View Full Version : Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne

December 20th, 2003, 04:05 PM

Cruise line to open Bayonne terminal

Plan would add more than 200 jobs to city

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Star-Ledger Staff

What was once a launching point for Army tanks bound for battles overseas is set to get a makeover for the tank-top crowd.

Royal Caribbean Cruises yesterday announced plans to establish what is believed to be the first passenger cruise terminal in modern times on the Hudson County waterfront.

The cruise operator will take over part of the former Bayonne Military Ocean Terminal, which was used during the Persian Gulf War to load tanks, trucks and military cargo onto container ships bound for Saudi Arabia.

The Miami-based cruise line's plan would add more than 200 jobs to a city devastated by the loss of 300 workers when the military base closed in 1999. Royal Caribbean will hire cargo handlers, security, terminal operations and guest services personnel by the time the cruise port opens next May, according to Jaye Hilton, a spokeswoman for the cruise line.

The company expects to handle 110,000 passengers out of Bayonne next spring and summer, she said.

"It is just off the Turnpike with ample parking, and our passengers will have fabulous views of the Statue of Liberty when they depart," Hilton said.

The Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority, which owns the property, said the cruise terminal is part of a plan to redevelop the former base and give a major boost to the city of Bayonne.

"Our agreement with Royal Caribbean will help Bayonne move forward in achieving the goal of replacing jobs lost as a result of the closure of the base," said Maria Karczewski, a BLRA commissioner and member of the Bayonne City Council.

The former military base occupied a 430-acre peninsula that extends two miles into Upper New York Bay.

Royal Caribbean will take over a portion of the peninsula as the homeport for two ships, including the Voyager of the Seas, a 3,114-passenger vessel that is one of the world's largest cruise ships.

Voyager, now based in Miami, will sail to Canada as well as Haiti, Grand Cayman Island, Jamaica and the Bahamas. Another ship, Nordic Empress, now based in Manhattan, will sail from New Jersey to Bermuda.

The cruise operator said it will use existing structures but will eventually build a new cruise terminal and supporting facilities in Bayonne. The company declined to say how much the renovation will cost or how many acres of the peninsula it will occupy.

The facility is "an ideal location, both for our expanded operations and the convenience of our guests," according to Adam Goldstein, executive vice president of Royal Caribbean, which operates a fleet of 27 ships under the Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises brands.

Until it closed, the terminal had been used for every U.S. military operation since World War II, including missions to Somalia and Haiti during the 1990s. At its peak, the base employed 3,000 Army personnel and civilians and handled more than 1 million tons of cargo.

At one time, Bayonne officials had hoped to use the site as the port for the USS New Jersey, but the battleship instead became a floating museum along the Delaware River near the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.

The cruise terminal will be part of the man-made Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor, a piece of waterfront property. The former military base is one of the largest tracts of undeveloped land in the metropolitan area.

December 20th, 2003, 04:09 PM

Voyager of the Seas


Nordic Empress (Wired NY photo)

December 20th, 2003, 04:14 PM
Which ship will use it?

December 20th, 2003, 06:08 PM
The Nordic Empress needs to be sunk, its soooo old.

December 20th, 2003, 08:44 PM
Lol no, I'd like to go on it one day. Sometimes ships age gracefully. I'd especially like to be in its dining room, which has glass walls facing the wake of the ship.

December 21st, 2003, 12:05 AM
The Nordic Empress needs to be sunk, its soooo old.

Looks new from the outside, have you sailed on the ship? Is it old and worn on the inside?

December 21st, 2003, 01:23 AM
It's 13 years old.

The lounge.

I don't think modern cruise ships can age gracefully. Their beauty is on board. From the outside, they're fat sea-buses.

Nice boost for Bayonne.

December 23rd, 2003, 01:52 PM
This great for not just Bayonne, but Jersey City and all the rest of Hudson County. Bayonne use to be a major resort town about a little over 100years ago and always had a big a maritime history and has always been a maritime city and this just adds to that history. This will be great for Jersey City as well because it will bring more tourisits into the area and generate alot more revenue. It'll also be easy to get from Downtown JC and the rest of the city by connections through the Light Rail, PATH, and buses. The 34th st Light Rail Station in Bayonne is right at the entrance at the Peninsula( the former Military Ocean Terminal) where the terminal will be. The hotels in Downtown JC will also benefit from the tourism as well as the restaurants and local businesses. This couldn't come at a better time either with more business moving into Hudson County and more hotels on tap to be built in JC as well. This is a great treat because New Jersey residents wont have to go through the hasel of taking a cab or ferry to the piers on the West Side. Also the terminal should open this coming May or June. This is a great shot in the arm for Hudson County and Northern New Jersey. See New York, there is life on the other side of the Hudson now this time more than ever!!

December 29th, 2003, 06:03 AM
December 29, 2003

Cruise Ships Drop Anchor, and Bayonne Gains Favor Over West Side


Cruise ship companies, whose mammoth boats have been pulling in and out of New York Harbor in ever-increasing numbers, have long complained about the city's West Side piers, which they say present a crumbling, unappealing and highly congested portal to Manhattan.

The depth of the problem emerged just before Christmas, when Royal Caribbean International announced that it would move the Nordic Empress and one of the world's largest cruise ships, the 3,114-passenger Voyager of the Seas, to Bayonne. That New Jersey city may not have the glamour of Manhattan, company executives said, but it would not have all the problems, either.

New York City officials were caught flat-footed. For nearly a year, they had been mulling over a $100 million proposal from the Carnival Corporation, the largest cruise operator in the world, to build a satellite passenger terminal in Brooklyn, and conducting yet another in a long line of waterfront studies. Officials knew that the West Side passenger ship terminal — five berths on three piers between 48th and 52nd Streets — needed a costly upgrade. But they did not think anyone in one the city's fastest-growing industries would actually build a new berth in Bayonne.

"I think it took everybody by surprise," said Kate Ascher, an executive vice president of the city's Economic Development Corporation. "We didn't know anything about this diversion. We have been working with them and others on a redevelopment plan."

The Nordic Empress, which has used Manhattan as its seasonal home port, will move about 10 miles south to Bayonne in the spring, joining the Voyager, which will be new to the harbor.

Ms. Ascher said the city hoped to release the results of the latest study next month. It also hopes to unveil plans for interim improvements to the West Side terminal, like elevators and escalators, and for a long-term effort to expand the city's capacity to handle cruise ships. She said the city was also exploring plans to build a new terminal at Pier 7 in Brooklyn.

"We are moving as fast as we can," Ms. Ascher said. "The industry has grown tremendously in the past three years, and we're running to catch up."

Industry executives said they had heard that before and expressed pessimism over the city's ability to finance the projects and get the work done quickly.

