Did this in June. I did a review that you can check out in the review section.
It did not turn out to be cheaper, but sailing out of NY harbor was a great experience. Between the hotel, NY expenses, the higher cost of the cruise, we could have flown to FL and done it cheaper. I am glad we did it the experience was so different and we had a blast.
I took the Princess bus up from MD. It goes from DC up the coast. Not sure if they have one coming from you way. And then Amtrak on the way home.
We stayed at the Affinia Manhattan after the cruise. It is across the street from Penn station. Very nice older hotel.