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boscobeans

Possible interest in Caribbean from the Northeast?

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Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of wonderful cruise loving future (AND PAST) passengers who for any number of valid reasons DO NOT WISH TO FLY from the Northeast, which is the most densely populated region in the United States having a population of nearly 56 million people.

 

My wife and I along with many others have enjoyed the days when we, as most in the Northeast as well, could enjoy a leisurely drive, bus or train ride to the New York City Cruise Port and sail off to the Caribbean for 10 or more days, leaving the Winter behind while recharging our batteries for the oncoming Spring. ( Yes, I am aware the longer cruises aren't for everyone of every age. )

 

WOW, remember back to the days, NOT that long ago, when we sailed to the Caribbean on any number of Noordam sailings between January and April?   But ALAS, no longer do we have that opportunity as THERE ISN'T EVEN ONE COLD WEATHER sailing from NY??   Why not?  Most of our first days at sea are spent getting to know the ship, mustering, unpacking, having lunch, dinner and spending a few hours in the Casino or at a show. The next day after 17 hours at sea (about 9 am)  we have travelled 400 miles or more to the South and will be walking around in shorts.

 

No $1,000.00 plane fares, $150.00 dollar a night hotels bills, days spent suffering in airports hoping there will be no delays or cancelled flights, cab fares, and no more TSA or airline baggage rules and restrictions. No need to dine out at overpriced restaurants. Even parking at the port is less than the $44. a day at my local airport. Yes there is NOT EVEN ONE such cruise so we, along with our friends make the yearly drive to either Cape Liberty or Baltimore so we can avoid the airports. Even Cape Liberty is now shortening their sailings. ???

 

Sure the bean counters will say it's because it is difficult to FILL a ship doing those itineraries FOR SEVERAL MONTHS ??? OF COURSE, but if they only offered JUST A FEW (ONE OR TWO) cruises they would sail full.  NCL manages to sail for 14 days at capacity from NYC, but NCL isn't for us(and we have tried).  I remember seeing the old Holland America Cruise Terminal building on the East side of Manhattan when they sailed to the Caribbean (and Cuba) on a weekly basis.

 

Long winded rant, but please forgive me for my dream to once again do a 10-11-12-14 day Caribbean voyage from the Northeast on a Holland America ship. And all the above is just pure opinion from a veteran passenger with over 27 cruises to the Caribbean (yes in the Winter months) and almost a full year at sea on cruise ships.

 

Not everyone is like us or many of our friends, who like the longer sailings on ships that do NOT have to have a complete amusement park on board. We plan ahead looking for that special cruise and can adjust our scheduled free time for that one special date and itinerary.

 

SO..  Just curious as to how many would be interested in such a cruise or two in lets say March for 12 (?)  days to the Islands?????  

Edited by boscobeans
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More alternatives from NYC at any time would be great, particularly in the November through April time frame. The sailing has to be 10 days minimum, or you get the Florida/Bahamas itinerary that I don't like because of the ports and iffy winter weather.  We have done both Royal and NCL during the off season.

 

I would rather have the the extra sea day in each direction than flying, even if it is an indoor day.  

 

One caveat, nor'easter storms at sea can be nastier than hurricanes and there are no reasonable alternative itineraries to avoid these storms.

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Perhaps the holidays?  QM2 does an annual Caribbean sailing from Brooklyn.  Royal has some very nice itineraries from Baltimore which work for me, as well as Amtrak to Florida.  You might also consider Amtrak to Tampa and the Veendam.

 

 Roy 

Edited by rafinmd

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You suggest offering limited cruises from a port in the NE.  So, the cruise line has to pay for a repo cruise, without pax (unless you make it an ABC island cruise) then do one or two cruises, and then pay for the same repo cruise back to the SE?  It doesn't pay for a mass market cruise line to move a ship for a part of a season, they need to do several months to make the transition to the new port (change in port contracts, increased fees due to small number of sailings from the port, shift the infrastructure of port operation, etc, etc) just for a couple of cruises.

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In the past 6 years we've done 5 of our cruises in the Mar-Apr time frame and flew to Fl. We are from NJ and would consider a cruise from NY/NJ. But the big overlooking issue we have is the weather. In most cases you have at least one day out and back with not so good weather. Many times it's 2 each way. So that 10-11 day Caribbean trip is now a 9-6 nice day trip, assuming the Atlantic cooperates. Since most of the cruising will be in the Atlantic rough seas are pretty much the norm. And because you book many month out you have no realistic way to know what the weather will be. 

 

We hate flying and we always go a day early. But after the 3-4 hour flight we are in warm weather and can start our vacation early. We have done cruise line air so we don't have to go a day early but it's usually not as cheap as booking your own and getting a hotel room. So for us there is not as big of an attraction to sail from NY/NJ except to avoid the flight hassles.   

