I wrote this post on Chit-Chat before this folder was created. I think it more appropriately belongs here. . .
From time to time on this board I've seen all sorts of warnings about how awful it is to sail in or out of New York City. Since until a few weeks ago we hadn't done it since the 1970's, I just kept my mouth shut.
After our recent experience I would like to make the point that it doesn't have to be difficult at all if you are able to maneuver your own baggage with relative ease. We always pack so that--between us--we can roll our stuff for several blocks with no hardship and no wear and tear. Mostly, we elect to do this because we almost always bookend our cruises with land segments, and we like to travel light so that getting around isn't a huge chore.
That said, we arrived at Berth 4 of Pier 90 a week ago Saturday morning. Our ship had 2700 people on it, and the embarking troops were also arriving in full force. After claiming our bags, we walked to the end of the baggage hall and took the elevator to the street level (NOT the taxi/dropoff level). Once you're all the way downstairs you simply cross the street at the crosswalk and walk East on 50th Street to 11th Avenue. It's one block, and quite a short one as New York crosstown blocks go. We were at 11th about five minutes after leaving the terminal. We were on the cell phone with our son who picked us up at 11th and 50th shortly thereafter. There was no traffic on 11th, it's 2-way, and there were plenty of empty cabs cruising in both directions during the few minutes that we stood there.
Looking back down the block toward the terminal, we could see that the elevated taxi ramp was indeed clogged, and as we left the terminal we could see that the taxi line was very long.
So, if you're the master of your bags (instead of the other way around), and if the weather's reasonably good, this is an easy way to "Escape from New York." If you're arriving at the ship rather than leaving it, there's no reason why it shouldn't work in reverse. Have the driver drop you at 50th and 11th.
We were one of those who waited on the taxi line last October. I just wish I could pack light.
I'm glad that they are going to redo the NYC cruise terminal in the future. Now they need to update the Bayonne terminal where my favorite line, "Celebrity" cruises out of.
2008 Liberty OTS (Caribbean)
2007 Summit (Alaska)
2006 Century, Infinity (Panama Canal), Summit (Hawaii)
2005 Millenium, Voyager of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas B2B
2004 Explorer of the Seas, Constellation (Canada/New England)
2003 Horizon (Bermuda), Summit
2002 Explorer of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas (Caribbean)
NY is a bad pier, I'll be happy when they finally update it. It was never meant to handle cruise ships when it was built. It's just in a bad area with no room really to expand since the area is all built up with office buildings & such.
But since 9/11 with people unwilling to fly, NY became ideal to cruise out of & more ships are starting to do cruises out of NYC.
My first cruise experience was actually on Triumph leaving out of NYC. I live in south Jersey, and I took the Greyhound bus to Brooklyn the day before, where my sister lives as we were both cruising together. We caught a bus to Manhattan where it dropped us off right across the street form the terminal.
On our return, we walked to Grand Central station where I caught the Greyhound bus back home, and she took a train back to Brooklyn. The walk from the cruise terminal to Grand Central Station was relatively short, and since we had both packed light, we were able to handle our luggage.
Just to avoid horror in the hearts of anyone who knows NYC, I doubt that the last poster meant that she walked from Pier 90 to Grand Central to take a bus, because 1) it's a hell of a long walk, and 2) busses leave from Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd and 8th--quite a bit closer to the piers.