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Bayonne: A nightmare???

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Ok...so I've heard a few stories about cruisin' outta Jersey...and they weren't good ones. Embarkation/Debarkation nightmares, we'll call them.
Anyone out there able to tell me it isn't all that bad??? Or should I just expect a circus and be prepared for the worst?

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I've gone out of Bayonne several times and the last time (Dec 07) was by far the worst. Due to several weather issues, the ship was late in coming in so you had people getting off the ship and others waiting to get on. Traffic was a nightmare.

One of the biggest problems at Bayonne is having to take the shuttle from the check in point to the ship. Everyone is anxious to get on and the shuttles are jammed. The it's the reverse when you get back, everyone is anxious to get home and it is a free for all.

We are planning on going out of Bayonne in 2009 but we will not make the mistake again of using a Cruise/Park hotel. Our plans are to park at the pier and not have to worry about the hotel shuttle getting into the port with all the traffic and waiting hours to get picked up.

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[quote name='halos']Ok...so I've heard a few stories about cruisin' outta Jersey...and they weren't good ones. Embarkation/Debarkation nightmares, we'll call them.
Anyone out there able to tell me it isn't all that bad??? Or should I just expect a circus and be prepared for the worst?[/QUOTE]

Bayonne is actually quite a dream, especially since they moved LTP past the dropoff point.
And, my car is there right now!

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i've gone from bayonne 4X and it has always been a breeze, really pleasant..........with the excpetion of dec 2007 when it was a complete fiasco coming in and going out. it was snowing that day and the previous cruise was delayed because of a storm. it took about 1 1/2 hours or so to get from from the entrance of the port at the road to the actual parking lot. there were fights in the traffic, many people who had cabs decided to ditch the cabs and make their way by foot (with all thier luggage). i pray to never go through that again and my guess is that they have fixed the problem by now (i hope). i'll be going again in 3 weeks so i guess i'll find out then.

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Halos,

I see you're leaving in 25 days.....Dont fret a thing, you shouldnt have any problems. Problems are usually in bad weather situations where Explorer is late coming in and pax are debarking AND embarking. You shouldnt have any issues at all.

Its a luxury to leave out of Cape Liberty- we've personally never encountered ANYTHING to be called a nightmare. It has always been run smoothly when we've left from Bayonne. (Then again, some people just cant be pleased and will find something to compalin about! lmao)

Have a fabulous cruise!

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[quote name='mgmigs']i've gone from bayonne 4X and it has always been a breeze, really pleasant..........with the excpetion of dec 2007 when it was a complete fiasco coming in and going out. it was snowing that day and the previous cruise was delayed because of a storm. it took about 1 1/2 hours or so to get from from the entrance of the port at the road to the actual parking lot. there were fights in the traffic, many people who had cabs decided to ditch the cabs and make their way by foot (with all thier luggage). i pray to never go through that again and my guess is that they have fixed the problem by now (i hope). i'll be going again in 3 weeks so i guess i'll find out then.[/quote]


Im confused, lol (blon de moment maybe?? lol)

What was the 'problem' you hope they fixed? (Lost ya' there, lol)

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Our experience from two years ago was good and bad.

We arrived at about 11:30 and we were at the buffett at 12:15. That was the good.

We were in the last group getting off the ship. There were a lot of people arriving as we were disenbarking. It took our ride home an hour and fifteen minutes to get to us once he entered the port. That was the bad.

Arriving around 11:00 is a good idea. Your room won't be ready but the pools, bars and buffett iwill be open open. Most fun you'll ever have in Bayonne. Don't forget to put your bathing suits in your carry on.

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You have intrigued me. We leave out in October....we will be taking a cab from the Newark Airport to Cape Liberty...so give me the steps that occur please.

Question: they drop me at some point at some kind of entry...then I shuttle with luggage to the terminal...then do boarding????