John Tercek, vice president for commercial development at Royal Caribbean Cruises, played down the decision to move the Voyager to Bayonne next spring, saying his company was committed to the New York market. But he acknowledged that the company had already transferred another ship, the 1,500-passenger Horizon, to Philadelphia.

"That ship left the marketplace because it's too congested in New York," he said. "It's not our goal to play off New York versus New Jersey. Our goal is to deliver the best possible customer service and experience. The West Side terminals do not deliver the best customer experience."

The company's move raises the question of whether New York can continue to capture its share of a growing industry. There is no question that the once-somnolent cruise industry is booming, despite war and shipboard viruses. The number of passengers embarking from North American ports has risen by 47 percent since 1998 to about eight million this year, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. The growth was even more spectacular in New York, where the number of passengers jumped 157.2 percent during the same period, to about 450,000 this year.

With cruise ship passengers flying into New York, spending a few days in hotels, eating in restaurants and seeing Broadway shows, the industry says it has an impact of $800 million a year on the city's economy.

As a result, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Oceania, Cunard and Holland America have been building bigger and faster ships to get to the Caribbean.

But the city's West Side passenger terminals, last renovated in 1970, are frayed and poorly equipped to handle either the number or size of the ships. When the $800 million Queen Mary 2 arrives in New York for the first time next spring, the 1,132-foot ocean liner will extend 132 feet beyond the length of the piers into the shipping channel.

On any weekend day during the cruise season — from May to October — up to 10,000 passengers may be debarking and embarking at the same time, creating a traffic nightmare outside the spare and gloomy passenger terminals.

The logjam led Carnival to propose building a $100 million passenger terminal at Pier 7, which sits at the foot of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. The company, which offered to pay about three-quarters of the cost, said the pier could easily accommodate the Queen Mary 2.

"New York remains our port of choice. But now is the time to stop procrastinating," said Giora Israel, vice president for strategic planning at Carnival. "The berths in Brooklyn can be converted in a short time to allow us to expand capacity in New York and allow for upgrades on the West Side."

Royal Caribbean, a competitor, could not wait while the city considered the idea. Mr. Tercek said the company decided to move the Royal Caribbean line's New York operations to Bayonne, where it could easily convert a warehouse on the old military pier into a terminal, while keeping its Celebrity line in Manhattan.

Daniel L. Doctoroff, deputy mayor of New York for Economic Development and Rebuilding, said the city's loss was not permanent. He said Royal Caribbean had made a commitment to Bayonne of only one year. In the meantime, he said, the Bloomberg administration would soon release a comprehensive plan for renovation and expansion.

"I believe that if New York provides adequate facilities, which will require a substantial investment by the city and its private partners," Mr. Doctoroff said, "I have no doubt in the long term New York City will capture the market share in the area."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

February 4th, 2004, 09:35 AM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com

City to boost its a-pier-ance

Wednesday, February 4th, 2004

The city wants to get its piers back in shipshape.

In a bid to keep New York's top-dollar cruise ships from docking at more modern ports, the city Economic Development Corp. unveiled a $250 million plan yesterday to ready outmoded piers for a new generation of luxury liners.

The proposal comes just weeks after Royal Caribbean Lines, frustrated by Manhattan's inadequate West Side piers, moved its berth to Bayonne, N.J., and less than three months before the world's largest cruise ship, the Queen Mary 2, is set to steam into New York Harbor for the first time.

Economic Development Corp. Executive Vice President Kate Ascher, criticized by the shipping industry for foot-dragging on port development, unveiled the proposal at a City Council hearing on the future of the city's cruise industry.

The announcement came as a surprise after negotiations between the city and Carnival Cruise Lines to redevelop piers in Brooklyn for the Queen Mary 2 recently broke down.

Brian Kates

February 10th, 2004, 01:27 PM
NYC pier plans may be too late
Upgrades promised but Royal Caribbean to sail from Bayonne

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

By Jennifer Friedlin
Associated Press writer

NEW YORK - For Dianna Nachamkin, an 11-day cruise on calm Caribbean seas was not enough to wash away the memory of her unpleasant departure from a New York City port.

"It was terrible, horrific. The ice was a problem and they didn't clean the pier," said Nachamkin, of Albany, who spent three hours in a cold waiting room with limited seats and one bare-bones concession stand before she could board.

As a gateway to the seas, Manhattan's West Side passenger ship terminal has long been a source of consternation for passengers and cruise line operators. They have complained about the drab, crowded waiting rooms and inadequate infrastructure that can lead to congestion and confusion as people try to navigate the terminal.

The conditions became such a problem that Royal Caribbean, a leading cruise company, announced in December that it would move most of its ships to Bayonne, a switch that appears to have roused New York City officials.

"It certainly was a wake-up call," said Kate Ascher, executive vice president of the city's Economic Development Corporation.

The cruise line has signed a "letter of agreement" with the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority to base two of its ships - with alternating cruise dates, so at any given time no more than one ship would be in port - at the former Military Ocean Terminal.

Eventually, plans call for improvements to accommodate a long-term stay of Royal Caribbean at the port, with a terminal and facilities for up to two cruise ships to dock in New York Harbor at the same time.

Negotiations on the deal continue, but Bayonne officials say the deal is a binding one and the first ship, the Empress of the Seas, will sail out of Bayonne on May 9 for a six-night voyage to the Caribbean.

Since Royal Caribbean's announcement, New York City officials have been trying to reaffirm the city's commitment to the cruise industry, whose strong growth has helped buoy the local economy through tough times. The industry contributed $800 million to the economy last year as more than 887,000 passengers embarked from the West Side, up from 425,000 a decade ago.

A few weeks after Royal Caribbean caught New York City unaware, city officials unveiled plans for a $50 million facelift of the piers located between West 47th and West 53rd streets - including new stairways, escalators and elevators, new signs to direct passengers and more taxi stands to relieve congestion.

Ascher said the city also hopes to undertake more far-reaching plans, including a $20 million interim terminal at Pier 7 in Brooklyn that would provide docking space while the West Side piers were renovated.

An even grander master plan may come by spring, Ascher said. That would include reducing the number of berths on the West Side from five to three or four - making more room for passenger accommodations - and turning Pier 7 into a permanent port of entry with two or three berths big enough to accommodate massive ships.

Such improvements couldn't come soon enough for cruise operators who have grown frustrated by what they see as the city's sluggishness in upgrading the piers to support growing demand.

Giora Israel, vice president for strategic planning for Carnival Corporation, the largest operator in the world, called the city's initial $50 million plan "barely scratching the surface. . You won't see a lot of bang for the money."

Israel said his company estimated that it would cost up to $200 million to bring the West Side piers up to par and another $110 million to $120 million to build a new two-berth terminal in Brooklyn to accommodate ships like Carnival's Queen Mary 2.

