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NJ Cruising-restrictions/requirements for Covid and how rough is the sailing to the Caribbean?


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I thought I would combine these 2 questions.

What are the restrictions/requirements for NJ sailings regarding Covid?  

How rough is the sailing to the Caribbean?  I've done the cruise to the Bahamas (20 years apart) and both times it was VERY rocky-of course it was hurricane season, so there's that-but someone had also said "it is always rocky out of the NY harbor".  I'm looking at booking some NJ sailings this fall and figured I find out ahead of time-as opposed to the hard way.

Thank you!

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Our first cruise in May, 2002 on Empress NYC to Bermuda.  Chosen at the time because i hated to fly (got over that) and it was outside of hurricane season.  Well the trip down was awful!  My poor daughter couldn’t even get out of bed except to run to the head.  I was not far behind her.  So glad when we finally docked for 3 days.  The trip back was better but it was a major factor in taking 16 years to try again.

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I think it depends on a few things (the following I gather from anecdotes)

1) Itinerary - I hear that Cape Liberty to Bermuda is a little rougher than Cape Liberty to Port Canaveral to the Bahamas.

2) Ship size/class - Anthem (and I assume Oasis) seem to fair well in the open seas than a smaller ship like Empress.

3) Weather - On our trip to Bermuda on Anthem, we took it nice and easy on the way there. On the way back, we were trying to outrun a hurricane. It was full speed ahead and it was rough! The water was crashing all over the sides of the pools and hot tubs in the solarium!

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3 hours ago, Pattycruise said:

I thought I would combine these 2 questions.

What are the restrictions/requirements for NJ sailings regarding Covid?  

How rough is the sailing to the Caribbean?  I've done the cruise to the Bahamas (20 years apart) and both times it was VERY rocky-of course it was hurricane season, so there's that-but someone had also said "it is always rocky out of the NY harbor".  I'm looking at booking some NJ sailings this fall and figured I find out ahead of time-as opposed to the hard way.

Thank you!

Any cruise from the Northeast has the potential for rough seas in the Atlantic - It may not happen, but it is much more likely than a cruise from Florida that will stay in the Gulf of Mexico or Carribean.

 

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Virtually all of my cruises are out of NY/NJ and from late Sept through the winter into the following spring. I love the convenience of driving to the port and boarding my ship rather than going through airports and hotels. I love sailing from cold, raw, biting winter conditions and into summer-like surroundings. The thought that it’s always rocky coming out of NY harbor is not true. Maybe I’m used to it but the vast majority of my cruises were rocking-free. I can recall multiple instances where the cruise south, past Cape Hatteras and into Bahamian waters was fine…but we were unable to tender at the private island (pre-dock) because the swells made tendering unsafe…or had to bypass ports due to swells or winds making docking unsafe. The most ‘motion on the ocean’ I had was when we left Bermuda and sailed into a Bomb Cyclone. Even then, I have videos of my drink barely moving (although it, and many others, seemed to have evaporated rather quickly!). I also love doing the Canada/New England cruising from NY/NJ. Sailing north from NY in the fall is beautiful…but that was Sept through Nov. Today’s ships have advanced stabilization and also use navigation to avoid the worst weather as much as possible. Bottom line…there may be more likelihood of winter storms causing rough seas in the northeast, and I really empathize with those who are prone to motion sickness, but the ocean is the ocean…storms near or far off can cause swells anywhere. But in my experience, uncomfortable rocking has been few and far between.

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The worst seas I have ever experienced were coming out of Bayonne...but that was also due to sailing directly into a nor'easter.  We were on Explorer in the late fall (Nov I think).  I thought for sure we were doomed.  The big waves took out 2 lifeboats, flooded the elevators midship and blew out a glass door midship (which is why the elevators flooded !!).   Had the ship been sailing at capacity, we would not have been allowed into our ports of call, but fortunately, we were not (at capacity) and the sidelined lifeboats did not present a problem.  After we made it through the storm, the next days of sailing were some of the smoothest I have ever experienced.  Those first 2 days and 3 nights though.....yikes !

