New York City Pass - Yes or No?

Jan 13th, 2013, 01:41 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,208
New York City Pass - Yes or No?

DH & I are headed for New York City at the end of April. We are considering the City Passes. We would use it for: American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Top of the Rock OR Guggenheim Museum. Currently, the website states that the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island & the Circle Line Cruise are closed.

In doing the arithmetic, it looks like we will save a bit of money on entrance fees.

Without the City Pass, we are wondering about the suggested donation of $20-$25 at AMNH and Metropolitan Museum. Are these suggested sums reasonable and what folks usually give?

Also, with the City Pass, we can by-pass main ticket lines - an advantage if line-ups are long. How busy will these sights be at the end of April?

Any opinions about its value or experiences with the City Pass would be appreciated!

Many thanks!
2010 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2013, 02:00 PM
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Top of the Rock and MoMA have a combination pass that will save a few dollars
Suggested donations are just that: Suggested. Some here will argue that you must donate the full amount to support the arts, some say give a quarter. You can do whatever you like including a middle ground such as $5 or $10 or whatever you like. Personally, I say give directly to the museum (whetever amount) rather than to the pass operators who must be taking a cut somewhere (and are obviously getting you in at a less than suggested amount rate anyway).No one at any museum will look at you funny if you give less than $25 per person.

From what I understand, the only time you really save time with the pass is if you are going to the Empire State Building. At the museums (whihc I go to regularly) the only time the lines are a real factor are the free hours at each museum (MoMA on Friday evenings, Guggenheim on Saturday evening) or with a major show such as last year's Alexander McQueen. Otherwise, admission lines are a few minutes.
nyer is offline  
Jan 13th, 2013, 02:14 PM
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Do NOT get the pass - it will never pay for itself. Th eMet and the Museum of Nat'l Histo are both pay what you wish - so any "savings" from the pass is illusory.

Also, MoMA is free Friday night.

Agree to give what you want to the museums rather than a commercial pass company.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 13th, 2013, 07:27 PM
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In most cases and for most people you will not save unless you are hitting three museums in a day, something I can't really recommend. If you can get a deep discount and can get it for 7 days for the price of 3, then it's not a good deal, especially considering that two of the most expensive things on the pass are not available right now. But by all means get it if you want. I just don't think it's a very good deal in NYC, though it is in other cities.
doug_stallings is online now  
Jan 14th, 2013, 08:54 AM
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Thanks for your replies & suggestions. We decided to pass on the City Pass!

nyer: Your comments regarding 'suggested donations' helped to clarify what may be reasonable to give. I agree that it's better to donate a sum directly to the museums. I will look into the combo pass for the Top of the Rock & MoMA.

nytraveler: It sounds as if a pay-as-we-go approach will work for us. Doesn't appear that long wait-times for tickets will be an issue.

I will make note of free museum hours. Should it happen we are nearby, it would be fun to pop in for a second visit ... depending on the crowds!

Doug: I believe that the City Pass is valid for 9 days. So in theory it would be doable to see the sights over our planned week in the city. But as you say, the closure of two big sights certainly reduces the value of the pass.
2010 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2013, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Just wanted to clarify that Statue Cruises and Circle Line Cruises are both open and running.

The difference from normal operations is that, due to the closure of Liberty and Ellis Islands, Statue Cruises is currently running a Harbor Tour Cruise instead of their usual cruise to the islands. (Circle Line is not affected by the closures and is up and running with normal operations.)

I realize that CityPASS might not be the best choice for your upcoming trip, but just wanted to clear up any confusion on this. Thanks!
CityPASS is offline  
Jan 14th, 2013, 05:20 PM
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As others have said, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a suggested admission price. However, it is a pay what you wish policy and you can do just that. Its open on Friday and Sat evenings and closed on Mondays, unless its a special holiday monday. to avoid long coat check and admission booth lines use the street entrance that is marked handicapped and school groups it is behind some construction right now,, close to 81st street.

MOMA has a set price, but is free from 5-8pm on Fridays you still have to get a ticket at the museum

the Frick collection is pay what you wish sundays from 11-1pm

the Jewish Museum is open and free on Saturdays

Natural History has a pay what you wish but if you want to go to the planetarium, and special exhibits you will have to pay fill price for that.

As Citypass says there are harbor cruises but the statute of liberty and liberty island are closed indefinitely due to hurricane damage to the pier and the island's electrical power system
maxima is offline  
Jan 15th, 2013, 03:11 PM
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CityPASS: Thanks for the info about Statue Cruises & Circle Line Cruises. I'll be sure to check out both these companies. A boat-ride of the harbour on a nice April day is appealing!

maxima: Worthwhile information to note. Thank you for taking the time to reply!
2010 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2013, 04:37 PM
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Don't forget the free Staten Island ferry. It has a fairly good view of the SoL and a great view of the Manhattan Skyline on the way back.

The RT takes about 1.5 hours and the ferries leave about every 20 minutes.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 09:12 AM
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We did not get the pass. I did not want to feel I "had" to go to all the museums and be committed. I also would not want to be committed to an outside harbor trip. If you get unlucky with rainy weather, do you still want to go?
5alive is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 12:39 PM
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The only thing I'd add is that on the "Free" night at MOMA, lines can be 2 blocks long and take 90 minutes. For me, not worth the time and effort. I'd really rather pay, particularly when I'm on vacation and have a limited amount of time. But I strongly recommend other evening openings. At the Metropolitan Museum, for instance, the galleries can be much less crowded on the evenings the museum is open late.
doug_stallings is online now  
Jan 17th, 2013, 08:22 AM
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nytraveler: Staten Island ferry ... on my list!

5alive: Yes, I have to agree that it is better to have the flexibility to go (or not go) to various sights. You make a good point about the weather though we are keeping our fingers crossed for dry days in late April!

Doug: I will make note of late openings & free nights as we make our plans. Thanks for your suggestions.

2010 is offline  
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