That ship, the world's largest and most expensive, had to get a temporary exemption from the Coast Guard to extend 132 feet beyond the West Side pier into the Hudson. While the exemption is good for 18 months, Israel said his company needs a more permanent solution.

"I don't want to say we're going to leave New York, our business is growing," said Israel. "But necessity is the mother of invention."

And necessity is here.

"After 9/11 people were more reluctant to fly," said Brian Major, spokesman for Cruise Lines International Association, a trade organization. "The ship companies are responding."

Over the past five years the industry has added 62 ships and dozens of routes that enable passengers to embark from cities all along the U.S. seaboard, including Baltimore, New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles and New York.

Nearly everyone agrees that the West Side facility, built in the 1930s and last renovated in the 1970s, can no longer handle the number of passengers entering and leaving New York. The crowded terminals are poorly air-conditioned in summer and inadequately heated in winter.

"It's classic New York. The same pier has been here for decades and they don't do anything with it," said passenger Ted Moody, as he waited for his ride home to Danbury, Conn. "When you compare it to Miami, there's no comparison."

The problems got so bad that Royal Caribbean transferred three of its four cruise ships out of New York. The company relocated the Horizon, a 1,500-passenger ship, to Philadelphia and then dropped the bomb that the Nordic Empress - which will be rechristened Empress of the Seas - and the massive Voyager of the Seas, a 3,000-passenger liner, were headed to Bayonne for an indefinite period.

"We had several dates when we needed the space to turn around a ship with 3,500 people leaving and 3,500 coming on board. We weren't able to get the necessary commitments for the space," said Adam Goldstein, executive vice president for Royal Caribbean. "We had to start looking for alternatives."

When Royal Caribbean began talking with the officials in Bayonne, Goldstein said the conversation progressed smoothly. Whatever sacrifices leaving Manhattan entailed would be offset by the large space and up-to-date facilities Bayonne offered, Royal Caribbean found.

"Bayonne has the berth to handle the biggest ships and that led to a conversation that was rapid and mutually beneficial," Goldstein said. "We really appreciate how Bayonne has seized this opportunity."

February 10th, 2004, 02:16 PM
The traffic caused by these cruise lines is crippling. What is the economic benefit of keeping the passenger terminals in NYC? How much economic activity do they really generate?

TLOZ Link5
February 10th, 2004, 05:14 PM
Unless something is done fast, the cruise ship industry in New York is screwed.

May 7th, 2004, 08:32 PM
Friendly faces in place for first 'bon voyage'
Cruise ship due at Peninsula this morning; to sail Sunday
Friday, May 07, 2004

By Ronald Leir
Journal staff writer

Empress of the Seas was scheduled to arrive in Bayonne at 6 o'clock this morning, and when the cruise ship departs Sunday night for its inaugural cruise to Bermuda, Millie Eglentowicz, a Bayonne-based real estate saleswoman, will be there to wish its first paying passengers bon voyage.

Eglentowicz used to book private tour groups as a local travel agent - "I made sure they (travelers) got on the bus and I saw them when they got off," she quipped. Now she will be meeting and greeting guests as one of 150 people hired to guide cruise line passengers through the boarding process at the temporary passenger terminal and then onto shuttle buses to the pier where their liner is berthed.

Two of every five "meeters and greeters" are from Bayonne and one out of five is from Jersey City, according to Celeste Gladstone, president of CruiseLink II Ltd., of North Brunswick, the company hired by Royal Caribbean International to train and organize the greeters.

Gladstone said that during the sailing season at Bayonne, all 150 will be rotated through duties as "guest assistance agents" - who will direct passengers through the maze - and "check-in agents" - who will screen passengers' tickets and other credentials before boarding.

All have undergone four hours of training, done role-playing in different scenarios as guest and agent, and tomorrow, the recruits will report to the terminal for an hour of training in what Gladstone called the "Gold Anchor Standards" of conduct from a Royal Caribbean representative.

Leaving nothing to chance, however, Gladstone said that her company will be assigning "advisers" - folks who've done similar duty at other ports of call - to the raw rookies as observers. For every five agents, there'll be one adviser, she said.

"We'll be doing that for the first few weeks of our Bayonne operation," Gladstone said.

If anyone can't make the grade, CruiseLink is confident it can find replacements, Gladstone said, noting there were 550 who applied for the jobs. The company had inquiries from as far as California and Paris.

Al Ammarito, of Bayonne, a telephone company retiree now working as a CruiseLink agent, has never been on a cruise - unless you count the ocean crossings he made as a Navy seaman 1st class aboard an aircraft carrier between 1968 and 1971.

"I enjoyed my time on the water," he said.

Ammarito said he spotted the agent job posting in the want ads and applied.

"I was actually looking for a bartender's job and I was thinking, 'Maybe I could be a bartender on a cruise ship,'" he said. He didn't get that job, but greeting passengers gets him a little closer to the big boat.

Jersey City's Lisa D. Belle, who has worked as a Wall Street trader's assistant, said she applied "because I wanted something a little different. I'm a people person and I thought this would be an opportunity for a different approach for dealing with people every day."

Both Belle and Eglentowicz have cruised before, but both feel - as does Ammarito - that the newest Royal Caribbean venture will put Bayonne on the map as never before.

"We have something really great here," Belle said. "Most cruises are designated for going out of Florida or New York, but now we have something close to home."

Ever the saleswoman, Eglentowicz enthusiastically rattled off a list of attractions she found on her most recent Royal Caribbean cruise - all of which, she reminds a visitor, will be found on the Empress of the Seas.

"There's going to be 2,300 people on that boat and I can't wait to go down there," she said. "I'm going to watch Bayonne open up like a rose. I have my 'Go!' smile on."

The ex-sailor, Ammarito, says: "I want to be in on the excitement when this blossoms into a great thing for Bayonne - something totally different that can only bring good press to Bayonne."

Copyright 2004 The Jersey Journal

May 17th, 2004, 09:49 AM
Gov: Cruise ships are city's rebirth
Menendez, too, hails economic impact as port opens at Peninsula

Saturday, May 15, 2004

By Bonnie Friedman
Journal staff writer

Gov. James E. McGreevey and officials from the local, state and federal governments gathered at the new Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne yesterday morning to mark the facility's official opening.

"Being from Jersey City, I always knew that Bayonne was a vacation destination," McGreevey said. "This is the beginning of a profound renaissance, a testament to the vision, will power and hard work of the city of Bayonne. This is the beginning of its rebirth."

Yesterday's festivities coincided with the inaugural launch of Royal Caribbean's flagship vessel, the Voyager, from her new home in Bayonne. The Voyager is the second ship to sail from the newly christened port. Last week, the newly refurbished Empress of the Seas left for Bermuda with 1,600 passengers aboard.

