Had fantastic back to back cruise on Constellation. First did the Baltic, then stayed on board for transatlantic crossing to New York City. Have cruised 10 times, mostly on RCCL and HAL and this was the best yet----until the end. Immigration delayed the expected departures from the ship by about 1.5 hours. This caused a backup of those waiting for airport transfers or taxis. Took 2 hours from time we hit the street until we got a bus to Newark airport. Sheer bedlam, with hundreds of people and their luggage all trying to find the correct unmarked bus and get on too few buses. No organization and no Celebrity person in sight to help or direct once you left the terminal. Very disappointing end to an otherwise fantastic 25 day cruise
Love to cruise
I think the big problem here is the port of New York, which was never meant to handle a number of large cruise ships at the same time.
We had a similar experience when we cruised on Norwegian Dawn out of New York. Great cruise, great relaxed feeling ,which evaporated once we docked. It felt as if the staff which had been pampering us all week, flung us on the dock with all the luggage and then forgot we existed. The tension kinks in my neck that had been soothed away by a week long cruise and great on board massage were back, in short order.
I don't know how much the cruise lines can do about this, though, till the port area is renovated. Guess you have to decide if the convenience of cruising right out of NYC is worth the inconvenience of dealing with the port experience. I think the experience does differ somewhat depending on how many ships are docked the day you are in port.
We were on the same cruise, it was really a good one, until New York. Had to wait in line over an hour for imigration, then went to the VIP waiting area in the Ocean's Resturant for the promised coffee and danish. They ran out of everything before we got there, they sure don't know how to treat their best customers.
We were lucky and had first color tags, almost two hours late, so we got the first bus to EWR.
I like the limited public anouncements but Celebrity just doesn't communicate when things are not going as planned. We had a much worse experience on Infinity, boarding in Ft. Lauderdale and at our hotel in Santiago, Chile, but we enjoy the on board experience so much we keep going back.
Not so fast at shooting at the cruiseline.
Upon setting foot on US soil you have entered probably one of the most tightly controlled areas on the face of the earth...No not security, but unions that control the Port.
Truly doubt any cruise line would be allowed to have their personnel coordinating any land activities. As for the delay, be thankful that US Customs and Immigration were there. Be angry at the individuals that caused the delay, not the government that was there to do their jobs.
As some of us say, GUN CONTROL is not about restricting guns, but about knowing your target before you pull the trigger. In this case, the bullseye may not belong on the cruiseline or Immigraton.
We were on this cruise too! Did the Baltic and then the Trans.
But I can shed a bit of light on the hold up of traffic.
We were nearly the first off the ship right after the wheelchairs.
We got our luggage and a porter right away and went to the street where a van we had hired was waiting and got loaded. So far, so good. We started down the ramp that exits into the street - with the ocean on the right. There were 4 or 5 fire trucks there all the way from that point to the ocean . there was stll room for one lane to turn into the traffic until another fire van (not a truck) pulled up - and STOPPED right in the lane! Left the motor running, got out put his hat on and went down to the dock to check out the situation. I must say the cabbies and van drivers were patient - for about 10 minutes - several people got out of their cars/vans and went down to plead with the fire officials to move the vehicle up - out of the way of the ONE LANE that was not blocked. But nothing happened for a long time. Horns started honking - the man in the taxi ahead of us, lef t his taxi, got his bags and started walking to the street.....this went on for twenty full minutes. Finally some official who also had some sense got in the vehicle and pulled it forward and then we were able to inch along and finally got in the street.
So now you know the rest of the story!
By the way, it was truly a great cruise. I'm taking the same one next year and very glad that we will sail into a different port.
I can tell that none of you are New Yorkers. That tension you felt upon exiting the ship, the congestion, the crowds, the bedlam, the insanity .... that's New York City. You either love the pace of the city, or you want to scream out in anguish and murder someone. If you're in the 1st group you thrive on the adrinelin rush and do well in the city. If you're in the 2nd group, you move to the suburbs with the rest of the normal people.
I'm a native New Yorker but I now live in Miami and it's a pleasure cruising out of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.
Just got off the Connie out of NYC, great cruise, but yes the port is a disaster. But I love NY so much that I had to take it with a grain of salt and as I sat and watched a wonderful "Broadway" play, I forgot all about the kaos at the New York pier.
PS: Picked up the the 2004-2005 Celebrity Cruise schedule on the ship and all of Celebrity's NYC cruises are now cruising out of Bayonne along with RCL starting next year. I'm glad this line saw that it needed to get out of NYC. I only hope this port is only exclusive to RCL and Celebrity.
When are you ever going to learn? Things in our great Apple are and will always be a little congested. BUT - there is no City on earth great as ours! Having cruised our NYC 4x and still making it home by noon, is terrific. Please be patient and never, I mean never, book a flight earlier than 2PM.
Happy trails and sailing to all!
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: Dumped in NYC
Nan - you live there and that is fine...YOU don't have to battle crowds at the pier AND at the airports. Until the unions realize they are hurting themselves there, nothing will change. I will AVOID the Port of NY and NYC until these things are remedied. RCCL and Celebrity are to be commended for recognizing that things at the Port of NY are out of control and miserable for passengers! And I know of many people who agree with me. So NYC - straighten up and fix things or you will be missing out on tourist money!!!!
Crown Princess 1/18/14....the NEW Me, Myself and I cruise!
55 miles from midtown is now considered the "suburbs?" Wow. Talk about suburban sprawl!
I grew up about 25 miles from midtown in Joisey and thought it was quite a hike. Of course that was a kid's perspective in the 50's.
But even as a kid I made that hike quite a bit, because the city was--and still is--a source of tremendous energy, variety and friendly people. I've pretty much traveled the world and I still look at NY as a major center of the universe.
It's been years since I took a cruise out of there, and I'm sure it's true that the port is a mess. So I think it's great that everybody who can't bear the thought of spending three whole hours between the ship and the airport stays away from the Apple. Leave it to those for whom the rumble of the subway trains and the rattle of the taxis are music to the ears.
We don't live there, but our kids do, and we still find we need a New York "fix" at least a couple times a year. We never fail to find something new and exciting. In fact, maybe we like New York so much precisely because, unlike most cruise passengers, we're not counting the minutes until we can leave it.
Now that's a here! here! to AR! Our City is one you gotta love or put up with, I say...... like the other posters, take it slow, relax, you'll get there, eventually. I just love sailing out of NYC or any cruise port for that fact! Happy cruising.
N... granmother of 2.
We live in NJ and have sailed from NY 3 times. The view when you sail FROM NY is incredable. Nothing like sailing past the Statue of Liberty and under the Verrazano Bridge. Of course being on a high deck and passing all those buildings is also an unforgettable experience.
That being said, it always seems like forever to get off the ship, even pre Sept 11. Where are all those non US citizens who immigration calls for over the loud speaker for hours? It has not made a difference what cruise ship we were on. Twice we were on Carnival and once on Celebrity Horizon.