When I think of cruise homeports in the U.S., my mind immediately heads south to Florida and then on to Louisiana, Texas, and even San Juan, Los Angeles, and San Diego. It’s easy to forget that the Northeast is peppered with up-and-coming cruise ports.
However, Royal Caribbean’s latest news reminded me about the close-to-home cruising options for East Coasters. The mainstream line recently opened bookings for its 2008-2009 season, which will offer more departures from Northeastern ports, such as the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne (New Jersey), Baltimore, Boston, and Norfolk.
The Explorer of the Seas is stationed in the New York/New Jersey area year-round, the Grandeur of the Seas will split its summer between Baltimore and Norfolk, and the Jewel of the Seas will return to Boston in the fall. Itineraries from these ports include Bermuda, eastern and southern Caribbean, and Canada and New England voyages.
With so many ships departing from Atlantic shores, East Coast residents have more options to drive, rather than fly, to their departure ports. In additon to Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess, and several other lines are homeporting ships in eastern cities. The money saved from not purchasing flights to Miami or other southern ports can be used for an onboard splurge, like a massage or special shore excursion, or stockpiled in your bank account for a future vacation.
So the next time all you Easterners think about cruising, don’t forget to look in your own backyard.