic interior design store has sold carpets and home furnishings for over a century. It is one of my favorite places to wander in search of creative inspiration from the jewelry counters to the dishes, you never know what you might find.

Fishs Eddy Flatiron District NYC 4. Fishs Eddy

Named after an upstate New York hamlet, this store sells the best edgy, unique dishes and New York knick knacks.

5. Abracadabra

Abracadabra is perfect for Halloween shopping or for any unique thing you might need year-round.

6. LEGO store

This is a kids’ heaven with tall LEGO sculptures to inspire your next LEGO design.

7. NY Cake & Baking Distributors

This shop has a counter of sweets, hot or frozen hot chocolate and everything you didn’t know you might need to bake a beautiful cake! They also offer baking classes.

8. FIT museum

This is one of my favorite secret museums that not enough people know about! There are two exhibition spaces: the museum and the Gallery. The Gallery displays current student and faculty work. In the museum you will find rotating exhibits from top designers that always cover 250 years of fashion history. There are also several events, conversations and guided tours. Best part is that entrance to the museum is always free.

9. Flower District

This is a total hidden gem that I’ve never seen on any list! It gives new meaning to the nickname “Concrete jungle” as it is one of the best green spaces in NYC but it’s not a park. The sidewalks on 28th street between 6th and 7th Avenues is New York’s Flower District. Here you can purchase any type of flower or plant, that’s real or fake and other décor from wholesalers and retailers. No matter the season wandering down this street it is easy to forget you’re in the city at all.

Where to Eat in the Flatiron District

Foodies can enjoy a classic pastrami sandwich, a huge Italian market or burgers and shakes at the original Shake Shack.

1. Shake Shack

Daniel Meyer started this popular burger chain as a seasonal hot dog cart to support Madison Square Park’s first art installation. In 2004 the permanent kiosk opened and now there are over 100 locations worldwide.

0 Birreria Eataly Italian wine bar Rooftop 2. Eataly

Satisfy any Italian cravings at this vibrant Italian marketplace, complete with specialty sit down restaurants and the beautiful rooftop, which changes décor with the seasons.

3. Tacombi

These are not my favorite tacos in the city (those are at Los Tacos Numero Uno) but their many locations and VW buses are super instagrammable.

4. Lillie’s

This Victorian establishment does everything right – the old-fashioned way. It is named after Lillie, a successful British actress.

5. Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop

Their saying is “raising New York’s cholesterol since 1929”. Order breakfast all day with a classic egg cream or a pastrami Rueben sandwich.

6. Harding’s

Housed in a turn of the century printing press building, Harding’s pays tribute to America with antiques and a huge American flag from 1896.

Old Town Bar Restaurant in the Flatiron District, NYC 7. Old Town Bar

This bar is often featured on the big screen like in Mrs. Maisel as Joel’s favorite bar. It has been an icon since 1892, complete with a 90-foot mahogany bar, tin ceiling and perhaps the city’s oldest operating dumbwaiter.

For a drink stop by the Jazz Standard in the basement of Blue Smoke, visit one of the Freehand bars or Broken Shaker Rooftop, play ping-pong at SPiN New York, try a draft at Flatiron Hall or end the night at Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club.

For more Top Things to do in NYC check out this guide or the most Instagrammble restaurants in NYC.

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The post Flatiron District, NYC: Things To Do, Where to Eat, Places to Stay appeared first on The Travel Women.

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The Flatiron District is a neighborhood in Manhattan, NYC, named after the Flatiron Building, but there is so much more to see than just this namesake triangular building. I have lived here and worked here for many years, collecting a thorough knowledge of the best places to eat, drink and stay and a few secret hidden gems. The exact area is debatable but lies on the map roughly between 23rd street and Union Square, between 6th Avenue and Lexington. The area includes the Ladies’ Mile Historic District which was a high-end shopping area at the end of the 19th century. Did you know the “Flatiron District” only got this name from realtors in 1985, before that it was known as the “Toy District” because of the large number of toy manufacturers?

Flatiron District NYC Travel Guide: things to do, where to eat, drink and stay - YouTube

Where to stay in the Flatiron District

In 2009 the Flatiron building was purchased by an Italian real estate investment firm, which eventually plans to turn the building into a world-class luxury hotel. Until that is realized, here are a few of my recommendations for where to stay.