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14 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

The worst seas I have ever experienced were coming out of Bayonne...but that was also due to sailing directly into a nor'easter.  We were on Explorer in the late fall (Nov I think).  I thought for sure we were doomed.  The big waves took out 2 lifeboats, flooded the elevators midship and blew out a glass door midship (which is why the elevators flooded !!).   Had the ship been sailing at capacity, we would not have been allowed into our ports of call, but fortunately, we were not (at capacity) and the sidelined lifeboats did not present a problem.  After we made it through the storm, the next days of sailing were some of the smoothest I have ever experienced.  Those first 2 days and 3 nights though.....yikes !

I don’t know if this was your sailing or not but YouTube keeps recommending a news clip from a few years ago about a rough cruise that did a lot of damage going through a storm that sailed out of Bayonne.

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12 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

The worst seas I have ever experienced were coming out of Bayonne...but that was also due to sailing directly into a nor'easter.  We were on Explorer in the late fall (Nov I think).  I thought for sure we were doomed.  The big waves took out 2 lifeboats, flooded the elevators midship and blew out a glass door midship (which is why the elevators flooded !!).   Had the ship been sailing at capacity, we would not have been allowed into our ports of call, but fortunately, we were not (at capacity) and the sidelined lifeboats did not present a problem.  After we made it through the storm, the next days of sailing were some of the smoothest I have ever experienced.  Those first 2 days and 3 nights though.....yikes !

Happy to see such a tough experience didn't impact your love for cruising!  Rough seas is something I pray will never be encountered when cruising with my husband...that would end his cruise life forever (and we have just begun these adventures)!  It wouldn't deter me and I would absolutely want to keep cruising...so guess I would end up a SOLO cruiser ? at that point, or perhaps take a grandchild or two or ... with me!  

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10 minutes ago, RockerDom31 said:

I don’t know if this was your sailing or not but YouTube keeps recommending a news clip from a few years ago about a rough cruise that did a lot of damage going through a storm that sailed out of Bayonne.

It certainly could have been the Explorer that we were on but there was also a very bad storm that Anthem experienced a few years after ours.  That one caught big headlines.  I suspect this is the one you are referring to.

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12 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

It certainly could have been the Explorer that we were on but there was also a very bad storm that Anthem experienced a few years after ours.  That one caught big headlines.  I suspect this is the one you are referring to.

Feb 2016 on the Anthem. Sailed into a storm that was predicted, but the predictions were much less than the actual storm.

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13 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

It certainly could have been the Explorer that we were on but there was also a very bad storm that Anthem experienced a few years after ours.  That one caught big headlines.  I suspect this is the one you are referring to.

As I recall, this was the "incident" that prompted Royal to hire James VanFleet.

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9 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

As I recall, this was the "incident" that prompted Royal to hire James VanFleet.

I believe you’re right. Mainly because of the controversy due to there being no weekend specialist available to the captain prior to making his decision to sail. Norwegian Breakaway’s captain did have the updated info and decided to delay departing NY until the storm passed.

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15 hours ago, Pattycruise said:

How rough is the sailing to the Caribbean?  I've done the cruise to the Bahamas (20 years apart) and both times it was VERY rocky-of course it was hurricane season, so there's that-but someone had also said "it is always rocky out of the NY harbor".  I'm looking at booking some NJ sailings this fall and figured I find out ahead of time-as opposed to the hard way.

It is definitely NOT always rocky out of NY Harbor.  It has almost always been calm. 