Idea of what happens please.
Lou

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[quote name='cruisingrightalong']You have intrigued me. We leave out in October....we will be taking a cab from the Newark Airport to Cape Liberty...so give me the steps that occur please.

Question: they drop me at some point at some kind of entry...then I shuttle with luggage to the terminal...then do boarding????

Idea of what happens please.
Lou[/quote]


Your cab will drop you off at the terminal, where the porters will take all your luggage except your carry on bags. You then proceed into the building and check in. They will give you a number for the shuttle and you go and hang out in the waiting area until your number is called. The first shuttle starts around 12 noon. Then you get on the shuttle for the 3 minute ride to the ship and get on the ship

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[quote name='CruiseDivaNJ']Im confused, lol (blon de moment maybe?? lol)

What was the 'problem' you hope they fixed? (Lost ya' there, lol)[/quote]

the probelm was the traffic getting to the parking lot from the entrance to the port. this usually takes only a few minutes but that day it took 1 1/2 hours.

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[quote name='cruisingrightalong']You have intrigued me. We leave out in October....we will be taking a cab from the Newark Airport to Cape Liberty...so give me the steps that occur please.

Question: they drop me at some point at some kind of entry...then I shuttle with luggage to the terminal...then do boarding????

Idea of what happens please.
Lou[/QUOTE]

Just ask the cabbie to drop you off at the drop off point, give your luggage to a porter, pay your cabbie, and go inside.

You will go through security, and then proceed to a check in counter based on your status and/or deck. Once checked in, you will be given a number for when your bus is ready.

Then find a seat and wait for your number to called.

When your number is called, it's off to the ship.

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This is a yes and no answer or maybe a better answer would be depends.

If the ship arrives late it creates a traffic jam with people who just got off picking up their luggage and those trying to get on dropping off their luggage. Getting off the ship does not seem to be as big of a problem as they have a seperate route for cars coming from the parking back to teh pickup point

I am told that RCCL that they are working on dredging the terminal area not only to be able to move ship up to the terminal but for the Genesis class ships (Oasis of the Seas).

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[quote name='mgmigs']the probelm was the traffic getting to the parking lot from the entrance to the port. this usually takes only a few minutes but that day it took 1 1/2 hours.[/quote]

Seems like that instance was because of very bad weather and simultaneous debarking and embarking pax.

This time of year that most likely wont happen.

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[quote name='TWELVEOHONE']This is a yes and no answer or maybe a better answer would be depends.

If the ship arrives late it creates a traffic jam with people who just got off picking up their luggage and those trying to get on dropping off their luggage. Getting off the ship does not seem to be as big of a problem as they have a seperate route for cars coming from the parking back to teh pickup point

I am told that RCCL that they are working on dredging the terminal area not only to be able to move ship up to the terminal but for the Genesis class ships (Oasis of the Seas).[/quote]

Ships dont often arrive late unless there are weather 'issues'.

Im not sure what you mean by RCCL dredging- there is NO water near enough to the terminal for ANY of the ships.

As for debarking, getting your luggage and a seperate route- not really.
There are usually two lines they try and maintain- one is to pull into a #'d bay (of sorts) to drop off luggage and the other usually is closest to the neighboring bldg and it leads right past luggage drop off to...........long term pkg. (I dont think I explained that right, lmao but visually in my head I get it, lol)

It depends on if you park in LT pkg or have a car picking you up. We've done both, if you have more specific ?s, ask. :)

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Just went through the whole process two weeks ago on embarkation and last week on disembarkation. Our friend dropped us off at 11:15/11:30. We went immediately into check-in. Place was pretty empty at that time. Check-in was so fast I had to ask the staff member if that really was all there was to it!

We sat in the waiting area for about 15 minutes and boarded the shuttle which took us promptly to the ship. Not sure why folks feel that's such a hassle. I did expect it to be a big pain in the rear given some of the comments found on this site, but it took about 4 minutes to get to the ship. Not sure about you but I'm not going to worry about being packed in an airconditioned bus for four minutes! No big deal on that front.

