Can anyone tell me which of these cruise ports (Cape Liberty, NJ or San Juan) has the easiest embarkation/debarkation? I am trying to decide upon two different cruise itineraries on Celebrity, but I'm not sure about the cruise terminals/ports in either of these places. I will be traveling with my mother who has some mobility problems and will need wheelchair assistance though she walks with a cane. Any suggestions or advice would be helpful and very much appreciated. Thanks!
San Juan's emb/disembarking has been smooth for us. The airport is a different story. On the trip home a couple years ago, we stood in line for hours, with no communication from the staff. Maybe it has improved since then.
Voyager of the Seas March 2000
Adventure of the Seas March 2002
Navigator of the Seas March 2003
Serenade of the Seas March 2004
Enchantment of the Seas January 2006
We just came through San Juan and arrived at the ship around 4pm for an 11pm departure. No lines, no waiting. We were whisked thru the terminal and were in our cabin about about 10 minutes after arriving at the terminal. Disembarking was the smoothest ever -- Celebrity got it right. We were assembled in the theater at 8:50am and were through the terminal, customs, and immigration at at the airport at 9:45am. Just OUTSTANDING!
Bayonne, NJ port is a bit different. It's an industrial area -- by car you pull into a reception area where bags can be dropped off with all passengers -- except the driver. There are places to stand and wheelchairs to obtain under a canopy by the building. Baggage is then taken by appropriate people. The driver goes to parking -- $12/night (summer of '05) charge or cash -- not covered - not secured, and can take a shuttle bus back or walk to where you are. When driver joins you (approx. 10 minutes), all go into the small, quick process of check-in (very little walking as building is small. When complete, all go to another shuttle bus (runs often - no lines) and the wheelchair can even go onto the bus with the person in it -- or collapse onto the bus and a simple ramp onto bus by walking (no high steps). Shuttle bus (only holds about 20 people) goes approximately 1/2 mile to ship (which is not high in dock) and one can be pushed in the wheelchair up the ramp (easily) or can walk the few steps up the ramp and onto ship. Very quick, easy process -- but very different since you need to take shuttle bus.
Upon disembarkation -- wheelchair people are gathered in a lounge and taken off with other persons by their appropriate color. Shuttle bus takes you to baggage area, and then you proceed out to bus area (wheelchair person stays with you all the way) until you are with appropriate bus -- or waits until car pick-up comes.