Since the new rules have been put into effect by Homeland Security and Customs it is imperavive that you arrive at the pier at least two hours early, they have to have you through check-in an hour before sailing. Not in line and hour before, on the ship! This morning I had my first client casualty since the new rules. I'm surprised it took this long to have one. Someone who did not heed the advice of verbal and email warnings about arriving late. Client had a flight booked way too close to cailing time and a flight delay in Detroit got her to the pier 45 minutes before sailing time. They not only would not allow boarding but would not even let them into the terminal area to plead her case. She and her daughter flying at their own expense to Grand Cayman to catch the ship.
That $150. lower priced non-refundable airline ticket that would get you to the pier on the day of the sailing at 12:45pm is not worth... The risk, hassle, add'l expense, missing the first day of your cruise, an add'l last minute (overpriced) airline ticket, emotional toll or any of the other issues it creates.
Come in the day before your cruise if you're flying and get a hotel room. If that's not possible, get there with as much cushion (5 hour window minimum) as possible. If you're driving, arrive very early. When you get near the terminal hit a Starbucks or other establishment of choice and relax with your coffee and laptop. Send a few emails letting friends and family you've arrived and all is well, many coffee shops have free WiFi hotspots for this. You'll enjoy your cruise a lot more with the peace of mind and time to relax.
We are going out on Glory March 8. We live in Indiana and we're driving to Florida. Will spend Friday night on Cocoa, Fl and sail out of Port Canaveral on Sat. Port is 12 miles from hotel. How early can we get to the peir? We don't mind waiting around. We want to get every penny's worth out of this trip and want to board as early as possible.
Neil, would it be safe to assume that if you book the air through the cruiseline and there should be a delay, they would hold the ship rather than turn you away from the pier?
My situation is this: I purchased Princess Air and transfer for my Panama Canal cruise on April 6. My flight on AA arrives at Ft. Lauderdale at 2:20 for a 5:00 sailing. This is way out of my comfort zone but it is the only direct flight of the day from LAX and it is the flight Princess assigned me. I know the pier is very close to the airport, but any delay could be bad. What is likely to happen if the plane is late?
I know what kind of answer I'll get from Princess; I want to ask somebody who deals with this all the time.
Rick, They have no written policy stating that they'll hold the ship for you but they often will if you've booked through their Air/Sea Dept direct or through your T/A. The un-written rule is, it depends on how many passengers they have on the flights affected and how long the delay will be. Seldom will they hold a ship for more than 2 hours but I know of a few circumstances where they have. In any event, if the delay is long enough that you miss the ship you won't like their policy from that point forward. The airline may offer to catch you up if they have the ability. Princess reply will be to ask if you have travel insurance. Then they'll refer you to their policy that distances themselves from any responsibility for flight delays and other circumstances beyond thier control. They will advise you to file a claim with your insurance provider. If you have no insurance, they'll tell you to take it up with the airline as it was the airline that did not meet their schedule and caused your issue.
BTW, the airline has similar disclaimers that their is no written or implied guarantee of arrival times and ask you if you have travel insurance. Again passing the buck and putting you in the same position you were in before.
It's pretty rare that you'd ever miss the ship with cruiseline air but it happens and it's really ugly when it does.
She and her daughter flying at their own expense to Grand Cayman to catch the ship.
Neil, or our other TAs on-site - this is the part of the new procedure I found vague. If someone is not checked in at the start of the cruise, would that preclude him/her from checking in at another port once the cruise is underway? I hope this family isn't flying to the Caymans for nothing.
Thanks for the quick reply, Neil. I was so glad to get a direct flight I thought I'd take my chances. Last time I did this I had to take a red-eye out of L.A. with a 3 hour layover in Dallas.
I'm not too worried, for several reasons: it's the first flight out on a Sunday morning; a big percentage of those on the flight will be headed for the cruise; I've got good insurance; and I've been on many cruises that were delayed for this exact reason.
So thanks for the heads-up Neil; now I know what I'm dealing with.
It has to be cleared in advance with Customs and the cruiseline and this has been done. They have clearance to check in with Customs at the airport and clearance from the cruiseline to board the ship when they arrive. We got all their ducks in a row before she booked the flight.
For anyone out there reading this who wonders what the big deal is with passports, this would not have been possible if they did not both have passports. They'd have missed their cruise completely.
That's a relief, Neil. As I said, that was rather ambiguous to me from quick readings of the update.
Rick, that's good news that it's the first flight of the day and a non-stop. That time difference can be nasty, can't it? I just flew back from LAX on Wednesday night... 1:30 pm departure (PST), arriving in Boston at about 10:00 pm EST.
You're welcome Rick. You must have paid the air deviation fee to get a direct flight, that doesn't happen often with their normal air package. If you don't mind me asking, did they just charge you the $50. standard fee or did you have to pay an add'l cost diff to change the flight?