Royal Caribbean's presence in Bayonne marks the first time in 40 years that cruise ships are sailing out of New Jersey, an arrangement that officials said will be beneficial to residents of Bayonne and the rest of the state.

"This brings an enormous economic impact to the community," said U.S. Rep. Robert Menendez, D-Hoboken, who helped secure $800 million in federal and state funding for the dredging of the port.

"They have created 250 jobs and every time a ship docks, it has a $1 million impact to the area. I say that's a good neighbor."

With Royal Caribbean's two ships in place, officials are already looking at the future of the entire 432-acre parcel, formerly the Military Ocean Terminal and now called the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor, as a site for hotels, restaurants, recreation and even more cruise ships. McGreevey estimated that the port has the ability to house six ships at one time.

But Council President Vincent Lo Re, Jr. said he wouldn't mind if the whole site were to be used as a cruise ship port.

"Just to see the ship gives me goose bumps," Lo Re said. "And it's a wonderful industry. Who do you know in the travel industry that's unhappy?"

And Royal Caribbean, which has yet to sign a lease, appears to be just as happy to have found a new home in Bayonne. Officials of the company approached the Local Redevelopment Authority late last year after they were unable to secure all the dates they needed in New York City.

"Royal Caribbean is delighted to be the flagship tenant at the beginning of this redevelopment effort," said Richard D. Fain, CEO and chairman of Royal Caribbean. "We are looking forward to this area realizing its potential and to being a part of it."

After the ceremony, guests were invited aboard the 1,021-foot-long Voyager to view its 15 decks and many amenities.

Introduced in 1999, The Voyager is more modern than her Empress counterpart. The ship features a football-field-sized promenade filled with shops and restaurants, as well as an ice-skating rink, in-line skating course, miniature golf course, basketball court and chapel.

As guests dined in the magnificent multilevel Carmen dining room, they could not help but look with awe at their opulent surroundings.

"It's like being in a hotel," said Patricia McGeehan, the Bayonne superintendent of schools.

Copyright 2004 The Jersey Journal.

May 21st, 2005, 09:52 PM
Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne. 21 May 2005.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/cape_liberty/cape_liberty_cruise_port.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/cape_liberty/)

May 22nd, 2005, 11:17 AM
I was going to post a topic in another forum seeking people's advice on cruises, I've never been on one but was seriously considering taking one this Summer with my fiance'.

One of the cruise lines I was looking at was Celebrity Cruises, how does Celebrity cruises rank and does anyone have any experiences they could share?..

The picture Edward posted is of a Celebrity Cruise ship (I think) at Bayonne, one of the deals I found was for a 7 night Celebrity Cruise from Bayonne to Bermuda. Is this a good first time Cruise experience?.. Is the Atlantic too rough, would a Carribean cruise have calmer seas (less seasickness).

May 22nd, 2005, 11:38 AM
The ship shown in Edward's photo is Celebrity's MS Zenith, sailing weekly from Bayonne to Bermuda. You can find a nice collection of cruise ship and ocean liner reviews at http://www.cruiseserver.net/travelpage/cruiselines/index.asp.

May 22nd, 2005, 01:01 PM
I've always had kinda a bad feeling about Celebrity. Not that it's bad, but just not as good as some of the others and maybe overpriced. I'd go with Royal Caribbean.

March 20th, 2006, 02:12 PM
From Wikipedia.com:

The RMS Queen Mary 2 is a Cunard Line ocean liner named after the earlier Cunard liner Queen Mary, which was in turn named after Mary of Teck. At the time of her construction in 2003, the Queen Mary 2 was in every dimension the largest passenger ship ever built. However, she will lose this title to Royal Caribbean International's Freedom of the Seas in May 2006. Her luxuries include 15 restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, and a planetarium.

Yes people this means possibly that as soon as Brooklyn lays claim to being the New York port of call for the worlds SECOND largest ship, the Queen Mary 2, people on this side of the harbor will lay claim to worlds largest ship in Royal Carribean's Freedom of the Seas when it docks in it's port in very nearby in Bayonne, New Jersey. No word on when and if it will be in Bayonne, but hopefully it will stop here soon.

Here is the site:

April 14th, 2006, 02:02 PM
Must work to keep cruise lines happy

Friday, April 14, 2006

I n May 2004, Gov. James E. McGreevey and officials from local, state and federal governments were present for the inaugural launch of Royal Caribbean's flagship vessel, the Voyager, returning Bayonne to its maritime roots when the ship departed from her new home in the Peninsula City.

The Voyager was actually the second ship to sail from the newly christened port. A week earlier, the newly refurbished Empress of the Seas left for Bermuda with 1,600 passengers aboard.

It was a blow to New York City's cruise ship business. The ocean liners would usually travel up the bay into the Hudson and past Manhattan's towers before berthing. The Big Apple took all this for granted and allowed its Midtown passenger terminal to deteriorate.

Eventually, cruise lines looked around for a better place to do business. Bayonne became a beneficiary of the growing cruise industry's discontent.

New York wants to protect its cruise shipping business and is acting to keep what it has left - and perhaps lure some back.

The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal at Red Hook will begin receiving the 2,200-passenger Queen Mary 2 this year. It will have 11 scheduled visits to New York this year. In the next few months, arriving cruise ships will include the Queen Mary's older Cunard sister, Queen Elizabeth 2, and four P&O Princess Cruise ships, owned by Carnival Corp.

What spurred the reuse of an old coffee shipping terminal was Royal Caribbean's defection to Bayonne putting a dent into New York's $600 million annual cruising industry. Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans a $150 million upgrade to the West Side passenger terminal.

The Red Hook terminal can hardly match the superior location of the Bayonne site. There is a maze of roadways and tunnels and accompanying traffic nightmares for Brooklyn terminal ship passengers to navigate. Those who have used the Bayonne facility have expressed a preference for the Hudson County port because of the ease of access.

It is up to Bayonne and the state not to become complacent but to do what can be done to upgrade and modernize the Bayonne facilities, because New York has gotten the message.

April 15th, 2006, 10:05 AM
For NYC, the best solution is to upgrade the West Side Terminal on the Hudson, even if it means dredging, in order to accomodate the big ships.

Tourists will not be happy if they have to get to Manhattan from either Bayonne or Brooklyn.

April 15th, 2006, 10:14 AM
What's not to be happy about in Bayonne ...


April 15th, 2006, 01:06 PM
Ah, just what people want to see after a 2 week jaunt around the Caribbean...

April 15th, 2006, 01:10 PM
Ah, just what people want to see after a 2 week jaunt around the Caribbean...
Right, and Red Hook's not much better.

Cruise Ship companies are supposed to be selling glamor.

