Tom Paladino, owner of the 95-foot American Princess, steers passengers over the Atlantic Ocean's scenic waters on many noted tours that leave the city's commotion behind, including his seal and birdwatching tour that earned a New Yorker mention. Staffed by a team of experienced captains on its luxury boats, American Princess Cruises' excursions encompass a variety of sightseeing, cruising, tours, and partying opportunities. The company's many voyages ferry passengers past scenic areas that include New York Harbor, Jamaica Bay, Long Island Sound, or the Statue of Liberty as she readies her torch for that night's show at Madison Square Garden.
Within these geographic areas, passengers cruise on tours during which it's common to spot whales and dolphins cresting the sea's surface, the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, or take in the area's flame-colored leaves in autumn.
At Created By You, visitors discover new depths of their creativity. Armed with a rainbow-array of supplies, guests make masterpieces on ceramic or canvas. When painting ceramics, painters first choose a blank white dish or figurine as their muse, and then adorn it with glaze. Though the glazes appear muted at first, they become vibrant in the kiln where high heat reveals their true colors, much like bringing a baby into a candy factory reveals its true selfish nature. For those trying their hand at painting, they can learn in a more structured canvas-painting class. During these sessions, they'll follow a teacher's step-by-step instruction to create a landscape or still life. Each student works on the same image, but in the end, every image is as unique as its creator. And the sessions are BYOB, so as artists realize their visions, they can also sip on their favorite beverage.
Rab's Country Lanes seems to stretch endlessly into the horizon, housing 48 lanes, each with touchscreen computers and 42-inch LCD monitors hanging overhead. Late night cosmic bowling adds dazzling fluorescence to the alleyscape, and automatic bumpers keep the game fair for children and people who just stepped off rollercoasters. In the laser maze, aspiring spies can slither through a web of lasers, attempting to clear the course without tripping the alarm. Gennaro's snack bar refuels indoor athletes with pizza, burgers, and coffee.
The Willow stretches limbs and centers chakras in a serene studio swathed in aura-inspired colors. The studio offers a bevy of body-bending classes, including basic and advanced Pilates, hot Vinyasa yoga, and belly dancing. During group classes, guests can stretch out their body blankets as experienced instructors provide comprehensive, step-by-step guidance. With a month of unlimited dips, students can try their abs and minds in one or many formats, hunting for the regimen that suits their sweat beads best.
Center for the Arts produces unique music, dance, and comedy performances from the campus of the College of Staten Island. Its children's series brings light-hearted whimsy to that most somber of life stages. Center for the Arts' upcoming kid-friendly offerings include the musical Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, featuring the talent of the ArtsPower National Touring Theatre. The play brings Judy Blume's novel to life as 10-year-old Sheila Tubman deals with hilarious coming-of-age struggles when she moves to Tarrytown, N.Y., for the summer. Black Violin melds together classical music and hip-hop, as two violinists and a DJ fuse the two sonic genres in a way unheard since Beethoven's Symphony No. 12: Mo' Measures, Mo' Problems. Rainbow Fish, also presented by the ArtsPower National Touring Theatre, emphasizes the importance of friendship and generosity in a far more effective fashion than last season's production of Rumble Fish.
In town for one performance only, The Fab Four—The Ultimate Beatles Tribute sends audiences on a time-bending trip to the 1960s soundtracked by the lads from Liverpool’s greatest hits and die-hard fan favorites. Emceed by an actor channeling Ed Sullivan, the multimedia production boasts a talented cast showing off their uncanny impersonations of John, Paul, George, and MacGyver. Live note-for-note re-creations of the group’s classic hits include renditions of “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Yesterday,” “A Day in the Life,” and “Hey Jude.” With three costume changes, the show covers the Beatles' developing style, from the early days through Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to their brief stint as country band Uncle Ringo and the Hungry Blues. The touring production plays the palatial St. George Theatre, where the baroque furnishings offer plenty of murals, tiled fountains, and sculpted figures to keep eyes entertained before the show.