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4 hours ago, boscobeans said:

... leisurely drive, bus or train ride to the New York City  ...

No $1,000.00 plane fares, $150.00 dollar a night hotels bills, days spent suffering in airports hoping there will be no delays or cancelled flights, cab fares, and no more TSA or airline baggage rules and restrictions. No need to dine out at overpriced restaurants.

But for everyone not within a "leisurely drive, bus, or train ride" we not only have the plane fare but also much MORE expensive hotel bills, restaurants, and cab fares and the worry that bad weather will cause cancelled flights.

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I don't believe there has ever been a cruise terminal on the East Side of Manhattan.  I believe you meant the ocean terminals on the Hudson, the West Side of Manhattan.  EM

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2 minutes ago, Essiesmom said:

I don't believe there has ever been a cruise terminal on the East Side of Manhattan.  I believe you meant the ocean terminals on the Hudson, the West Side of Manhattan.  EM

Sorry, senile moment..

 

I should know which side of the Island I worked on while handling cargo-tainers from the ships that docked there.. LOL.

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4 hours ago, boscobeans said:

 

 

 

  I remember seeing the old Holland America Cruise Terminal building on the East side of Manhattan when they sailed to the Caribbean (and Cuba) on a weekly basis.

 

 

Are you referring to the old Pier 40 (West side) that was the pier for Holland America's transatlantic sailings?

 

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26 minutes ago, catl331 said:

But for everyone not within a "leisurely drive, bus, or train ride" we not only have the plane fare but also much MORE expensive hotel bills, restaurants, and cab fares and the worry that bad weather will cause cancelled flights.

 

 

We have never been stopped from getting to a cruise by car because of a snow storm. 

We may have had to leave and hour or two earlier but it is rare that roads in this area are shut down for longer than a few hours. I have lived here  for 70 + years.

 

Do you have any idea of how many people live within a 3-4 hour drive of either Cape Liberty or the NYC cruise terminal?

Draw a circle on a map with NYC in the center that goes out for 150-175 miles. Maybe 50 million or so?

NY'

NJ

CT

MA

RI

Parts of 

PA

NH

VT

MD

DE

 

That's a lot more people than those within 175 miles of Fort Lauderdale.

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3 minutes ago, Homosassa said:

Are you referring to the old Pier 40 (West side) that was the pier for Holland America's transatlantic sailings?

 

YES. If I recall it was really old dirty GREEN and had the name Holland America that could be seen while driving up the west side of Manhattan. I didn't realize it was only for Trans Atlantic .. Thanks.

Edited by boscobeans

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3 minutes ago, boscobeans said:

YES. If I recall it was really old dirty GREEN and had the name Holland America that could be seen while driving up the west side of Manhattan. I didn't realize it was only for Trans Atlantic .. Thanks.

Yes, it was for trans-Atlantic cruises. Pier went into use in 1963,  went out of use sometime in the 1970s.

 

Before Pier 40 was used, Holland America had its pier in Hoboken.

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5 minutes ago, boscobeans said:

YES. If I recall it was really old dirty GREEN and had the name Holland America that could be seen while driving up the west side of Manhattan. I didn't realize it was only for Trans Atlantic .. Thanks.

 

That pier was on the New Jersey of the Hudson and was not Pier 40.  Pier 40 was a modern, guest friendly pier when it was built on the West side of Manhatten.  A parking garage was part of the pier; easy to drive onto the pier, unload luggage and passengers, and then park the car.  I did it and found leaving the pier at the end of the cruise was just as easy.

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8 minutes ago, Homosassa said:

 The old terminal was in Hoboken, but Holland America moved to Pier 40 in 1963.

 

My mother-in-law and husband has talked of sailing on HAL from both piers.

 

https://hudsonriverpark.org/news-and-updates/a-glimpse-into-pier-40s-transatlantic-past

 

Am confused, as I remember handling those big old 200+ pound steamer trunks coming off ships on the West Side in the sixties ??? I loved all the ports of call stickers they had plastered all over them.. LOL.

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42 minutes ago, boscobeans said:

YES. If I recall it was really old dirty GREEN and had the name Holland America that could be seen while driving up the west side of Manhattan. I didn't realize it was only for Trans Atlantic .. Thanks.

 

It wasn't only for transatlantics. My parents sailed to Bermuda on HAL from there once or twice. The pier is still there. Sports field on the roof, parking garage in the lower level, which probably had been the luggage collection area. 

 

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11 minutes ago, boscobeans said:

 

Am confused, as I remember handling those big old 200+ pound steamer trunks coming off ships on the West Side in the sixties ??? I loved all the ports of call stickers they had plastered all over them.. LOL.

