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Old 11-08-2006, 12:51 PM
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It's almost time to go... weeeeeeee, I'm so excited. But, in the meantime, I have another question...

On the last day when we dock in Miami, we will not be flying back that day. Instead, we have a hotel for the night. But, check-in at the hotel is not until noon. I note it says that we arrive at 7:00 a.m. (Oh soooo early). That would mean 5 hours of wandering around Miami with our luggage. UGH! Sooo....

How late can you stay on the ship before you "must" depart with your stuff? Is your stuff kept in a safe place where only you can claim it until you disembark? Can you at least keep your carry-on bag? While on the ship, will there still be places to eat/drink that day? At least breakfast, I'm hoping. Can you still use the facilities at all? E.g., get breakfast, go for a swim, take a shower, eat an early lunch pizza slice, and then disembark to go to hotel around noon?
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Old 11-08-2006, 01:50 PM
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Hi. I would go to the hotel, and have them store your luggage till you come back to check in. That is what we always do. It is usually just my husband and I, so we don't have that much luggage. Our last few cruises we have carried our luggage both on and off. We love doing that, much less hassle for us. The buffet will be open for breakfast. We were on the Freedom maiden voyage this past june. We really like the bigger ships. We loved her. Enjoy! Bon Voyage Lil' Lori
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Old 11-08-2006, 02:56 PM
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They won't let you hang around on the ship all morning. The pools will be closed. The pizza place will be closed. They don't want them messed up for the new passengers. Actually they don't want any of the ship to be messed up prior to the new passengers boarding, so the goal of the crew is to get everyone off the ship as quickly as possible. They need to get things cleaned up, get new provisions loaded, etc. You have to "card out" when you leave the ship for the last time, so they will know if someone is still lingering. They try to get everyone off the ship by 9am or so. This depends on how cooperative Customs is.

Besides the buffet, the main dining room will also be open for breakfast. We prefer going to the dining room for breakfast, especially on debarkation day when the buffet can be a madhouse depending on when you go.

You have to keep your carry on bags! Your big luggage is gathered up on the last evening and stored. They will then move it off the ship in the early morning. You are called off the ship by groups (groups are identified by colored tags on your bags). The color you get is supposed to relate to flight times, etc., such that "purple" (example) will be called at 7am because those people have early flights. You will probably be in the last group called off the ship since you are staying in Miami. When "purple" is called, the luggage with purple tags will be put on the carousels in the terminal. When "orange" is called, their luggage will become available. This progresses onward through the various colors until everyone is gone. As Lori notes, you can also skip the luggage retrieval drill. To do this you have to be able to carry all your baggage unassisted from the ship to the pier. This group is the first one called. On the maiden voyage of Freedom (I was on it too, even met Lori!) I think that first group was gone by 7am.

Most decent hotels will store your luggage until your room is available.
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Old 11-08-2006, 04:04 PM
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Hello, Usually the hotel will let you check in a little early if there is a room ready. Also you should be able to lounge aroung the pool area at the hotel until you can check it. Did you check to see if the hotel has shuttle service from the port? Have a great cruise!

Sonny
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Old 11-08-2006, 07:44 PM
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Hi Again....

Ooooo.... only a few days left. I'm soooo excited.

Thank you for all the prompt responses. I don't know if the hotel has a shuttle. I'll have to check. It will be the Atlantic Oceanfront. Has anyone else stayed there to know the answer? I do know that a taxi ride is supposed to be fairly reasonable.

Looky, looky at my counter... very soon I will be on my veriest firstest and can't wait to go-ist cruise! (yes, those are nonsense words, but they're MY nonsense words....
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Old 11-09-2006, 05:15 AM
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That hotel is about 5 miles from the port. No shuttle. I don't like to sugar coat things, so I'll be upfront and tell you that hotel has some very mixed reviews - mostly doing with it being a tad worn and in need of a makeover. It is clean though and in a good location.
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:36 AM
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Hi DoberDawn. Boy, do you sound like a cruise addict in the making. Enjoy! Bon Voyage Lil' Lori
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