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taba

Flying in day of cruise - a cautionary tale

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Whoa, OP, were you biting your nails the whole way?  I would have been.  Too stressful for me.  We always arrive at least a day early for cruises leaving from a U.S. port and 2-3 days early for cruises leaving from a foreign port.  

 

As anyone who's flown into or out of ATL knows, a back-up at almost any airport will delay Atlanta too.  It's sort of a domino effect, but for the world's busiest airport, it really causes backlogs, which can adversely affect cruisers.

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:::::Whew::::: Glad you made it on-board. Bet you were sweating bullets!!

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We have done red eye direct from Seattle to Ft. Lauderdale. Has worked well but arrived very early and had time to kill before heading to the pier. Would not try if it were not a direct flight!!

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46 minutes ago, sevenseasnomad said:

Whoa, OP, were you biting your nails the whole way?  I would have been.  Too stressful for me.  We always arrive at least a day early for cruises leaving from a U.S. port and 2-3 days early for cruises leaving from a foreign port.  

 

As anyone who's flown into or out of ATL knows, a back-up at almost any airport will delay Atlanta too.  It's sort of a domino effect, but for the world's busiest airport, it really causes backlogs, which can adversely affect cruisers.

I was havig secnd thughts on my decision, but it was ether flyng the day of departite or not at all. I had a "it is what it is" attitude until the bus drove off without us. 

 

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5 minutes ago, taba said:

I was havig secnd thughts on my decision, but it was ether flyng the day of departite or not at all. I had a "it is what it is" attitude until the bus drove off without us. 

 

I would have been in tears or suffering from a nervous breakdown.  I think you handled this situation extremely well.

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2 hours ago, bamelin said:

One time I was in Red Deer (little municipal airport in Alberta) … would always take a 10 seater plane to Calgary or Edmonton to fly back to Toronto.  One time mechanical delay and was going to miss my connection -- last flight of the night.  I actually had to hitch a ride with somebody else (who was going to be on the same flight) to Calgary lol.  Being offered a lift is something that would NEVER happen in Toronto (or any other major big North American city is my guess) so thank goodness for small town Central Alberta!

 

First time I'd experienced the dreaded delay in all my years of flying -- thankfully I wasn't heading out on a cruise but I remember thinking to myself how stressed to the max I would have been if it was a same day cruise.  As it was I was STILL stressed thinking I'd have to bunk in an airport.

 

People who are used to big airports don't realize how few options there are at small airports. I was flying home from a trip to Michigan, from Marquette Airport. Mechanical problems on the little plane, so the flight was cancelled. People were demanding/begging for alternate flights to Chicago ASAP. When I got to the desk, I just said "Can I try this flight again tomorrow?" and the agent almost cried, she was so happy to have someone not in a hurry. I called my mother to tell her not to pick me up at Newark, and that I would fly the next day. She asked me if they couldn't just put me on another plane. Nope. Lots of pavement and not another plane to be seen. 

 

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8 hours ago, taba said:
Never run with scissors, never take a 3 hour tour, and never fly in the day of the cruise. 
 
I had to work on the day before the cruise, so I scheduled our flight to FLL for the day of the cruise. I have never done that before, because you never know when a flight will be delayed.
 
We had to be on board the ship by 4:00. The plane was scheduled to land at 2:36. That gave me 20 minutes to pick up luggage, 20 minutes to get to the ship, 10 minutes to check in at the port  and 30 minutes of buffer in case anything happened. 
 
The weather was good, so the plane left on time. We landed at 2:30. We checked in with the HAL transfer people and then we grabbed our bags at 2:50. So far so good.We were walking to the bus, and it left without us at 3:00. Panic begins. Another bus shows up at 3:25. We arrive at the port at 3:35. Then we're in line for security. Then another line to check passports. At 3:45 we're checking in at desk. At 3:50 we're on the ship with 10 minutes to spare. At 4:00 we're at the muster drill. 
 
Next time I'll fly in a day early. 
 
I did have insurance and used Flightease.

Happened to us in Vancouver.  We had purchased the HAL transfer.  Fortunately we had attached  the HAL luggage tags to our checked luggage before we left home.  When we got to the luggage carousel in the Vancouver airport the HAL rep had already pulled our luggage,   She hurried us out to the curb where she had a prepaid cab waiting (the last bus had left).  When we arrived at the port check in area we were whisked through the check-in processing, rushed onboard and joined the muster drill with our carry-on items in hand!  

 

Without the HAL transfer we would not have made it to the ship on time.  Because we had the transfer they were waiting for us at each step along the way!  

 

Lesson learned! 

