We are going on Splendour of the Sea next June and have an early morning flight. ( airport 1 hr from port ) We arrive at 7am, has anyone any idea how long it takes to disembark and can we arrange for special circumstances ? Our flight is at 10.30 am and I am concerned !!! Cheers !
While I have only been on one cruise, and did not have to worry about catching a flight, my gut reaction is you will not make the flight. While the ship may doc at 7 a.m. - that does not mean you can just exit off the ship. In fact, depending on where your cruise goes, there could be a length customs process that has to happen - and nobody is going to be let off until that process begins, and potentially ends.
In my situation, we were scheduled to dock at 8 a.m. - and we were actually in early. However, the first group of passengers were not off the ship until closer to 9 a.m.
Everyone on the ship will be divided up into color groups - depending on your travel arrangements. So being as you have an AM flight, you could be one of the first groups off - but you may not know that until the night before you disembark. In my case I had a car in long-term parking waiting for me. I think we were something like the 11th or 12th group off the boat - with one or two more after us. Probably was, we ended up standing in line for nearly another 30 minutes before we were actually off the boat.
Given your airport is still another 1 hour drive - you could be potentially getting at the airport less than 1 hour before your flight. The question is, does that give you enough time to go through all of the TSA stuff at the airport? Also, will you need to be checking / handling your own bags? If so, that could slow you down that much more.
Just some of my initial thoughts - but you should definitely field opinions from more experienced travelers on this site.
Quick follow-up to my post above - My group was not called to begin exiting the boat until 10 a.m. or so. I was not off the boat and on the transport to my car until about 10:30 a.m.
It quite honestly could all come down to how quickly everyone on your cruise has settled their accounts (if paying cash), and whether or not customs has any issues with anyone in your color group, or the ones ahead of you.
On our cruise it was easily 10-15 minutes between color groups getting called to get off the boat.
we have been on the Splendour last month.
We arrived in Galveston at 7 am and disembarking began at 8.30 am.
But there were long lines, because they did not have so much counters for the Immigration and Customs. It took 1 hour 45 minutes, before we were through the immigration.
We calculate the flights not earlier then 2 pm. So you have enough time to get the flight.
If you are a US citizen and you are travelling with RCCL, they have a new program called:
Travel Lite Program.
We are pleased to introduce our Travel Lite Program that offers our guests an alternative way of departing the ship. It allows US citizen guests to carry their own luggage off the ship, immediately after the ship has been cleared by United States Customs and Border Protection Officials.As this is an Express Departure the number of spaces are limited. Please check with the Pursers Desk for more information.
This is the originally text we got from RCCL in our Cruise Compass.
Based on my 14 cruises and most recently in November of 2005 where we walked off our luggage in Los Angeles, it seems that you are really cutting it close. But there are ports/airports that are very close to each other such as Fort Lauderdale and San Diego where you can allow three hours very comfortably. My suggestion is to work with your travel agent and get as late a departure that you can comfortably handle. And it may be best to stay over another day and then fly home without worrying all during the cruise about making the flight home.
Janes, cruise lines generally tell you the earliest flight they recommend on departure day. Royal Caribbean will tell you noon is the earliest for Miami disembarkation, 12:30pm if the ship comes into Miami and you're flying out of Ft. Lauderdale, 1pm for Orlando departures, etc. I don't know the recommendation for Galveston, but I'm almost positive that flying out at 10:30am is cutting it too close.
Once onboard, you can "register" at the Pursur's Desk as having an early departure flight, and they'll do their best to give you the color of luggage tag that gets called off the ship first, but even so, they won't take responsibility if you miss such an early flight. I'd change the flight to a later one, and if you happen to get to the airport early, try to stand by for that 10:30am flight.
I am actuslly sailing from Venice, Italy and I am european so I hope this will make a big difference!! The cruise info advises to get a flight after 11am so we are only 30 mins early!! There are no more flights out that day so I guess it's either fingers crossed or pay extra to change the flights and have another night in the hotel. Has anyone got a crystal ball !!!!!
If you tell the registration desk of your situation and are prepared to carry your own bags off, you shouldn't have a problem. Take a taxi from the port to the airport and you will have plenty of time for check your bags and yourself in for your flight. Venice can be a problem if you are in the center of the crowd.