My wife and I just got back from our first cruise. We had a 1-1/2 hour drive from our home in the Pocono's to Liberty port. We could see the ship as we crossed the Bayonne Bridge, it is huge. We arrived about 1:00 PM for a 5:00 PM departure and were on the ship by 1:20PM. We immediately made our way to our room on the 10 floor and then went to explore the ship after we dropped off our carry on luggage. We made reservations and then went exploring the ship and looking for my wife's sister and husband who had arrived earlier with a group from New Hampshire. We could not find then after looking on the Pool deck and on the 5th floor Promenade, so we went to lunch in the Windjammer buffet, that's where we met them eating.
The ship muster was an unexpected surprise to us their was a lot of jokes about Titanic etc. The ship departure was fantastic seeing the Statue of Liberty in the distance and then going under the Verizono Bridge was unreal. I heard we just cleared by 16 feet.
We stayed on the deck for another hour enjoying the ocean and then went to explore the ship some more.