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Close time b/t cruise arrival & flight departure

Close time b/t cruise arrival & flight departure

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Old Apr 10, 16, 3:16 pm
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Thanks to all who have answered on this thread. I arrive at POM Sunday August 14th at 8am on NCL Escape and am flying home from MIA at 11:30 AM. I will self-disembark with boarding pass in hand and take a taxi. I'm flying Delta and have a FC ticket with Sky Priority to get through security more quickly. Any other advice I should follow?
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Old Apr 10, 16, 4:06 pm
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Thanks!

Thanks to all for your comments, suggestions and advise. I'm still undecided as I really want to get on that earlier flight home and also not pay the additional dollars for the later flight. However, I know that I might end up paying a lot more if we don't make this flight. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
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Old Apr 12, 16, 8:06 am
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Originally Posted by eajusa View Post
Thanks to all who have answered on this thread. I arrive at POM Sunday August 14th at 8am on NCL Escape and am flying home from MIA at 11:30 AM. I will self-disembark with boarding pass in hand and take a taxi. I'm flying Delta and have a FC ticket with Sky Priority to get through security more quickly. Any other advice I should follow?
Wear your running shoes.
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Old Apr 13, 16, 10:15 am
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I know it's dependent on each individual ship but, when can one expect to get back to Miami and get off the ship and head to the airport by?

Carnival says 8:30 AM arrival back in port. Just wondering how late of a flight to be safe.
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Old Apr 13, 16, 5:10 pm
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Originally Posted by eajusa View Post
Thanks to all who have answered on this thread. I arrive at POM Sunday August 14th at 8am on NCL Escape and am flying home from MIA at 11:30 AM. I will self-disembark with boarding pass in hand and take a taxi. I'm flying Delta and have a FC ticket with Sky Priority to get through security more quickly. Any other advice I should follow?
Originally Posted by DaveBlaine View Post
I know it's dependent on each individual ship but, when can one expect to get back to Miami and get off the ship and head to the airport by?

Carnival says 8:30 AM arrival back in port. Just wondering how late of a flight to be safe.
Unless a ship is delayed, which rarely happens, the port opens at 5 am, and all ships are docked no later than 6:30 am. Once ICE clears the ship, disembarking usually starts around 7 am for all ships. If you need to disembark early, do not leave your bags out to be picked up the night before. You will need to walk them off yourself and be ready to go at that time. Every day it should take about 20 minutes to MIA at 7-8 in the morning as you will be going against rush hour traffic. 40-60 minutes to FLL as you will be mixed in with the rush hour as you pass the County line into Broward.

You should not book a flight before 10 am to allow time to get to the airport check-in and clear security, however I have seen people make their 9 am flights without issues.
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Old Aug 14, 16, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by teddybear99 View Post
Unless a ship is delayed, which rarely happens, the port opens at 5 am, and all ships are docked no later than 6:30 am. Once ICE clears the ship, disembarking usually starts around 7 am for all ships. If you need to disembark early, do not leave your bags out to be picked up the night before. You will need to walk them off yourself and be ready to go at that time. Every day it should take about 20 minutes to MIA at 7-8 in the morning as you will be going against rush hour traffic. 40-60 minutes to FLL as you will be mixed in with the rush hour as you pass the County line into Broward.

You should not book a flight before 10 am to allow time to get to the airport check-in and clear security, however I have seen people make their 9 am flights without issues.
You were absolutely correct on all points. NCL Escape docked shortly after 6. I disembarked at 7 and was first through customs. Got first taxi and was in airport at 7:30. I had no one in front of me at security and was in the Delta SkyClub by 7:40, almost 3 hours ahead of flight. I did not even need my running shoes as suggested by another poster.
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Old Aug 14, 16, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by eajusa View Post
You were absolutely correct on all points. NCL Escape docked shortly after 6. I disembarked at 7 and was first through customs. Got first taxi and was in airport at 7:30. I had no one in front of me at security and was in the Delta SkyClub by 7:40, almost 3 hours ahead of flight. I did not even need my running shoes as suggested by another poster.
You had a good day and everything worked out ideally.

For others reading this and thinking "oh, so I could probably book a 9 or 10 am flight then and be just fine" remember that while this is the ideal, it does NOT always go this smoothly.