1. Gramercy Park Hotel: Check into the Gramercy Park Hotel to gain key access to the private park, Gramercy Park. Since the 1930s, it has accommodated stars like Humphrey Bogart, a young John F. Kennedy, Babe Ruth, Bob Marley and Madonna. It exhibits artwork by Damien Hirst, Richard Prince and Andy Warhol.

2. The Freehand: This is one of the newly renovated hotels in the area, which transformed the former George Washington Hotel into a vibrant artistic community. You do not need to be a guest though to grab a drink at one of the many bars. The Broken Shaker rooftop can get busy in the summer, so skip the line and try the George Washington Bar or Studio Restaurant & Bar.

3. Airbnb: Save money, especially if you’re traveling in a group by staying in a local apartment. You can use my code for $40 off your next stay.

Top Things to Do and See in the Flatiron District

1. Flatiron Building: The area is best known for the Flatiron Building, one of the first steel-framed buildings in NYC. Built in 1902, its unusual shape was once considered an ugly eye sore. The New York Times labeled it a “monstrosity”. The triangular shape was designed to maximize the land space where Broadway and Fifth Avenue intersected 23rd Street.

2. Madison Square Park: This gorgeous green space is surrounded by historic landmarks from the Gilded age, like the MetLife tower. In 1909, the MetLife Tower was constructed for the insurance company. When it was constructed, the tower was the tallest building in the world. Located in the North Building is Eleven Madison Park. One of the best Michelin-starred restaurants, it was once crowned the number one restaurant in the world, but it slid to number four last year behind restaurants in Italy, Spain and France.

You might also be wondering why Madison Square Garden arena is so far from Madison Square Park, but the current Garden arena is the fourth version, since the original opened in 1879 next to Madison Square Park. The gold-roofed New York Life Building was built on the land of the first two Madison Square Gardens.

3. ABC Carpet & Home: This eclectic interior design store has sold carpets and home furnishings for over a century. It is one of my favorite places to wander in search of creative inspiration from the jewelry counters to the dishes, you never know what you might find.

Fishs Eddy Flatiron District NYC

4. Fishs eddy: Named after an upstate New York hamlet, this store sells the best edgy, unique dishes and New York knick knacks.

5. Abracadabra: Abracadabra is perfect for Halloween shopping or for any unique thing you might need year-round.

6. LEGO store: This is a kids’ heaven with tall LEGO sculptures to inspire your next LEGO design.

7. NY Cake & Baking Distributors: This shop has a counter of sweets, hot or frozen hot chocolate and everything you didn’t know you might need to bake a beautiful cake! They also offer baking classes.

8. FIT museum: This is one of my favorite secret museums that not enough people know about! There are two exhibition spaces: the museum and the Gallery. The Gallery displays current student and faculty work. In the museum you will find rotating exhibits from top designers that always cover 250 years of fashion history. There are also several events, conversations and guided tours. Best part is that entrance to the museum is always free.

9. Flower District: This is a total hidden gem that I’ve never seen on any list! It gives new meaning to the nickname “Concrete jungle” as it is one of the best green spaces in NYC but it’s not a park. The sidewalks on 28th street between 6th and 7th Avenues is New York’s Flower District. Here you can purchase any type of flower or plant, that’s real or fake and other décor from wholesalers and retailers. No matter the season wandering down this street it is easy to forget you’re in the city at all.

Where to eat in the Flatiron District

Foodies can enjoy a classic pastrami sandwich, a huge Italian market or burgers and shakes at the original Shake Shack.

1. Shake Shack: Daniel Meyer started this popular burger chain as a seasonal hot dog cart to support Madison Square Park’s first art installation. In 2004 the permanent kiosk opened and now there are over 100 locations worldwide.

2. Eataly: Satisfy any Italian cravings at this vibrant Italian marketplace, complete with specialty sit down restaurants and the beautiful rooftop, which changes décor with the seasons.

3. Tacombi: These are not my favorite tacos in the city (those are at Los Tacos Numero Uno) but their many locations and VW buses are super instagrammable.

