If it's your first visit to NYC I recommend staying at hotel right around Time Square. That's puts you in the center of things, and easy to venture to lots of places from there.... and it's only a short distance to the pier.
Depending on budget, there's Mariott Time Sq, Crowne Plaza Time Square, W Hotel, Paramount Hotel that I can think of off hand.
For one day I recommend the Hop On Hop Off Bus. Gets you to a lot of areas of the city, and you can spend extra time wherever you feel like it.