I'm a "day before" type too. First you get to start the vacation early. But more importantly, I am an airline pilot and I can tell you too many times when flights are delayed. Here is just one example. We took off for Miami on Sunday about 11:00. Flaps wouldn't come up after takeoff so we had to return to Atlanta. We finally changed aircraft and instead of a 1:00 arrival, it was about 3:00. LOT's of stressed out cruise passengers. I live in Atlanta and generally drive to Florida cruises. We are only about 7 hrs. from Port Canaveral. Never the less we always go a day early. Gives "wiggle room" if there is a problem.
Here is another example. We flew from Orlando to JFK. On board we had a couple going to Athens, Greece. They only gave themselves 45 min. from landing in JFK to takeoff for Athens and they had to change terminals. Needless to say (and anyone who has flown to JFK will attest to) they didn't make it. They had to fly to Greece the next day and the cruise had already left. For the sake of a $150 hotel room they missed a good portion of their cruise, and if they didn't have insurance it probably cost them way more than $150 to catch up to the ship. Oh, and they ended up having to get a hotel room in New York anyway.
Allure is out of Ft. Lauderdale. There are lots of options for reasonable hotels there, and lots of great restaurants for the night before. Embassy Suites in Ft. Lauderdale sometimes offers good deals and a shuttle to the port. But there are lots of other options and if need be you can rent a car and drop it at the port (try Budget) and drive a bit away from the port to a cheaper hotel area.
We did Allure in Sep. it is FANTASTIC. DON'T miss a day! Go early, have fun in Ft. Lauderdale area, have a nice dinner before, relax in the morning and go have a GREAT time on Allure.
It's funny you should mention being a pilot yet driving to cruises. A friend of mine is also a commercial pilot, although he gave up passengers for cargo several years ago, and while he flies all over the world on international deliveries of cargo when he goes on vacation with his family he always drives. He lives in Tennessee yet they drive to Texas, Florida, D.C., wherever. He says it is more fun that way and he has more control over the itinerary.
We’ve done it both ways but we prefer to fly down the day before and enjoy a relaxing first day of the cruise. It’s not very difficult to pick out the passengers that have been running through the airport all day.
For us, we have done this both ways and this is true.
Sometimes you cannot afford the extra day.
I think that if you can fly in and be able to get to the port by 1:00, all should be good. Just bear in mind that you are on vacation and don't forget to rest.
Booked on Disney Fantasy October 2012
Booked on RCI Monarch of the Seas May 2012
Disney Magic October 2011
Disney Wonder November 2010
Understandably. Although I have free flights (your cargo friend has to buy a reduced ticket), I prefer to drive if possible for the very reason that I control my own destiny (traffic permitting). But it is also easier to pack. I can throw as many suitcases in the car as I can fit. I have also seen the world from 35,000 feet. As beautiful as it is, and as relaxing as it can be on an airplane, I enjoy the view from the ground. Also I can re-stock my bar from duty free if I drive.
Actually my goal is, when I retire, to buy an RV and travel the country and see all the places I flew over.
I must admit though, I did a Med cruise a few years ago. Got Business Elite class to Europe and back and it cost only taxes. It is the only way to fly.