April 15th, 2006, 01:15 PM
Right, and Red Hook's not much better.

Cruise Ship companies are supposed to be selling glamor.
What I just said...

The West Side Terminal is a no-brainer for NYC.

Having said that, Qeeen Mary 2 is sitting just right across NY Harbor in my full view from Jersey City as I am typing this...

Looks wonderful....

I vote for Red Hook...:D

April 15th, 2006, 02:31 PM
Having said that, Qeeen Mary 2 is sitting just right across NY Harbor in my full view from Jersey City as I am typing this...

Looks wonderful....
Well, at least you get the voyeur's-eye view of the glamor.

April 15th, 2006, 03:55 PM
Well, at least you get the voyeur's-eye view of the glamor.

Damn right.

The unobstructed, panoramic views of QM2, Statue of Liberty, Southern Manhattan (including Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges), Empire State Building and Verrazano Bridge from my spacious waterfront condo in Jersey City are sure voyeur's-eye views of glamor and beauty.

I enjoy them every morning when I wake up and every evening when I go to sleep.

Aaaaah, the life of a voyeur..... Oooops, wait - as I am typing this, the Staten Island ferry is passing in front of QM2 - nice.

April 15th, 2006, 06:45 PM
Wrong that is the backside of Bayonne on Newark Bay coming over the Bayonne Bridge over an old industrial factory,the cruise terminal and pier looks nothing like that and Bayonne is a beautiful town; alot nicer than Red Hook!

April 16th, 2006, 09:12 AM
Wrong that is the backside of Bayonne on Newark Bay coming over the Bayonne Bridge over an old industrial factory,the cruise terminal and pier looks nothing like that and Bayonne is a beautiful town; alot nicer than Red Hook!

Bayonne's alright.

Some of the best Italian and Polish delis this side of the pond.

But the cruiseships should dock at the Manhattan piers.

If I paid $6,000 for a QM2 cruise, I would not want to disembark at either Red Hook or Bayonne.


April 16th, 2006, 09:37 AM
Some of the best Italian and Polish delis this side of the pond.
Yum, I love Polish food. Describe some of the offerings so I can fantasize...

April 16th, 2006, 11:33 AM
Wrong that is the backside of Bayonne ... the cruise terminal and pier looks nothing like that and Bayonne is a beautiful town
I stand corrected -- and admit I fell prey to NJ bashing ...

THIS (http://www.njfuture.org/index.cfm?ctn=9t45e1o30v9g&emn=5u92y86g2h42&fuseaction=user.item&ThisItem=418) seems to be what is envisioned for Bayonne:


Map of the area (with Cruise berth at upper right):


April 16th, 2006, 07:15 PM
Describe some of the offerings so I can fantasize...

Big, 10-inch long, 2-inch thick kielbasy (sausage).

But don't fantasize too hard....:D

April 28th, 2006, 10:28 AM
Royal Caribbean in 35-year deal

Friday, April 28, 2006

It looks like Bayonne will be home to cruise ships for the long haul.

The Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority said last week it has signed an agreement with its tenant, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, allowing the company to use pier space at the former Military Ocean Terminal, now known as the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor, for 35 years, retroactive to 2003, when Royal Caribbean first arrived.

The BLRA said that it will receive at least $140 million over the life of the agreement, which runs through 2038.

At the same time, Royal Caribbean announced plans to expand its operations out of its Cape Liberty Cruise Port at the Peninsula, starting in May 2007, when it plans to send Explorer of the Seas on alternating five-night Bermuda and nine-night Caribbean sailings, and continue sails during the winter of 2007-2008 from Bayonne.

BLRA Deputy Executive Director Dan Kurtz characterized the $140 million as a "mini- mum" figure, based on a formula keyed to the amount of space occupied by the cruise line. At some point, the BLRA hopes to complete improvements to the bulkhead where Royal Caribbean docks, to expand from one to two berths, ultimately occupying about 34 acres.

Between now and 2008, Kurtz said, the BLRA expects to see its yearly "base charge" revenues rise from $585,000 to $626,000. By 2014, that figure should climb to $3.4 million a year and thereafter it will be adjusted according to the Consumer Price Index, Kurtz said. The agreement also entitles the BLRA to revenues from the cruise line parking facilities, he said.

Aside from the base charge and parking fees, Kurtz said the cruise line - and any other marine firms that may use the berthing facilities in the future - is being assessed a "port tariff" (passed on to passengers) designed to pay for day-to-day port operations and debt. The tariff is projected to generate $200 million between now and 2038, he said.

May 2nd, 2006, 06:36 PM
I just really wonder how this fits in with Bayonne Redevelopment Agency's plans for a new urbanist community on the same penninsula. Will this not produce massive amount of trafic in the penninsula community in the hours before each boarding time . . .

Also, am i alone in thinking that the terminal needs better transport links. Current proposals for a "trolly" on the penninsula would mean that if you need to get to manhattan, you would have to transfer at least twice (trolly, light-rail, PATH or ferry) . . . and to get to Newark or points on New Jersey transit, it would be about the same . . .

May 3rd, 2006, 07:04 PM
I just really wonder how this fits in with Bayonne Redevelopment Agency's plans for a new urbanist community on the same penninsula. Will this not produce massive amount of trafic in the penninsula community in the hours before each boarding time . . .

Also, am i alone in thinking that the terminal needs better transport links. Current proposals for a "trolly" on the penninsula would mean that if you need to get to manhattan, you would have to transfer at least twice (trolly, light-rail, PATH or ferry) . . . and to get to Newark or points on New Jersey transit, it would be about the same . . .

estryker - I remember that extending the Bayonne spur of Light Rail into the Peninsula is part of the proposal.

May 4th, 2006, 06:11 PM
oh? I must have misread the proposal. i was sure it said "trolly" instead of light-rail . . . but, if they are going for a light-rail extension, that's definitely good news.

May 4th, 2006, 08:29 PM
I think estryker is right.

According to http://www.bayonnelra.com/press/02222005.pdf, they go with trolley loop with connection to the light rail at 34th street station.

May 6th, 2006, 06:29 PM
World's largest ship coming to Bayonne

The newly built Freedom of the Seas, the world's largest passenger ship, will arrive in Bayonne next week.

The $800 million ship, which left Southampton, England, on May 3, is expected to arrive in New York City on Wednesday. It will then go to Bayonne before departing May 18 on a trip to Boston.

At 160,000 tons, the 4,000-passenger ship has dethroned the Queen Mary 2 as the world's largest liner. That ship, owned by Cunard, carries about 3,000 people and weighs 151,400 tons.

Last month, the Freedom of the Seas sailed from Hamburg, Germany, to Oslo, Norway, said Tracy Quan, a spokeswoman for Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which owns the ship. It then sailed to England before beginning its journey to Hudson County.

