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Transfers from Newark airport hotels to New York cruise terminal

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I am flying into Newark and staying overnight at a hotel near the airport. What is the best method of transfer the next day to the New York Cruise Terminal? I,ve been told that taxis add road and bridge tolls to their meter fees.

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    Yes, they do, but you may have relatively few choices. A taxi will cost at least $70; a car service somewhat less. The only option directly from your hotel will be a taxi or car service.

    However, I'm afraid that the easiest and cheapest way to do this might be to take your hotel's free shuttle back to EWR and then call Dial 7. They will dispatch a car that will meet you by the exit from baggage claim and will be there in about 5 minutes. If you call Dial 7, they can tell you whether it's the same cost to be picked up at an airport hotel. With tip and tolls, the entire cost is about $65.

    A cheaper alternative would be to take the Airtrain/NJ Transit from the airport (again, you have to go back to EWR to catch this) and into Penn Station (NYC, not Newark ... there are two Penn Stations). From there, take a taxi for about $15 to the cruise terminal. This will end up costing about $35 and will be about half the price of a taxi or car service.

    The final alternative is to take the shared Olympic Trails bus (again from the airport) to a stop near the Port Authority and then to take a taxi. Again, the cost will be about $25 to $30 total, so slightly less than the cost of the Aitrain but may take longer depending on the traffic situation (though on weekends it's not that bad).

    We try to tell people that with all the additional costs it's often not that much more expensive to get a hotel in Manhattan. If you can do that, I would recommend it. Through Priceline, you can sometimes get a hotel for $99 (especially this time of the year), and if you take the cheaper shared shuttle, I can't imagine you'd end up paying much more than it would cost you to stay in a distance, isolated NJ airport hotel. If you can cancel your hotel reservation without penalty, I think it's really worth looking into this.

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    Just one point - there are several cruise terminals in New York Harbor - one in New Jersey, one in Manhattan and one in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Just confirme exactly where your ship will berth.

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    If you are going on one of the larger cruise ships or on Cunard or Princess, it most likely will go out of Brooklyn, but your cruise line can confirm this. The website for the NY Cruise Terminal is http://www.nycruise.com/terminal.html, it shows locations for both terminals and info on using private and public transport to reach them.

    Is the cruise line offering a transfer option to get you to the pier from a Newark hotel or from Newark Airport on the morning of the cruise? You may just want to take that, even if it is a bit more costly. Outside of a private car service, it would certainly be the easiest, and they would also have some responsibility to hold the ship’s departure in the event you are delayed in arriving due to traffic or an accident, which is not going to be the case if you arrange your own transfer.

    Otherwise, I would take a private car service if you aren’t trying to save costs. Dial 7 is extremely reliable, see http://www.dial7.com/. You can book on line and in many cases, just call when you land, no need to pre-book. I think from a Newark hotel to the Manhattan Pier would be about $50 and to Brooklyn Pier will be like $70, without tolls or tip. A cab is also an option of course.

    If you are going out of Brooklyn, you could overnight at a hotel in Brooklyn, there is for example the Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge which is not far from the pier. Dial 7’s fare to that hotel from Newark Airport is $72 not including tolls or tip. (The hotel estimates cab fare from Newark at $65, not including tolls or tip.) A cab the next day to the pier should take less than 10 minutes and would not cost much.

    If you are departing from Brooklyn, you might also seriously consider changing your flight to arrive into LaGuardia or JFK, as these are both on Long Island and would IMO be a better choice for a cruise departing from Brooklyn.

    Note that if you are staying at hotel IN the city of Newark, like the Gateway Hilton, and you don’t want to pay for a car or taxi to get to the pier, you can take NJ Transit from Newark into Manhattan or a bus from Newark. (You DO NOT have to “go back” to Newark Airport and take Air Train, as it does not go to Manhattan. Air Train passengers have to transfer to NJ Transit at Newark to get to Manhattan, so you would already be at that transfer point.) When you land, you can take Air Train to reach your hotel and then walk via the pedestrian walkway to the hotel. In the morning, simply go walk back to the station and take NJ Transit from Penn Station Newark to Penn Station NYC, or a bus to the NYC Port Authority and then take a taxi to the Manhattan pier, or if you are going to Brooklyn, take a taxi or the subway to Brooklyn. See njtransit.com for bus and train schedules. However, see below about possible pitfalls to using the train.

    I would point out that if you have more than 1 suitcase, IMO, taking something like Air Train and NJ Transit is simply a pain in the butt. The cars, esp on NJ Transit, are not equipped to handle large pieces of luggage, so you may be standing at the end of the car with the bags, and you will be struggling to get them on and off the trains, and when you reach Penn Station NYC you may have no option but to walk up several flights of stairs with the bags to reach the concourse level, as there are few escalators on the track levels. If you are doing this during the morning or evening rush hours, good luck to you. This would go double for taking the subway out to Brooklyn, which may require some changes and going up stairs.

    A bus is a somewhat better option as luggage will be easier to handle and the Port Authority Terminal has better escalator and elevator services from its bus bays, in my experience.

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