Saturday, May 5, 2012

Some Updates for Cape Liberty 411




Transportation options

Black Executive Cars- I have  used them several times…however, i am not sure if they're getting too big or if they're just swamped.  I have been happy with them, and others have....but some have not.....
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Independent Driver LLC 888-816-0973, ext 0
Other CCers have used -can't be booked more than about 4-6 weeks ahead, no website
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  www.trulimo.com - not necessarily the cheapest option

 have used in the past…also good option
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  973-622-5800 signature transportation - based at the EWR  Marriott...very helpful

If you need accessible vehicles:
www.twinlimo.com

they only handle people needing wheelchair accessible vehicles...very nice to deal with-also used in the past

HOTEL UPDATES - click the links for photos

The Sheraton is NOW a DOUBLETREE by Hilton.  took a tour, and it wasn't bad., and the parking lot seems safe, even though this hotel is near the Ramada.

The RAMADA might be a good budget option, but honestly I was not impressed and I thought the place smelled bad (stale food) and was really beaten up...and I am not sure I would park here.

My choice for a budget selection would be the Holiday Inn EWR as when I toured, it was in better shape with large rooms.  Parking lot seems safe as well.

A hotel near Secaucus/Meadowlands that would be a good choice is the Sheraton Meadowlands.  

I still prefer those hotels on Glimcher Realty Way....especially the Residence Inn, though I have no issue with the Country Inn nor the Courtyard.  Again, these hotels will be listed under ELIZABETH NJ and are near Jersey Gardens Mall, plus an iHOP and Ruby Tuesday (though that RT location is not all that great as Ruby Tuesdays go...)

I stayed at the Residence Inn prior to my last cruise on Explorer and was very happy.  As we were there mid week (Mon-Thurs usually) there was also an evening social hour with a meal...the night we were there was BBQ night, burgers, hot dogs, etc-no need to go out.....




If you're JUST taking the train to access NYC, etc, the Newark Penn Station Hilton is the only hotel in downtown Newark that we suggest.  It can be pricey but it's convenient.   I have not toured this hotel yet, nor have I stayed there, but I will try to see a room sometime.  They tend to sell out...

That's all for now....more will come.......just wanted to get a quick update done...






Monday, October 10, 2011

A couple other hotels

Took quick tours of 2 other hotels..the Holiday Inn (formerly the Best Western EWR) and the Renaissance.

The Holiday Inn was recently renovated and the rooms and hotel were clean. This property also offers both smoking and non smoking rooms. Small restaurant/lounge and friendly staff. The King room i saw was HUGE with a microwave and small fridge. Not all rooms offer this, but I was told you can request these items.

The Renaissance was just renovated and the rooms are really lovely. Large, clean and comfy. Bathrooms are not huge, but not too small either. The King room had a couch and a fridge. The double double had an armchair and ottoman-not sure about the fridge, I forgot to look.

The Renaissance also has a full service restaurant and bar, and all rooms are non smoking. They also have a gym and indoor pool.

The 2 hotels are opposite the airport and can be tough to get to if you're not paying attention and used to the area.....also there isn't anything around to eat, other than the hotel's own food. The Holiday Inn's surrounding area is not nice to look at; at least the Renaissance is next to a couple other hotels and isn't quite as ugly. Parking at the Ren is $14 per night...the HI seemed to have free parking, though I didn't ask.

Probably would NOT choose either for a park n fly, BUT I plan to test out the Renaissance soon as there are rooms with lovely airport views! Yup, the kid in me strikes again!!

Either would probably be fine for a pre/post cruise night. Not the most convenient to anything, but clean and comfy enough. I'd choose the Renaissance as I'm not big on HIs as a rule...but if I got stuck, the Holiday Inn wouldn't be horrible!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October 2011

Seems that the Renaissance has finished it's renovations-will be checking it out in a couple weeks!

The old Days Inn is now a rebranded Holiday Inn. I haven't seen it yet, but it looks-from the outside, as if it has been renovated. Again, I haven't seen it so I can't recommend it.

