Choosing the right port to cruise from can be a complicated decision. Some people will say it’s best to go with one that’s closest to where you live to save on travel costs. Others will highlight the adventure of trying somewhere new to add to your trip experience.
Some ports may have better parking options or have a larger variety of cruise lines to choose from. Meanwhile, cruising from a smaller port can have its benefits, too.
The Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, NJ not only gives you a simple and quiet place to cruise out of away from the business of the city, but it’s close proximity to Manhattan also makes it a great location for some sightseeing, shopping, and all around tourist fun.
Below we’ve compiled every reason that you should consider choosing Cape Liberty for your next cruise.
As we mentioned in the intro, the Bayonne cruise port is in a great spot. The port itself is small and out of the way from the city.
In fact, one minor drawback is that nothing is within walking distance to or from the port, as you can see in the screenshot on the right. The only way to get to and from the port is by car (your own, a cab, or Uber/Lyft), train, bus, or shuttle.
However, once you’re there, you’re away from the craziness of the city, and can allow yourself to settle into the vacation mindset easily before shipping off for your well deserved cruise.
Although Cape Liberty offers a remote location, that doesn’t mean it’s too far away from the city if you want to do some sightseeing.
There are plenty of things to do in Bayonne and the surrounding area, but don’t forget about New York City. If your time allows for it, take a day and go visit the Big Apple. You won’t regret taking the time to see Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, or going on a tour in the Radio City Music Hall.
Currently, the only two cruise lines you’ll find at Cape Liberty are Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises. Between the two, only three ships come in and out of the port: Anthem of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas (Royal), and Celebrity Summit.
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean was the first cruise line to commission Cape Liberty. In fact, they were the ones to request that Cape Liberty be turned into a passenger cruise port.
Since the port was first constructed in the 1940s till 2002 it was used as either a military depot for the Navy, then later for all military personnel overseas. Over those years it was called the Naval Supply Depot and the Military Ocean Terminal – Bayonne (MOTBY). Then in 2002, it was renamed The Peninsula.
In 2003, Royal Caribbean made an agreement with the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority (who owned the port) to turn it into a cruise port. It was then that the port was renamed as Cape Liberty Cruise Port.
Royal’s ship Voyager of the Seas made its maiden voyage out of Cape Liberty, but the port now only serves Anthem of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, and coming in May 2020, Oasis of the Seas.
Anthem of the Seas
Anthem of the Seas offers a fun and amazing ride for thrill seekers of all ages. Choose from any Bahama, Caribbean, or New England cruise you want.
While on board, you’ll have access to bumper cars, a rock climbing wall, Ripcord flying simulator, and so much more. You can also enjoy guest entertainers, live orchestras, Broadway, movies, and all the dining and bar options you could want.
There is so much to do on Anthem, you may not want to get off the ship when it’s time for a port stop.
Adventure of the Seas
With Adventure of the Seas, you can choose your destination, whether it be the Bahamas, Canada and New England, or the Caribbean. A few options even take you to both the Bahamas and the Caribbean!
This is a great cruise to take the kids on, as there’s Splashaway Bay for the little ones, full of slides, water cannons, waterfalls, and a drench bucket for loads of wet fun! The adults get to play over at The Perfect Storm, which features the dual racer slides Typhoon and Cyclone.
Relax at the spa center, get some retail therapy at the onboard stores and shops, and enjoy live entertainment via an orchestra or an ice skating show!
When it’s dinner time, you can order room service in your cabin, which is a great option especially if you have a view of the ocean via porthole or balcony. Or you can choose from Chops Grille, Izumi, Giovanni’s Table, or any other restaurant experience.
No matter what you do, this is sure to be an unforgettable experience!
Oasis of the Seas
Slated to sail out of New York in May 2020, Oasis of the Seas offers a cruising adventure like no other. Along with a few favorites you might find on other Royal cruise ships, Oasis offers some brand new attractions that just have to be seen to be believed.
One such attraction is called the Ultimate Abyss. This has been dubbed the tallest slide at sea that plunges you into a dark descent. This is a great attraction for kids and adults alike!
Participate in game shows, enjoy some reading in the library and card room, take a cupcake class, watch movies outside at night, take salsa dancing, put your little ones on the carousel, or do some gambling at the casino.
Complete with various shopping, dining, and drinking opportunities, along with the numerous fun attractions, there is no end to what you can do on the Oasis, and when your trip is over you won’t want to leave.
Celebrity Cruise Lines
While Royal Caribbean is basically a theme park on the seas (no matter which ship you sail on), Celebrity Cruise Lines offers a much more sophisticated experience onboard the Celebrity Summit.
On Celebrity Summit you get to view exclusive ballet performances by the American Ballet Theatre (only available on select cruises).
