Good question, I am going on the VOS in July out of Bayonne NJ. I took a ride today to see where it is. Didnt want to wait to last minute and get lost.
Getting to the Pier qwas quite easy. But I'm not sure that I am gong to like it. YOu drop off your luggage and then have to park you car, which is close by but not right there.
OK so far. now I asked the handler where the ship was, and he said its about a mile away. you have to take a bus there. Went looking for the ship but could not find it.
Wonder where it is. Didnt notice if the parking was secure or not. Not like in NY where you park on the roof and they lock the gate for a week.
Also, didnt see any pertection from the weather. If it rains, it looks like your going to get soaked.
We just got off the Voyage on Friday, June 18. It is interesting that RCCL shows this three hour video on your cabin TV about all the planning that went into creating the Voyager. Too bad they didn't devote more than three minutes of planning to Cape Liberty. The terminal is an OLD warehouse - not a modern cruise terminal. Yes, the ship is about a mile away from the terminal building and you have to go by bus. I am sure RCCL is saving a ton of $$ in fees by not berthing in NYC, but they sure are spending a lot of that money running buses between the ship and terminal. Not to mention all the hassle for the customers.
The first passenger got off the Voyager at 9:00 AM Friday morning and the ship was scheduled to depart at 5:00PM Friday afternoon. That gives RCCL less than 8 hours to transport about 6700+ people on the bus between the terminal building and ship. It is not a pretty site. The step up onto the bus is high and very hard for older customers and people with disabilities. They never could get some poor guy in a wheel chair up on the bus Friday morning - I don't know how that turned out.
Another warning, finding and retriving the suitcases in not easy. There are hundreds and hundreds of bags with the same color tags. Lots of time required to find your bag, Make sure you put a colorful ribbon or something on your bag to help it stand out.
Finally, when we walked out of the terminal there were a whole TWO taxis there and at least a 100 people waiting for taxis. But you can't blame the taxi operators, I would not want to get in that mess either.
If you are flying in and out of Newark, it is very exepensive to get those few miles between the airport and Cape Liberty. It is a $35 cab ride plus tolls plus $1.00 per bag plus tip. RCCL's transfers are $25 per person for a 15 minute bus ride. Either way it is not cheap.
In your message, you did not say anything about the actual cruise itself. Did you have a good time? Were there long lines at the breakfast and lunch buffets because of all the people onboard?
Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks
I was on the 5/30 Voyager out of Bayonne. (The reason you didn't see the ship on 6/20 is that it wasn't there - it was not in port that day).
Anyway, it seems that the port situation is improving with each cruise as RC comes to terms with a new venue (the last Canadian cruise boarded a full two hours earlier than ours). While this is an old terminal, a new one is in the works. Don't see how it is more expensive to get to Bayonne from Newark Airport than it is to get to the piers in NYC.
We used a car service - not too difficult dropping off. For pick-up, we called them from the ship when it was close to time to debark and they met us then so there was no waiting time (and money) involved. Think I might just drive next time as the parking area seemed quite secure. My husband is disabled and boarded in a wheelchair - no problem getting on/off the shuttle or the ship.
Yes, I can see where there would be problems if it rained - hope they are working on that one!
The cruise itself was wonderful - we've cruised on three other cruise lines and would definitely go back to RCCL. Service couldn't have been better. All of the food in the dining room and at Portofinos was excellent (dispite what I had read previously). Windjammer could have been better, but the salad stuff was always very fresh for lunch and burgers were just as good as at Johnny Rockets (somewhat overrated IMHO).
My biggest "gripe" was that it was too cold to enjoy the outside decks and pool - probably won't be a problem in July. Of course, we knew this going in, so I certainly can't blame the cruiseline for it!
The Voyager cruise was a good cruise. The lines in the buffet are not too bad except for breakfast the last morning - then it is every man for himself, particularly when it comes to finding a table. Food was good but not great. You certainly won't mistake it for HAL or Princess food.
A couple of other comments.
1) Elevator service is awful, espcially at meal and show times. Be prepared to wait. Frequently had to just get on the first elevator that came, regardless of whick direction it was going in. Need more and/or faster elevators to handle 3500 people.
2) The repeaters party was really, really lame. Neither the cruise director nor the captain showed up. The only company representatives were some junior assistant cruise director trainee who could barely speak English and the future cruise sales lady who was not much better. Not a very positive message to the repeat passengers.
3) The four singers in the in the RCCL singers and dancers group are all way to weak for a show lounge that large. That lounge holds 1300+ people and those singers could barely be heard.