 

 

 

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The very best reason to put a cruise tag on your luggage before you fly.   If you believe in "Red Flags"..... this is an ALERT for ground staff at the airport.  Ideally they will check the name/stateroom number and ship(s) manifest to confirm that this bag is a concern if not collected.  Often, bags arrive on a different conveyor belt than advertised.  

 

Airlines, US Customs, and Harbor (Local Police) do not encourage cruise line staff to retrieve luggage from a carousel.

 

The agent was attempting to be helpful, but should not have done that.


David

 

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9 hours ago, taba said:
I did have insurance and used Flightease.

 

Having insurance may...or may not...have helped in this situation.  Often where there is travel delay coverage, the delay must be anywhere from four-six hours at a minimum.  With a scheduled landing only 90 minutes from the deadline, you might not have met the minimum delay for coverage.

 

We always fly in a day before just to make certain we'll meet that trip delay standard.  

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Ok, what is wrong with a 3 hour tour?  I often take a short tour after a day of independent touring.   Good just to ride along instead of getting back onboard. 
i am one of those first off, last on passengers 

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4 minutes ago, Mary229 said:

Ok, what is wrong with a 3 hour tour?  I often take a short tour after a day of independent touring.   Good just to ride along instead of getting back onboard. 
i am one of those first off, last on passengers 

 

Not sure why you posted this, but I have to say that the phrase "three hour tour" makes me a bit nervous if it's on a boat.

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50 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

Not sure why you posted this, but I have to say that the phrase "three hour tour" makes me a bit nervous if it's on a boat.

 

Thurston Howell the 3rd approves this message.

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20 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 

Thurston Howell the 3rd approves this message.

I agree LOL

Denise😊

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As a 25 year airline employee I would NEVER fly in on the day of the cruise! Between technical issues, crew time limitations and weather/ATC delays you are flirting with a ruined vacation! For a flight to go out on time many things have to happen correctly behind the scenes.  I'm mildly surprised when this happens!

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As someone who worked MANY years in the airline industry trust me if weather or mechanicals don't delay you the ground crew is more than capable of hitting any airplane and losing or pilfering your luggage.  Fly in a day or two before as I have seen all these things countless times with some mighty pissed off people who did not have a cruise to catch.

 

Forgot to mention add late or incomplete flight crew to the list.   You have been warned.🙂

Edited by Nymich

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1 hour ago, *Miss G* said:

 

Thurston Howell the 3rd approves this message.

and so does Lovie..

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9 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

Not sure why you posted this, but I have to say that the phrase "three hour tour" makes me a bit nervous if it's on a boat.

The OP mentioned in the litany of things not to do

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6 hours ago, bluesplayer said:

and so does Lovie..

Read the OP’s original statement

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20 hours ago, taba said:
 

 

 

 

On our recent Eurodam cruise, we experienced our first travel snafu when our outbound first-leg flight (PHL-TOR) was cancelled.  As alternatives were explored, it became very clear that Air Canada would not be able to get us to Vancouver that day, and sure enough their re-route had us flying out the next day (embarkation day) with an arrival just a couple hours before sailing.  That was not acceptable, and we knew we'd need to change.  Having the full day before meant that even if Air Canada couldn't re-accommodate us, Flight Ease already committed to getting us to Vancouver that day - even if it meant multiple flights, in effect hopscotching across the country.  That would not have been possible were we flying in day-of embarkation...instead we'd have missed the first four days of our cruise and spent the time waiting in San Diego for the ship to arrive.

Edited by msmayor

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11 hours ago, DAllenTCY said:

The very best reason to put a cruise tag on your luggage before you fly.   If you believe in "Red Flags"..... this is an ALERT for ground staff at the airport.  Ideally they will check the name/stateroom number and ship(s) manifest to confirm that this bag is a concern if not collected.  Often, bags arrive on a different conveyor belt than advertised.  

 

Airlines, US Customs, and Harbor (Local Police) do not encourage cruise line staff to retrieve luggage from a carousel.

 

The agent was attempting to be helpful, but should not have done that.


David

 

 

It's confusing when to put on the tag.  Your post makes perfect sense, but then one time when we were flying out of San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale, the guy checking us in curb-side started to pull off our cruise tags, thinking we had just debarked from a ship in San Diego.  I guess he thought our bag might end up back on the ship in San Diego?  I suppose this is a problem unique to flying from one cruise port town to another cruise port town, but since then, I've always attached the cruise tags after we reach our destination.

Maybe this is not a best practice?  🤔

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9 hours ago, DennisNV said:

As a 25 year airline employee I would NEVER fly in on the day of the cruise!