However, the Freedom of the Seas has so far only carried crew and guests of the cruise line, including news media and travel agents. It won't have paying passengers until it leaves from Miami in June.

The cruise liner will offer unusual amenities, including an ice skating rink, full-size boxing rink, 43-foot-tall by 44-foot-wide rock climbing wall and an onboard surf park that simulates surfing on the ocean.

"By building a larger ship, we've been able to offer some very innovative amenities to the guests," Quan said.

Laurie Hamilton, a Philadelphia-based travel agent, said potential passengers are eager to get aboard the new ship.

"People always want the newest ship the minute a new one comes out," she said. "They like the big factor. You can usually get a balcony."

Teijo Niemela, the editor of trade publication Cruise Business Review, visited the ship during the swing through Oslo.

He said he liked some of the features, including flat screens in the cabins and the cabins with balconies.

"The added length and increased size gave a much better design for the ship," he said.

The ship departs from Miami on June 4 for its first cruise with paying customers.

The ship will sail for seven days to the western Caribbean, with stops in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Royal Caribbean's private resort of Labadee, located on a peninsula on the north coast of Haiti.

Journal staff and the Associated Press

May 8th, 2006, 06:49 AM

One should be able to get a great glimpse of the big ship either from the Port Jersey Pier which is north to the Bayonne ferry terminal, or from the public pathway which runs south to it, along the Bayonne Golf Club.

Bayonne is getting hot!

May 10th, 2006, 09:51 PM






May 11th, 2006, 12:02 AM
Maybe it's just because I live in NYC but the thought of being on a ship that size with that many people on board for any length of time leaves me cold.

May 11th, 2006, 01:06 AM
Yum, I love Polish food. Describe some of the offerings so I can fantasize...

I wasn't aware Bayonne had its own little Polish community. I thought the only ones in the area were Greenpoint, Maspeth (to a lesser extent), and South Amboy, NJ. I've gotta drive up there at some point and explore. And by delis, I'm sure you mean...meat markets. There's absolutely nothing like getting fresh cold cuts from a Polish masarnia...

Ablarc: Some of my favorites are: Russian-style pierogies (potato/cheese), traditional potato pancakes (no apple sauce on these, maybe a little sour cream), Zurek (also known as White Borscht), Kotlet Schabowy (the Polish version of the Wiener Schnitzel), Wild Mushroom soup, a good Bigos (sauerkraut with kielbasa), and boiled beef in horseradish sauce. I haven't had much experience with Polish cuisine outside of my house in America. But the food is surprisingly good in many restaurants in Poland. Some places are even making it into its own kind of cuisine. If you're ever getting a big craving, hop on a plane, 'cause nothin beats the real thing.

May 11th, 2006, 02:40 AM
Bayonne looks alot like a litte Bay Ridge with one main shopping drag Broadway lined with decorative lamposts with american flags on them and beautiful shops, bakeries, and restauraunts. Very beautiful homes to. Bayonne is a very beautiful little city.

May 11th, 2006, 05:51 AM
Biggest liner getting Bayonne welcome, 2 christenings


Thursday, May 11, 2006

The largest passenger ship in the world - Royal Caribbean's 160,000-ton, $800 million Freedom of the Seas - arrived yesterday morning at Port Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne.

A private christening ceremony will take place this evening, a spokeswoman for Royal Caribbean said, followed tomorrow morning by its public christening, to be broadcast live on NBC's Today Show.

Bayonne residents who want a glimpse of the huge ship can find good views from the waterfront walkway adjacent to the South Cove Mall on Route 440.

The ship will leave Bayonne on next Thursday for a trip to Boston. But it won't have paying passengers until it leaves from Miami on June 4, sailing for seven days to the western Caribbean.

The cruise liner can carry more than 4,000 passengers and will offer unusual amenities, including an ice skating rink, full-size boxing ring, a 43-foot-tall by 44-foot-wide rock climbing wall and an onboard surf park that simulates surfing on the ocean.

The ship surpasses the capacity of Cunard's Queen Mary 2, which can carry about 3,000 people and weighs 151,400 tons.

May 11th, 2006, 09:58 AM
I wasn't aware Bayonne had its own little Polish community. I thought the only ones in the area were Greenpoint, Maspeth (to a lesser extent), and South Amboy, NJ. I've gotta drive up there at some point and explore. And by delis, I'm sure you mean...meat markets. There's absolutely nothing like getting fresh cold cuts from a Polish masarnia...

Ablarc: Some of my favorites are: Russian-style pierogies (potato/cheese), traditional potato pancakes (no apple sauce on these, maybe a little sour cream), Zurek (also known as White Borscht), Kotlet Schabowy (the Polish version of the Wiener Schnitzel), Wild Mushroom soup, a good Bigos (sauerkraut with kielbasa), and boiled beef in horseradish sauce. I haven't had much experience with Polish cuisine outside of my house in America. But the food is surprisingly good in many restaurants in Poland. Some places are even making it into its own kind of cuisine. If you're ever getting a big craving, hop on a plane, 'cause nothin beats the real thing.

Linden NJ is another city with a huge Polish population.

May 18th, 2006, 06:14 PM

Bayonne building on a real success
Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bayonne's cruise line industry is expected to expand. Tonight, the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority will award a $9.3 million contract to a construction firm to make pier and berthing improvements to allow two cruise ships to berth at the same time at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor.

Royal Caribbean International is kicking in $4 million to include a water-filling station, fenders, cameras, lights and security fencing for the enlarged facility at what the cruise line firm calls Cape Liberty Cruise Port within the former Military Ocean Terminal. It has been announced that the cruise ship Explorer of the Seas will start making alternating five-night Bermuda and nine-night Caribbean sailings in summer 2007, and continue sails during the winter of 2007-2008 from Bayonne.

The Bayonne port drew some attention nationally last week when Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, docked at Cape Liberty - yes, in Bayonne. The cruise line has a 35-year lease dating from 2003, and the BLRA says it will receive $140 million over the life of the agreement.

It is good to see that some of the promise of the former MOT is visible to the public. Now, the future of this undeveloped waterfront may be decided by a mayoral runoff in which the challenger, Patrick Conaghan, has pressed for a container port, while the incumbent, Joseph Doria, has opposed one in favor of a combination of residential, commercial, hotel, recreational and maritime projects.

It will be up to the city's voters who participate in the June 13 runoff election to influence what kinds of development will be fostered near those big cruise ships.

