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About hal2008

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  1. Cruise line usually have to give passenger manifesto to the authority about 30-40 hours before departure (depending on the departure time) So in practical terms, they close booking by late evening of day before the departure. That day prices drop like stone (this is usually for Guaranteed rates). For sunday departure, I recently saw prices for summer cruise drop from 999 to 249 (base prices pp) from Thu night to Friday afternoon. (Dont know if it went down to 199 or not as I started booking process at 299 and price was down to 249 when actual payment page came up). Got lucky as they moved us to midship balcony (adjoining cabin pax had booked 9 months in advance and had paid 1799 pp) Of course, this strategy require you to be flexible as previous week had sold out 5 days in advance.
  2. 40 usd per day of parking has NO surcharge for SUV/MiniVan. Cheaper parking available about 5 blocks away (try spothero to get idea - one at circle line is self-park and involves no crossing of 12th ave)
  3. If you are parking a Van or SUV, 40 per day right at the pier is NOT expensive. This is manhattan. Even discounted parking several blocks away might cost you same or more with the SUV/MiniVan surcharge. Nice snaps, @Aplmac. BTw, to clarify the comment about "You can't cross over successfully onto that West Side Hiway" is applicable only for those driving to the pier. Cab/Uber/Lyft can easily drop you at 50th street to avoid delays on the ramp.
  4. Escape cruise couple of weeks ago, foot passengers were entering through Pier 90 (49th/50th street) Note that the ramp from 12th ave/55th street divides for drop off and parking. If you do drop off first then you have to exit and renter for parking. If coming by taxi/Uber/Lyft, better to get dropped off at street level (to avoid long wait in ramp traffic) abd just take elevator up (Very easy as plenty of staff to help)
  5. OP's post and thread title is not about "parking for cruise" but about getting to Manhattan from Philadelphia. It seems few frequent posters keep hawking a particular hilton property in Ridgefield irrespective of appropriateness in context of the thread question. - Driving and parking at the Pier is simplest (no surcharge for SUV, $280/week, convenient, pay for tolls and gas) - Slightly cheaper (about 80-100 USD cheaper) parking is possible at self-park Circle-line facility, 5 city blocks away - Metropark or Hamilton (both easy to drive to) offer very cheap garage parking options. But involves taking NJT to Penn station and taxi from there. For 2 people with single bag easily doable and much cheaper than previous options but not as convenient. - Uber/Lyft from home in Philly to Cruise terminal (have seen quote of 120-140 one way) Cheaper and more convenient than even parking at pier. Avoid Dave's Best Limousine. It is not suitable for cruise terminal and service quality continues going down (even in late 80s, it was hit or miss and hence deteriorated significantly since then) If you need hotel, one suggested upthread is an option and so is any 3-4 star Seacaucus hotel through priceline
  6. Hilton Garden Inn at Ridgefield has VERY NEGATIVE reviews on tripadvisor They charge 50 USD per person extra for transport to the cruise port. It still might be a good deal if you are just two of you AND you need a night of hotel.
  7. Just to point out that usually transportation to port by hotels involve extra charges for any passengers beyond two (as much as 50 usd per person) Staty in reasonable price hotel on jersey city, hoboken, seecaucus and uber over.
  8. The often posted suggestion of Hilton Garden Inn at Ridgewood is useful IF you need a hotel any way and there are only 2 people. It is additional 50 USD per person for transport to the cruise terminal. Better to park in cheaper garage in seacucus or hoboken or jersey city and just take uber over if you are coming from New Jersey side.
  9. NO. NO. NO. If anyone even gives you a hope, strongly recommend that you ignore the suggestion. TSA precheck is some assurance but not much. Are you arriving and departing from SAME terminal at JFK? If not, provision 30 minutes. While "normal" times may be an hour or so from JFK to Lower midtown, remember it can take 30 minutes just to go from one end of Manhattan to other when usually it takes only 5. Two hours from Manhattan to JFK is not unheard of. Arriving at airport for international flight 2 to 3 hours before flight is the standard recommendation. If your luggage is checked through, you still need to arrive 1.5 hours before the flight. (Remember, door to plane close 15-20 minute before departure. Spend time in a lounge instaed of depending on the terminal, browse and eat.
  10. About the so-call fast-ferry from Tender port a) It is normal boat (slower than NYC waterways) b) They always lie that it is leaving "soon". They leave when it is full. There usually two boats. So guess which one will get full. (luck) c) There is small steep hill when you get off the boat (no problem for most people) d) Bus that takes you up from Amoudi bay shore to Oia will have less seats than boat so few people wil have to stand during that zig zag ride e) Bus from Oia to Fira that is through this boat company is unmarked and chaotic. f) They constantly lie about last time for the included bus If cable car is backed up then boat option is still better but set expectations as per above
  11. Jersey City Waterfront hotel makes a lot of sense for Cape liberty departures. Plenty of AirBnb (2 bedroom condo in modern high rise with great view and 5 minute to Manhattan) options at prices comparable to single hotel room. Plemty of nice restaurants (especially ethnic ones) Traffic free easy cheap cab ride or uber to the port.
  12. Wouldnt taking a train (NJ Transit or Amtrak depending on point of origination) and then a short taxi ride be an option? (no parking fees, no tunnel traffic worries)
  13. Be prepared for a totally chaotic atmosphere at buffet (for some reason Italians dont like to queue up and nor see anything wrong in barging in to go over your hand to pick up something they want). About 25 years ago, Carnival in USA had Kmart of cruising reputation (Cheap but you get what you pay for kind of experience). Costa is slightly below that level for an American used to RCL/HAL/NCL. If you prefer Celebrity, be prepared to be shocked by Costa. One good news: You will certainly save money in the base price.
  14. You need to do research and set your expectations about the cruise ship. We have lately been getting unlucky with our NCL experiences. But POA was an exception. It is your typical below average ship. But you treat it as a budget hotel that serves food and transportation without TSA hassles, you will be happy. Nice stable ride of Na pali coast, great views of lava, rental car convenient to each port (no need for expensive excursions) are just the additional positives. I only wish they stayed overnight in Hilo (dock) and skip Kona (tender).
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