We explored the Explorer, had lunch in the Windjammer, went to our cabin and our luggage was already at our door. All by 1:30pm.

We used express disembarkation. I imagine this option is not a good one for those with disabilities, small children or who simply have too much luggage to handle on their own. If you are physically able to take your luggage, I highly recommend it. Just go to guest services first half of your cruise to sign up because there's limited availability.

Sure, some folks were snippy but I imagine it had more to do with end-of-vacation-blues than anything else.

Nevertheless, we were off the ship and eating breakfast at a local diner by 9am with no worries.

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We love going out of Bayonne, we are 45 minutes away, we can park there....the easiest by far port to get through. Love it! Leaves Miami in the dust!

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We have cruies out of Bayonne 2x and NY once. There are some things that bother us but all in all not having to deal with the airports makes cruising out of Bayonne easy. Yes you might have to wait a while, yes gettign off can sometimes be a pain but flying is worse. Go in with a positive attitude and all will go well.

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We had no problems when we sailed from Bayonne in July. It was actually a quick, smooth process.
We had a bit of a wait in our car (not bad - maybe 20 minutes) in line to drop off our luggage with the porter. But after that, it was quick and painless.

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We found flying in and out of Newark to be a delight when compared to the crowded hassel experienced with the Miami/Lauderdale airports. We arrived early by design, and the RC rep was actually waiting for us. The ride on the RC bus to the cruise terminal was fine.

At the terminal we enjoyed coffee and conversation with other cruisers until another bus took us to the Explorer about 11:30.

The return trip on the RC bus was fine also once we found where it was parked. There were no directions.

For us, the Newark airport provided an extra port-of-call, Manhattan! We had a late afternoon flight home. Northwest let us check our luggage early, and we then took the bus to Times Square. The round trip fare is $25 for adults ($15) for seniors.

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Our cruise out of Cape Liberty was smooth. To date Baltimore and Cape Liberty have been the quickest on and off for us. We arrived at the terminal, drpped the bags off, parked, shuttled to the terminal, checked in and were on so fast I do not recall seeing priority embarkation or the photograhers for the Welcome Aboard photos, which we decline anyway.

Can anyone tell me if they have priority embarkation at Cape Liberty?

Annieeee

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[quote name='MrPete']Bayonne is actually quite a dream, especially since they moved LTP past the dropoff point.
And, my car is there right now![/quote]

Some really good friends of mine are on your ship right now. The Knops, from Bergen County, NJ. (Mom, Dad, 4 adult children, two son-in-laws and two grandsons).

Two in this group called me from the sail-away party. They checked in and boarded in about 15-20 minutes. I got jealous when I heard from them. My best friend called me as they were sailing under the Verrazano, how cool is that.

I hope you have a wonderful cruise.

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We are about a half hour south of Bayonne,We have sailed out of there four times and will be doing again on the November first sailing.My Daughter will drop us off around noon time and and by the time she gets back home we are usually on board having lunch.
As we are diamond members we are one of the first groups off,so when they call for us we call my daughter and she will be out side waiting for us[parked somewhere on the entrance road] I enjoy leaving from here,but my best port of departure is San Juan.

ENJOY THE CRUISE

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Appreciate the tips about Bayonne--not ideal for us from LI but maybe better than airports. I am sure we'll try it some day if a Radiance Class ship berths there...

We left from NYC once--easy limo ride from LI. A bit disorgaized at the pier but nice not to have to fly anwhere to get the cruise...

Even better was Bklyn/Red Hook where QM2 is docked--very easy ride & in & out..unfortunately the lines to baord on our day were hours long--they said it was a computer glitch.....

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[quote name='Annieeee']Our cruise out of Cape Liberty was smooth. To date Baltimore and Cape Liberty have been the quickest on and off for us. We arrived at the terminal, drpped the bags off, parked, shuttled to the terminal, checked in and were on so fast I do not recall seeing priority embarkation or the photograhers for the Welcome Aboard photos, which we decline anyway.

