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Mikeb1892

Parking Garage @ Cape Liberty

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Generally, you want to arrive at Cape Liberty no later than 10:30 AM. Not so much because of limitations on the parking garage, which is huge and has 5 floors, but because the entry to the port is a single-lane road that goes for well over a mile and the traffic backlog quickly gets insane.

As long as you get there at that time, you should have no problem getting a space in the garage. Passengers from the prior cruise should all be out by that point, and there will be staff in the garage directing everyone to the next available space.

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If you are sailing in the summer be aware that 3 ships will be using the port of Bayonne. If the garage is full, you will be directed to the surface lot. No issues reported parking in that lot as there were years ago.

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Have to agree with @JLMoran we were there in between 1030-1100 and while there was a small traffic jam it was not half bad, we had to wait about 15-20 minutes and then from the point the porter pointed us to a spot to park and take our luggage out of the car until we were on the ship it was less than 15 minutes. We could not believe how efficient they were, it was the fastest that we have done that process and gotten onboard! 

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From what I see online, our ship (Oasis OTS) is the only ship in port that day.  There are (3) other 7+ day cruises that depart from Cape Liberty in the 6 days prior to our sailing.  We're planning on staying close to port the night before so we can be there basically anytime.  What is the earliest that we should/could arrive?  

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31 minutes ago, Mikeb1892 said:

What is the earliest that we should/could arrive?

The Cape Liberty web site says the terminal opens at 10:30. However, the drop-off area and garage open a bit earlier, like 10 AM; when we disembarked as late as possible on our last cruise, we were leaving the garage a bit after 10 AM and there were already cars coming in to park as we were leaving.

Not sure if it's really worth it to arrive any earlier than 10:30 when the terminal building won't be open to embarking passengers before then and you can't board the ship before 11:00 anyway, but if you're leaving at a time of year when the weather is generally pleasant then it can be an option. One thing you could do while waiting is walk over to the "Teardrop Memorial" sculpture, dedicated to the victims of 9/11. After leaving the garage, instead of going into the terminal building you just walk all the way down to the far end where Port Terminal Blvd continues past. Walk down to the end of the road and the memorial is there. Tried to upload a map image showing the walk, but for some reason uploads are failing right now

 

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@Mikeb1892  It doesn't matter if you are the only ship departing that day.  The parking garage can only handle so many cars.  We have sailed multiple times out of Liberty.  Parked in both the outdoor and garage.  It all comes down to the cycle.  If I am correct Oasis is taking over for Anthem next summer, thus, impo it is highly likely you will get the garage, not the outdoor parking.  If I am incorrect and it is taking over for Adventure, and not Anthem, you will probably be parking in the outdoor lot.

You will not know until you get there.  Bring a window screen for your car just in case.  Last yr we sailed on Adventure, and had to park in the outdoor lot.  We debarked at 9:30 (drove) and it was already 90+ degrees.  Make sure if you are in the outdoor lot to remove any coffee cups, etc bc if you don't your car will stink to high heaven.

The outdoor lot is very secure.  It is maybe 30 seconds more of a walk at tops.

We absolutely love Cape Liberty.  They have it down to a science.  From entering the terminal to walking onto the ship is maybe 20 mins.

The negative is if you show up @11:30-12:00   The drive into the terminal was poorly designed.  It becomes a bottle neck, but not horrendous, just a slow crawl.  

Make sure you keep your carry on separate from your luggage.  Learned that the hard way the 1st time.  We had the carryon in the trunk with our luggage, the porters grabbed everything and threw it in their big totes.  Only when we parked did we realize they took our carry ons too.

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We'll be sure to keep our carry ons in a separate location in our vehicle. Great tip. 

Should we be tipping the porters?

If we arrive in the terminal by 1030, what time can we expect to board the ship without the key package? 

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Not once in all of my sailings out of Bayonne have I ever encountered grumpy baggage handlers rather just hard working professional union members. Now I have encountered grumpy suite guests in the diamond/concierge lounge  and online.🤣

What Pima wrote was spot on. I don't like waiting in traffic so I always arrive at Cape Liberty by 10:30 as at that time there has yet to be any back up of cars. I don't want to be grumpy when I transfer my bags to the longshoremen.

Anthem starts boarding between 10:30- 11am, I would expect the same for Oasis.