4. Lillie’s: This Victorian establishment does everything right – the old-fashioned way. It is named after Lillie, a successful British actress.

5. Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop: Their saying is “raising New York’s cholesterol since 1929”. Order breakfast all day with a classic egg cream or a pastrami Rueben sandwich.

6. Harding’s: Housed in a turn of the century printing press building, Harding’s pays tribute to America with antiques and a huge American flag from 1896.

7. Old Town Bar: This bar is often featured on the big screen like in Mrs. Maisel as Joel’s favorite bar. It has been an icon since 1892, complete with a 90-foot mahogany bar, tin ceiling and perhaps the city’s oldest operating dumbwaiter.

For a drink stop by the Jazz Standard in the basement of Blue Smoke, visit one of the Freehand bars or Broken Shaker Rooftop, play ping-pong at SPiN New York, try a draft at Flatiron Hall or end the night at Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club.

For more Top Things to do in NYC check out this guide or the most Instagrammble restaurants in NYC.

PIN IT:

The post Flatiron District NYC Travel Guide: Things to do, Where to Eat, Drink and Stay appeared first on The Travel Women.

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June 21st is the first official day of summer but all of June in NYC feels like summer from the free concerts, food to parades, here are the best things to do in NYC in June!

June NYC Guide: Best 11 Things to Do - YouTube

1. Shakespeare in the park:

For over 50 years Shakespeare in the Park offers free performances in Central Park though a lottery system. From May 21st through June 23rd you can see Much Ado about Nothing and then July 16 – August 11 Coriolanus. Tickets are distributed through a lottery system for that night’s performance. There are five main ways to enter the lottery:

1. TodayTix app on your smart phone: between 12am and 12pm on the day of each performance you can snag 2 tickets to that night’s show. You will get a notification through the app if you won, you must confirm within 45 minutes to keep your winning tickets, so make sure you have your notifications turned on.

2. Wait in line at the Delacorte Theater at 81st Street and Central Park West. It can be many hours but it is an experience. The line begins at 6am sharp before the 12 noon tickets are given out.

3. In-Person Lottery at the Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street and Astor Place at 11:30am for a voucher for the pool at 12 noon. The best part is you will know within 30 minutes if you will have a ticket.

4. Outer Boroughs are also given a limited number of tickets at designated rotating locations outside of Manhattan.

5. The last option if the other methods do not work is to try the standby line at 6pm at the Delacorte Box Office.

2. See a free concert:

There are so many fun free concerts in June (full blog post on this coming soon!) Top free concert sites are: Today Show concert series, Good Morning America and Free concert at Central Park’s Summerstage.

3. Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival:

Celebrate the melting pot of the Lower East Side and Chinatown by enjoying Jewish, Chinese and Puerto Rican food at the Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival.

4. Father’s Day:

On June 16th celebrate Father’s day with a nice meal. Try one of the best restaurants in Times Square or one of the most instagrammable restaurants in NYC.

5. Bushwick Block Party:

Enjoy live performances, food truck eats and live street art installations at the Bushwick Block Party.

6. Gay pride parade:

New York hosts the largest pride celebration in the world and this year also marks the 50th Anniversary of the famous Stonewall Uprising.

7. Mermaid Parade:

The mermaid parade is a party and the nation’s largest art parade, which marches through Coney Island.

8. Make Music New York MMNY:

This free music festival gathers musical performers of all ages and skill levels on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

9. Puerto Rican Day Parade:

The Puerto Rican Day Parade is the largest parade like this in the nation and includes cultural and social events leading up to the parade.

10. Met’s costume institute:

If you love the Met gala and were wondering what that theme was, you need to see the exhibit Camp: Notes on Fashion in the Met’s costume institute.

11. Brooklyn Film Festival:

See films during the Brooklyn Film Festival across Brooklyn from the Wythe hotel in Williamsburg to Windmill Studios in Greenpoint.

12. Vinho Verde Wine Experience:

Wine lovers should purchase a ticket for the Vinho Verde Wine Experience to taste endless wine, cocktails and bites from top NYC restaurants.

What’s your favorite thing to do in June? Did I miss something, comment below!

The post Best Things To Do in NYC in June appeared first on The Travel Women.