The Wyndham Garden is NOT a place we suggest. BUT I did take a tour about a month ago and saw 4 or 5 different room types. That hotel is in the midst of a renovation and the rooms looked nice, and clean! (I got a good look at a couple of them, I peeked under the beds, scrutinized the bathrooms, etc.) It does offer a package sometimes, but again, many places will have a park and cruise package for a reason...TO GET BUSINESS into a mediocre hotel.

If you got stuck there for a night due to a bumped flight, it would probably be OK, but I wouldn't stay there on purpose unless absolutely necessary.

Ate at the Brownstone Diner in Jersey City a couple weeks back! Delicious pancakes! VERY busy place. Huge portions! Worth a visit if you have a car. They have a minuscule parking lot, but there is street parking (not free, but cheap-I parked in front of the hospital across the street.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Decided to try out a hotel on the list last night. Got a good rate at the Springhill Suites by EWR with a coupon from www.roomsaver.com.

This hotel would be fine as a crash pad. Not really anything wrong but it is VERY noisy. I can understand the traffic and airplane noise-that's to be expected. BUT the hotel itself-sheesh, the A/C was really loud and you can hear everything-even rooms next door closing the curtains!

I had a connecting room (I HATE those) but they had nothing else-and I heard the people next door slamming the cabinets, fridge, microwave, etc for an hour.

Again, for a place to just sleep a night, and maybe park, it's fine, but again-be prepared for noise. Also there is nothing around for food-you'd have to go out or order in, and the wait on 4 places I called was over an hour and this was after 9 PM!

Be sure to have good directions and pay attention. I am up there often and KNOW where I am going-and I goofed. Also, be careful, there are HUGE potholes around the off/on ramps. Ouchies for the cars!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Just came back.....

.....and I noticed a couple other hotel shuttles coming in...so here is one idea: Haven't stayed there, and I tend to avoid Staten Island but i saw the van...

Hilton Garden Inn NY/Staten Island: http://hiltongardeninn.hilton.com/en/gi/hotels/index.jhtml?ctyhocn=EWRSIGI

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cape Liberty Cruise Port Info

Hi gang...since so many people ask, here is a list of some helpful CAPE LIBERTY cruise port info.....I have listed some hotels, tours, transit companies, etc...and I will update it. Feel free to give suggestions as well.....I pretty much just did this from memory...and since I got tired of typing it all the time!!!

Note....if the links don't work, you may want to just try copying it into your browser, typing it, or, what the heck...Googleing it!!!

Here is some good info about the 3 area airports, LaGuardia (LGA), JFL and Newark (EWR)
http://flyerguide.com/wiki/index.php/NYC_Airports_to_Manhattan_Transportation_FAQ

Helpful Cape Liberty Info:

HOTELS:


Update: March 2010:

A few Marriott-branded hotels have recently started a park/stay cruise package that does NOT include transportation to the pier....but it might still be a good option. Rates vary based on time of year and property:

Courtyard Newark Airport

Spring Hill Suites Newark Airport

Newark Airport Marriott

Courtyard EWR/Elizabeth

Renaissance EWR Airport

Area hotel listing:


Courtyard by Marriott Newark/Elizabeth : www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ewrez-courtyard-newark-elizabeth

recently renovated, now featuring the new Courtyard lobby. There is no longer a sit down place to eat, it's kind of a walk up place..think Starbucks with more food choices....click this link for details: http://www.gocourtyard.com/


Residence Inn by Marriott Newark/Elizabeth www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ewreb-residence-inn-newark-elizabeth-liberty-international-airport/

also recently renovated-nice rooms with flat screen TVs--I just wish they redid the tubs! Not bad, but they should have retouched them! FYI-if you want to buy a snack in the "market"-I got a bag of chips and a candy bar for $4.46! Highway robbery! Yes it's "convenient" and an "airport hotel" but it would have been cheaper AT the airport...


Country Inn & Suites Newark/Elizabeth
www.countryinns.com/newarknj_airport

Newark Airport Marriott
www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ewrap-newark-liberty-international-airport-marriott/

Courtyard Jersey City
www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ewrnw-courtyard-jersey-city-newport/

Renaissance Newark Airport
www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ewrnr-renaissance-newark-airport-hotel/
(rooms and bathrooms on the small side....halls darkish....rooms are clean and have new bedding and TVs, but are in need of a touch up. Overall though this is a decent place...just nothing around!)

