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johnjen

Ft Lauderdale ship arriving, flight departure question

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DD is going on a short 5 day cruise out of Ft Lauderdale (Western Caribbean). Her ship pulls back into FL at 7 am, flight departs 9:20am. Is this too close for comfort? I heard that the airport isn't that far away, suggestions? Do or don't? I am asking for her....we have never cruised out of that port before.

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I think it is doable but I would not book a flight that early.  If the ship is late coming in,  or there is any hold up with disembarkation she could miss her flight. I would find it too stressful.

The airport is close to the port - about a 10 minute cab ride, so if she still wants to take a chance on such an early flight, she should do self disembarkation  in the earliest group.  She would need to be able to carry all her luggage off the ship by herself and then grab a cab to the airport.

 

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I agree with Daisyloo except that I think it’s unlikely she’ll make it.  Too many variables and if any go wrong she misses her flight.  Better to book a later flight IMHO.

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How old is your DD and what kind of cruise is it?  Ex. Is she a college student going with friends on spring break and they are going to be up partying til all hours?  Nothing wrong with that except it makes it less likely that she'll be able to get up in time to be among the first in line for self disembarkation.  For a 9:20 flight a think self disembarking is a must, and being ready as soon as they begin that process.  Is she willing to travel carry on only?  That's another big factor because if so, she can check in for her flight online on the way to the airport and then go straight to security without waiting in line at check in or bag drop. 

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I like to work backwards on these things, and in a very perfect scenario, here's what the timeline might look like for this to work:

 

  • Step off the ship at 7:00 am
  • Step out of the terminal after clearing customs 7:20 am (and this only if you are in the first part of the line of people doing self-debarkation...note this means standing in line much earlier than 7:00am)
  • Get into cab line and get taxi - sitting in cab pulling away by 7:30am
  • 15 minutes to the airport - arrive curbside 7:45am
  • Enter terminal, check bags (if needed), clear TSA screening, walk to gate - on an average day 35 minutes.  
  • Arrive at boarding gate 8:20am
  • Boarding flight begins 8:35am

So yes, it's possible.  But it is absolutely not guaranteed, and just because it worked for 100 people doesn't mean it's going to work for your daughter.  This would need to work like clockwork and allows very little room for error.  

 

Personally, I would not do it.  I've sailed three ships that arrived back to FLL late, one that had debarkation held up for medical debarks first.  The one time we did self-debarkation for what we were told was 7:00am return the first people on line were out there at 6:00am - there were a couple hundred people ahead of us by 7:00. 

 

I'm not willing to kill the good mojo of a week's vacation with a stress-filled morning trying to make an early flight.

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, msmayor said:
  • Step off the ship at 7:00 am
  • Step out of the terminal after clearing customs 7:20 am (and this only if you are in the first part of the line of people doing self-debarkation...note this means standing in line much earlier than 7:00am

 

That's an important point.   If your daughter hears "disembarkation starts at 7:00" and waits til 7:00 to leave her cabin, she could find that 1. she has difficulty getting an elevator that isn't already full of people and luggage, and 2. that the line to disembark is already quite long.    We almost always self disembark as soon as it starts and it's a crapshoot.  Sometimes we go down and walk right off; other times we go down and find the line is already wrapped around the ship. 

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23 minutes ago, waterbug123 said:

 

That's an important point.   If your daughter hears "disembarkation starts at 7:00" and waits til 7:00 to leave her cabin, she could find that 1. she has difficulty getting an elevator that isn't already full of people and luggage, and 2. that the line to disembark is already quite long.    We almost always self disembark as soon as it starts and it's a crapshoot.  Sometimes we go down and walk right off; other times we go down and find the line is already wrapped around the ship. 

 

When disembarking Serenade a couple years ago, we had an 11 am flight and opted to self-disembark.  We went to enter the line around 7am and it was already down the promenade deck around the aft...I still remember a family coming out and trying to cut the line, saying "But we have an early international flight to catch"...and I replied..."So do a lot of these people".

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