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CocoCay is Royal Caribbean’s first private island in the new Perfect Day Island Collection and it is full of amazing Instagram photo opportunities. It opened in May 2019 with seven distinctive island experiences for any perfect day including waterpark or zipline thrills and beach or poolside chills. It promises some impressive bragging rights for your Instagram captions like the tallest waterslide in North America, the highest view in The Bahamas in the helium balloon that goes up to 450 feet in the air and the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean. If you enjoy taking photos of yourself and friends on vacation or taking macro shots of flowers or native animals like iguanas and a macaw your Instagram will be beautiful especially with inspiration from the following shots.

CocoCay Island Royal Caribbean Cruise Walking Tour - YouTube

1. My favorite photo is this hammock overlooking the ship as you walk into Chill Island.

2. A close second favorite photo is this colorful house where you rent water gear, which I happened to accidentally match.

3. Walk through Chill Island past the blue and white umbrellas till you see these colorful rainbow umbrellas!

Travel Guide: Royal Caribbean CocoCay Island Bahamas - YouTube

4. Zoom into the rainbow umbrellas from Up, Up and Away, the helium balloon. Every shot from here looked like a great drone shot.

5. Capture the blue and white clamshells in front of the water from the helium balloon.

6. Don’t forget to get a zoomed out shot towards the ship.

7. Before or after your ride in the helium balloon, snap a shot looking up at the rainbow balloon. (Another great shot is from oasis lagoon when the balloon is high above the palm trees.)

8. Capture the colorful chimes that hang behind the Chill Island sign.

9. Before jumping into the pool snap a shot of the lifeguard chair or the ladder and the blue water.

10. Snap a shot of the shower’s colorful backsplash.

11. If you’re lucky you might get to see a macaw escorted by one of the zookeepers.

12. While grabbing a bite to eat you might also see an iguana looking for leftovers.

13. Near the entrance to Chill Island you will see rainbow benches.

14. Take a shot in front of one of the many colorful wooden fences or houses and don’t miss the straw market.

15. At Captain Jack’s you will see swing chairs, a ship-shaped bar and these pretty city signs.

16. Shoot the buoy backdrop behind the stage.

17. Lastly enjoy a frozen drink.

Which photo was your favorite? Comment below!

Read next: 11 things you didn’t know about CocoCay Island

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Royal Caribbean Cruises just launched the Perfect Day Island Collection with its first private island, CocoCay in the Bahamas, full of fun secret spots. Whether you want to slide down the tallest waterslide in North America, zipline 1,600 feet or get the highest view of the Bahamas from the helium balloon there is something for every type of traveler. We love uncovering the lesser known secrets and things you don’t know about NYC or other travel destinations so you will not want to miss these fun things worth traveling to see.

Travel Guide: Royal Caribbean CocoCay Island Bahamas - YouTube

1. The tallest waterslide in North America is Daredevil’s peak at 135 feet tall.

2. Thrill Waterpark has the most slides of any waterpark in the Caribbean with 13 waterslides.

3. Oasis Lagoon is the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean at 33,175 square feet, which could fit 106,902 beach balls. 4. Thrill Waterpark has the largest wave pool in the Caribbean. It is 18,837 square feet and fits 28,000 gallons of water.

5. The helium balloon known as Up, Up and Away is the highest vantage point in The Bahamas reaching 450 feet high. 6. In December 2019, Coco Beach Club will have the first overwater cabanas in the Bahamas.

7. 375 Employees live on the island.

8. There are 6,000 lounge chairs on the island.

9. There are 1,200 umbrellas on the island. 10. Shop at the cash-only straw market where locals sell crafts and souvenirs, a miniature of the famous market in Nassau.

11. The island is the first of this Perfect Day Island collection with more islands coming soon.

What is your favorite thing about CocoCay in the Bahamas? Comment below!

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The post 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Royal Caribbean Cruise Island CocoCay Bahamas appeared first on The Travel Women.

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The brand-new Celebrity Edge cruise ship seems designed with Instagram photo opportunities in mind, but what time of day and angle will guarantee you get the perfect gram? This is the only ultimate guide to the best photo locations AND how to replicate and even improve on “the shot” I got below!

