Royal Caribbean now has early disembarkation available if you're willing to handle your own luggage. Here is the official announcement:
Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises guests who are eager to catch early flights home can take advantage of Express Departure, a new option that allows them to carry their own luggage off the ship rather than claim it in the terminal after disembarking. To use Express Departure, guests who can carry their own luggage simply keep their luggage inside their stateroom the night before disembarkation day. The next morning, these guests can depart the ship between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. and proceed directly to their next destination. Express Departure is available on every Royal Caribbean and Celebrity vessel, in ports throughout North and South America and Europe.
The lines also offer the option to pay for a service called Luggage Valet, which streamlines the seaport-to-airport process. Guests who participate can check their luggage and receive their airline boarding passes and baggage claim checks before leaving the ship. When they arrive at the airport, they can avoid check-in lines at the airport and proceed directly to the security checkpoint. "Luggage Valet is ideal for guests who wish to simplify their transition from one of our ships to the airport," said Jayme Porkolab, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s director of air operations, systems and planning. "It's also an easy way for guests who have a late flight to spend the day enjoying a land-based tour or shopping, with only the luggage they plan to carry onto the plane later."
Luggage Valet is offered in some of the lines' busiest ports, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades, Tampa, San Juan, Seattle and Vancouver. Participating airlines include American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. Both lines also offer guests the ability to check in online before they sail. Guests can choose this option by visiting the lines' websites and following the steps for online check-in. This allows passengers to print a boarding pass, which grants them faster access to registration and boarding at the pier. For more information, visit www.royalcaribbean.com
If you're flying from Ft. Lauderdale, and not Miami, you're probably ok anyway if you let someone at the Purser's Desk know that you have an early flight. Then, even if you don't handle your own luggage, they're likely to put you in the first group or two that called to get off the ship.
Officially, if your ship comes into Ft. Lauderdale and you're flying out of Ft. Lauderdale, they suggest flights at noon or later. If you're flying out of Miami, it's either 12:30 or 1pm.