 

You may be remembering the Piers North of where Pier 40 was located.  Piers 86-88-90-92 (maybe Pier 84 as well, my memory is a bit foggy on that).  Those were the piers that Cunard, the United States Lines, the French Line, the Italian Line, American Export Lines, the Swedish American Lines and Norwegian American Lines, North German Lloyd, Greek Lines, Home Lines, and others used for many years.

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I love the idea of a winter cruise from NY. Nothing that sails from NY or NJ interests me.

 

But I also don't expect it to happen. Princess was going to do 10 days out of Brooklyn all year, and they gave up after one winter. I think too many people don't want that first (or second) cold sea day. Doesn't bother me, I'd rather sail out of NY. But I don't think it has a market these days. People are too used to flying to a vacation destination, even if that destination is a cruise.

 

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They should have one ship all year long going from the east coast to the west coast, in spring/summer/fall from Vancouver to Boston or Montreal vice versa and in the winter Seattle to Fort Lauderdale, vv, I don't know if New York is doable because of the bad weather getting around New Jersey and the Carolinas. I am pretty sure they can fill that ship..

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2 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

It wasn't only for transatlantics. My parents sailed to Bermuda on HAL from there once or twice. The pier is still there. Sports field on the roof, parking garage in the lower level, which probably had been the luggage collection area. 

 

 

I did not realize that the pier is still in existence.  So, it must be part of the Hudson River Park discussed in the previously posted link.  

 

I recall (and this memory is from 1970 and 1971), I drove up a ramp coming off the street (something Avenue) to a level where luggage and passengers could be off-loaded.  I then drove around the "square" to an entrance to the parking garage, down a ramp.  I remember I parked my car so it had a view of the Hudson River.  (LOL!) 

 

The linked article's description of the ease of disembarkation and Customs is accurate.  

 

It was a great guest friendly facility!  

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7 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

People are too used to flying to a vacation destination, even if that destination is a cruise.

 

Too many people are in too much of a hurry today in my opinion.  How many posts have been recorded on Cruise Critic where folks ask "will we make our flight in time when we return from our cruise" or the opposite, "will we make our cruise if we arrive at the port at such n' such time"?

 

I get a chuckle when I am driving and someone passes me and then finds he/she gets to the Red Light seconds before I do.  

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12 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

You may be remembering the Piers North of where Pier 40 was located.  Piers 86-88-90-92 (maybe Pier 84 as well, my memory is a bit foggy on that).  Those were the piers that Cunard, the United States Lines, the French Line, the Italian Line, American Export Lines, the Swedish American Lines and Norwegian American Lines, North German Lloyd, Greek Lines, Home Lines, and others used for many years.

 

One day right in front of a docked Swedish ship the NYPD pulled a body from the river. 

Some of the ship's crew came over to gawk along with most of my crew and we swapped cigarettes and even had a little drink or two from some of the cargo.  I know the office was under the elevated highway and the address was WEST STREET.

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We live in the Northeast -- Pittsburgh, PA

 

Have always had no choice but to fly to Florida.  We were not interested in doing Caribbean cruises out of New York or Norfolk or Baltimore or any eastern port.  We want to start visiting ports without a bunch of sea days.  And in winter, the seas can be rough.  Maybe even having delays in port arrivals.  Just not our cup of tea.

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Decades ago, HAL sailed from Norfolk.  They no longer do so.  A number of lines sail from Baltimore which is closer to the NE than FLL.  I'd be more interested in a cruise from Norfolk or Charleston than one from NYC.  I prefer to visit more ports, so leaving from FLL makes better sense, especially in the colder months.  I'm also committed to traveling when our school system has holiday breaks or vacations, which further limits me time-wise. 

 

Several RCCL cruises sail out of NJ.  You could take one of those if you're adverse to paying for flights.  I have no interest in adding sea days.  If I want to take a transatlantic, I know I'm signing up for a number of sea days, which is fine, but to start and end a Caribbean cruise with sea days isn't an itinerary I'd be excited about.  Sorry. 

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47 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Too many people are in too much of a hurry today in my opinion.  How many posts have been recorded on Cruise Critic where folks ask "will we make our flight in time when we return from our cruise" or the opposite, "will we make our cruise if we arrive at the port at such n' such time"?

 

I get a chuckle when I am driving and someone passes me and then finds he/she gets to the Red Light seconds before I do.  

 

Even better is when they pass you and zoom away, and a mile later you see them pulled over by a cop!

 

I agree that people are in a hurry. But I'm retired and have the luxury of not having to fly on the day a cruise departs. I do appreciate that many people have limited vacation time, but it seems they try too hard to cram too much into the time they have. 

 

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