Our last time at the Port of Brooklyn was when we sailed on the Ocean Princess from Dover to Brooklyn. We left the ship and shared a cab with another couple to Penn Station, a fare that cost about $25 shared by four people with enough luggage. This time for our sailing on the QM2, we would arrive at Grand Central and need to find our way to the Brooklyn Terminal.
The cruise was just a short one -5 days- and we didn’t have too much luggage with us, so we considered the public transportation option, but we also debated about doing it the easy way where we would toss our luggage in a trunk and not worry about it until we reached the port. The number of Cunarders who select this option in the US probably ranks low, but that doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t try it. In the name of research, we decided to use the public transport route with an alternate plan to abandon this method at any point if we decided it was too difficult, took too long or too physically demanding.
Taking public transport to the Port of Brooklyn
MTA(Metropolitan Transit Authority) has quite a nice trip planner, which we took advantage of. Our only confusion was finding the stop for the B61 bus. We often get turned around when we don’t know which exit we should take when leaving the subway station. If you click on the Map This Option and click on each step on the right side of the screen, you may find directions telling you which exit to take.
Friendly B61 bus driver
As we boarded the bus, we asked the bus driver to let us know the stop that we were looking for. He suggested that we get off at King St. instead of Commerce as it was much closer to the pedestrian entrance to the cruise terminal. We followed his directions to walk up to the end of King street and turn right. We walked another block and easily found the pedestrian entrance to the terminal. When we returned, we walked straight up Pioneer St. to reach the bus stop on Commerce St.
We didn’t want to be standing at the bus stop for hours, so we consulted the B61 bus schedule. Knowing the times that the bus would arrive, we could schedule our departure from the ship so that we wouldn’t be waiting too long for the bus. The return bus stop was even closer than where we were dropped and has a covered area.
We easily made our way back to Grand Central, once again using the Trip Planner.
We did purchase an MTA card in advance so that we could transfer from the bus back to the subway. We learned from previous trips that it’s no problem to transfer from the subway to the bus, but if you don’t have a card, you cannot transfer from the bus to the subway, so be sure to add enough credit to your card for the return trip when you start your journey. If you don’t have a card, you will need exact change and can only get a transfer to another bus.