Can anyone tell me if they have priority embarkation at Cape Liberty?

Annieeee[/QUOTE]
Priority boarding for Platinum and up.

Works very, very well! Just did it on my 7/31 sailing. However, no special lounge on board on disembarcation except for suite passengers.


MARAPRINCE

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We just returned from our 7/31/08 sailing out of Bayonne, and we thought it all went incredibly smooth and easy. I'd do it again in a heartbeat....especially since we can drive there!

Karen

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[quote name='cruisingrightalong']You have intrigued me. We leave out in October....we will be taking a cab from the Newark Airport to Cape Liberty...so give me the steps that occur please.

Question: they drop me at some point at some kind of entry...then I shuttle with luggage to the terminal...then do boarding????

Idea of what happens please.
Lou[/quote]

Thanks for asking this Lou:D

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When Explorer gets back to port.......are taxi's readily available back to Newark Airport? First time using this port of embarkation in October.....thanks.

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isujim,
We dont use the taxi's but we have seen them waiting to the left of the terminal. Even better, I think Royal offers a shuttle to Newark, you can buy a ticket at guest services while on board. Double check that info though!!! I recall reading it in a daily compass [I]and [/I]reading it here on cruise critic.

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[quote name='CruiseDivaNJ']isujim,
We dont use the taxi's but we have seen them waiting to the left of the terminal. Even better, I think Royal offers a shuttle to Newark, you can buy a ticket at guest services while on board. Double check that info though!!! I recall reading it in a daily compass [I]and [/I]reading it here on cruise critic.[/quote]

Appreciate the info!!:)

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I feel much better.
A friend of mine just got off a Canada/NE cruise this week and had a horrid time with both embark and debark. At embark, there was chaos because the ship didn't empty of previous passengers until about noon, which caused a back up. He said debark was just as bad. Hopefully, that was just a 'bad day' and my experience will be more like the ones you posted. :)
He told us to not even get there before 2...and now I'm wondering if we should get there earlier (we are driving to the port) like I had previously planned????

Decisions, decisions. ;)

Bottom line is that no matter how bad it is, I'm getting on a ship...so it's all good. :D

Thanks to everyone for giving me some hope for a good start to this cruise. :)


and, to pete:
WTH are you doing posting from the ship??? :eek: Go have a beer by the pool in the sun and get off the computer FTLOG! :p

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[quote name='halos']Ok...so I've heard a few stories about cruisin' outta Jersey...and they weren't good ones. Embarkation/Debarkation nightmares, we'll call them.
Anyone out there able to tell me it isn't all that bad??? Or should I just expect a circus and be prepared for the worst?[/quote]
we just sailed out of cape liberty on 7/31/08. it was the easiest of our 6 cruises. leaving was just as easy.

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[quote name='TWELVEOHONE']I am told that RCCL that they are working on dredging the terminal area not only to be able to move ship up to the terminal but for the Genesis class ships (Oasis of the Seas).[/quote]

Actually that is incorrect because due to central park, the Genesis class ships have been stated that they will not sail from the northeast due to the climate.

When I just went to Bayonne at about 11:15, it was about a 15 minute wait in traffic while people got to the luggage drop off. My mom and I got out and got our luggage, the porters were very quick in getting our luggage. My father went to park the car. He said there was a lot of handicap parking and the regular parking was booked very far away. My mother has had hip surgery and had a handicap parking tag, so he used that. We waited on a bench with our carry-ons for about five minutes, then we walked toward the check in. It was very easy, metal detector and put our carry-ons on the belt, and then got our carry-ons back. We walked through the designated line [there was no line], and a man there directed us to go to the spot for deck 8. A lady took our passports and our setsail pass, and then we were handed our SeaPass. We went and got our picture taken for it, and we went around the souvenir picture spot, as we didn't want them. The shuttle bus was right there and I took a cookie before we boarded. We were on the bus and in the windjammer by 12. :D

