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MargieD804

Getting to Manhattan Cruise Terminal from Philadelphia

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We will be cruising on NCL this June and are trying to find the best (and most cost effective) way to go round-trip Philadelphia to the Manhattan Cruise Terminal.  Got a quote from Dave's Limo of $340 plus tips for round-trip Philadelphia/Manhattan Cruise Terminal.  Any advice is appreciated.  Thanks so much!

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Verify with Dave's that price is direct in both directions. If it is a share it could mean you stop either on the way home at Newark airport to pick up passengers. I have found the best thing to do is stay overnight at the Hilton Garden Inn in Ridgefield Park for one overnight you leave you car there they shuttle to and from the pier for about the same price as parking at the pier. 

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Most cost effective way would be to take Uber/Lyft. We live in Philly and have gotten off many cruises in NYC and when you compare the Uber/Taxi to the train station, Amtrak fare, and then Uber/Taxi to home in Philly for 2 or more people Uber/Lyft was faster and less expensive. Fare from Midtown Manhattan is usually $230-$260 all in including tip. 

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Posted (edited)

Best and most cost effective are usually totally different. Best to me is a private limo service but it will no doubt be the most expensive.

I'm usually reluctant to recommend it because of timeliness issues, but for one, two or three people Amtrak from Philadelphia 30th St. Station to NY Penn Station with a taxi ride to and from the cruise terminal in would likely be the most cost effective. Picking dates in June at random I saw round trip fares of $88 per person. Figure on an additional $20 for a taxi each way in NY and the round trip total would be $128 for one person,  $216 for two or $304 for three.

 

Note: I haven't included any taxi or Uber fare in Philadelphia because I have no idea where you live.

Edited by njhorseman

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I agree with the horseman.  Train up to Penn Station, then taxi or uber to the port.  Reliable and reasonably priced and easy to take all your luggage

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Is NJT an option to Penn Station in NY.  Should be less expensive than Amtrak.

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11 minutes ago, mskaufman said:

Is NJT an option to Penn Station in NY.  Should be less expensive than Amtrak.

There's no through train service on NJ Transit from Philadelphia to NY Penn Station. You have to take a SEPTA Trenton Line train from 30th St. Station to Trenton then transfer to a NJ Transit Northeast Corridor train to NY Penn. Using SEPTA and NJ transit trains will take much longer...up to an hour more on the schedule than taking Amtrak, and as bad as Amtrak can be in running on time, NJ transit is far worse. It also can be difficult to find space to store luggage on NJ Transit, and if you need help with your luggage there are no porters on NJ Transit but there are on Amtrak.

 

Yes, the fare is cheaper, but in my opinion it's just not a good way to make this trip.

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Amtrak (and the cars needed to get to and from the stations) for 2 or more people is actually just as expensive as an Uber would be directly to the port. We live in Center City Philadelphia and have tried both ways. The only reason Amtrak would be better would be if you were headed in or out of NYC during rush hour-- otherwise the Uber/Lyft is about the same cost and with luggage, we've found more convenient. 

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On 3/25/2019 at 3:57 PM, princeton123211 said:

Most cost effective way would be to take Uber/Lyft. We live in Philly and have gotten off many cruises in NYC and when you compare the Uber/Taxi to the train station, Amtrak fare, and then Uber/Taxi to home in Philly for 2 or more people Uber/Lyft was faster and less expensive. Fare from Midtown Manhattan is usually $230-$260 all in including tip. 

 

22 hours ago, princeton123211 said:

Amtrak (and the cars needed to get to and from the stations) for 2 or more people is actually just as expensive as an Uber would be directly to the port. We live in Center City Philadelphia and have tried both ways. The only reason Amtrak would be better would be if you were headed in or out of NYC during rush hour-- otherwise the Uber/Lyft is about the same cost and with luggage, we've found more convenient. 

In looking at your math I think you're comparing the one way cost of Uber with the round trip cost of Amtrak I've quoted  plus taxi/Uber at each end of the train ride.

 

From what I see Uber runs about $250 from Manhattan to Philadelphia...consistent with your stated $230-$260 estimate, but you've omitted the cost of Uber from Philadelphia to NY which looks to be about $150 on average. The result is that the round trip via Uber is about $400,  versus about $216 round trip for two on Amtrak including taxi fare in NY plus the cost of Uber between home and 30th St. Station. Let's say the Uber in Philadelphia is $20 each way...$40 roundtrip, bringing the total estimated Uber and Amtrak round trip for two to $256 versus $400 for Uber round trip.

 

Not arguing convenience, but strictly on $$$ Amtrak plus taxi/Uber is about $150 cheaper.

