My cruise is leaving at 4pm on the 4th of January. what time do you think my flight needs to arrive by, is 11am to late? Also is there shuttles i can set up to pick us up so we can garuntee getting there.
Which airport and which cruise port? Generally speaking if you are arriving at 11am you will be fine for most U.S. ports. For example, MIA is just a 20 minute drive to the port of Miami. FLL is so close to Port Everglades that, depending on the terminal, you can see the ships from the airport.
We would be flying into Miami airport and departing from Miami port, we are flying from North Carolina. I am assuming since were flying from a place with good weather to a place with good weather there wouldnt be as much risk with flight problems. Or is it just safer to fly in the night before?
It is always wise to try and get to the port a day early. Too many things can happen. Despite this being my usual advice I did fly to MCO on the day of the cruise this past August. In that case the bad weather was there up to the day before the cruise (tropical storm that hung off the coast of Florida for days), so in the end I made a good choice. But risk-wise, flying down on the day of the cruise is not the best choice.
Don't assume the weather in North Carolina and Miami will be good. Other factors: even if it is pleasant on the day of your flight remember that your airplane is most likely coming from someplace else - and the someplace else may have weather delays. It has happened to me on numerous occasions - most recently in June at ATL. We had nice weather. The problem was our airplane was coming from New York and they had lousy weather and were delayed. No big deal since we were flying home from a cruise. But it could have been the other way around.
And another thing, that I've run into, is lost luggage. I flew to San Juan the day of a cruise, my luggage went to Seattle or something like that. Maybe it took a trip to Hawaii, don't know. It didn't catch up with me until 3 days later.