Be aware that the sandwiches at both those venues continue to be literally "mile high." Mrs. S and I end up splitting one, and even then are challenged to finish. A tough choice as to which one to visit, but we lean toward the Carnegie. Whichever you choose, enjoy !
You will definately find the city changed since '96, and not just at Ground Zero. But as I'm sure you know, there is nothing quite like the Big Apple in so many ways.
Out of curiosity, when you mention going upstate to see frineds, where abouts might that be? The reason I ask is the Mrs. S and I are upstate NY natives, from a small town west of Albany some 40 miles, Amsterdam. When someone says upstate New York to us, we think of places like Plattsburg, or Massena, or Potsdam. Upstate to NYC natives is White Plains.
At any rate, enjoy your visit and of course the cruise.
..and if I may, good morning to all the denizens of this particular thread (which I have been lurking on for lo these many months), and prayers to all those who are in need.
Now for another cup of coffee and prepare to face whetever today may bring.