We are going to book Rotterdam sailing on 5 Nov for our honeymoon. The ship will embark at 2:00 pm that day. The only flight we could arrange will arrive at 11:30 pm on 4 Nov. As we don't want to hang out on the street to find a hotel in the midnight after a 17-hour flight, we should we do? We are thinking of the following options:
(1) Stay at the airport to wait till next morning and go directly to the port.
(2) Stay in the airport hotel.
(3) Stay in an hotel near the city area or port with transfer from airport to hotel and from hotel to port. We asked out T/A about the HAL pre-stay package and it costs over $500 for a room which we will only stay for a few hours. We don't think it worthwhile and would rather spend the same on upgrading our cabin. Are there any other hotels provide transfers (airport-hotel-port)? We are prepared to pay $80 per person for the room including transfers.
Which is the best (value)? Or there are other suggestions?
If a transfer could not be arranged, what transportation should we take to get to the port from the airport? And how long should it take?
One more thing, what is the meaning of embarking at 2:00 pm. Does it mean the counter will open at 2:00 pm or close at 2:00 pm? What is the appropriate time for us to appear at the port?
We are new cruisers, any feedback or advise will be much appreciated! Many thanks.