We are scheduled for a cruise on the Liberty of the Seas out of Ft. Lauderdale, Nov. 21-26. Our problem is that we just received word that we have to be in Atlanta at 12:00 noon on the day we return, the 26th. We have been told several different things such as we can get of the ship as early as 7:00 but others have said not til 10:00. The only available flight is 9:40. Is this at all possible? We will have a vehicle at the port to drive us to the airport by people from our party. Also, some have said you can only disembark early if you have smaller size carry on luggage. Help???
If you can carry all your luggage off the ship yourself you can do self-debarkation. The ship is scheduled to arrive at 7:00AM. It may arrive earlier. However; when the ship arrives, customs takes over the ship and passengers may not disembark until customs clears the ship. It's possible the ship could start calling self-debarkation as early as 7:30AM if all goes well. In some cases earlier, in some cases later. Once off the ship you will go through the customs line in the terminal. It is about a ten minute ride to the airport (pending no traffic). Keep in mind though the 5400 passenger Oasis of the Seas also will be arriving the morning of Nov 26th. It has been reported security lines at the airport can be long. Also, it's the weekend after a major holiday. Good-Luck.
Self-debarkation is the first group to leave the ship. When this happens depends on when Customs gives approval for the passengers to start leaving. Normally they are pretty good about not delaying things, but also note if the ship arrives at 7am that doesn't mean people start leaving at 7am. There is a process involved and if you arrive at 7am I would not expect self-debarkation to start for at least 30 to 45 minutes later. That puts you around 8am exiting the pier after going through Customs. And please note self-debarkation is very popular which means lots of people do it. Things can get bogged down.
Self-debarkation indeed does mean you have to be able to carry all of your luggage off the ship with no assistance. Porters or staff are not allowed to help you leave the ship, hence the strong recommendation that it only be carry-on type luggage. You also cannot check luggage for transfer to the pier if you use self-debarkation.
If everything flows perfectly you could get to the airport in time for a 9:40am flight. Perfectly means TSA is not backed up either, and that you can check any luggage at the airport with no delays. More variables? The Oasis Of The Seas will be debarking around 6000 passengers at the same time, along with whatever other ships have arrived at Port Everglades that morning. Many of those people will also be heading for FLL.
So in the end I am telling you a 9:40am flight will be a crap shoot. I know people who have made it to the airport by 7:30am because the ship arrived a little early. I also know people who missed 10am flights. This is really all anyone can tell you, other than 'good luck'.
I truly appreciate the information. We were told since we would not be checking in any luggage on the flight that if we could get to the airport by 8:40 we would be fine but I had not thought about the other traffic from the other ships. We have never cruised out of Ft. Lauderdale and I am not familiar with the port and how the traffic flows thru it. We have held of booking to see if there is something else we can do. There is a 10:15 flight but it is $150 more per ticket. The 9:40 flight is the only one we can afford at today's prices and get to Atlanta in time but if the chance is greater that we will miss the flight, not sure if we want to take the risk. THANK YOU!!!
Port Everglades is right across the road from the airport. However, I really wouldn't try to count on making the 9:40 flight. If you book that one, can you just pay the $150 different for the 10:15? Are you trying to catch a connecting flight in Atlanta? I wish you luck, but I have my doubts.
I see you guys are from Alabama. My husband and I are originally from Alabama. He is a huge University of Alabama fan and I am an Auburn Grad! We have never been able to go the Auburn/Bama game but were just given tickets so I am doing everything I can to try to get us there! I appreciate your advice greatly!!!!
I assume you're going to the Iron Bowl, which should be a total blast. Congrats on the tickets, they're really hard to come by. I'm originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, so I root for the Gators, Canes and Noles. I do enjoy all college games, though. I think this year, Alabama is going to take Auburn, unless Alabama has injuries.