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1 hour ago, njhorseman said:

From what I see Uber runs about $250 from Manhattan to Philadelphia...consistent with your stated $230-$260 estimate, but you've omitted the cost of Uber from Philadelphia to NY which looks to be about $150 on average. The result is that the round trip via Uber is about $400,  versus about $216 round trip for two on Amtrak including taxi fare in NY plus the cost of Uber between home and 30th St. Station. Let's say the Uber in Philadelphia is $20 each way...$40 roundtrip, bringing the total estimated Uber and Amtrak round trip for two to $256 versus $400 for Uber round trip.

You're also assuming that they will catch the handful of Keystone or Pennsylvanian service trains which are priced $60-$78 per person each way. Most trains are the Regional or Acela Express which are $110-$198 per person. It takes a bit more planning to catch the cheaper trains. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, princeton123211 said:

You're also assuming that they will catch the handful of Keystone or Pennsylvanian service trains which are priced $60-$78 per person each way. Most trains are the Regional or Acela Express which are $110-$198 per person. It takes a bit more planning to catch the cheaper trains. 

No...I'm seeing lots of Northeast Regional trains in addition to Keystone or Pennsylvanian service that have fares as low as $44, or at worst $60 if the $44 fare is sold out, so the choice of trains is large at the cheaper price, not limited as you suggest. The only planning required is booking in advance to catch the lower fares, which is easy for the OP to do since they're traveling in June. They have their cruise date, so they don't have to speculate about when they're going to travel, they simply have to book their train tickets for the dates they need them.

 

If you want to start comparing Uber to Acela fares then I suggest you compare those fares to UberXL or Uber Black, which will cost $350 to $400 from Manhattan to Philadelphia, not $250. That way you're comparing apples to apples in terms of class of service.

Edited by njhorseman

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

If you want to start comparing Uber to Acela fares then I suggest you compare those fares to UberXL or Uber Black, which will cost $350 to $400 from Manhattan to Philadelphia, not $250. That way you're comparing apples to apples in terms of class of service.

The level of service argument I don't buy into-- when we get off a ship or a plane with bags in NYC and need to return to our home in Center City Philly the choice is usually between a quick UberX that picks us up at the pier or airport and delivers us directly to our front door or catching the next available train our of Penn Station which may be cheap or might be more expensive depending on whats available. Very few people book Amtrak well in advance.

 

Theres no way to make an "apples to apples" argument between Amtrak and Uber, no matter what level or service for each. The point being that the point to point convenience of the car service in the past, especially being tired from an early morning and traveling with luggage from a cruise, has been well worth the extremely small premium (if there even was a premium). Its almost always faster as well-- when you factor in the cab to Penn Station, waiting to board, train ride down, disembarking at 30th St Station, and then waiting for another Uber to take you home. 

Edited by princeton123211

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2 hours ago, princeton123211 said:

The level of service argument I don't buy into-- when we get off a ship or a plane with bags in NYC and need to return to our home in Center City Philly the choice is usually between a quick UberX that picks us up at the pier or airport and delivers us directly to our front door or catching the next available train our of Penn Station which may be cheap or might be more expensive depending on whats available. Very few people book Amtrak well in advance.

 

Theres no way to make an "apples to apples" argument between Amtrak and Uber, no matter what level or service for each. The point being that the point to point convenience of the car service in the past, especially being tired from an early morning and traveling with luggage from a cruise, has been well worth the extremely small premium (if there even was a premium). Its almost always faster as well-- when you factor in the cab to Penn Station, waiting to board, train ride down, disembarking at 30th St Station, and then waiting for another Uber to take you home. 

Yeah, well I'm not buying your "very few people book Amtrak well in advance" contention. This isn't a last minute spur-of-the-moment let's go to NY today trip. They have a cruise booked and just need transportation to the pier. Why wouldn't they book Amtrak in advance? If you have to fly to your cruise you'd book your airline tickets in advance.

 

By the way you must have missed my statement a couple of posts back  "Not arguing convenience, but strictly on $$$..." so stop arguing your case based on convenience because there is no disagreement.  

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We just returned from our cruise on Sunday and we stayed, as we do every year, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Ridgefield Park, NJ.  When we originally booked, the cost of the hotel/services came to $328 (including tax).  I kept checking their website and noticed three weeks before sail date the price came down to $278 (including tax).  The cost to park at the pier is about $280.00.

 

The hotel never disappoints us.  It has been refurbished and has a very pleasant vibe.  

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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.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, hal2008 said:

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.

Really? "VERY NEGATIVE" reviews? You seem to have missed the fact that it gets 4.5 stars out of 5 , so in fact the 5 star reviews far outnumber the couple of negative comments...at least one recent of which is talking about a Hampton Inn, not the Hilton Garden Inn. :classic_rolleyes:

 

It gets very positive reviews from posters here who have actually stayed there and used the cruise package.

