I'm posting because I have always found this Forum loaded with good travel info and tips. I hope that this helps someone.
My wife and I travelled from Philadelphia to Ft. Lauderdale on Southwest Air. I'd always heard the cautions to make sure with Southwest that you check in via internet exactly 24 hours before departure.
I signed up for a small fee for their Early bird checkin so that the airline would assign us to a group. So, all I had to do was sometime before leaving for the airport was to logon and print boarding passes. We were assigned to the A group.
The two best things were at the end of the cruise.
Since I had signed up for the Early-Bird feature, I did not feel compelled to buy internet time on the Ship so I could print boarding passes on our arrival.
Also, Southwest and Bags-2-Go have a deal for cruise ships that return to Ft. Lauderdale. For a small fee (half of what the ship charges) all we had to do was after Customs take our luggage outside the terminal where a Bags-2-Go person was waiting to escort us to the waiting truck and the service person at a podium with a computer and printer.
The person took our luggage and printed our boarding passes (remember the early-bird-checkin). We took a cab to the airport with just our carry on. The truck took our luggage to the airport, through TSA and onto the plane. We picked up all of our luggage in Philly.
The greatest thing happened. Our disembarkation group gathered in the ship's theater at 7:00 AM, we were called to go at 7:10. We gatherered our luggage, went through Customs, left our luggage with the Bags-2-Go folks, grabbed a cab and were inside the airport through security at 8:00 AM.
Our best experience ever.