We will be ending our transatlantic cruise in New Jersey and have heard it can be very slow to get off. We have a flight for 11am out of New Jersey and are wondering now if we'll make it. Would like to hear from anyone who has done a transatlantic back to U.S. about the disembarkation.
Although I haven't done it myself...I'll throw in my two cents worth anyway...On our return Canada/New England Cruise,
We come into Bayonne, NJ port- our flight is at 1:00pm. We were told by RCCL not to have a flight before 12:30. Take in mind...arriving to the Newark airport at least one hour prior.
Finding luggage, suggest carrying it off yourself, going through customs, getting a cab and driving there. You might want to re-think a 11:00 am flight.
Call your travel agent or the cruiseline they helped us with this.
Everything, and I do mean everything, runs tremendously slower in NY and NJ. You will never make an 11 a.m. flight out of Newark after disembarking your ship. You would have to step off of the ship by 7 a.m. to have even the slightest chance. Trust me.... change it.
Ditto, change your flight itin or you're going to be posting a story on here about missing your flight. All the extra expense and agrevation of booking another flight and not being reimbursed for the flight you didn't make... "Where is my luggage?" It's just not worth it.
A good rule of thumb is a 5 hour window of time from flights on the ground before departure and 5 hours between disembark and flight out of town. If it is a dificult pier or long distance from airport to pier add some time. If you can't find such flights or they are not affordable fly in the day before/stay an extra day after. Missing flights, cruises, etc. is no fun and much more costly than following the above advice.
Thank you all for responding. I have changed my flight to 2:20pm. I have taken many cruises but never transatlantic and I completely forgot about having to go through customs at the end of this one! Thank you all for helping me avoid disaster!
Personally I'd opt for an even later flight if possible... You have to get off the ship; not always a quick endeavor. Now find your luggage, do the customs thing. Get transportation to the airport. Don't forget the airline would really like you to show up 3 (?) hours early for your flight. Then you'll probably have issues with your luggage, unless you keep almost nothing in your room overnight. In short, why not spend a night in NYC or something, relax, and worry about a plane the next day even?
Can't I just carry my luggage off the ship myself and go straight to customs? That's what we usually do and we are able to leave with the first group that gets off. As I said, I've never done transatlantic so maybe it's different?
Javert, yes, you can disembark the ship early. I would suggest eating as early as possible, and then, as soon as it's cleared for debarkation, get off. No long good-byes.
The problem isn't in getting off of the ship, and not so much in getting through customs. It's in the traffic in and around New Jersey and Newark Airport. Traffic is murder and can be stopped dead for hours in both NJ and NY.
You should make your flight. These are just "heads-up" for you to be aware of.
I don't recommend you hanging around the ship on the morning of debarkation. Eat, disembark and get to customs. Especially with a transatlantic flight. The airlines want you there even earlier.