Brooklyn has a passenger ship terminal in Red Hook. If you are taking a transatlantic crossing on Cunard, you’re likely starting or ending there. If you are doing a round trip crossing, you have maybe eight hours in the Big Apple. You are concerned if you venture too far afield, you might miss the sailing. Exploring Brooklyn is your solution.
The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal
Here’s the good news: It’s a modern, easy to navigate facility. Now the bad news. It’s not near any mass transit. Theoretically, you can walk off the property, but you are in an industrial warehouse district. You’ll need a taxi, car service or Uber to get anywhere.
The Case for Brooklyn
Brooklyn, New York is often referred to as “The 4th largest city in America.” It doesn’t officially get this status because it’s one of five boroughs incorporated into New York City. At 8.4 million people, NYC is the largest city in the US.
People visiting New York typically end up in Manhattan. It’s easy to navigate because of its grid system of streets and avenues. Broadly speaking, the tourist district is 34th Street to 72nd Street, river to river. Real estate is pricy. Corporate headquarters means expense account restaurants are nearby. The people who work in those office towers live in places like Brooklyn. It has neighborhoods. If you want to get a taste of how New Yorkers live, spend your time ashore in Brooklyn.
Option #1 – Park Slope
If you looked at Brooklyn like a human figure, Prospect Park would be at its heart. Brooklyn Heights its head. Let’s start with Park Slope.
Get a taxi/uber/car service to bring you to Grand Army Plaza. It’s a huge traffic circle with Brooklyn’s version of the Arch de Triumph in the center. You are on the perimeter of Prospect Park, a 526 acre green space. Don’t worry if you walked off the ship at 8:00 AM, the park has a cool feature: In the early morning hours, dog owners are allowed to let their dogs off their leashes in a large meadow. It’s a doggie networking event or cocktail party!
Park Slope is the Brownstone neighborhood alongside the park. Prospect Park West borders the park. 8th, 7th and 6th Avenues follow as you walk away from the park. This was one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the US in the 1800’s. Lots of beautiful mansions. 7th Avenue is the commercial street. Real people go to real coffee shops and bakeries. Lots of restaurants and bars, although it’s a little early for that first drink.
In the other direction off Grand Army Plaza, Eastern Parkway leads to the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Both are famous. The Brooklyn Public Library building completes the trio.
Getting a taxi back to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal should be pretty easy.
Option #2 – Brooklyn Heights
It’s historically been Brooklyn’s most exclusive neighborhood. The area by the East River is bordered by the Promenade, a railed walking area with great views. The houses are brownstones, brick buildings and yes, more mansions. Montague Street is the commercial heart of the neighborhood. It’s not very long, but it has lots of shops, restaurants and bars.
If you head towards the water, you fill find The River Café. Opened in 1977, it was one of the first restaurants built on a river barge, which is dry docked. (It doesn’t move.) It has great views of the New York skyline. They serve lunch on Saturday and brunch on Sunday. It’s expensive, but you are paying for the experience. Menus are on their website.
You are at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, another iconic New York landmark. That’s good for a picture or two.
Here’s a major reason ship passengers will like it. Your greatest fear is missing the ship! It sails without you! You can see the ships docked at the passenger ship terminal from the restaurant! Always allow yourself plenty of time to get back, however if you can see the ship, the taxi ride shouldn’t take that long. The restaurant should be able to order one for you.
Both itineraries are within easy reach of your ship. There’s plenty to do. Strolling the streets, you are experiencing life as locals live it.
Story courtesy of Bryce Sanders