I was on the Golden Princess that sailed out of NY on 10/12/03 and returned to NY on 10/19/03. The experience was awful. I think there was some kind of parade on 10/12/03 so the traffic getting to the pier was awful. There were three other cruise ships sailing out the same day which didn't help. The Manhattan skyline at sunset was wonderful though. The line to go through security was about an hour long at 2:30 pm. Princess staff blamed it on a Coast Guard drill earlier in the day. There was only two metal detectors that everyone had to go through.
When we returned on 10/19/03 we got our ticket and waited our turn for a taxi. We waited about an hour and only two cabs came by. It appeared the cabs that did come to the pier were stopping at the earlier piers for the other three cruise lines. We finally paid a limo driver $20 per passenger (for 2 passengers) to take us 15 blocks to our Time Square hotel.
Bob...We encountered a similiar problem on the cruise that ended Oct. 23..We were not aware that you needed a number for a taxi...something that Princess should note on their disembarkcation information sheet. We had to walk away from the terminal 2 blocks to get a cab that would take us to the airport..and he charged us $30 per person to JFK. Unlike you we did not encounter a problem once we were inside the terminal, but you are correct in that there is a very poor system for traffic into the cruise terminal area. What did you think of the cruise itself??
Anita, we had too much luggage to walk a few blocks. The ship was nice but not as nice as the Coral Princess. The staff did an excellent job and personal choice dining worked out well for us. The meat dishes like rack of lamb and prime rib were great. The fish dishes like salmon and mahi mahi were not very good. We had lobsters for lunch in Boston at the Black Rose. The ship had lobsters for the formal night that same night and it was nowhere near as good as the lobsters we had in Boston. The ports were interesting and we went on Princess tours in all the cities except Saint John, NB since it was raining and windy that day. There was a delay in Newport getting people tendered to shore causing all tours to start late. We saw the Breaker House and was rushed through the Marble House because some people on our tour had another tour booked and wanted to get back to the pier to catch the next tour. The comedians were pretty good at the shows but the singers were not as as good.
I've also been interested in the longer version at the end of the season from Canada to Fort Laudersale. Is it too late in the season though for such a trip as to the colder and wetter weather? We like longer cruises and that would avoid the NY hassle that has been mentioned.