The Cape Liberty Cruise Terminal is located in Bayonne, NJ, just outside of New York City. It is in semi-industrial area, but if you are driving, it is a lot easier to get to than the Manhattan or Brooklyn terminals in New York. I won't go as far as saying the terminal is a dump, but I will just say it is "unimproved". The main building is a converted industrial warehouse, and several tents have been added onto the complex; namely the passenger/luggage pick-up and drop-off area.
And for some odd reason, the ship is berthed 1,000ft or so from the passenger terminal, so they bus you to the ship. This seems an unnecessary step; seems to me they could either park the ship in front of the terminal, or simply relocate the terminal to where the ship is. Neither would be a big deal, I don't think.
From Cape Liberty, you can go on a cruise to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, or Canada and New England.
Flying in: Most likely, you will be flying into New York City or Newark, NJ to get to the ship. Since this can be congested, it is perhaps a good idea to get a hotel the evening prior. However, there are no hotels in the immediate area, so you would want to stay near the airport the evening before. Better yet, if this is your first trip to the area, why not take a couple of days prior to your cruise and visit New York City.
Driving: There are really two choices here. Parking is available at the terminal for about $20 per day, or at alternate locations such as Premier parking, which is significantly less - and they do shuttle you to the pier. If you decide to park at the terminal, there is a rather screwy way to get to the lot. When you arrive, you will pass the lot, then make two left turns to the drop-off area. Unforunately, the drop-off area is the same point where the pick-up area is, so if you arrive too early, you will have to contend with passengers leaving the port.
After drop-off, you then have to make two more lefts to the entrance of the parking area. After paying for parking - if you are early enough, then you have to go around again, and go across the entry area to the drop-off area. Fortunately, there is an attendant directing traffic, but why go to the bother of making a maze of this process in the first place?
There are a couple of hotels in the area that offer park/cruise packages, so you may elect to investigate those as well. However, the ones we found typically charged up to $35 per person to take you to the port (although parking your car is free or a nominal charge). So if you have three or more people going on the cruise, it may be cheaper to park at the terminal. And by the way, the terminal is locked when the ship is gone, so it is perhaps a bit more secure than leaving your car at the hotel.
Area Attractions: Of course, you will want to visit New York City. We stayed at a hotel in Secaucus, NJ, and at least two of the tour operators will pick you up at your hotel and take you into Manhattan and back. That makes for a low-stress way to sightsee downtown. If you wish to visit the 911 memorial at ground zero, be aware you need to reserve tickets on-line before departing on your sightseeing adventure. We were not told that by the tour operator, so we did not get the chance to see the memorial itself.
Also, add time to any of the estimates to the tours. The traffic in NYC is horrendous, and you will never get there in the estimated time you are given.
On cruise day, one of the treats is going under the Verrazano Narrows bridge, as the ships clearance is usually only a few feet under it. And on our cruise at least, when we returned to Cape Liberty, we saw NYC during morning sunrise, which made for a spectacular view returning home.
New York Harbor WebCam
New York Sightseeing - Grey Line Tours
New York Sightseing - City Sights
City of Bayonne Cruise Information