How bad is the traffic into NYC on a Monday morning?

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#1
Massachusetts
859 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Ok, so I know the best answer is "come a day early" but here's the situation: We wanted to do a weekend wedding in the port of NY but were just told there are no weekend dates available - in fact, the only date available is a Monday departure.

We're chartering a bus to transport friends and family from Massachusetts to NYC the morning of the wedding. We can't afford to bring them in a day early and pay for their hotel rooms, so that's just not an option.

What I want to know is this: I know that it will suck transporting people into NYC on a Monday morning. I just want to know if it's even possible. Google maps says the trip takes 3 hrs 21 mins - if we budget for 4 1/2 hours, would we have a chance of making it?
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#2
Boston area
18,171 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
The traffic can be very unpredicatable. Where would you be leaving from and what time do they have to be in NY? The problem with a bus is that it has limited road choices. It either has to come I95 or I84/I684/I87. When it gets to the South Bronx it has to cut across one of the Harlem River Bridges and take local Manhattan streets to the cruiseport. Any kind of accident along these routes can significantly delay it because a bus cannot switch over to one of the cars only parkways. I think the regular Boston/NY bus service is scheduled at almost 4 1/2 hours and it is not always on time.
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Carol


#3
Massachusetts
859 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Thanks for the reply. We'd be picking people up at the Route 20/Mass Pike/146 Interchange, in central Massachussetts and it depends when the cruise ship clears customs but most likely they'd need to be to the port by noon.
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Married on the Miracle 5/14/12

Past Cruises:
January 12, 2009 - Carnival Inspiration 5-Day
April 15, 2010 - Carnival Miracle 6-Day
May 1, 2011 - Carnival Pride 7-Day
July 2, 2011 - Carnival Glory 5-Day
May 14, 2012 - Carnival Miracle 8-Day ~Onboard Wedding!~
November 11, 2012 - Carnival Freedom 6-Day
April 16, 2013 - Carnival Splendor 7-Day
June 16, 2013 - Carnival Glory 4-Day
November 1, 2013 - Carnival Glory 2-Day B2B Leg 1
November 3, 2013 - Carnival Glory 7-Day B2B Leg 2
January 28, 2014 - Carnival Splendor 8-Day
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February 22, 2015 - Carnival Dream 7-Day
November 1, 2015 - Carnival Liberty 7-Day
Upcoming Cruises:
May 14, 2016 - Carnival Vista 10-Day Mediterranean Anniversary Cruise!
#4
New York City
1,241 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by jaded99
Thanks for the reply. We'd be picking people up at the Route 20/Mass Pike/146 Interchange, in central Massachussetts and it depends when the cruise ship clears customs but most likely they'd need to be to the port by noon.
from where you are picking people up, 4 1/2 hours should be fine. you will probably make it in a bit less than that.
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Boo
#5
Massachusetts
859 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Thanks so much! That's great news I think we will go ahead with the plans then.
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Married on the Miracle 5/14/12

Past Cruises:
January 12, 2009 - Carnival Inspiration 5-Day
April 15, 2010 - Carnival Miracle 6-Day
May 1, 2011 - Carnival Pride 7-Day
July 2, 2011 - Carnival Glory 5-Day
May 14, 2012 - Carnival Miracle 8-Day ~Onboard Wedding!~
November 11, 2012 - Carnival Freedom 6-Day
April 16, 2013 - Carnival Splendor 7-Day
June 16, 2013 - Carnival Glory 4-Day
November 1, 2013 - Carnival Glory 2-Day B2B Leg 1
November 3, 2013 - Carnival Glory 7-Day B2B Leg 2
January 28, 2014 - Carnival Splendor 8-Day
October 24, 2014 - Carnival Splendor 8-Day NYC to San Juan, PR
February 22, 2015 - Carnival Dream 7-Day
November 1, 2015 - Carnival Liberty 7-Day
Upcoming Cruises:
May 14, 2016 - Carnival Vista 10-Day Mediterranean Anniversary Cruise!
#6
New York City
1,241 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by jaded99
Thanks so much! That's great news I think we will go ahead with the plans then.
i would plan on leaving very early though, you dont want to get stuck in ny rush hour traffic.
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Boo
#7
Boston area
18,171 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Yes - 4 1/2 hours should be OK. Are you chartering a bus? You want to be sure the bus driver knows his way around NYC. It seemed to me that each time I took the bus to or from Boston, the route was slightly different. I saw parts of Manhattan and the Bronx that I hadn't seen in years, if ever.
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Carol


#8
Long Island, NY
6,249 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
When is the wedding? If it is in the summer, traffic is lighter. During holiday season and certain events it will be heavier.
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Got2Cruise
Planning the cruise is half the fun.
#9
New York, NY
21,021 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Plan for 6 hours. If you get there early that is one thing. If you plan for just 4.5 hours and there is a problem you literally could miss the boat. remember almost all cruise lines require you be on board at least 90 minutes before the scheduled sailing and NCL requires 2 full hours(Department of Homeland Security regulations require a final manifest to be received and accepted 60 minutes before the ship sails. The cruise line has to complete it, format it, and send it in and receive a message back that it has been accepted). This am was fairly light until a truck went onto a parkway and traffic was unusually light because the limo cars were on a work action.
those that say plan only for 4.5 hours are imo wrong....and I used to drive a cab in NYC...
#10
Massachusetts
859 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
The timing is for the ceremony/priority boarding, so if guests were late they at least wouldn't miss the boat, just our wedding would probably be cut short. I think we have to have them there by noon, so we'll probably try a 6:30 departure from central MA (Yikes - early!). But if people don't like it, they can drive themselves and pay for a hotel :P
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Married on the Miracle 5/14/12