Celebrity Edge designers innovated the way ships should look to really deliver modern luxury that makes even the grandest spaces feel truly intimate. From the Jouin Manku chandelier in the Grand Plaza to the Kelly Hoppen state rooms to the Scott Butler edgy Eden restaurant to the moving Magic Carpet by the Burj al Arab architect, Tom Wright, to Rubem Robierb’s “Dream Machine” butterfly wings, there are so many talented artists, architects and engineers that contributed to the instagrammable design of this ship.

Almost all of these shots were taken at sunrise or sunset for that glowing golden light and less crowds. Some shots I got by handing over my camera to strangers walking by or my friend Jacob helped me shoot, but the majority of these were taken on my tripod. This guide makes it easy for everyone to capture memories onboard from a professional photographer to a new Instagrammer. What better place to start then the most instagrammed location onboard: the poolside butterfly wings and the best unexpected angles to shoot them!

1. “Dream Machine” Butterfly wings:

Lisa Lutoff, the CEO of Celebrity Cruises, said this pool centerpiece is the most photographed part of the ship. Rubem Robierb’s butterfly wings are almost too easy to add to this list since I love sharing lesser known angles and photo opportunities, but the story behind the wings is the best part! Viewers are encouraged to make a wish when between the wings to see their dreams come true. He describes it as “A monument for those that dream of a fair and equal society. A tribute to how fragile we are in our own circumstances but how strong we are in heart. The center bullet is no longer necessary, because once you are between the wings and making a wish, YOU become the bullet. Now, you carry the power to realize the most impossible of dreams…This is a monument for the dreamers, the ones who live and die making the impossible happen.”

The shot: Instead of standing in front of the wings shooting it straight on, I love the other less popular backside of this sculpture, standing on the pool side and not getting this shot straight on but angling it to capture both the sunrise and the butterfly wings in their full deck setting. I love shooting this as the sun is just above the horizon and adds a glow to the white wings.

2. Eden bar:

This three-story restaurant has the best interactive show experience and serves up some of the best cocktails on board. It feels like an outdoor oasis filled with tropical plants, located at the back of the ship on deck five. The furniture arrangement and design details culminate in a tall bar backsplash of gold and shades of green. Despite the grandeur of the bar, the entire space still feels intimate. Order the Clouds or Forbidden cocktails and grab a seat near the center about 30 minutes before an Eden show to revel at the talented acrobats and performers.

The shot: Try taking a photo standing in front of the bar or at a bar stool to show the perspective of how tall the bar truly is.

3. Eden colorful swinging chairs:

On your way up the ramp walkway on the left of the bar you will spot a few colorful hanging chairs great to swing in and relax or snap your next shot.

The shot: It is easy to get lost in this chair in a photo, so try to sit up straight and hold on to the two handles. I also played with putting my bright hat on the bench in the foreground. This spot is especially beautiful at golden hour or with some harsh light you can even play with the reflections and shadows like I did in this shot.

Photo of me by my friend @JacobSantiago 4. Eden arch walkway:

It is almost impossible to take a bad photo here. Take the stairs on the right of the bar or even better the round ramp on the left of the bar, past the swinging chairs to begin the ascent up the ramp. Keep walking up for stunning views over both Eden and the water with floor-to-ceiling triangular windows. The rounded railings make it feel like the path goes on forever and palm leaves are the worst (but really best) thing that will get in your shot.

The shot: Lighting is key to capturing this area well and I prefer the softer lighting of golden hour, but you can also play with harsh light and harsh shadows. Most importantly center your subject between the railing or palms and the window. Professionals looking for a fun photo challenge will delight in the bright reflections of their subject in the higher-level glass railing or play with silhouettes while shooting from that upper level glass area.

5. Eden stairs:

Walking into Eden there is a tall staircase with a structural vertical garden on the right-hand side of the space.

The shot: Take a photo from the top of the stairs looking down with the gorgeous white and green backdrop or from the bottom of the stairs you can shoot upwards with your subject looking over the railing of the lower landing or climbing the stairs. The only thing that makes the photo from the bottom tricky are the reflections on the glass depending on the lighting.

6. Rooftop Garden:

Though it is a great area to relax, there are ample photo opportunities in this stunning rooftop garden. This is my second favorite oasis for photos after Eden!