Enjoy luxury accommodations and unique dining experiences. Visit the Canyon Rand Spa & Fitness onboard to either get your workout going or take some “me time” to pamper yourself with a makeover and a massage.
Celebrity Cruise lines offers a wonderful relaxing vacation, perfect for honeymoons, anniversaries, or those going on a single vacation.
Multiple Airports Nearby
There are three airports near Cape Liberty Cruise port in New Jersey. If you’ll be flying in (or out afterwards) you can choose whichever one fits your plans or budget better.
Of the three airports nearby, the closest to Cape Liberty is Newark International, which is about 10 miles away. Both JFK and LaGuardia are about 35 miles away from the port.
If you don’t plan on doing any sightseeing in and around New York, and just want to fly in and go straight to your cruise, Newark will be your best option since it is so close. Or if you’ll be staying at one of the many hotels near the cruise port.
If you plan to spend a few days sightseeing and travelling around the New Jersey and New York area, whichever airport you use is up to you. It’ll all boil down to cost and convenience, and what works best for you and those you are travelling with.
There Are Many Transportation Options
New York and New Jersey are very large areas and given how remote the Cape Liberty Cruise Port is, you won’t be able to go walking anywhere, unless you’re visiting shops and restaurants in town before heading out on your cruise.
Thankfully, finding transportation is not going to be a problem. From renting a car, getting on the train, bus, or calling a taxi or and Uber/Lyft ride, your options are plentiful.
First, both Newark and JFK airports have AirTran that you can pick up at the airport. It costs roughly $5 to take the AirTran and connect it with either NJ Transit, Amtrak (from Newark) or NYC’s public transportation network if coming from JFK.
Through the NY train network, find your way to the PATH train in Manhattan. Take that to Jersey City or Hoboken, then take the NJ Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and get off at 34th street in Bayonne. Then call a cab to take you to the port. For more detailed information about transportation to and from the port via train or bus, visit the port’s official website.
You can also get a shuttle to pick you up from the airport and take you directly to the cruise port. You can book one through AirportShuttles.com, through your travel agent, or your cruise line.
Other shuttle options, especially if you’re riding with 5 or more people, are:
- Go Airlink NYC: Just like Airport Shuttles, they will pick you up at either of the airports and take you directly to Cape Liberty. Prices vary depending on the type of vehicle you select.
- Go Winston: They offer shared shuttles or private cars both to and from the cruise port. Book online or call 631-924-1200.
- Carmel Limo: For transportation from the airport (doesn’t matter which one) to Cape Liberty, Carmel offers a flat rate of $47 for a sedan holding up to 4 people. If you have more people or need a larger car, the price goes up. They also offer passengers who ride with them discounts around the city through Carmel Perks.
- Hy’s Limousines: Book your choice of luxury car, and they’ll pick you up wherever you want and take you to the cruise port. Book online or call 1-800-255-5466.
We’ve mentioned Uber or Lyft as options a few times, but we only recommend it if you fly into Newark. This is because they charge extra simply for crossing state lines from New York into New Jersey. The fee is $20 for Uber and $15 for Lyft. This is charged on top of the cost for the ride itself.
Available Parking Options
If you opted for turning this into a road trip adventure, the main thing you will need once you arrive is somewhere to park. Lucky for you, there a few parking arrangements you can make, starting with parking at Cape Liberty Cruise Port.
Cape Liberty Cruise Port Parking
This is by far the most convenient option regarding parking. But at $22 per night, it can also be a little heavy on the budget. Considering your cruise is for 7 nights, you’d be looking at a parking bill of $154. If you happen to have an oversized vehicle, your cost will be double that amount.
Related: Essential Guide on Cape Liberty Cruise Port Parking
But you don’t have to worry about making arrangements ahead of time, and parking is always available there. It’s best to get there right after a ship has unloaded previous passengers, as that will clear out the parking lot, giving you plenty of spots to choose from.
Also, they offer a shuttle from where you parked directly to the terminal to make embarking super easy. For more information about parking at the port, visit their website.
Bayonne Cruise Parking
There are only two off-site parking options that cater specifically to Bayonne cruise passengers. Bayonne Cruise Parking is the first of those two, and they are located just a mile and a half from the cruise port.
If you want to save a bunch of money on parking and still be conveniently close to the port, this is the best place for you. However, they don’t have parking options for oversized vehicles
It only costs $13.99 per day, and they have a shuttle that runs to and from the cruise port every 15-20 minutes.
One great thing about Bayonne Cruise Parking is when you return, you don’t need to call them for the shuttle. Just head to Zone 10 and wait and the shuttle will be there shortly to pick you up.
The other off-site parking option is Park2Go. Their prices are a little more than Bayonne Cruise Parking, but they do offer parking for RVs or Trailers.
Park2Go has 24 hours surveillance, as well as a free shuttle to and from the cruise port for up to five passengers. They will charge an extra $5 per person per day for any extra passengers.
