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Old 07-07-2007, 07:20 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 142
We will be getting off of Carnival Liberty on December 8. The last time we were on Carnival we used self-assist and made it to the Ft. Lauderdale airport by 9:00 a.m.

Has anyone used self-assist and gotten to the airport later than 10:00 a.m.? I would like to book a 11:10 a.m. return flight, but need to know if self-assist is ever too late to make such an early flight.
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Old 07-08-2007, 12:00 PM
TrvlPro's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 2,172
What will you do if the ship is delayed an hour returning to port? If you book a flight less than 5 hours after the scheduled port time for the ship, you're taking a big chance in missing your flight. If you buy insurance to cover missed flights, they will deny your claim unless you follow the cruiseline guidelines for departure times. Those guidelines are typically between a 4 and 5 hour window of time after the ship is scheduled to begin disembarkation.

Sitting in an airport with your luggage and trying to arrange another flight after missing your flight is both costly and frustrating. Not the way to end a vacation. Just my opinion (based on experience in the industry), book a later flight and don't take the chance. Also, it's not worth it just for the worry factor alone.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 07-08-2007, 12:12 PM
Dave's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 18,001
Let me add a quirk that happened last week to us. Our ship arrived right on time in Miami and debarkation commenced exactly according to schedule. And then a problem happened. The Customs computer system crashed and everything came to a halt. Nobody was allowed off the ship for at least a half hour. We were actually within 5 feet of the exit from the ship and were not allowed to move beyond that point. It seems that Customs doesn't have a back-up plan for processing people. So keep this in mind. Things can happen that you would never expect. I'd never try to book a flight before noon from MIA or FLL. Too risky.
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:19 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Posts: 911
John.. after you clear customs and are on the way to the airport, then call the airline and check on the earlier flight. If they have vacancy, they will usually let you go so they have more time to sell your seat on the next flight. I've done this on Southwest from FLL many times and lucked out with the earlier flight not being full. If you can't, the worst thing is a few extra drinks at the bar on the concourse!
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