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Another good tip that JLMoran forgot to mention, STAY IN THE RIGHT LANE as you start to approach the terminal. It will be very tempting to try and pull into the left lane and pass everyone. All that will do us get you a butt chewing by the grumpy traffic control folks. Also, be sure to have your luggage tagged with the RC luggage tags and ready in the trunk for the long shoremen. Yes, they appreciate tips, up to you how much. The whole process is very well coordinated and smooth. Have a great cruise! :27_sunglasses:

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1 hour ago, Mikeb1892 said:

Should we be tipping the porters?

YES! Especially when they're not just porters, but longshoremen. @WAAAYTOOO mentioned how they can be grumpy; well, you'll really see their grumpy side if you don't tip them. It's only a dollar or two per bag, and honestly with the amount of work those guys do to get everything on and off the ship at the speed they do, I don't begrudge it to them.

There is a (true? Pretty sure, but maybe just urban legend-level) story of a guy who proudly talked about how he never tipped anyone, and true to form skipped out on the Cape Liberty porters after they took his bags before boarding. That "gentleman" found himself with no suitcase and had to buy a bunch of stuff on board just to get through the trip. The day they disembarked, there was his bag waiting for him in the terminal, in the "other" / unclaimed area.

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1 hour ago, JLMoran said:

There is a (true? Pretty sure, but maybe just urban legend-level) story of a guy who proudly talked about how he never tipped anyone, and true to form skipped out on the Cape Liberty porters after they took his bags before boarding. That "gentleman" found himself with no suitcase and had to buy a bunch of stuff on board just to get through the trip. The day they disembarked, there was his bag waiting for him in the terminal, in the "other" / unclaimed area.

Sometimes even when you DO tip you have unpleasant outcomes.  On our first cruise out of Bayonne, someone cut the metal and paper luggage tags off of one of our suitcases.  Apparently the Longshoremen were in the middle of a labor dispute with the port authority.  There were many who suffered the same fate as we did.  Luckily our bag made it onto the ship but we had to go and dig it out from a piles of many dozens of bags that also had no tags. We had tipped very generously, as we always do.

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Scary stories.  I have to say we do tip and we have never had any issues at all.  My only problem is that driving there you really need to pay attention to the signs that direct you to the port.  They are small blue signs.  I have a navigation system in my car so we don't have a problem, otherwise use Wayz.    You will see a golf course right on your right prior to getting to the port.  That course is Trumps' golf course.  You can also see the tear drop memorial from the ship.  The interesting fact about the memorial is it was a gift from Russia.  The tear drop is made from the steel from the twin towers.  It is an absolutely stunning memorial.  

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16 hours ago, rjac said:

Another good tip that JLMoran forgot to mention, STAY IN THE RIGHT LANE as you start to approach the terminal. It will be very tempting to try and pull into the left lane and pass everyone. All that will do us get you a butt chewing by the grumpy traffic control folks. Also, be sure to have your luggage tagged with the RC luggage tags and ready in the trunk for the long shoremen. Yes, they appreciate tips, up to you how much. The whole process is very well coordinated and smooth. Have a great cruise! :27_sunglasses:

 

Just wanted to clarify if that lane is to drop luggage off? I don't want to drop anything off. Can I go in the left lane to get to the parking garage?

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I don't think so. The left lane goes into a parking lot for vehicles picking up folks who just got off the ship. The luggage drop off lane is pretty quick, there are a lot of porters/longshoremen on hand. We were through that lane and into the parking garage in about ten minutes. :27_sunglasses:

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2 hours ago, Grabthars Hammer said:

Just wanted to clarify if that lane is to drop luggage off? I don't want to drop anything off. Can I go in the left lane to get to the parking garage?

2 hours ago, rjac said:

I don't think so. The left lane goes into a parking lot for vehicles picking up folks who just got off the ship. The luggage drop off lane is pretty quick, there are a lot of porters/longshoremen on hand. We were through that lane and into the parking garage in about ten minutes. :27_sunglasses:

To add to what @rjac said, while the right lane is for luggage and passenger drop-off, the vehicles all pull off into parking spaces / zones as directed by the crew directing traffic. So if you don't have anything to drop off with the longshoremen, you'll just drive past the folks who are pulled over (when directed) and go straight to the garage.

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7 hours ago, Pima1988 said:

Scary stories.  I have to say we do tip and we have never had any issues at all. 

Same here, always tip bountifully and cheerily in appreciation of the hard working union members and not expecting them to provide service beyond what they are paid to do but that is my outlook. I need help occasionally and appreciate it when provided but I don't need to be pampered. Treat others as you want to be treated. 