 

I haven't stayed there, so I can't talk about it from personal experience...have you? 

 

By the way...if the room including the round trip port transportation is $50 more than the price of the room alone, it's a bargain. Try taking a taxi or car service round trip between Ridgefield Park and the Manhattan Cruise Terminal and tell us if you can do that for under $50 tolls included. And if you're saying the hotel is charging $100 for two I'd like to see an actual rate quote that says that.

 

No one is suggesting that anyone stay there unless they need a hotel room for a night. there are lots of other options if you just need parking.

Edited by njhorseman

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

 

By the way...if the room including the round trip port transportation is $50 more than the price of the room alone, it's a bargain. Try taking a taxi or car service round trip between Ridgefield Park and the Manhattan Cruise Terminal and tell us if you can do that for under $50 tolls included. And if you're saying the hotel is charging $100 for two I'd like to see an actual rate quote that says that. 

 

No one is suggesting that anyone stay there unless they need a hotel room for a night. there are lots of other options if you just need parking.

I left something out here and misstated something. Yes it may be $100 more for two, but that $100 includes both round trip transportation between the hotel and port and free parking at the hotel . 

 

Please tell me how I can get the parking for a week and the transportation for $100 ?

Edited by njhorseman

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From what I have seen in the past about "parking for a cruise in Manhattan" comes from people outside the NYC area. This means they will probably need a place to stay the night before anyway. If you are spending the night in the area anyway the Hilton Garden Inn is a bargain. If you are just driving to the port, the onsite parking is convenient and best of all you park your car and lock it, no valets, no handing you keys over to someone else and no surcharge for SUVs. 

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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

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On 5/26/2019 at 12:06 AM, hal2008 said:

- 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.

We live in Rittenhouse area in Center City and this has been the easiest for us-- its usually $120-130 one way. We usually will take Amtrak up to meet the ship but will return via Uber/Lyft after disembarking because were tired and dont want to deal with the hassle of going back to Penn Station. 

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If you're ok taking a bus, you can use Bolt Bus or Greyhound ( I much prefer Bolt).  I've used Bolt many times from Cherry Hill NJ, but the route actually starts at 30th St. Station in Philly and picks up additional passenger in Cherry Hill.  Price is usually under $30 r/t pp.  Drop off in NYC is about a 15 minute walk to the port, or a short Uber/cab ride.

 

My first time using Bolt Bus the bus broke down at a rest stop on the NJ turnpike, but a replacement arrived within 45 minutes.

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On 3/27/2019 at 2:51 PM, princeton123211 said:

 

...

 

Very few people book Amtrak well in advance.

 

...

BULL!!!

 

We travel Amtrak several times a year - between Stamford and Philadelphia, Baltimore or Washington.  Fares very tremendously depending upon how much in advance you buy the ticket.  Who in his right mind would wait until the last minute to buy a train ticket to get to a cruise they have likely booked months in advance.

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You might remember that until a few years ago Amtrak prices didn't change much whether you bought them early or not. I many times traveled to NYC and didn't buy my return until I got back to the station that afternoon. Now Amtrak is taking the airline method of different tier pricing and charges for changes. So depending on when they last used the train they may not have realized the change in Amtrak's pricing.

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18 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

BULL!!!

To each their own-- you aren't really correct. I travel Amtrak 6-7 times a week and, as others have said, until recently the fares we're basically the same 3 months in advance or a day in advance. It was more of a PITA to change tickets booked in advance (and keep track of credits) than to just book the ticket in the cab on the way to the station. They hardly, if ever, are sold out on the Northeast Corridor (unless its the Sunday after Thanksgiving or something like that). 

 

Even today, there are many subsidized trains like the Pennsylvanian and Keystone Service daily between Philly and NYC that have the same fare in advance that you get the same day. These trains aren't on the new dynamic pricing that the Acela and Northeast Regional trains are. 

 

You might travel differently-- good for you. But those of us who spend a good deal of time on Amtrak on a near daily basis may have some different habits that make things easier. 

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3 hours ago, princeton123211 said:

...

 

You might travel differently-- good for you. But those of us who spend a good deal of time on Amtrak on a near daily basis may have some different habits that make things easier. 

Well perhaps a daily rider might have occasional luck, but my experience (and, apparently that of your fellow Philadelphian - Phillyguy31) is that Amtrak routinely increases prices as travel date nears. 

 

It it makes no difference if the trains are sold out or not - the lower fares, when available, are only available well in advance of ride date —- which happens to be the time frame when most cruisers would be making their travel plans anyway.

 

And, there really are not “many” Pennsylvanian and Keystone Service trains between Philly and NYC - the overwhelming majority are either Northeast Regional or Acela.

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