New York City has had its share of ups and downs, but in the last five years there has been a renaissance of cruises from the city. Much of this is due to the resurgence in "homeland cruising" after 9/11. I interviewed Anne Campbell, editor of cruisingfromnewyork.com to get her take on the current New York cruise season. Here is what she said:
"Homeland cruising has become so popular that in 2007, one million people sailed from New York. During an economic downturn, it is the biggest bang for your vacation dollar since 80% of your vacation costs are included in the price of a cruise ticket. For the locals, cruising from the port of New York eliminates the hassle and high cost of flying."
What kind of cruises are available out of New York?
"Carnival offers a long season of 4-night Canada/New England cruises from Manhattan. Queen Mary 2 will sail on a five-night Memorial Day cruise to Halifax and Boston sailing May 22 from Brooklyn."
Those sound like great "get-away vacations. Are there any longer options?
"Holland America, Royal Caribbean and NCL each sail clear to the Caribbean year-round from New York. In May, Princess will offer Caribbean and Bermuda/Caribbean itineraries from Brooklyn. Celebrity will offer a few Caribbean sailings at the same time. Carnival offers eight night cruises to the caribbean from Manhattan and Cunard has several Caribbean cruises scheduled aboard Queen Mary 2."
There is also a considerable population base close to the city, and Royal Caribbean has port facilities on the Hudson River but in Bayonne, New Jersey. What do you recommend for out of towners who want to take advantage of their close proximity to New York City for a cruise?
"Cruising From New York (cruisingfromnewyork.com) has driving instructions to the three New York ports (Manhattan, Brooklyn and Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ). Personally, I urge people to take Amtrak or a bus whenever possible not only to avoid driving into New York but also because gasoline is so expensive. In addition, parking a car at the Manhattan terminal has risen to $30 per day."
Parking in New Jersey is considerably cheaper, and you can reach the port facilities quickly by flying into Newark.
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Royal Caribbean: 1-800-Royal Caribbean
New York is red-hot for cruises because so many people live there that do not own cars. They need to get out of town just like everyone else, and a cruise is the perfect way to do so. They can get to the cruise terminal as easily as they can get to Penn Station.
Unfortunately, according to Campbell, the one thing that may be scaled back next year is cruises to the Caribbean. It takes a full two days of steaming down the coast and back to get to warm waters, and that requires a lot of fuel. It is cheaper for the cruise lines to sail from Miami and sail fewer miles to the islands. New Yorkers, you save on airfare if you cruise from your city, and it is more convenient, but if you would like to see the Caribbean options continue you had better try them now. Show the cruise lines you support them and they will remain scheduled. If you don't use them now, you might not have them in the future.
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NEW YORK TIMES:
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Oct 28-Nov 9 2008 Ports of call: New York City; Samana; Aruba; Curacao; Belize City; Roatan; Miami and a Halloween Party too!
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