I think that if you are coming from the West Coast to Florida they will put you up in a hotel the night before the cruise. I had to take an extra day off (Friday) so we will fly practally all day on Friday, spend the night in the hotel, and get up and go to the ship on Saturday morning. Smart thing to do especially since there is only one direct flight from Seattle to Miami on American. All other airlines you have to make connections through one of their hubs. With the way the weather can be in December, I don't think I would want to do it any other way!