The shot: These wrapping wooden benches were my favorite detail in this space. Center yourself in the middle of one of these long winding benches with the big blue Celebrity X behind you!

7. Curtis Kulis’ Love walls:

Curtis Kulis’ “Love” pieces span a few floors outside overlooking the pool area. Each Love wall area has its own graffiti style with slightly different highlight colors. Bonus points if you can match your outfit to one of the wall’s highlight colors.

The shot: These walls are made for pretty portraits, but I love finding unexpected angles to popular photo spots. Instead of shooting this head on, I experimented with this shot at both sunrise and sunset, so the focus was me, my dress and the starburst of light when shot at the right shutter speed.

8. Hot tubs floating above deck:

At first the asymmetry of the outer decks really bothered me, like how there’s one wooden walkway on one side of the pool but then less-photogenic white arches on the other side. Now I embrace it as the asymmetry means more photo opportunities! There are two floating hot tubs both on one side of the front and back top deck area. Despite their battle against the symmetry, I enjoyed how they give you an opportunity to shoot a subject at this circular railing floating so high above everything.

The shot: If you can have someone help you get a shot from the lower deck looking up while you’re near the railing, I think that could be a beautiful angle. These are also closed during sunrise, but they are open at sunset. I chose to set up this shot by centering myself between the railings of the ladder.

9. The Wooden Cabana Walkway:

Only one side of the pool has this wooden arch walkway. It was very popular for photos, so my tripod and I woke up at sunrise for this photo without anyone in the background.

The shot: This one is relatively “easy” the only thing is dodging crowds if you do not shoot early in the morning and getting the light on you or your subject. I like how it appears I’m looking into the light. The trick to this shot is instead of centering myself in the frame on my tripod, I put myself slightly off center to show the depth of the arches in front of me.

10. Magic Carpet:

The purpose behind the magic carpet is so smart, as a functional yet elevated restaurant and bar above the ocean. It is the world’s first cantilevered floating platform that goes from 13 stories above sea level down to just above sea level. When it’s not a venue for drinks or dinner it is on Deck 2 as a clean and beautiful transition from The Destination Gateway to Edge Launches for transportation ashore. I love the rounded orange lines, large windows and comfy seating areas. If you have pops of orange in your outfit this is a major plus!

The shot: The true magic of this magic carpet is the fact that it is floating above the water and moves up and down on the side of the boat. I played with two shots here, one straight on with the water behind me and another with my friend shooting from a higher deck looking down at me in the corner closest to the water.

11. Chandelier in the Grand Plaza:

The tall space in the Grand Plaza allows for a unique chandelier of lights to climb from the bar up the ceiling, which is meant to represent a cloud over the horizon where the ocean meets the sea. Jouin Manku who designed the Grand Plaza is also known for the Jules Verne restaurant design at the Eiffel Tower. One partner Patrick Jouin had an emotional connection to the project as his grandparaents worked at Chantiers de l’Atlantique, the shipyard where Celebrity Edge was built.

The shot: Shoot through the mosaic mesh structure to get the bar and chandelier straight on. Shoot this early to avoid crowds.

12. Edge Art Collection:

If you are an art and museum lover, there are over 4,000 pieces of art on board. Even the elevators feature stunning portraits. Half the elevators feature traditional tribal looks and the other half feature styled fashion photography with modern-day headpieces inspired by similar tribes. My two favorite pieces of artwork are probably the “Winged Glory” reinterpreted Nike statue made of white chicken wire outside Cosmopolitan restaurant or the “Jiao Long” ship made from pearl necklaces and broaches near Café al Bacio. One eerily beautiful experience is walking through “Avalon” the infinity hallway of bronze trees and mirrors.

The shot: This depends on your favorite piece, whether you prefer the eerie reflections of Avalon or the feminine energy of the “Winged Glory.”

13. Solarium:

From the circular pool’s blue backsplash to the rounded rows of light blue chairs, there are great fashion shots to be taken here!

14. The Sunset Bar:

This bar at the back of the ship’s upper deck is simple but perfect for a cocktail photo or to play with golden light.

The shot: At sunset my friend and I got this silhouette style shot with the sun shining through just over my arm and hat. I adjusted the shutter speed to make this dramatic sunburst pop.

