Hello all, was wondering if anyone could give me some information about the new york port this is my first time sailing out of New York and I am a little confused. I will need a hotel room for 1 night while I am there and was wondering if anyone could give me some suggestions as to where to stay We will have our 2 teenaged daughters with us and we want to make sure that it is a safe area. Also anyone else taking this cruise?
We cruised on the Zenith from New York to Bermuda last year (Apr 03) and booked the Marriott Marquis at Times Square through our travel agent at a weekend rate of about $180. It's an OK area for safety and the hotel is very nice. You don't say what age your daughters are, but unless they are late teens and used to the city you shouldn't let them out on their own anywhere in New York unless they are used to the city. The hotel is a quick taxi ride to the port. If you are staying in New York on a weekend night your TA can probably get you a similar rate at a major downtown hotel. An advantage of this hotel is there is a large taxi entrance inside the structure at the ground level and its all very organized in getting a cab to the port.
When you arrive at the port, make sure your driver stops at the right terminal for the ship you are taking. Ours dropped us at the wrong ship and it was a long hike with all our baggage in tow to the correct one. (Two celebrity ships were leaving at the same time and we didn't specify which ship, which probably caused the confusion.) Compared to other ports we have used, this is a large, noisy terminal and can be confusing. If you are not sure of anything, find a celebrity check-in employee inside the terminal to help.
There will be porters just inside the terminal to take your checked luggage. But just to be safe, make sure they are celebrity employees - or contractors before releasing your luggage, and also if you're going to tip them you will need to do so at that time (They will remind you of that anyway). We thought it was worth a few extra dollars to make sure they handled ours right.
This is a wonderful cruise and the Zenith, although aging, is still a beautiful ship and a good size to enjoy on the ride to and from Bermuda. The stops at Hamilton and St Georges were entertaining. If you want to see the real Bermuda, buy a bus pass on the city bus while you're in Bermuda and ride around to Horseshoe Bay and then on the point, then take the ferry back from there to Hamilton. With the bus pass you can get off the bus whenever something looks interesting and get back on when the next one comes by. We walked from the bus to horseshoe bay, bought a soft drink at the beach bar at the big hotel there and relaxed on the pink sands of the public beach for a while. St Georges is also good to explore on foot (and shop) - walk up to the unfinished church and then on to the fort for some beautiful ocean views. If you have time in St Georges you can also follow the old train route up through the hills a way to see the homes and other views.
We will probably do this cruise again - after we've worked our way through our wish list of other Celebrity cruises.
Whatever you do, though you will have a good time!
Thanks for the advice. We have decided to stay in New Jersey close to the airport we will only be there 1 day we get in around 12:00 PM so we will just travel over to New York by Ferry or Taxi to see the sights. My girls are 16 and 19 so al they want to do is shop in New York. I am really looking forward to this cruise. I have ever been on the Zenith but I have been on the Horizon which is her sister shipThis will be our first time to Bermuda and I have heard really good things about it. I like the smaller ships I think they are a little more personal. On the mega ships I always think of cattle when I am standing in line waiting for something esp. at the buffets for breakfast.
With your late arrival, you made a good choice for your hotel. It would be a hassle to get into the city and check into a hotel at that hour.
My only advice is to treat yourself to a taxi or van service to minimize your travel time into the city, but check with your hotel for the quickest way to get there. We took the bus once on a friends advice to Newark and it was a hours-long ordeal. You don't want to spend your limited time in the city just trying to get there.
The good thing about the New York port is it is located near mid-town on the west side, so your daughters will have some time to shop some before you leave.
Your daughters will probably enjoy shopping in both Hamilton and St Georges.
The ship will have good activities while at sea also. We enjoyed the pool in the afternoons or watching the movie in the show lounge. We had a late night party in Hamilton (Wednesday night I think) on the pool deck. The staff is very attentive and you should have good service all around.