To poster asking about the left lane. The traffic attendant will direct you appropriately. You must drive through the luggage zone but you don't have to stop there if you have no need to. Some drivers(not the majority) are impatient, wanting not to obey the rules. When informed by the attendants not to bypass the route, the drivers feel slighted rather than guilty for creating their own rules rather than waiting as all the other drivers do. Can avoid it by arriving at the terminal by 10:30

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45 minutes ago, bytheslice said:

Same here, always tip bountifully and cheerily in appreciation of the hard working union members and not expecting them to provide service beyond what they are paid to do but that is my outlook. I need help occasionally and appreciate it when provided but I don't need to be pampered. Treat others as you want to be treated. 

To poster asking about the left lane. The traffic attendant will direct you appropriately. You must drive through the luggage zone but you don't have to stop there if you have no need to. Some drivers(not the majority) are impatient, wanting not to obey the rules. When informed by the attendants not to bypass the route, the drivers feel slighted rather than guilty for creating their own rules rather than waiting as all the other drivers do. Can avoid it by arriving at the terminal by 10:30

Thanks!  I think @WAAAYTOOO has mentioned the tip about keeping luggage with you at all times until meeting the Genie so wanted to make sure that the left lane wasn't an express to get to the garage since we wouldn't be needing to drop off any luggage.  I know now that right lane all the way no matter what 🙂  

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2 minutes ago, Grabthars Hammer said:

Thanks!  I think @WAAAYTOOO has mentioned the tip about keeping luggage with you at all times until meeting the Genie so wanted to make sure that the left lane wasn't an express to get to the garage since we wouldn't be needing to drop off any luggage.  I know now that right lane all the way no matter what 🙂  

Ah, and now that we know you're sailing Star Class (you lucky ducky), we can also tell you that you're going to have to be really insistent with everyone along the chain that they will not be taking your luggage, including the people who approach you at the Star Class entrance of the port. Don't relinquish that luggage until you've met your genie and he/she has hailed whoever the correct person to take it.

Yes, @WAAAYTOOO and @Lovetocruise2002, I do pay attention to you folks even I won't be sailing in Star Class any time before my 90s. 😉

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21 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Ah, and now that we know you're sailing Star Class (you lucky ducky), we can also tell you that you're going to have to be really insistent with everyone along the chain that they will not be taking your luggage, including the people who approach you at the Star Class entrance of the port. Don't relinquish that luggage until you've met your genie and he/she has hailed whoever the correct person to take it.

Yes, @WAAAYTOOO and @Lovetocruise2002, I do pay attention to you folks even I won't be sailing in Star Class any time before my 90s. 😉

😄 We could only justify it by forgoing/ pooling multiple gift day budgets for the year or more to live it up in that one week! Also haven't taken a vacation for about 3-4 years now so I think we're overdue! I've learned so much from this forum so very thankful for that. Trying to pay attention and remember all of the SC tips for Anthem out of Bayonne!

Thanks for the reminder! I'm genuinely terrified of doing that as I don't want to come off rude to the porters. I'm also terrified of any comments or looks we may get about cutting in front of the line anywhere but really want to take advantage of that since we will have such a short window of time away from the kids to do anything like North Star or Bumper cars. Heard that since it's a lot of NY/ NJ folks on sailings out of Cape Liberty they tend to be on the more vocal side about that and I don't have tough skin.

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The Genies are very aware that most of us aren’t comfortable cutting or bypassing lines.  They are very good at ushering you up front rather than asking you to do it on your own and I am always grateful for that.  Yen Lee, as tiny as she is, was amazing at this maneuver.  She would turn to us and say “stay close to me” and then proceed to bulldoze through a mob of people until she got to the front. Having said that, I am not sure how they handle situations like priority on the Flow Rider.  I’m sure they don’t stand around all day ushering you to the front of the line each time....but with any of the other “single” events, they stat right with you in case there are any “issues”.  I’ve read that the Flow Rider has a separate priority line so I guess that’s how they handle the FR.

Honestly, with the single exception of one ride on the North Star, I have never been aware of anyone being upset that someone (us) was being given priority.  ....and if they are (upset), tough.

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Not much to add here:  stay in right lane, get there by 10:30 am, tip the porters/longshoreman, park and walk back to terminal. 

We had a starboard side balcony and watched the huge traffic jam at 1:30 pm on embarkation day.   

I will ADD that post cruise, as we paid for our parking and were leaving the garage, a big, burly longshoreman said to us "yous guyz have a safe and pleasant journey home."    Very nice touch.

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