15. The Retreat Pool Swings:

There are three swinging chairs at the front of The Retreat, an area reserved for suite guests. What’s better than a pool shot or a swinging chair shot but both in one! I love this spot where three comfy swings hover above the pool. This was a hard one to shoot as it was closed early in the morning and later it was always busy.

The shot: With more time and better lighting I would ideally combine these two photos so that you shoot at an angle, with the subject sitting in the closest chair.

16. Edge Theater:

The theater is not just for seeing some amazing shows but also playing up different photo angles. It is full of pretty design details like the mirrored face chair.

The shot: I love the reflections of my sequined dress on this face-shaped chair covered in mirror mosaic glass, framed by the staircase.

Comment below your favorite Instagram spot and if you were inspired to shoot a photo like one of these, I would love to see them, feel free to share a link below to your photo!

The post Instagram Guide to the Celebrity Edge Cruise ship appeared first on The Travel Women.

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If you’ve watched my first Le Petit Chef video, one of most popular videos, of the exclusive Celebrity Edge cruise dining experience, you are probably wondering what was that cool light show? It is an augmented reality (AR) light show experience made by Skullmapping. When aboard Celebrity Edge I had a chance to see the below four course meal where Le Petit Chef battles against his miniature chef competitors and I interviewed the Skullmapping team.

Le Petit Chef falls into the AR experience category, but first I should clarify the difference between 360, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

What is 360?

360 content is usually a video that you can scroll around through to see in every direction in 360 degrees. Watch my Tour of Quebec City for a 360 video example.

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality often includes a headset and usually incorporates 360 video, that you can see by turning your head in any direction, but the key difference is that there is usually an interactive element. You are no longer in the passenger seat like 360 videos, but now can choose different paths or options or play a video game from the driver’s seat.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality or AR is when something is added to your reality, it can be digitally or through light projections, like this Le Petit Chef. Most people have experienced it without even knowing through for example Pokemon Go or Snapchat or Instagram face filters.

Coolest Cruise Dining Experience Celebrity Edge EXPLAINED - YouTube

The first time I saw Le Petit Chef was when I was invited to the press event with Celebrity Edge. I honestly didn’t know what to expect and unfortunately, I did not bring my camera. So when I got there and was like this is a pretty cool event and they were hyping up some dessert experience thing, I took out my phone and clicked record and this is what I saw. There was a little funny chef called “Le Petit Chef” who comes out of his igloo to prepare a dessert in front of you on your plate.

You have a real plate, cup and spoon set up in front of you and other guests next to you. Then a choreographed visual mapping starts playing like the kind you often see projected on buildings. Projectors display a little chef rolling the snow into a scoop of ice cream and his hilarious adventures trying to prepare a meal so much larger than him.

Coolest Cruise Dining Celebrity Edge - YouTube

Skullmapping made the video projection by acting out the motions in a studio, then about five weeks later they edit it into a video that is projected directly onto your plate! Though this lightshow story looks super real and almost 3D, it is not a 3D projection, but does incorporate shadows and certain optical illusions to make it look 3D!

The best part of this Augmented Reality experience is when at the end you are brought a real plate with the exact same dish or dessert creation. The attention to detail even down to the tiny footprint in the chocolate sauce is amazing! This is an immersive experience and just fun way to enjoy a meal. I highly recommend everyone try to see this lightshow exclusive experience while on board Celebrity Edge.

Comment below any questions you have or your favorite part of this amazing experience.

PIN IT:

The post Celebrity Edge Le Petit Chef Cruise Dining Guide appeared first on The Travel Women.

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Hudson Yards’ “landmark” temporarily named “Vessel” is causing a buzz of new tourists to this beehive-shaped structure. Hudson Yards is a “new neighborhood” built on top of the train tracks next to The Highline. Online the free tickets are “fully reserved” for weeks but read on for the best way to skip the digital line and secure tickets to this unique attraction. It opened to a few controversies including its unannounced photo policy to their private artwork where they owned all photos taken of it. While asking the public for new name ideas, my favorite name suggestion has to be “Shawarma” by Eater. If you’re located in NYC meet me at Vessel Sunday April 7 at 6:30, all the details will be on my Instagram, @jenniferscamera.