Spring Hill Suites by Marriott Newark Airport http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ewrsa-springhill-suites-newark-liberty-international-airport/

The SHS is good for a pre cruise stay. It's a little hard to get into if you are driving due to the wacky road convergence.....hatd to explain, but when it says stay a certain lane on directions, stay in that lane!

UPDATE AUGUST 2010-tried this hotel again, be advised that there is a LOT of noise-not only from outside but the hotel itself: people, a/c, everything. It's still a decent place to stay, but I prefer the choices in Elizabeth.

Fairfield Inn & Suites and Courtyard by Marriott Newark Airport-adjacent to the SHS above. Again, fine for a night or so, but nothing around although the CY restaurant would be OK in a pinch!

www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ewrca-courtyard-newark-liberty-international-airport/

www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ewrfs-fairfield-inn-and-suites-newark-liberty-international-airprot/

Jersey City Hyatt http://www.jerseycity.hyatt.com/

Wyndham Garden Newark Airport www.wyndham.com/hotels/EWRAP/main.wnt -kind of old -was something else...NOTHING around.

Hilton Penn Station Newark NJ (not Penn station NY!)
http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/EWRHGHF-Hilton-Newark-Penn-Station-New-Jersey/index.do Connected to Newark Penn Station. Be advised-the are VERY tough when it comes to guests taking the shuttle from the airport to the hotel unless you are actually a GUEST. They CHECK!

Doubletree Jersey City
http://doubletree1.hilton.com/en_US/dt/hotel/EWRWTDT-Doubletree-Hotel-Jersey-City-New-Jersey/index.do

Sheraton Newark Airport
http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=796

Homewood Suites by Hilton Edgewater :http://homewoodsuites1.hilton.com/en_US/hw/hotel/EWREWHW-Homewood-Suites-by-Hilton-Edgewater-NYC-Area-New-Jersey/index.do

W Hoboken-brand new-about 3-4 blocks from the PATH station in Hoboken-and close to NY Waterway Ferry into NYC.http://www.starwoodhotels.com/

Ramada Newark Airport (formerly Holiday Inn) http://www.ramada.com/ - this is actually a Ramada and a Ramada Plaza. Two buildings on one piece of property run as two hotels (but it's basically one place!) Different rates and probably different room styles and amenities. This was a Holiday Inn and was decent for the price (usually about $60-75). Good place just to crash, but nothing around really. Now that it is a Ramada, I question how long it will remain a decent option, as Ramadas in this part of the world tend to get run down.

Hilton Garden Inn NY/Staten Island : Offers a shuttle to the pier. I haven't stayed here, but HGIs are generally nice hotels and it is another option: www.hiltongardeninn.hilton.com/en/gi/hotels/index.jhtml?ctyhocn=EWRSIGI


TRANSPORTATION:


Update May 2010

New Jersey Transit http://www.njtransit.com/

Hudson/Bergen Light Rail http://www.njtransit.com/pdf/hblr_06.pdf OR http://www.mylightrail.com/

PATH Info (for PATH trains into NYC and JFK/EWR/LGA airport info) http://www.panynj.com/

NY Waterway Ferry: http://www.nywaterway.com/ RIGHT next to the Hoboken PATH stop.

Amtrak: http://www.amtrak.com/

A bus option from EWR into NYC (there are others too)

http://www.coachusa.com/olympia/ss.newarkairport.asp

NYC Subway/LIRR/Metro North: http://www.mta.info/

Info on getting FROM Manhattan to EWR: http://gonyc.about.com/cs/airlinesairports/a/getto_ewr.htm

http://www.511ny.org/ is the official traffic and transit site for the state of NY...and you can call 511 from the phone if you're IN New York as well......probably a good thing to check out.

A FEW CAR SERVICE OPTIONS:

http://www.trulimo.com/ Another excellent option...they even have a vehicle that is wheelchair accessible. Excellent customer service. I used them for our last cruise and just booked for the next one. Reasonable price as well...(they are coming about an hour from their home base to get us!)


Dial 7 http://www.dial7.com/

Carmel Limo
http://www.carmellimo.com/

Olympic Airporter
http://www.olympic-limo.com/

Black Executive Cars: http://www.blackexecutivecars.com/ VERY reliable, courteous, prompt responses to emails! Excellent!

