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View Full Version : Advice on driving to Red Hook & Bayonne ports, & traffic


CecilCtyCruiser
June 3rd, 2006, 03:40 PM
We are thinking about one of two cruises from the New York area. We are not very familiar with New York, but have heard awful stories about the traffic. We would be driving up from Maryland (we live about 1 hour north of Baltimore/1 hour south of Philadelphia). According to AAA, it would take us about 2-1/2 hours to get to either port, but I assume this is a best case scenario.

One cruise leaves on Sunday, September 3, from Red Hook in Brooklyn.
The other leaves on Friday, September 1 from Bayonne, NJ.

Is one port better than another? Is the parking secure? (We have a new vehicle we would be leaving.)

I assume traffic on Sunday would be much less than on a Friday - is this a correct assumption?

What time on Friday would be the best time to hit New York?
What about on Sunday?

Any hints or tips anyone can provide?

Sorry for all the questions! Any help anyone can provide is very much appreciated! We need to make a decision soon.

katzmeow14
June 3rd, 2006, 04:04 PM
Yes, Sunday is better than Friday. Is that Labor day weekend? In that case the city should be empty. Bayonne is closer for you. Sometimes going through Staten Island to get to Brooklyn can take forever no matter what time.

smeyer418
June 3rd, 2006, 09:50 PM
The parking at both places is secure. There were reports of people's car being spray painted in Bayonne by wind from a near by spray painting faciility but supposedly this has been remedied. The one in Brooklyn hasn't been open long enough but you will probably get spray from the seagulls in a week, so put a tarp on your car if its so new. I avoid the staten island way like a plague but if you read some threads this has been disputed by others. Fior Bayonne as you never really enter NYC it shouldn't be that bad even on a Friday unless you are in the middle of the rush houra(before 10 am). On Sunday I would still try to get there before noon, as the traffic tends to pick up(Turnpike to the holland tunnel. West Street to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and you'll be right there)....I would give 3 1/2 hours and then add an hour for unforseen problems...Its faster and cheaper if you have ez pass...

CecilCtyCruiser
June 4th, 2006, 11:15 AM
Thanks for the tips and info! After further discussion, we like the itinerary for the sailing from Red Hook best, so we will probably book that and just deal with the traffic as best we can.

We thought we would drive up the day before, so that we are closer to the port and can arrive earlier. Any suggestions for decent hotels that don't cost an arm and a leg? I know rates in the New York area are much higher than where we live. Maybe just coming part way the first day would be a good idea, maybe staying somewhere in Northern Jersey. Any suggestions for good places to spend the night would be appreciated!

smeyer418
June 4th, 2006, 12:35 PM
Personally I would just drive up on Sunday and leave about 8 am. That should put you in the port between 12-1. Coming up Saturday of labor day weekend is just as bad and then you get to the hotel have to find someplace for dinner etc and its NJ after all :)...If you were coming to see something that would be something else...Its highway almost all the way,

PS I was just at the Pier the QM2 is there now with no traffic at all....

not the best picture

http://www.vzwpix.com/shareMessage.do?invite=4E3r4AJP7UajY5dU7kvx

trish1c
June 4th, 2006, 06:59 PM
Traffic shouldn't be that bad (a relative term) on either day because on Labor Day weekend everyone will be headed away from the areas you are trying to reach. Depending on teh time of day you may hit some traffic getting into Brooklyn from Manhatten because there may be day trippers going to the beach. If you come in from Staten Island it should be easier.

I think NY traffic is easier to deal with than DC traffic if that helps.

BlueHerons
June 5th, 2006, 11:43 AM
We thought we would drive up the day before, so that we are closer to the port and can arrive earlier. Any suggestions for decent hotels that don't cost an arm and a leg? I know rates in the New York area are much higher than where we live. Maybe just coming part way the first day would be a good idea, maybe staying somewhere in Northern Jersey. Any suggestions for good places to spend the night would be appreciated!

I agree with driving up the day of. Staying at a NJ hotel when you are cruising out of NY would be a big PIA for you.

CecilCtyCruiser
June 5th, 2006, 07:08 PM
Thanks, everyone, for the great advice! The comparison to DC traffic really helped put things into perspective for us...we know DC traffic, and its about as bad as it gets. So if NY is not as bad, then we can deal with it.

Can't wait for our cruise! We booked the Crown Princess this morning, leaving in September. We've never sailed on such a new boat, or one as large. A new experience for us!