My wife and I have been on many cruises, including our three most recent aboard Carnival. We did the Sunshine last year to the Caribbean. For this sailing, we opted for a short, 5 day getaway sailing from NYC and going to ST John and Halifax. Originally from New England and having moved to NC only a few years ago, we never really considered a cruise up north appealing, but were afforded an opportunity to go on this sailing, and jumped at the chance.
For a hotel, we stayed in New Jersey at the Hilton Garden Inn, Ridgefield Park. The hotel was an excellent choice and offered a free breakfast, Park/ride for the duration of the cruise, and Town Car service for us to and from the port, while we kept the car at the hotel for the week included with our price! For just over $200, this package was great. The car was right there when we got off the boar as well, just had to call the dispatcher to have the car come around, more on that later. So, if going to NY Cruise port, and looking for a great option - look no further!
The car ride to the port was simple. overcast, and a bustling city. We were dropped off curb side, passengers coming off were on one side, and the new passengers were entering the facility. We had faster to the fun. About 5 minutes after arriving, security opened, we went thru, were one of the first in line for our Sail and Sign cards, and grabbed a seat. 15 minutes or so later, we were boarding the ship - quick and easy! During the sail away, we opted for the Starboard side to see the Statue. Was pretty cool, but next time, i would opt for the city side, more to see. For the muster drill, don't get there to early, you will just be waiting around. make sure to go, but don't be in a hurry to stand.
odd shaped balcony room with oversized balcony that measures twice the width of a normal one. Room is sideways, so bed faces the outside wall of the port side. Balcony has a chaise lounge on it along with the table and chairs. There is a staff stair well directly behind the bed headboard, and you hear them use it all night. Also, a swooshing sound in the bathroom walls all night. I would opt for a Lido deck balcony if I were to go on this ship again (we had a Lido balcony last year on this ship, loved it.)