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The Manhattan branch of the New York Passenger Ship Terminal is on the far west side, five very long blocks from the Times Square area, between 48th and 52nd streets; the vehicle entrance is at 55th Street. Traffic can be backed up in the area on days that cruise ships arrive and depart, so allow enough time to check in and go through security. There are no nearby subway stops, though city buses do cross Midtown at 50th and 42nd streets. If you don't have too much luggage, it is usually faster and more convenient to have a taxi drop you off at the intersection of 50th Street and the West Side Highway, at the entrance to the lower level of the terminal; then you can walk right in and take the escalator or elevator up to the embarkation level. Manhattan's port is used by Norwegian and Carnival cruise lines. The terminal's website lists upcoming cruises throughout the year for Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn cruise terminal at Pier 12 in Red Hook is not convenient to public transportation, so you should plan to take a taxi, drive, or use the bus transfers offered by the cruise lines (the cost for this is about $45 per person from either LaGuardia or JFK). There is a secure, 500-car outdoor parking lot on-site. To reach the terminal from LaGuardia Airport, take I–278 W (the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) to Exit 26, Hamilton Avenue; the terminal entrance is actually off Browne Street. From JFK, take I–278 E (again, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) to the same exit. If you arrive early, you may wish to head to Van Brunt Street, three longish blocks away, and visit a restaurant in this gentrifying (but still industrial) neighborhood. The area is a safe place to walk around during daylight hours. Red Hook is the home of ships from Princess and Cunard (including the Queen Mary 2).

Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne is off Route 440. From the New Jersey Turnpike, take Exit 14A, then follow the signs for 440 South and make a left turn into the Cape Liberty Terminal area (on Port Terminal Boulevard). If coming from Long Island, you cross Staten Island, and after crossing the Bayonne Bridge take 440 North, making a right into the terminal area. From Manhattan, you can reach the terminal by public transit. Take the New Jersey Transit light-rail line from the PATH trains in Hoboken; get off at the 34th Street Station in Bayonne, and take a taxi to the terminal (about 2 miles [3 km] away); there may be a free shuttle bus on cruise sailing dates, but confirm that with your cruise line. Cape Liberty is used by the Royal Caribbean and Celebrity lines.

Information

Cape Liberty Cruise Port. 14 Port Terminal Blvd., Bayonne, New Jersey, 07002. 201/823–3737; www.cruiseliberty.com.

New York Passenger Ship Terminal (Brooklyn). 72 Bowne St., Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York, 212/246–5450; www.nycruise.com.

New York Passenger Ship Terminal (Manhattan). 711 12th Ave.,, vehicle entry at 55th St., Midtown West, New York, New York, 10019. 212/246–5450; www.nycruise.com.

Airport Transfers

A cab to or from JFK to the passenger-ship terminal in Manhattan costs $52.50 (a flat fare) plus toll and tip; expect to pay at least $35 on the meter if coming from LaGuardia and at least $40 or $50 (not including tolls of about $10 and the tip) from Newark in a regular taxi (from Newark airport, it's usually more cost-effective to call a car service,whichcharges a flat fare of about $50, not including the tolls and tip).

If your cruise is leaving from Red Hook, the taxi fare is much cheaper if you fly into either LaGuardia (about $45) or JFK (about $60); you pay at least $80 from Newark Airport (not including tolls and tip). Cruise lines provide bus transfers from all three of the area's airports, but it is probably cheaper to take a taxi if traveling with more than one other person. Note that all these taxi fares do not include tolls and tips. From Newark, the tolls to Brooklyn can be substantial, adding almost $20 to the fare.

From Newark Airport it's approximately $35 to Cape Liberty, $80 from JFK (plus tolls and tip, so count on at least $110 and be aware that taxis are not obligated to take this route from JFK), and $60 from LaGuardia (plus tolls and tip; count on paying more than $80).

Parking

You can park at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal in Manhattan for a hefty $40 a day, although this cost maxes out at $400; the fee must be paid in advance; cash, Visa, and MasterCard are accepted. Parking at Red Hook, Brooklyn, costs $23 for the first 24 hours and then $20 per day. Cash, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are all accepted.

Parking at Cape Liberty Terminal in Bayonne is $19 per day, payable in cash, traveler's checks, and major credit cards.