Guests of midtown Manhattan’s Euro-luxe Kimberly Hotel are permitted to use any of the borough’s five New York Health & Racquet Club (NYHRC) locations, which is a nice-enough perk, especially if the hotel’s above-average on-site gym doesn't do it for you.
If you’re rolling into town through September, however, the Kimberly’s relationship with NYHRC also means you get access to the club’s members-only Sunday brunch cruise for $25 per passenger ($50 per head for non-hotel guests who’d like to accompany Kimberly guests). Families with kids three and older are welcome aboard the 75-foot yacht for a two-hour ride along the East River and around Lower Manhattan. A mariners-eye view of the Statue of Liberty is included, and unless the captain or the Coast Guard balks about the weather, the boat sails rain or shine. Plus, they feed you.
Included in the fee is a cold brunch buffet that includes wraps, sandwiches, salad and pasta salads, and desserts; both the carnivores and vegetarians in your brood ought to walk away satisfied. There’s also booze on this cruise but it is, alas, via a cash bar. One exception: Dads on board the June 19 Father’s Day Sunday cruise will score a free drink coupon.
One downside is that transportation between the hotel and the dock at the E. 23rd St. Skyport Marina is neither provided nor included in the cost. If traffic is light, a cab ride will take about 15 minutes. If you grab either the eastbound M23 cross-town bus or the 6 train to 23rd St., plan on a half-hour ride. The brunch cruise sails at noon and returns at 2pm, but you’re expected to board by 11:30am – no sprinting leaps from the dock to the yacht, please.
As on most boat rides you should wear flat-soled shoes – they don’t call them boat shoes for nothing – and while a 75-foot yacht tends to yield reasonably smooth sailing, one thing I’m certain of is that susceptibility to motion sickness depends entirely on the child, not on the ride. So, pack a throw-up kit and equip the kids with your preferred nausea remedy before or during the cruise.
One more tip: If you’re not gravely concerned about motion sickness but would like to have a non-medicinal ration on hand, many travelers I know favor sucking on crystallized ginger to ward off nausea. Even if you don’t end up needing it, it’s one of the better candies you and your family will ever eat.
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