Past Cruises:
January 12, 2009 - Carnival Inspiration 5-Day
April 15, 2010 - Carnival Miracle 6-Day
May 1, 2011 - Carnival Pride 7-Day
July 2, 2011 - Carnival Glory 5-Day
May 14, 2012 - Carnival Miracle 8-Day ~Onboard Wedding!~
November 11, 2012 - Carnival Freedom 6-Day
April 16, 2013 - Carnival Splendor 7-Day
June 16, 2013 - Carnival Glory 4-Day
November 1, 2013 - Carnival Glory 2-Day B2B Leg 1
November 3, 2013 - Carnival Glory 7-Day B2B Leg 2
January 28, 2014 - Carnival Splendor 8-Day
October 24, 2014 - Carnival Splendor 8-Day NYC to San Juan, PR
February 22, 2015 - Carnival Dream 7-Day
November 1, 2015 - Carnival Liberty 7-Day
Upcoming Cruises:
May 14, 2016 - Carnival Vista 10-Day Mediterranean Anniversary Cruise!
#12
NYC
35 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
The bad part is trying to pass through the outer-boroughs at morning rush-hour (7-10). With a noon deadline, you're not likely to do that prior to 10:30 so I think you're safe...of course you can be on a bridge or a turnpike with any kind of accident which will be impossible to predict. Your bus driver should be familiar with the ins and outs and alternate routes. Presumably he'll come down the West Side Highway from NE and the cruise terminal is right there at 50th. I regularly take the highway at both rush hour and off-peak. Anything can happen, but it generally moves pretty well and the tie-ups are further south near the tunnels. As long as you stay out of midtown with that bus you should be fine.
#13
New York, NY
21,021 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Originally posted by acmes
.... Presumably he'll come down the West Side Highway from NE and the cruise terminal is right there at 50th. ...
no buses on the west side highway. They have to stick to truck routes. They need to either come down the Thuway extension to the Major degan over the triboro(RFK Bridge) and then use the streets or continue down I 278(the Brooklyn Queens expressway) to either the Queensboro bridge(Ed Koch Bridge) or the Queens midtown tunnel....and then by city streets to the cruise terminal...

BTW NY City is no worse than Boston Atlanta Chicago or LA...In fact personally I find LA and Atlanta much worse....

Buses are allowed on the FDR until 132nd street
#14
Boston area
18,171 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
The buses I've taken from Boston haven't done either of those routes. They have either come south on the Major Deegan (I87) or north on the Major Deegan from I95/I278 (thus completely avoiding the I95 Cross Bronx Expressway section) and crossed into Manhattan on the 145th St. bridge. Then they go south to the north edge of Central Park and west over to one of the downtown avenues and then south to Port Authority. That's what I meant by saying I saw parts of Manhattan and the Bronx that I hadn't seen in years or never saw. Each time I did this the route seemed to vary a bit to allow for traffic patterns.

I think you should be very sure your bus company/driver really knows their way around NYC in a bus. These are not the normal routes you would just pull up on Mapquest, however they are the routes used by Peter Pan & Greyhound to get their buses in and out of NYC.
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Carol


#15
New York, NY
21,021 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Originally posted by 138east
The buses I've taken from Boston haven't done either of those routes. They have either come south on the Major Deegan (I87) or north on the Major Deegan from I95/I278 (thus completely avoiding the I95 Cross Bronx Expressway section) and crossed into Manhattan on the 145th St. bridge. Then they go south to the north edge of Central Park and west over to one of the downtown avenues and then south to Port Authority. That's what I meant by saying I saw parts of Manhattan and the Bronx that I hadn't seen in years or never saw. Each time I did this the route seemed to vary a bit to allow for traffic patterns.

I think you should be very sure your bus company/driver really knows their way around NYC in a bus. These are not the normal routes you would just pull up on Mapquest, however they are the routes used by Peter Pan & Greyhound to get their buses in and out of NYC.
I am sure the bus drivers have better ways if they do this every day/week. I understand the route they took- it avoids two bridge-tunnel tolls. Fifth avenue beginning at 110 street is a no truck route so they have to jog left to either lexington avenue or second ave(where there is much construction for a new subway going on)....if you think its hard driving a car in Manhattan try a truck with all these restrictions.... I wonder if its faster going right at 125th street to Columbus avenue down to 61 street to the west side and then the cruise terminal?....probably is better and faster too- a much wider street...
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#16
charlotte, NC
74 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Rush hour can be a real mess. I would rather be safe than sorry
and give myself 5-6 hours.
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#17
Boston
4,381 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Are your wedding guests cruising with you? If they are, why not try to get a discounted hotel rate for the group with you providing the transportation to & from? You may find they prefer that to getting up at 4:00 am to meet their transportation............
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Completed Cruises: Sovereign of the Seas – Eastern Caribbean - December 1990: Sovereign of the Seas – Eastern Caribbean - March 1993: Sovereign of the Seas – Eastern Caribbean - August 1994: Sovereign of the Seas – Eastern Caribbean - November 1996: Legend of the Seas – Panama Canal – April 1999: NCL Majesty - Bermuda - July 2000: Explorer of the Seas – Eastern Caribbean - March 2001: Navigator of the Seas – Western Caribbean - March 2007: Navigator of the Seas – Transatlantic – November 2008: Explorer of the Seas – Bermuda/Bahamas – April 2010: Navigator of the Seas B2B2B – Western Caribbean – November 2010: Explorer of the Seas – Bermuda/Caribbean - May 2011: Explorer of the Seas – Southern Caribbean - March 2012: NCL Dawn – Bermuda – May 2012: NCL Dawn – Bermuda – May 2013: NCL Dawn – Repo – April 2014: Legend of the Seas – Panama Canal – April 2015: NCL Dawn – Bermuda – July 2015: NCL Dawn – Bermuda – June 2016: