Taking a cruise out of Cape Liberty? Here is everything you need to know before you leave the house and enjoy the start of your vacation from this cruise port in the Garden State.
The Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey offers convenient cruise access to anyone from the New Jersey or New York areas. In fact, many passengers will opt for this port instead of NYC’s port, as it’s much easier to get to and not as busy.
Before your trip to the Caribbean or Bermuda, it’s important to know everything about your chosen departure port. Therefore, we’ve compiled all the information you should know to help make your trip planning process smoother.
History of Cape Liberty
Cape Liberty used to be the home of a Naval Supply Depot, commissioned in 1942, and was a major repair yard for wartime vessels, Essex class aircraft carriers, and Iowa class battle ships.
Over the next fifty years or so, Bayonne not only supported Navy supply operations and the training of Navy supply offers, but it became a base of support for all military personnel stationed overseas. During this time it was called the Military Ocean Terminal – Bayonne (MOTBY).
By the late 90s, MOTBY was no longer needed for military support and marked for closure, eliminating thousands of civilian jobs. In 2002 it was renamed The Peninsula, and the following year the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority (established in 1998) made an agreement with Royal Caribbean International to turn it into a cruise port, which they eventually christened as Cape Liberty Cruise Port.
Construction began in January 2004 and was completed a month and a half later. Royal Caribbean’s vessel, the Voyager of the Seas, made its maiden voyage from Cape Liberty on May 14, 2004.
Since then the terminal has been continually expanded and built upon to accommodate all Royal Caribbean’s vessels, as well as two of Celebrity Cruise’s ships.
Information About the Cape Liberty Cruise Port
In its first year alone, Cape Liberty saw well over 200,000 passengers safely through its gates. In 2016 they hit a record high of 509,306 passengers. As the port continues to grow, they plan on seeing that number rise even higher in the years to come.
A few good things to consider when visiting Bayonne for your cruise:
- Bayonne’s sole purpose is the home of the Cape Liberty Cruise Port and does not offer much tourism opportunities.
- To satisfy your inner tourist, Hoboken, NJ and Manhattan aren’t that far from Cape Liberty. You can easily take a cab (or drive, if you have your own car) and tour the cities nearby.
- The terminal is in a remote location, so walking anywhere to or from the terminal is not an option. The only facilities you’ll find at the port are free Wi-Fi and restrooms.
Cruise Lines That Use Cape Liberty
Cape Liberty Cruise Port provides year-round cruising via Royal Caribbean International (the cruise company that built the port and first sailed out of it) and Celebrity Cruises. If you haven’t yet selected your cruise, now is the time to learn a little bit about the cruises that sail out of Cape Liberty.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd: Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas both ship out of Cape Liberty. Cruises on either vessel are sure to offer you and your group tons of fun while sailing the ocean. You can take your choice of cruises to the Bahamas and Caribbean islands, or tour Canada and New England shores.
While on board you can experience sky diving simulators, water slides, bumper cars, fine dining, and more.
Celebrity Cruise Lines: Celebrity Summit by Celebrity Cruises picks you up at Cape Liberty Cruise Port and takes you on whatever Caribbean excursion you want. If the Caribbean islands is not your thing, they also have cruises that take you to Bermuda. Enjoy tropical beaches and islands no matter where you decide to go.
And on board, you can enjoy the best ballet selections, luxury accommodations, gambling, and the finest in culinary experiences.
The Cape Liberty Cruise Port Terminal is located at 4 Port Terminal Blvd, Bayonne, NJ 07002, right off Route 440 South. At the intersection (traffic light) you’ll turn left at Port Terminal Blvd.
Here you will see the entrance to the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor which is also known as the “Military Ocean Terminal Bayonne”.
Keep going straight till you reach the guard gate, then follow the signs for the cruise terminal.
Tips for Luggage and Passenger Drop-off
The lounge opens for pre-boarding procedures at 10:30am, but only ticketed passengers will be allowed in the terminal building. Be sure to arrive at the time you are given on your sailing documents. Be there at least 90 minutes before departure time, or you may be denied access to your ship.
To make the check-in process smoother, you will need to complete your online pre-registration at least five days before cruise day.
Any self-carry luggage must be no bigger than 23” x 16”. Anything larger must be checked in through the porter delivery service.
Zones 1-5 are located directly in front of the terminal and are specifically for dropping off luggage or passengers. This makes it easy if you have a lot of passengers travelling with you: just drop them off, go park your car, and then take the shuttle back to the terminal.
Port of Cape Liberty Parking
Getting to the Cape Liberty Cruise Port is the easy part. The hard part is then finding a place to park that won’t kill your travel budget.
The Port does offer parking for cruise passengers, but that is going to run you about $25 per day, which can get expensive if your cruise is for a week or more. If you have an oversized vehicle, such as a camper or RV, the price per day is $50 or more.
The benefit of parking at the port is that they don’t require you to make a reservation to get a spot. Also the parking lot is adjacent to the port so it’s much more convenient and will save time.
At the Cape Liberty cruise port parking area major credit cards are accepted and parking availability is guaranteed.
If you want something cheaper, there are other parking options in the New York and New Jersey area that you can consider.
Other Parking Options
If you want to find another parking facility or parking garage that will save you some money there are some great off-site parking companies.
Park2Go.com: Park2Go offers competitive pricing, as well as a free shuttle that will take you and your luggage directly to the Cape Liberty cruise terminal. When you return, call their toll free number and they’ll pick you up and take you back to your car.
Prices are $15.99 per day for outdoor parking, and $17.99 per day for indoor parking and are based on 5 passengers per vehicle. Each additional passenger will cost an extra $5.
To book your spot, give them a call at 813-433-0743, or email them at [email protected].
Bayonne Cruise Parking: Bayonne Cruise parking is located just 1.5 miles from the cruise port and offer parking spots for as little as $13.99 per day. They also provide free shuttle service to and from the cruise port. Book your spot on their website, or by calling 2041-279-2106.
Other Transportation Options
If you’re flying in, you are going to need an alternative source of transportation to the cruise terminal. Your preference, budget, and size of your group will help you decide whether you take a train, bus, shuttle, or private transportation.
Newark International is the closest airport to Cape Liberty and is only 6 miles away. JFK airport is 32 miles away and LaGuardia Airport is 35 miles from the port.
Taxi: Taxis are readily available at any of the 3 airports closest to the cruise port. The prices below can fluctuate and only reflect the cost at the time of the writing of this article.
- Taxi from Newark to Cape Liberty: $45 – $60 and will take about 15 minutes.
- Taxi from JFK to Cape Liberty: $140 – $170 and will take 40 minutes or more.
- Taxi from LaGuardia to Cape Liberty: $110 – $130 and will take about 35 minutes.
Train: The PATH Rapid Transit System can take you from Manhattan to either Jersey City or Hoboken, then you’ll need to take the Light Rail train to Bayonne. Make sure you get off at the 34th Street Station in Bayonne. From there call a cab to drive you to the cruise port.
Bus: Take the 119 bus to Bayonne from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, located at 150 Greenwich Street in New York. For more information give them a call at 212-564-8484.
Shuttle: If you’re not traveling alone and have a group of 5 or more people with you, you might want to look into getting an independent shuttle or private car service. They will usually cost a lot less per person than a cab, train, or buss will. They’ll also be able to assist you with all your luggage, and they’ll take you directly to and from the cruise terminal.
Here are some of the shuttle or car services available. All these companies are authorized by the Port Authority of NY and NJ:
Go Airlink NYC: Airlink Shuttles will pick you up from LFK, LaGuardia, or Newark Airport and take you directly to the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne. Prices vary depending on the time of year and the type of vehicle you select. For more information you can go to their website or give them call at 212-812-9000 (share ride service) or 212-434-0400 (private transportation).
Go Winston: Go Winston Transportation Services offers shared shuttles or private transportation to and from Cape Liberty. You must book online to get a seat or car, or call them at 631-924-1200.
Carmel Limo: Carmel has special flat rates for transportation to any of the NY or NJ area airports, but you can also book specifically for them to pick you up at an airport and take you to Cape Liberty. You can book a full-sized sedan for up to 4 people for just $47 (one-way, not including tolls or tips). Prices go up depending on the type of vehicle and how many passengers you have.
Carmel customers get access to discounts and special deals at various restaurants, museums, Broadway shows, and more through their Carmel Perks program.
They also have a rewards program as well, which is a great thing if you’ll be travelling this way frequently. The points you earn depend on how much you spend on completed trips, and you can use earned points to get discount on future trips with Carmel.
To book your ride, call them at 1-866-666-6666, or visit their website.
Hy’s Limousine: Hy’s Limo offers the best in private luxury transportation in and around New York and New Jersey. Their fleet of cars include Executive Sedans, Stretch Limos, SUVs, and so much more. To get a quote simply visit their website or call them at 1-800-255-LIMO (5466).
AirtportShuttles.com: Book your choice of car or shuttle (provided from various local companies) through AirportShuttles.com. Depending on when you’re traveling, you can get a sedan for as little as $69 one way for up to 3 passengers (including luggage).
Uber or Lyft: Honestly, if you’re only traveling with two or three other folks, booking a ride with Uber or Lyft is not only going to be super easy, but might be cheaper for you, depending on where you’re coming from.
If you’re coming from New York, it’s important to note that both Uber and Lyft charge extra for crossing between two states ($20 for Uber and $15 for Lyft).
For example, if you’re coming from Newark, which is in NJ, the most you might pay for an Uber is $28 ($26 for Lyft), while coming from anywhere in New York is going to run you anywhere between $70 and $200 (depending on the type of service you select and where in NY you’re coming from).
The nice thing about using Uber or Lyft is you don’t need to call or carry around cash. Everything is done through the prospective app, even paying your driver.
Nearby Restaurants and Shopping
While Bayonne isn’t a popular tourist stop, there are a few restaurants in or near Bayonne that you can visit during your stay in the area. As far as restaurants are concerned, you’ll be surprised to find some of the best Italian and Japanese inspired foods nearby.
The Little Food Café: This family owned restaurant located in Bayonne, NJ is run by a superb mother and daughter team, offering the best home-cooked breakfast and lunch menu. They also serve dinner, offer catering services, and have the best desserts to finish off any meal with.
Kuhl’s Sports Bar & Grill: Another family owned spot in Bayonne, Kuhl’s offers burgers, pizzas, and snacks at great prices. Every now and then you may catch performances by The Bantry Boys, a local singing group that performs Celtic tunes.
Buon Appetito: For Italian food lovers that want to experience some fine dining in Bayonne, have your dinner at the Buon Appetito. Their beautiful dining room and casual Italian atmosphere will have you coming back again and again. They also have a delicatessen that doubles as a convenience store. After lunch stop over for a few groceries for your hotel room (or to take with you on the boat).
Andrew’s Project: For those who focus more on eating healthy, or prefer vegan options, Andrew’s Project offers a menu full of gluten-free, vegan, and organic meals, all made with non-GMO ingredients. However, they don’t skimp on flavor, so their food is just as delicious as it is healthy.
Park & Cruise Hotels Nearby
If you decide to fly in the night before your cruise, you’ll be looking for a place to stay. We recommend staying in a hotel that’s on the New Jersey side of the river. This is so you don’t have to worry about bridge traffic, and it’ll be easier to get to and from the cruise port.
We’ve compiled a few hotel recommendations for you, starting with the ones that are the closest to the cruise port. These are just a few options available and by no means is it an extensive list. These are just the ones we recommend.
Victorian Bed & Breakfast of Staten Island
92 Taylor St, Staten Island, NY 10310 | 7.9 miles from Cape Liberty | 718-273-9861
Housed in an 1847 Italianette Villa, this hotel provides a great place to stay close to the Cape Liberty Cruise Port. Average prices per night start around $155. From what we can tell, they don’t provide parking or transportation to the port, but any of the parking options we covered earlier in the article should work just fine.
Ramada by Wyndham Staten Island
535 N Gannon Ave, Staten Island, NY 10314 | 8.1 miles from Cape Liberty | 718-619-4712
Stay at the Ramada and you’ll be able to relax and feel refreshed long before you get on your cruise ship. Average room rate starts at $140 per night, and you can book online or over the phone. They do provide free parking, but you will need to give them a call to ask about parking there while on your cruise.
Hampton Inn & Suites Staten Island
1120 South Ave, Staten Island, NY 10314 | 9.9 miles from Cape Liberty | 718-477-1626
A highly rated hotel starting at about $150 per night, it is possible that they have a park and cruise package. Be sure to contact them directly by phone for more details
After reading this article, you should be fully informed about what to expect in and around Bayonne, NJ. You know the best places to park, all the transportation options, and a few recommended hotels to stay at if you decide to arrive the day before your cruise leaves.
We hope this exclusive guide helps make your trip planning easier so you can focus on the important stuff, like how much fun you’re going to have and whether or not you’ll come back sunburned.
Above all, have a fun and safe trip!