We just cruised out of Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ for a 9-day New England/ Canada cruise on Sept 29th. This was our second time cruising out of that port but for sure will be our last. First, it was confusing to fly into Newark Airport and find our way to the place to get hotel shuttles. You must take an airport tram to one location to get hotel shuttles.
The first time we cruised out of there our impression of the port was it's a warehouse that's been painted a bit and and a few seats added to accommodate passengers. It was difficult to get to by taxi/van service and things there seems somewhat chaotic. That was about May 2004.
This time around we flew to the port area a day early and took a taxi to the pier and back to the airport. The fares were outrageously high vs Florida ports (Ft Lauderdale and Miami); plus you have to go through two tolls booths. $50 each way. One problem is Bayonne, where the cruise port is located, has NO hotels. So you must stay in Elizabeth, a short distance, but high priced taxi ride away and go through two toll booths. I would not even want to drive there and park as it's a very circuitous route to get to and into the port area. It's NOT easy in and out.
Then once you are in the terminal you must wait for a shuttle bus to take you about 150 yards to the ship. Departing the ship is the same except worse if you select Express Walkoff and have to carry all of your luggage onto the shuttle buses. There were definitely some people who should not have been doing that as they were walking with canes and otherwise having trouble walking.
I was really surprised that in the 7 years that Royal and Celebrity have had Cape Liberty open they have not made any improvements. Royal built a great terminal in Port Lauderdale for the Oasis and Allure and also has built a great pier in Falmouth. But I just don't understand why no improvements at Cape Liberty. It's not like there is not room to build a pier right where the ship docks. And Bayonne needs to step up to the plate and build a couple hotels near the pier.
So if you live in that area and can drive there it may be OK to save air travel money. But for me, I'll not drive or fly there again for a cruise.
PS: We docked at the Black Falcon Cruise terminal in Boston and even it was much improved since our last cruise out of there about 5 years ago. I would fly to Boston for a cruise before I would go to Cape Liberty again
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