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We have gone out of Bayonne once and I will tell you from my impression that it is not a good cruise port. It doesn't seem to be set up well to handle these type of ships. We took a cruise in Dec 2007 and it was horrible. There was so much traffic going into the port and there was only two lanes going in. The traffic was so bad that we were backed up almost to the light to turn into the port from the main road. Then getting to the ship wasn't any better. Having to wait for a shuttle and cramming in for a ride to the ship. Then everyone gets off and on the boat at deck 1. So everyone needs to use the elevators to get anywear unless you want to walk several flights of stairs (especially with a room on deck 9). More cramming into the elevators and obnoxious people. It just wasn't the way that we wanted to start our vacation. My wife and I concluded that we will never go out of Bayonne again unless that do some major work on the port to get better access all around. I'm sure other have had no problems but this is from our experience.

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[quote name='live2beontheseas']We have gone out of Bayonne once and I will tell you from my impression that it is not a good cruise port. It doesn't seem to be set up well to handle these type of ships. We took a cruise in Dec 2007 and it was horrible. There was so much traffic going into the port and there was only two lanes going in. The traffic was so bad that we were backed up almost to the light to turn into the port from the main road. Then getting to the ship wasn't any better. Having to wait for a shuttle and cramming in for a ride to the ship. Then everyone gets off and on the boat at deck 1. So everyone needs to use the elevators to get anywear unless you want to walk several flights of stairs (especially with a room on deck 9). More cramming into the elevators and obnoxious people. It just wasn't the way that we wanted to start our vacation. My wife and I concluded that we will never go out of Bayonne again unless that do some major work on the port to get better access all around. I'm sure other have had no problems but this is from our experience.[/QUOTE]

That, unfortunately was almost exactly why I started this thread because that is basically the report I got from my friend.

I'll have to hope for the best, (after all, some of you were fortunate enough to breeze through ;) ) and if it's that bad, at least I am forewarned.

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[B][COLOR=darkorchid]Halos,[/COLOR][/B]
[B][COLOR=#9932cc]I'll be cruising with you on this one. I've cruised out of there a couple of times and fortunately didn't have a problem (so far, so good, but don't want to jinx it). What time are you leaving Maine? [/COLOR][/B]

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We were on the 7/31 sailing on the Explorer out of Bayonne and we thought embarkation and debarkation both went very smoothly. I wouldn't hesitate to sail from there again.

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Most people never see what I think the best thing about cruising out of Bayonne... the 9/11 memorial. Sure, you may see it as you sail out but you are really missing a beautiful spot if you don't stroll over and take it all in personally. The views are outstanding... the memorial itself is beautiful and touching... and it is an extremely pleasant and calming thing to do while waiting to board. It is at the end of the pier... just a short stroll from the terminal.

[URL=http://news.webshots.com/photo/2046913120033153609rzagXs][IMG]http://inlinethumb18.webshots.com/26833/2046913120033153609S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[URL=http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2140817260048331762SXJgLC][IMG]http://inlinethumb33.webshots.com/41312/2140817260048331762S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[URL=http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2936449780099099348woQRyu][IMG]http://inlinethumb58.webshots.com/6073/2936449780099099348S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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[quote name='CruiseDivaNJ']Its a luxury to leave out of Cape Liberty- we've personally never encountered ANYTHING to be called a nightmare. It has always been run smoothly when we've left from Bayonne. (Then again, some people just cant be pleased and will find something to complain about![/quote]

Thank you, Diva - I am feeling better already and will read no further in this thread. We leave next month and will be prepared for whatever comes our way, but your post was encouraging to read. Thanks. :)

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will be on EOS next month. the cruise book we got with all our info. says to board no earlier than 2 p.m. the ship leaves at 5. of course, we will be there earlier than 2, we live in jersey so we will be driving.

just wondering if a lot of people do actually show up before 2? my guess would be yes!

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