My sister is trying to get a flight to Miami and her connection shows arrival at MIA at 2:30 PM and the ship leaves at 4:00 PM. Is this a realistic time frame? The sales person told her the port is 5 miles from the airport. Appreciate any help ASAP.
You don't mention which cruise line, but from my experience, you must be on board at least 60 minutes before the ship is set to sail, so she'd need to be at the port by 2:30pm to allow time to check in and get through Security.
Yes, it is only 5 miles to the port, but trying to collect luggage, get a taxi and drive to the port can easily take an hour.
Programs: UA MileagePlus, SPG, Hyatt, Hotels.com, Avis, Hertz, Mint Car, AA, BA, VS, LH, AS, KE. Global Entry.
I had a similar situation where flights into MIA weren't convenient at all so we flew in FLL. While it is a good 40 minute ride the flight time and costs were well worth it. Hertz had a drop off a 4 minute walk from the cruise depot.
She will have to stay over night in MSP and get an early flight from there. She can get into MIA around noon which sounds like a much better plan. Fll did not work any better for schedule. Thanks for the advice.
Could someone suggest a reasonable motel to stay at that would provide a shuttle to the dock? Do any of the motels provide service from the airport? Never flown into or out of Miami so all is new to me.
I'm a frequent cruiser who also teaches courses on cruising.
You did not mention when your sister is sailing. If it is in winter she should definitely fly down the day before.
There are very few hotels with free shuttle near the Port of Miami. Taxis are very reasonable and in most cases are better than overloaded shuttles.
You can get more information on Cruise Critic.com. Search through East Coast homeports. (It is a dedicated cruising site and the BOARDS are a wonderful resource for her before she sails.)
As to her boarding time. Homeland Security determines the time of boarding. For most cruise lines that is 90 minutes, not 60. The paperwork must be turned in an hour before sailing. And now, cruise lines are required to hold their security/lifeboat drills before sailing.
Your sister can arrive for check in around 11:30. Once onboard she can enjoy a leisurely lunch (usually at a Lido buffet) and access her cabin around 1:30. That will give her time to walk around the ship, get her bearings, and rest before the lifeboat drill.
I do hope she has a wonderful cruise.
Also let her know that she should not book a return flight before noon. Docking time is not disembarkation time. And, on cruise days both MIA and FLL are nightmarish with long lines everywhere which equates to SLOW transit.
Do check out Cruise Critic. If you have more questions you can post here too of course.
try parksleepfly.com and have her punch in cruise port and park then go below and punch fly in no parking. It will show her the hotels, cost and when the shuttle runs (mostly 24 hours). Very reliable site.
If you are going on a cruise, allow yourself a night at your port of departure. I know it sounds like a lost day, but what are you going to do in case of a delay? I've even given myself 2 days before the departure for my next cruise, but that has more to do with the fact I want to explore the city a lil bit ;-)
She needs to fly in the day before. I'd advise staying at the holiday inn near the port. It's about a $20 cab ride from MIA and is about a $6 taxi to the port. You could even walk it but there is a tall bridge. This hotel is very near a CVS store and across from the bayside shopping mall area which is a nice area and you can pick up last minute supplies, etc. We just got back from a cruise at this port on the Carnival Imagination last week. They started boarding at about Noon and sailed at 4pm but you really don't want to cut it close by flying in at noon the day of.