June 16th, 2006, 09:24 AM
Freestyle cruises are a fairly recent offering among Norwegian cruise line operators. The term is used to refer to contemporary cruises with a decidedly casual, relaxed atmosphere onboard, often to due to more group entertainment activities (perfect for a family cruise vacation) and a resort-type dress code. However, freestyle cruises are not just about shuffleboard and sarongs – the elimination of formal events and buffet-type dinners (replaced instead by eat-when-you-want a la carte meals) may also translate to incremental savings. That means discounted cruise rates for you!


June 16th, 2006, 11:16 AM
A Cautionary Tale -- now that Hurricane Season is upon us ...

Cruise Ship Goes North, Not South, and Passengers Sue

By JONATHAN MILLER (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=JONATHAN MILLER&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=JONATHAN MILLER&inline=nyt-per)
June 16, 2006
NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/16/nyregion/16cruise.html?_r=1&oref=slogin)

JERSEY CITY, June 15 — Snorkeling in the balmy waters of Bermuda. Golf. Sun. Oh, it was going to be a lovely cruise. At least that's what many people expected when they boarded a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship in Bayonne on July 24, 2005.

Instead, their ship wound up on a rainy, cold, cloud-filled voyage to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia — where there was definitely no snorkeling, but plenty of seething passengers.

That unplanned trip is now the subject of a lawsuit, filed on Monday in State Superior Court here, by New Jersey's Division of Consumer Affairs and the state attorney general's office on behalf of 53 passengers. It claims that Royal Caribbean engaged in "unconscionable commercial practices."

The suit says that the passengers, who had packed swimsuits and sunglasses, were informed of the change in destination only when they arrived in Bayonne to board the Voyager of the Seas. A notice had been posted on Royal Caribbean's Web site — but not until July 23, one night before the departure date.

Even worse, the complaint asserts, passengers were offered a refund of merely $45.20 and a coupon for 25 percent off a future trip, even though "a cruise to Canada is significantly less expensive than a cruise to Bermuda." The suit did not provide exact figures for the prices the passengers paid.

But Royal Caribbean said it had a good reason to change the itinerary at the last minute: Tropical Storm Franklin, which had formed over the Bahamas on July 21 and was expected to reach hurricane strength as it approached Bermuda.

"The only thing that would have been unconscionable would have been sailing a ship full of people into a possible hurricane," said Michael Sheehan, a spokesman for the company. "And we will never do that."

He also said the company's policy allowed it to make last-minute itinerary changes. "Our ticket contract, which each guest receives, as well as our sales brochures specifically outlines our ability to make such itinerary changes under these unusual circumstances."

And, he added, "A cruise to Bermuda is not inherently more expensive than a cruise to Canada." According to Royal Caribbean's Web site, current ticket prices for a five-day cruise to Bermuda range from $549 to $1,099. The cheapest ticket for a nine-day cruise to Canada and New England is $1,049, but that is more extensive than the trip last July.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount in damages for passengers. It also seeks fines for Royal Caribbean that could total $50,000 under the state's Consumer Fraud Act.

Copyright 2006The New York Times Company

June 16th, 2006, 09:05 PM
When something like that happens and nature spoils the fun, passengers should get a discount. That should make them feel compensated...

August 26th, 2006, 01:54 PM
Anybody know how this turned out? Or are they still in court?

September 12th, 2006, 10:23 AM
Hey guys I was talking to one of the BLRA people and they said that Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne has become the third largest on the East Coast behind New York and Miami. That is so awesome!!!! Just had to make it known!!!!!:)

September 12th, 2006, 10:02 PM
I want to take one of these 9 day Caribbean cruises from Bayonne, perhaps next Summer. I've heard good things from folks who have taken the cruises, the only negative is that the open Atlantic Ocean is pretty rough compared to sailing from Miami, Ft.Lauderdale or San Juan.

I think the Cruise lines should have interary's from Bayonne/NY like this (if they already don't)

Bayonne-Bahamas-Turks and Caicos-USVI-BVI-St.Maarten-Bermuda-Bayonne

September 29th, 2006, 07:47 PM
Queen Mary 2 headed for Bayonne

Bayonne will be home — at least for tomorrow — to the world’s second-largest cruise ship when the Queen Mary 2 docks at the Cape Liberty cruiseport at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor.

Port director Anthony Caputo said the Cunard Line ship, with 14 decks and a capacity for 3,056 passengers, normally shares a Brooklyn berth with the Princess Line but all available pier space in New York was taken for this weekend.

Arriving from Southhampton, England, to unload, the QM2 will be sailing out of Bayonne this afternoon for a 12-day “fall foliage” voyage to New England and Canada.

People can walk or bike to the end of the “greenway,” the newly-opened waterfront walkway at the Peninsula to see the ships.

Ronald Leir

October 1st, 2006, 12:01 PM
Intrepid museum closes today, heads to Bayonne next month

The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum closes to the public today in preparation for its big trip across the harbor to Bayonne, where it will get shipshape once again.

The last ticket will be sold at 5 p.m.; education demos are scheduled for 1, 2 and 3 p.m.

The Intrepid, which fought in World War II, picked up astronauts after NASA missions and is now a floating museum, will come to the former Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne for an extensive overhaul that could last between 18 and 24 months.

The 63-year-old carrier will be towed in November -- possibly on Veterans Day -- to Bayonne Drydock and Repair Corp., a distance of about 3 miles, Arnold Fisher of the Intrepid Foundation told The Jersey Journal earlier this year. There, it will undergo "infrastructural repair, upgrade and maintenance," an overhaul expected to cost about $63 million, paid for by city, state and federal funds.

Meanwhile, Pier 86 -- which is also home to the USS Growler submarine and a British Airways Concorde supersonic airplane -- will be completely rebuilt and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will dredge 13,000 cubic yards of silt from the river bottom.

The 27,000-ton Intrepid, dubbed "The Fighting I," was slated for the scrapyard when Zachary Fisher, a real estate developer, rescued it and brought it to New York in 1981. It opened as a naval and air museum the following year and has gradually expanded its exhibits and programs since, drawing about 700,000 visitors a year.

October 1st, 2006, 12:26 PM
Cool fireworks last night for the closing party -- shot off from mid-Hudson River -- had a great viewing spot at waterfront just to the north of the Circle Line pier (Pier 84 - Hudson River Park (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6833&highlight=pier+84) will be complete and open for the return of the Intrepid in '08).

January 16th, 2007, 01:27 PM
Cruise passenger tariff raised

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The cost to hop on a Bayonne cruise ship just went up.

Each passenger booking a cruise through Royal Caribbean International - which berths its cruise ships at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor - now has to shell out $9.70 more to get on board, officials said.

The Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority, which owns the land where RCI docks, raised the "berthing tariff" from $31.50 to $41.20 at its meeting last Thursday.

BLRA Executive Director Nancy Kist said the tariff is computed by dividing the dollar amount it takes to operate the cruise port by the number of passengers for the calendar year.