I've been on a US docking ship on a Monday when everyone local wanted to get off to go straight to work on time and we got held up by customs clearance for 90 minutes. Always allow yourself a tiny cushion for things outside your control!
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Old Aug 14, 16, 11:32 am
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Originally Posted by techgirl View Post
You had a good day and everything worked out ideally.

For others reading this and thinking "oh, so I could probably book a 9 or 10 am flight then and be just fine" remember that while this is the ideal, it does NOT always go this smoothly.

I've been on a US docking ship on a Monday when everyone local wanted to get off to go straight to work on time and we got held up by customs clearance for 90 minutes. Always allow yourself a tiny cushion for things outside your control!
This is also the summer so there are fewer ships. And while each terminal has it's own immigration, the number of agents can be spread thin at each terminal if there are many ships. We had 7 agents handling the Oasis last January because there were 6 or 7 other ships at Port Everglades that day and the line was an hour long.

Another thing from reading older posts was the comment that the Oasis and Allure, because they are the largest, wait until the adjacent ships are docked at Port Everglades. This in untrue. Typically the Oasis and Allure (soon to be Harmony rather than Oasis) are the first ships in port and are quite often docked by 5am, while the Carnival or whoever else uses terminal 19 comes in after that. We watched the Carnival Conquest dock at 19 from our balcony on Oasis.

One other thing that has become much more popular since this thread started are the "luggage valet" type programs that most cruise lines and airlines offer now. Pay a fee and leave your luggage outside your cabin the night before, they collect it and check it in for your flight. No need to collect it at the cruise terminal or take it to the airport yourself, just get it at your home airport. This allows you to leave the ship in the early walk-off groups and by-pass checkin at the airport.
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Old Aug 15, 16, 10:08 am
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Originally Posted by DanJ View Post
One other thing that has become much more popular since this thread started are the "luggage valet" type programs that most cruise lines and airlines offer now. Pay a fee and leave your luggage outside your cabin the night before, they collect it and check it in for your flight. No need to collect it at the cruise terminal or take it to the airport yourself, just get it at your home airport. This allows you to leave the ship in the early walk-off groups and by-pass checkin at the airport.
Although in general, those programs specify only for flights after a certain time. They're not generally going to be useful for someone trying to catch an early flight.

I've had enough cruises where things started going slowly in disembarking that I'd still recommend being cautious about what time someone books a flight for. Even in FLL, where it's about as easy as it can be to get from the ships to the airport, I wouldn't personally book anything before about 11:30, and even that can be stressful. I've been on cruises where disembarkation was running a couple hours behind. I've also gotten off the ship and had to wait over an hour to get a cab (although in the case, I probably could have gotten one of the shared shuttles to the port a lot faster, just would have cost more).

All depends on how well you handle stress, and whether you're willing to potentially cough up the cost of a new plane ticket on the spot.
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Old Aug 15, 16, 10:50 am
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I have bad luck with early flights. If I book an early flight, that's when the customs delays happen. If I book a late flight, I'm off the ship hours earlier than expected. Of course my next cruise is a transatlantic into Port Everglades, with 8 ships in port that day including Allure of the Seas (plus 4 in Miami). I booked an evening flight hoping to hang out with a friend if I happened to get off early but that flight time has already been moved to earlier (with no later flights available), so now I'm hoping the typical post transatlantic customs screw up doesn't happen, but I highly doubt it.
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Old Aug 16, 16, 6:05 am
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We've been in and out of Port Everglades (Ft Lauderdale) well over a dozen times in 23 years of cruising. Typically we book our return flights to depart FLL not earlier than 11:30 AM and have done very well. Interestingly the one and only return flight we've missed was the latest we've ever booked and that was a 1:30 PM departure. Go figure but it was the "perfect storm" of a bulky ship engine, heavy fog, and an issue with the ship/passengers clearing Immigration and Customs. Couldn't get off the ship until around noon and didn't get to the airport in time to make the check-in cutoff. Stuff happens when you least expect it. We were prepared, at least to the point that we knew what our flight options were, and AA was able to get us on the next flight making us only 3 hours late getting home. Others were not so lucky and friends from Europe were delayed nearly 48 hours.
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Old Aug 17, 16, 12:08 pm
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Too late to comment

Last edited by ranles; Aug 17, 16 at 12:11 pm Reason: too late
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