Bayonne Taxi and Shuttle....picks up at some EWR area - 201-339-5000

Twins Mobility Limo - If you have a need for wheelchair transportation, this is the place! They are wonderful and the van is nicer than your average van. They tried to make it look a little more like a "limo"....Excellent service, prompt response. Just used them for our May 2010 cruise!

http://www.twinlimo.com/


OTHER FUN STUFF

IKEA (near hotels off exit 13 A)
www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/IkeaNearYouView?storeId=12&langId=-1&StoreName=elizabeth

Cape Liberty website:
http://www.cruiseliberty.com/

Jersey Gardens Mall
http://www.jerseygardens.com/

New York City Hop On/Hop Off bus: http://www.inetours.com/New_York/Tours/NYC_Tours.html

Coach USA NYC Sightseeing
www.coachusa.com/newyorksightseeing/

Gray Line Tours
http://www.grayline.com/Grayline/destinations/us/newyork.go

Liberty State Park: http://www.libertystatepark.org/

Statue of Liberty: www.nps.gov/stli

New York Tours--full day or park day...with pickup from Jersey Cty/Meadowlands area hotels, and P4 at EWR Airport...... http://www.newyorktoursnyc.com/ -Looks like you see EVERYTHING...the full day tour goes to Statue of Liberty....there is an extra charge for the ferry (probably not much!) I haven't taken this but looks comprehensive from brochure.

Century 21 Department store (great bargains can be found!) http://www.c21stores.com/

Other NYC Shopping Info: http://www.ny.com/shopping/

Discount Broadway show tickets: http://www.tdf.org/

Metropolitan Museum of Art... http://www.metmuseum.org/

ATLANTIC CITY: about 2-3 hours away. You can rent a car/drive, or hop a bus. Train would take too long as I htink you have to go from EWR to Philadelphia-30th street and change. Not worth the aggravation.

Try Academy Bus: http://www.academybus.com/casinos_general_information.asp

AC Websites:http://www.atlanticcitynj.com/

http://www.atlantic-city-online.com/

GROCERY/PHARMACY/LIQUOR STORES

Grocery Store...Stop n Shop
http://www.stopandshop.com/our_stores/locator/store_details.htm?storeNumber=0822

SUPER Stop n Shop located next to entrance to port area (there's a couple other things there too!)

http://www.stopandshop.com/our_stores/locator/store_details.htm?storeNumber=0853

(It is too far to walk, and a cab is about $8 each way. It's around 2.0 miles from the terminal. The driveway into the pier is next to the shopping center-but it is a 2 mile walk into the terminal area with NO sidewalks and technically you aren't permitted to walk. That's not to say people don't do it....I would NOT suggest it......)

Also in that area:

http://www.bayonnenj.org/cgi-bin/database/read.pl?search=fante

There is an AJ Wright, Subway, Staples, Houlihan's restaurant, a wine store, Wendy's, Dunkin Donuts, a few other things and a laundromat

Shop-Rite: 865 W. Grand St., Eilzabeth :http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=651+Kapkowski+Rd,+Elizabeth,+NJ+07201+(Jersey+Gardens+Mall)&daddr=865+W+Grand+St,+Elizabeth,+NJ+07202&hl=en&geocode=Fbh2bAIdQi-U-yErsi9nex36Sw%3B&sll=40.67248,-74.20526&sspn=0.026495,0.076904&mra=ls&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=14

http://shoprite.mywebgrocer.com/StoreLocator.aspx?s=38079284&g=b11a6e6a-93d3-436e-b316-2ec374983a25&uc=8EE7C1&f=se&lcfo=4

Bayway World of Liquors (haven't been there though...here is a link to directions) 639 Bayway Ave, Elziabeth, NJ (908) 353 6300 http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&saddr=87+Glimcher+Realty+Way,+Elizabeth,+Union,+New+Jersey+07201,+United+States&daddr=639+Bayway+Ave,+Elizabeth,+Union,+New+Jersey+07202,+United+States&hl=en&geocode=&mra=ls&dirflg=h&sll=40.656725,-74.193405&sspn=0.053523,0.153809&ie=UTF8&ll=40.65629,-74.231529&spn=0.026762,0.076904&t=h&z=14