For indoor parking their fee is $17.99 per day, and for outdoor it’s $15.99 per day. Their website does not state how much they charge for oversized vehicles, but you can email them at email@example.com or call at 813-433-0743 to find out.
Parking Near Newark Airport
This may seem a little backwards but, if the above options don’t work for you for some reason, you can try parking at one of the lots near the Newark Airport.
One thing to understand, though, is that none of these locations will give you a ride to the cruise port (not that we found). You can probably ask, but we seriously doubt it is an option. So, you may find yourself having to make use of public transportation or call a cab or Uber to get to the port from the parking lot.
Still, a few of these offer some great prices, so it’s worth mentioning. The parking companies we found located near Newark Airport are:
- Jiffy Newark: Prices start at $11.95 per day
- Airpark Newark: Prices start at $9 per day
- Value Parking: Prices start at $10.95 per day
- Newark Long Term Parking: Prices start at $15.50 per day
Whether you’re flying in or driving, if you plan to do any sort of sightseeing you will need to find a place to stay. There are many hotels in the area to choose from, and a few select have parking packages that allow you to park your car at the hotel for the duration of your cruise.
Related: Ideal Hotels Near Cape Liberty Cruise Port
If you flew in and need a hotel that clearly provides shuttle service to the cruise port, there were only two that we could find:
- Country Inn & Suites by Raddison, Newark Airport, NJ
- Free parking (if you need it) for up to 14 nights
- Free shuttle to and from Cape Liberty for two people (each additional person is $35 round trip)
- Phone number: 908-282-0020
- Hampton Inn Newark Airport
- Free parking (if you need it) for the duration of your cruise
- Free shuttle to and from Cape Liberty
- Phone number: 908-355-0500
The following hotels all offer free parking for cruise passengers, many of them by booking a cruise package either through their website or over the phone.
- Courtyard by Marriott Newark Liberty International Airport
- Park & Cruise package provides guests with 14 nights of free parking
- Phone number: 973-643-8500
- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Newark Liberty International Airport
- Parking for $10.70 per night (no cruise package)
- Phone number: 973-242-2600
- Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Newark International Airport
- Park Before You Fly 7 gives you 7 nights of free parking, and Park Before You Fly 14 gives you 14 nights of free parking.
- Phone number: 973-589-1000
- Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott
- Park Here, Cruise There package provides 7 nights of parking during your cruise. Any additional night will cost $28 per night.
- Phone number: 973-623-0006
- Crowne Plaza Newark Airport
- Parking package provides 7 nights of free parking, each additional night after that will cost $5.
- Phone number: 908-527-1600
- Residence Inn Newark Elizabeth/Liberty International Airport
- Cape Liberty Cruise Package comes with free parking for 8 nights plus deluxe accommodations.
- Phone number: 908-352-4300
Plenty of Things to Do
New Jersey and New York have so much to offer to tourists who want to spend some time shopping, dining, or sightseeing. If your trip allows for it, we recommend spending an extra day or two before and/or after your cruise.
Here are a few things to do in and around Cape Liberty:
Spend a Day in New York City
Of course, this should go without saying. If you’re in the area, and you’ve never been to NYC before (or maybe you have and want to visit again), take the train or subway into the heart of the Big Apple and spend the day walking around, visiting all that you can.
While in New York you should visit the Empire State Building, see a play on (or off) Broadway, go to the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum (located a few piers down from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal), and check out Ellis Island.
Visit the Tear Drop Memorial
Though a bit somber and sad, the Tear Drop Memorial is located right by Cape Liberty, and was erected to honor the victims of 9/11.
Take a Tour Around Bayonne, NJ
There are plenty of ways to experience the city of Bayonne, NJ, and some of the best ways is taking a tour. There are private walking tours, outdoor activities, and various other options as well. Visit this page to learn more.
Dine at Local Restaurants
A few local restaurants you should visit are:
- The Little Food Café
- Kuhl’s Sports Bar & Grill
- Buon Appetito
- Andrew’s Project
- Joe’s Kitchen
- Lot 13
Visit Tourist Attractions
There’s honestly too many to list in this article, but a few highlights of attractions to visit in Bayonne are:
- American Folk Art Museum
- Battery Park
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Chelsea Piers
- Coney Island
- Alice Austen House & Museum
As you can see by now, there are plenty of reasons to choose Cape Liberty as the home port for your cruise. It has a great location that’s both away from everything and close to everything at the same time. There are three airports to choose from, plenty of affordable parking options, and more hotels than you could ever want.
Also Read: 8 Must Know Things About the Manhattan Cruise Terminal
Cape Liberty also serves two of the most popular and best cruise lines, as well as the best ships. There is also no shortage of attractions, shopping, and restaurants to visit during your stay, if you decide to use up an extra couple of days.