NYC Travel Guide: Vessel Hudson Yards - YouTube

Vessel By The Numbers: how many steps, stories and dollars?

150 feet tall
154 interconnected staircases
16 stories
80 landings
2,500 individual steps
1 mile of vertical climb
$25 billion for all of Hudson Yards
$200 million for Vessel
700 people allowed in at one time

Best time to visit Vessel Hudson Yards?

I visited at sunrise, during the day, sunset and at night and my favorite time to visit is still sunrise when it is less crowded. Since sunrise is blocked by some of the buildings like the mall, I thought sunset might be best with more golden light glowing over the unobstructed Hudson river, but it was so crowded. The light was nice, but not worth the crowds, so I recommend visiting at sunrise or earlier to guarantee tickets.

How much is a ticket to Vessel?

Nothing in NYC is free… except a lot of things. Everyone around the ticket booth kept asking, “how much does it cost?” I also thought tickets would have a big price tag but rejoice that this is a free attraction. They simply give out tickets to manage the number of visitors. They can accept 700 visitors at a time. When I got in line at 6pm I was given a ticket for a 7-8pm window. When I went at 9am I got the first slot of 10-11am. The earlier you go, the line will be shorter and the area will be less crowded.

How to get tickets to climb Vessel?

The website and many articles about it made it sound like it was sold out and impossible to get tickets. They give out same day tickets online where you can wait in a long digital line of often 3,000 people like when I tried, or they also give out the same tickets in person. Go to the ticket booth next to Vessel to save yourself the online hullabaloo. The ticket booth opens at 8am officially though attendants usually roll in closer to 9am. Vessel visiting hours are between 10am and 9pm and you can get a ticket any time … before they run out of tickets.

Go to the ticket booth, the little building next to Vessel usually with a line in front of it. You can also request one or two tickets once you get to the attendant handing out tickets. They are for a certain time slot, but sometimes you can check in a little earlier for your time slot. I was told I could go in at 6:45pm for my 7pm window.

How much time do you have to climb Vessel?

The tickets have a one-hour time limit, but I didn’t feel rushed and it didn’t appear that they were kicking anyone out who stayed longer than an hour. I climbed to the top quickly in about 15 minutes, taking photos of sunset through the structure. In total I spent 30 minutes climbing up and down Vessel. Once at the top at the most crowded landing overlooking the sunset it felt very busy and I was ready to go down and gain back some personal space!

Quotes about Hudson Yards and Vessel

Ross “wanted to commission something transformational, monumental.”

Heatherwick said that his design for Vessel originated from a childhood experience when he “fell in love with an old discarded flight of wooden stairs outside a local building site.”

“We’ve never designed something like this,” Wood said. “We’ll probably never design anything like this again.”

New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman called Vessel’s exterior “gaudy” and criticized Hudson Yards more generally as a “gated community” that lacked real public space.
“A gaudy monument to being only ever-so-slightly free.”

Curbed article: “requiring a ticket to enter sends a clear signal; this space doesn’t belong to you.

What is the purpose of Vessel?

Heatherwick stated, “We had to think of what could act as the role of a landmarker. Something that could help give character and particularity to the space.” They say this $25 billion dollar Hudson Yards project wanted to give back something to the community so they built Vessel. This structure was meant as a viewpoint and a public space for climbing.

Ugly Truth Hudson Yards Vessel NYC Local Guide - YouTube

What is the view from the top of Vessel?

Their site boasts that “this landmark will offer remarkable views” but unfortunately most of the Manhattan views are blocked by the mall and other surrounding buildings. You can just see the top of the Empire State Building at one angle and you can watch the sunset over the water and New Jersey. The remarkable views I think will truly be seen when the new Edge Observatory Deck opens here in Hudson Yards later in 2019.

Best Instagram Photos at Vessel

There are three great photos to take here before continuing with our New York City top things to do.
1. Photo from the ground looking at Vessel
2. Photo from the bottom inside looking up in Vessel
3. Photo from the top inside looking down at Vessel

Comment your favorite part of this post and if you will visit this new NYC landmark at Hudson Yards!

The post Guide to Vessel Hudson Yards appeared first on The Travel Women.

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