Cape Liberty Cruise Port; NOT for me again!!

  • 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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  • Hi Ed....We do not find that is that much of a problem sailing out of Cape Liberty. We always take a limo or the bus service that goes from this area to Cape Liberty - just an hour away from us. Once at the terminal, we have never had a problem checking in. I do not disagree that improvements could be made for aesthetic purposes to the pier, but, otherwise it works. Don't forget that ships used to sail out of New York, and having this pier open up in Bayonne, was heavent sent! The traffic at the Passenger terminals in New York got to be so terrible - worse than what you may encounter at Cape Liberty. Maybe we'll get a new terminal by the time we get a new class of ships out of Cape Liberty......(crossing fingers).

    It would be very convenient if they would build a couple of hotels closer to the terminal providing shuttle service to Newark Airport and the pier......maybe some day!!!

    By the way......I don't know why people insist in Express Walkoff.....either here or at any other terminal, I'm never in that much of a hurry to leave the ship! LOL!!!

  • Thanks for the warning Ed. I remember Cape Liberty when it was still the Military Ocean Terminal Bayonne, NJ. I brought my cars there twice for shipment to Europe in conjunction with my assignment to Germany in the 70s and 80s. I guess I can imagine the old warehouses and shacks still there only this time with a fresh coat of paint and RCCL logos. You just made me reconsider our New England/Canada cruise plans. Boston or Baltimore maybe. Cheers!

  • It will be Baltimore or Boston or another line for me.

  • @Miriam: I know folks from the NY area consider Cape Liberty an easy cruise; you can just drive on roads somewhat familiar to you and the cost of getting there is minimal. But with all of the space there I just don't understand why Royal and the city have not built a first class terminal so you can walk through it right onto the ship. And a couple or three hotels ion Bayonne would also help.

    @Bob: I was very pleased with the Black Falcon terminal in Boston vs how it looked in 2006 when we were there before. Plus, we walked from the terminal down to Faniel Market area; about a mile and a half walk to the center of activity. If we ever do Bermuda again it will be out of Boston

  • @Delores: it was the process of getting on and off the ship and the process between the airport, hotel and terminal that was a problem for me. The Explorer is a great ship and had no problems with it, except the Diamond Lounge.

  • So its Jewel in Boston, Explorer in Bayonne, and Enchantment in Baltimore. I guess that narrows it down to Boston if I were to cruise RCI.

  • Sorry to hear this Ed, we found the process area a little cramped (not what you need being jetlagged and hot), but it went quite smoothly.

  •'s really not that bad!!!!

  • @Miriam, it probably would not be too bad if we book the flight, overnight hotel, and transfers from RCI/Celebrity. Yes, that's probably the best way to go when you have to deal with Cape Liberty. What I do remember from the old Military Ocean Terminal Bayonne was that it took some doing to get from the airport to Bayonne to pick up our cars from the terminal after they were shipped back from Europe. Going from Bayonne to the airport seem to be much easier from what I can recall. But it was a while back. But I do remember that it was not a very nice area then.

    I do agree with Ed however that RCCL should have put more money in building up Cape Liberty. They have been there for a few years now. If they can build up Labadee and particularly, Falmouth, why not their cruise terminal in NY/NJ. Just reading the postings here on how dangerous Falmouth is makes you really wonder how sound that investment was. Well, our next one will be from New Orleans on the Voyager so I have noooo problems with that. Cheers!!

  • A little more info:

    Welcome to the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey.

    Opened in May of 2004, the cruise port is located on The Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor, formerly the Bayonne Navy Base/MOTBY facility. Fifteen minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport and seven miles south of Manhattan, Cape Liberty is easily accessible via the New Jersey Turnpike (Exit 14A) and mass transportation (NJ Hudson-Bergen Light Rail).

    Re-establishing a long, proud history, Cape Liberty marks the return of passenger ships sailing from New Jersey. In our eighth year, Cape Liberty has been responsible for the safe passage of over 320,000 passengers - the second largest passenger volume among Northeast and Mid-Atlantic coast ports.

    Cape Liberty has unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor and the Manhattan skyline. We offer ample parking, a convenient location and easy access to start and end your trip.

    In 2011, we are again offering year-round cruises to the Eastern and Southern Caribbean. From April through October, we offer 5-night, 7-night, and 9-night cruises to Bermuda and the Caribbean; in May and June, 7-night cruises to Bermuda and New England; and, in July through October, cruises to Canada and New England. Our homeport vessels include Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas , Celebrity Cruises' Summit, and Celebrity Cruises' Silhouette.

    Cape Liberty is an integral part of the multi-billion dollar redevelopment of The Peninsula.

    In the early stages of a major transformation by the City of Bayonne and the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority, The Peninsula will be home to new residents and businesses that will overlook a neighboring golf course, marina and park.

    Cape Liberty...Your Closest Point to Sea.

    P.S. We will be sailing out of Bayonne on the Explorer the end of March, 2012 and on the Celebrity Silhouette a few days later on a 12-night cruise.

  • Beinf from NYC I have cruised out of Cape Liberty 2 times, in 2010 and 2011, I found drop off to be quite easy, check in was very quick.

    Pick was no fun you had passangers being picked as others were being dropped off. They do need some inprovements made to the port, a walk through would be great, I find that bus shuttle pointless for only a few yards, it takes more time to get on and off the bus than it would take to walk the short distance.

    I will leave from Cape Liberty again!!!

  • I have sailed from Bayonne at least 7 times and will be again twice this year. Though it is a bit industrial, I have never had a problem. We live an hour away and are usually at the port at 11:30 and aboard ship by 12:00. My vacation begins the second that I get in the car. I do not care what the port looks like as I am only passing through on my way to my destination...the ship. I have taken Voyager twice, Explorer three times , Summit twice and will be on Silhouette and Summit again this year all from Cape Liberty. I have been to prettier terminals but for the 1/2 hour that I am there I don't let it ruin or make a good time. . Vacation is a time to have fun and relax. I try not to let anything get in the way of that...least of all the port of embarcation!

  • Hello everyone...

    I am considering a cruise leaving from Cape Liberty...Bayonne NJ... I will be coming from Philadelphia on Amtrak. Does anyone have any suggestions on the easiest, quickest, most economical way to get to cape liberty? What stop on Amtrak will put me closest to Cape Liberty, Bayonne NJ? Thank you, in advance.

  • RCI is supposed to be investing in improving the port before they put Quantum there. Obviously won't affect traffic, tolls etc.