"The tariff is designed to make the port self-sustaining so we don't have to go to the city for any money to run it," Kist said.

In 2006, it cost $4,680,798 to operate the Bayonne cruise port and an estimated 148,574 passengers set sail from the port, Kist said. Projections for 2007 are $5,516,515 in operating expenses and passenger volume of 133,896, Kist said.

The operating costs are up for several reasons, including RCI borrowing $700,000 to pay for upgraded Customs security, the winterizing of the dockside terminal, and RCI's replacement of the 1,370-passenger Zenith with the smaller, 710-passenger Celebrity Journey, Kist said.

Based on a negotiated fee schedule, the BLRA should realize about $1 million in revenues from the cruise line for 2007 - up from last year's $863,000, Kist said. The BLRA also receives a cut of the cruise port's parking revenues, she said. Those figures weren't available.

In other business Thursday, the BLRA commissioners concluded, after a public hearing, that a housing construction plan by Trammel Crow Residential for part of the Bayonne Bay district was consistent with the BLRA redevelopment plan for the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor.

TCR development associate Michael Shorter told the commissioners that the company expects to start building 250 housing units - the first of two equal phases - in August, that it expects to have a sales office and several model units up by year's end, that the first occupants would move in by fall 2008 and that it expects a full build-out by 2011.

The commissioners also agreed to lease Building 74, one of the remaining Army properties at the Peninsula, to Beach City Productions LLC to shoot scenes for an upcoming film starring Matt Damon through March 31 for $66,383.

May 6th, 2007, 07:19 AM

Saturday, May 05, 2007

'Journey' with yearlong cruise season

Bayonne's Cape Liberty Cruise Port at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor begins its first yearlong season today when the newly refurbished Azamara Journey sets sail for Bermuda.

For the past few days, mechanics, longshoremen and crew have been working non-stop to get the 710-passenger Journey ready for its maiden voyage.

The Azamara Journey, which replaces the much larger Zenith, received a $19 million upgrade while in drydock in the Bahamas, officials said.

The ship's cabins are booked up through June 11. Per-person prices for that week's one-week round-trip cruise to Bermuda range from $1,549 for an inside cabin to $2,449 for a veranda cabin.

Next week, the ship will be joined in the Bayonne port by Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, with room for 3,200 passengers, bound for Bermuda and the eastern Caribbean during the summer and for Canada and New England in the fall.

By the end of October, the Azamara Journey will reposition to South America, but Explorer will continue to sail from Bayonne. Azamara Journey, scheduled to return to Bayonne next April, is slated to sail to Asia sometime in 2008 and make around-the-world trips in 2010.

To accommodate this year's crunch of ocean travelers in the colder weather, RCI - which leases space at the Peninsula from the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority - is winterizing its passenger terminal by installing 25,000 feet of tenting fabric outside the terminal entrance, 200 feet of canopy over the passenger shuttle bus stops and by equipping the interior with heating units, RCI operations manager Michael Conway said.

RCI has also redesigned its terminal to streamline immigration and baggage checks in line with Homeland Security specifications, Conway said. Doing away with the initial on board check, passengers will now be processed by U.S. Customs agents in one big room previously reserved for baggage, Conway said.

"Last Saturday, we processed 1,340 passengers who were aboard the Zenith in two hours, and everyone was quite happy with the results," Conway said. "There were no major delays."

Yesterday, media and travel agents got a tour of Azamara Journey, complete with cabaret entertainment and lunch. Passengers can look forward to such treats as "butler service in every stateroom and suite," jewelry and upscale clothing shops, specialty eating areas and a spa.

October 16th, 2007, 04:06 PM
Annual preparedness drill set for today at cruise port

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cape Liberty Cruise Port at the former Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne will be a disaster area today - if everything goes according to plan for acting Fire Chief Patrick Boyle.

That's because Bayonne is expected to host federal and state emergency services agencies in an annual emergency preparedness drill, according to a statement released by the city.

The drill is designed to test the city's response plans and the ability of city emergency responders to coordinate with other agencies, including Bayonne Medical Center, which may come under new ownership after an auction on Oct. 24.

Students from the Bayonne High School Drama Club might get their big break today, too - Boyle said several TV stations have requested permission to set up cameras overlooking the event, where the striving thespians will play the roles of various victims.

The drill, which has been planned since July, will also include McCabe Ambulance Service and Bayonne Medical Center. Boyle said the financially struggling hospital was always to be part of the drill, though there were contingency plans in place if BMC was not available.

Without the hospital, Boyle said, "there would be longer trips to treatment (to transport victims) outside the city."

February 6th, 2008, 11:44 PM
Cruise biz fears rule on port stays

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Americans who take ocean cruises - including trips from terminals in Bayonne, Manhattan and Brooklyn - could face dramatic changes in their itineraries under proposed changes in federal customs regulations.

Most cruise liners would be required to stay 48 hours at foreign ports, instead of the token visits that are used now to meet the existing law.

Also, many popular cruise routes would have to be reconfigured. For example, Caribbean cruises from New York and New Jersey might have to eliminate some popular stops, while Alaska-bound cruises might drop Seattle as their starting port and switch to Vancouver.

Critics of the proposal say the changes would devastate the cruise industry, cost thousands of jobs and imperil ports that depend on the travel trade, including the one in Camden.

"The proposal would cause immediate, significant economic harm to the U.S. port industry," said Kurt Nagle, president of the American Association of Port Authorities.

I wouldn't like it," said Terrance Purdy of Hardyston, who was about to start a nine-day trip to the Caribbean last week at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne. "When you take a cruise, you like to be able to see a lot of different islands."

Maritime officials, however, insist that cruise regulations need to be changed to prevent foreign-flagged ships from gaining an unfair advantage over American vessels.

Under the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886, foreign-flagged carriers were prohibited from carrying passengers between American ports without first stopping at a foreign terminal. But in recent years, foreign competitors have run ocean liners between California and Hawaii that stopped only for an hour in Mexico - which authorities considered an "evasion" of the requirement for a foreign port visit.

But because the current regulations do not stipulate how long a ship must stop at a foreign port, the only way to prevent the practice was to draw up more specific rules, Connaughton said.

The Bayonne terminal handled 278,000 passengers last year, said Anthony Caputo, director of Cape Liberty Cruise Port.

The new regulations would affect only foreign-flagged cruise ships, but that accounts for the vast majority of them, according to authorities.

Travelers heading on the Caribbean cruise from Bayonne last Friday said the prospect of spending 48 hours at a foreign port would affect their choices of what cruises to take.

"It depends on the port," said Jane Christy of Millville, who has gone on more than 50 cruises. "There are some places I would like it. But if you were talking about Venezuela or Grand Cayman - I wouldn't want to be there for 48 hours."