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lil2krayzee 10-26-2007 07:02 AM

Sorry, more questions!

I've read that you should arrive in your departure city the day before your cruise departs. We will only being flying from Atlanta to Miami, so is this really necessary? It's not very feasable for us to arrive a day ahead when we will be having a wedding the night before at 6 pm. Is it ok to arrive the day of? Should we ask for an early flight? My TA said they usually book the flights so that you dont have to find something to do in between landing and boarding the ship. Plus, I dont' really want to lug around our luggage before boarding the ship, which I'm assuming we are responsible for (getting it to the ship) What do ya'll recommend?

electech 10-26-2007 07:25 AM

Feel free to ask all the questions you need. We always arrive the day before the cruise and generally tell others to as well. But, in your case, I would recommend you get the earliest flight possible. There are always possibilities for flight delays, no matter how short the flight is. I would say there is no such thing as too early, but there is such a thing as too late. If you can get a flight to get you there by 10 am, then you should have no problem. Just hand the luggage to the fellows at the airport if you are going through the cruise for airfare and if not, just give them to the cab or van driver and then the people at the cruise terminal. Then, you can tool around a bit or just go on in and get signed in. Our last cruise, 2 couples arrived at the dock as we were pulling away and both wives were crying as the ship left them. We found out later that they had a flight that was supposed to arrive at noon and a couple of delays put them arriving at the airport way after 4 pm. By the time they got their luggage, they got stuck in traffic and arrived at the dock in time to see the ship pull away. They did pay extra and caught up with us later but that is not the way to start your cruise. Better safe than sorry.

Jim C. 10-26-2007 07:56 AM

electech gave you a fine answer. But I have a couple of details to add just so you know.

The cruise docs will say that you can start boarding at 1PM to and should be on the ship bby 4PM. Meaning the ship is scheduled to depart at 5PM. Most of the time you can actually start boarding by 12PM. So if you schedule you flight in the morning you should be ok. Even if you get a 2 hour delay, you would still be ok. But, you won't have time to bother finding something between the flight and the ship. Even if you manage to get into Miami airport by 9AM, by the time you get your luggage get through the taxi line (you implied you are doing your own transfer to the ship) and get from the airport to the ship, you will at best case arrive at the ship by 10AM more likely 10:30. So you stand their staring at your ship for an hour and a half before you get on.. big deal. Its not worth the hassle and expense (the taxi are charged a port entry fee which the pass on to you, so going into the port and leaving again will cost you $25 plus the cab fare) to go to the Bayside shopping mall. I always try to get on the ship as early as possible because once you get on, your are cruising! (Lunch is ready, you can explore the ship, maybe go see your cabin etc etc)

penny3333 10-26-2007 08:05 AM

It is better to arrive the day before, without question, even on a short flight. If the airlines send your luggage on a trip, you have a chance it will find you the next day, before boarding the ship. I've had to sail twice without my luggage, and it's no fun. Since your wedding is at 6pm, it would be hard for you to fly in a day before. You could, however, catch a late night flight. Then you could sleep in, and have a lessed stressed time before you board the ship. If you choose to fly in the day of, like Jim said, get as early of a flight as possible. Standing on the dock while your ship is there is much better than standing on the dock watching it sail away. Best wishes.

Valeries220 10-26-2007 08:14 AM

I think it's best to come the day before too since you never know what can happen. This year our luggage couldn't be found right away along with a few others. The airlines didn't seem very concerned so we all had to insist to check the plane again. Mine was the last to come so it did delay us. The other couple's luggage wasn't there and they were leaving on a cruise that day. They were already running late for the ship and now they had to be delayed filling out the paperwork to try and find their luggage. I just was thankful they found ours but had they not the extra day arriving would have given me time to find it.

We ended up shopping and having dinner at Bayside which is always fun and woke up the next morning refreshed and ready to start our cruise.

Dave 10-26-2007 08:48 AM

Let's most recent example of how things can go wrong when flying happened when I was flying from Charleston to Huntsville in July. Normally not a big deal. Two flights with a connection at Atlanta. The flight from ATL to HSV is less than 30 minutes once the airplane rotates (takes off). I arrived at ATL at around 3pm with my flight to HSV scheduled to depart at around 4:30pm. It was stormy around the airport and flights were being delayed. This was a problem, but actually the big problem had started earlier that day in the northeast when bad weather caused major delays at key airports. The cascade had started. The airplane that was supposed to come to ATL and then fly me to HSV was late arriving from up north. I ended up boarding a rerouted airplane at 9pm and got to HSV about 6 hours later than I should have.

They also had to cancel a couple of flights to BHM and combine them for a later departure time.

This is why I always tell people to arrive a day early.

cruisechick77 10-29-2007 10:32 AM

I just went on the liberty of the seas earlier on in the month. My flight left at 7am (on the day the ship was to set sail), and arrived in Miami around 10am. We had no delays, and no problems. Someone from RC was waiting for us at the airport when we arrived and took our luggage from us and we boarded a bus at 11am to go to the ship. RC said that our ship would start boarding around 1 or 2pm and would stop boarding people around 4pm.. We got to the ship sometime before noon, and we sat in a waiting area with about 500 other people, for probably no more than an hour when RC started boarding people. The boarding process went fairly smoothly. I didnt feel like I was waiting around forever, and we were able to board the ship early in the day. I was also lucky - no flight problems! The next time I go I would definetly book a flight a day earlier and stay in a nearby hotel for one night.

good luck!

lil2krayzee 10-29-2007 11:26 AM

Well I guess now that ya'll have all terrified me of what could happen I'll just ask my TA to book us a late night flight, or a super early morning flight at the worst case. I'd rather not have any mishaps on my first cruise. I have enough circuiling around in my head about what to remember and what to do that I dont' need any added stress. And this is 6 months prior! (what can I say, I'm a planner!)

Seriously, thanks for all of the advice though. This board has been so helpful.

electech 10-29-2007 11:34 AM

No problem. I hope that all the answers have been a help. Good planning now may seem stressful and full of headaches but it will prevent them later. You will have a blast and your first cruise memories last a lifetime so you want to make sure those are good memories!! Have fun and take care.

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