Walgreens: 401 Rahway Ave, Elizabeth, NJ http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&q=401+rahway+ave,+elizabeth&ll=40.659676,-74.225693&spn=0.00669,0.019226&t=h&z=16

Rite-Aid 25 S. Broad St, Elizabeth : http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=25+S+Broad+St,+Elizabeth,+NJ+07202&sll=40.659676,-74.225693&sspn=0.00669,0.019226&ie=UTF8&ll=40.663729,-74.220479&spn=0.00669,0.019226&t=h&z=16



PLACES TO EAT:

Brownstone Diner, Jersey City http://www.brownstonediner.com/

Featured on Food Network's "Diners Drive Ins and Dives"! Their pancakes look YUMMY and REALLY BIG!

Los Faroles Restaurant (never ate there, but sounds good) www.losfarolesrestaurant.com/media/flashfaroles.html

Ruby Tuesday (Near hotels off exit 13A/Jersey Gardnes Mall) http://www.rubytuesday.com/ - This location is OK in a pinch, but honeslty, my last meal there was horrible!

Iberia Peninsula Newark : http://www.iberiarestaurants.com/

iHOP (International House of Pancakes) Glimcher Realty Way adjacent to the Country Inn, Courtyard and Residence Inn in Elizabeth. This used to be the Jersey Gardens Diner, and when it opens should offer a decent, well priced option for those staying in the area. - NOW OPEN

(service was a little slow, but the server was VERY sweet-wasn't crowded which bugged me. However, the food was very good and served piping hot as it should be!)

If you are REALLY bored: in Terminal A at the airport, there is a small food court BEFORE security. Your choices are: a TGIFridays, Subway, Burger King, Pizza Place and maybe 1 or 2 other things.....and you can see some planes!

As of 11/2009 there is some renovation going on in terminals A and B so the food options may be somewhat less, temporarily, pre-security.

For a field trip, if you watch TLC's "CAKE BOSS" you can go to this bakery in Hoboken! http://www.carlosbakery.com/ . You can get there via PATH. You must change trains a few times, but it's under $2 to get there...and it's really only about 2-3 blocks from the Hoboken PATH station! GREAT cannoli and I love cannoli a lot!

Some fun places in NYC (there are thousands, here are just a few!)

Havana Cental (Times Square: Cuban) http://www.havanacentral.com/

Virgil's BBQ (Decent BBQ, Decent prices) http://www.virgilsbbq.com/

John's Pizzeria NYC http://www.johnspizzerianyc.com/

Trattoria Dopo Teatro (Italian, in Theatre District) http://www.dopoteatro.com/

Serendipity (Famous Frozen hot chocolate!) http://www.serendipity3.com/

Craving a great burger in NYC? Check this out...http://www.burgerrankings.com/

A group of friends who go out monthly to different burger places. Peter Luger's is a famous steakhouse....SO, gettting a burger may be a great way to check it out! Never been there, but maybe someday!

WANT TO SEE ONE OF THE MORNING NEWS SHOWS??

Good Morning America info : http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=144752

TODAY Show: http://www.todayshow.com/

CBS Early Show: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/28/earlyshow/main1354772.shtml

OR...LIVE with Regis & Kelly: http://bventertainment.go.com/tv/buenavista/regisandkelly/get_tickets.html

The View :
http://abc.go.com/daytime/theview/tickets



David Letterman: http://lateshow.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/show_info/tickets

ATLANTIC CITY

New train service from NYC and Newark Penn station.....LIMITED SERVICE, Fri, Sat, Sun ONLY but may be interesting for some. It is called the ACES train!

http://www.acestrain.com/















Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Info

About Liberty State Park in Jersey City..... http://www.libertystatepark.org/

You can easily access Liberty State Park on the NJ side via PATH trains and shuttles...this may be an easier option than going into Manhattan.


About Statue of Liberty National Park : http://www.nps.gov/stli/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm


Admission to the monuments is free. Parking at LSP may be $5.00. The ferry is not free...price information and suggestions for reservations can be found on the websites posted here!