I am too. And I agree with what you wrote. I remember an occasion when I was the Captain on a flight from Louisville to Minneapolis, and we were waiting on a group of 10 passengers who had checked in but were not at the gate yet. One of the passengers from the group went ahead of them and made it onboard. She begged with the flight attendant to hold the flight for the rest of the group that was stuck at security, who had mobility issues, and were traveling with medical equipment. She said that they were connecting to Vancouver to catch an Alaska cruise. 
 

The flight attendant informed me of this, so knowing what the consequences of leaving without them would be for this group, I went up the jetway and asked the gate agent to hold the flight for another 10-15 minutes to give these passengers a chance. The gate agent refused to hold the flight. They are under a lot of pressure from management to launch first flights of the day on time to avoid cascading delays throughout the day, so I took the delay upon myself. I told the agent to code the delay on the pilots, but that I would not be leaving without these passengers. 
 

Thankfully, the missing passengers showed up a few minutes after we had this conversation, all frazzled and exhausted. I walked down the jetway with them, but before they boarded the plane I stopped and said “Ok, you’re here, you made it, but before I let you on this airplane, I need all of you to raise your right hand and repeat after me: I will NEVER again fly on the same day of the cruise!” They all laughed, repeated the oath, and boarded the plane. We pushed back a few minutes behind schedule but landed in Minneapolis on time. 
 

These passengers were lucky that their Captain happened to be a cruise enthusiast who understood the consequences of missing that flight, but most likely, if it had been anybody else, these passengers would’ve had a very rough first day of their Alaska vacation.

Edited by Tapi

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11 hours ago, Mary229 said:

Ok, what is wrong with a 3 hour tour?  I often take a short tour after a day of independent touring.   Good just to ride along instead of getting back onboard. 
i am one of those first off, last on passengers 

It was a reference to the Gilligan's Island theme song. It was also the second miscalculation I made on the trip.

 

I was on a 3 hour boat ride. The first 2 hours were uneventful. But in the 3rd hour the "weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed." I lost my lunch.🤢

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11 hours ago, Mary229 said:

Ok, what is wrong with a 3 hour tour?  I often take a short tour after a day of independent touring.   Good just to ride along instead of getting back onboard. 
i am one of those first off, last on passengers 

 I believe the OP (Never run with scissors, never take a 3 hour tour, and never fly in the day of the cruise)
was meant to be a reference to that infamous voyage of the Minnow....

Edited by TiogaCruiser

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14 hours ago, *Miss G* said:

 

The French are notorious for their strikes.  I go out of my way to avoid any connections there.

"Run Judy run"  I heard as my husband and I did one connection through CDG, but we made and had a HUGE wine on board!

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21 minutes ago, Tapi said:

I am too. And I agree with what you wrote. I remember an occasion when I was the Captain on a flight from Louisville to Minneapolis, and we were waiting on a group of 10 passengers who had checked in but were not at the gate yet. One of the passengers from the group went ahead of them and made it onboard. She begged with the flight attendant to hold the flight for the rest of the group that was stuck at security, who had mobility issues, and were traveling with medical equipment. She said that they were connecting to Vancouver to catch an Alaska cruise. 
 

The flight attendant informed me of this, so knowing what the consequences of leaving without them would be for this group, I went up the jetway and asked the gate agent to hold the flight for another 10-15 minutes to give these passengers a chance. The gate agent refused to hold the flight. They are under a lot of pressure from management to launch first flights of the day on time to avoid cascading delays throughout the day, so I took the delay upon myself. I told the agent to code the delay on the pilots, but that I would not be leaving without these passengers. 
 

Thankfully, the missing passengers showed up a few minutes after we had this conversation, all frazzled and exhausted. I walked down the jetway with them, but before they boarded the plane I stopped and said “Ok, you’re here, you made it, but before I let you on this airplane, I need all of you to raise your right hand and repeat after me: I will NEVER again fly on the same day of the cruise!” They all laughed, repeated the oath, and boarded the plane. We pushed back a few minutes behind schedule but landed in Minneapolis on time. 
 

These passengers were lucky that their Captain happened to be a cruise enthusiast who understood the consequences of missing that flight, but most likely, if it had been anybody else, these passengers would’ve had a very rough first day of their Alaska vacation.

 

That was very kind of you. I've heard from pilots I know about the pressures to stay on schedule. The airlines don't want to push back late and the airport wants the gate to be ready for the next plane arriving. 

 

I hate sitting around in airports, but I get there early because I don't want to be that last person sprinting to the gate.

 

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