The main thing in my worry about is the winds.  The windier it is, the more motion you will feel.  I've only had 3 cruises that were rough out of 27 and only one was out of Bayonne/NY. They are:

  1. A 3-night cruise that was supposed to go to Halifax (without disembarking) and back on the Anthem.  There was a storm out at sea and the ship went south instead of northeast.  It was pretty windy and while I didn't see anyone getting seasick, you could hardly spend any time out on deck at all.
  2. A 5-night cruise on Enchantment that went to Bermuda and back out of Baltimore. Going down was fine.  On the way back it was stormy and very windy. Many people were curled up on deck chairs unable to move.  Note that on the way down it was fine AND we were doing a B2B.  On the next leg, a 9-night Caribbean cruise, it was completely fine on the way down and the way back.  So it's just that variable.
  3. The WORST I've ever experienced was on a 7-night cruise out of Long Beach, California on Princess, the Love Boat itinerary.  Going down was fine.  But as soon as we left the cove in Cabo and re-entered the Pacific Ocean, it was INCREDIBLY windy.  The winds were coming off the ocean from the west and hitting us broadside.  The ship was ROCKING.  50% of the passengers AND 30% of the crew were down for the count.  My wife got sick, took the pills provided by the ship, slept that afternoon until the morning, woke up and was fine.  That was the only time either of us have ever been seasick.

So, NY Harbor isn't bad at all.  And it really depends on the weather as to any problems.

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I've done the Bayonne-to-Bermuda 5-night sailing on Anthem in mid- to late-October twice now. Both times the sail-out from NY / NJ was perfectly smooth and no issues at all. The final day of both trips was somewhat rough due to wind and rain, and I suspect also because the ship is moving a lot faster on that final day since it has to cover the same distance in one day that it gets to cover in a day and a half going out, which may cause the stabilizers to be less effective. But I was still fine wandering the ship and enjoying all the different areas. Only time I felt any seasickness was if we spent an hour or two all the way forward or aft (Solarium pool, Royal Theater, CK, etc); we really felt the motion in the Solarium, but even then the water wasn't sloshing out of the pools or hot tubs and everything was open. Still enough in those places to trigger my motion sickness after an hour or two, but once I went back to our mid-ship cabin I recovered quickly. No need for Bonine or anything else besides some ginger beer.

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15 hours ago, De-nice said:

I get horribly motion sick, have sailed out of NYC once and had no issues. Of all my cruises (which admitted at 5 is not that many) I only had an issue with sailing out of Alaska (and then only for about a day). The stabilizers seem to operate as advertised.

 

 

The larger ships like Oasis class are very stable.   Can hardly feel you're moving if you're not on the deck.

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11 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

The worst seas I have ever experienced were coming out of Bayonne...but that was also due to sailing directly into a nor'easter.  We were on Explorer in the late fall (Nov I think).  I thought for sure we were doomed.  The big waves took out 2 lifeboats, flooded the elevators midship and blew out a glass door midship (which is why the elevators flooded !!).   Had the ship been sailing at capacity, we would not have been allowed into our ports of call, but fortunately, we were not (at capacity) and the sidelined lifeboats did not present a problem.  After we made it through the storm, the next days of sailing were some of the smoothest I have ever experienced.  Those first 2 days and 3 nights though.....yikes !

I don’t know if I would have ever cruised again! I complain about a full day/ night of rocking…I can’t imagine 2 days and 3 nights.  That’s waaay too much for me.

my very first cruise was to Bermuda and most of the  passengers  didn’t go to the late show due to sea sickness.  We were a large group and a private party where we played bagpipes.  We were supposed to be standing still in a circle as we played but instead had to take a step in each direction while we played as the ship rocked.   There were barf bags strategically located every 5 ft along the railings in the halls. I made it half way into the late show and that was it.  I was hugging the porcelain God all night.  When we finally hit calm water I was instantly better. AMAZING!

now I bring the Dramamine.  It helps with the nausea but not with the mind racing “are we going to roll over.”   2 bad experiences for me with Bermuda….I’m not sure I want to try for a third.

Ill be booking some fall cruises out of NY, I hope I don’t jinx them

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