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  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 5th, 2004, 08:22 AM
Marina
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Default HELP - did I book my return flight home too early !?! (Miami

Hi all,

After our RCCL Explorer of the Seas cruise, I have already paid for our return flight home (out of Miami airport) at 11:44AM, my TA said that she doubts very highly I will make it in time since we must be at the airport at least 2 hours before.

The boat returns at 8:30AM disembark time at the Miami port. RCCL recommends no flight earlier than 12 noon, when I picked this flight I figured "what's 15 minutes"

Did I just screw up royally? (I could have had a 12:50 flight home, but now to change it it will cost us 200.00, don't want to pay that.

The boat is returning on a Sunday in Miami July 25

I'm freaking out now, please advise,

~ Marina
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Old May 5th, 2004, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: HELP - did I book my return flight home too early !?! (M

Hi Marina,
I think you should be fine with that flight. Just let the cruiseline know when you flight home is and they will have you off the ship in time. You may also think about taking a cab to the airport, its faster.

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Old May 5th, 2004, 09:00 AM
clo
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Default Re: HELP - did I book my return flight home too early !?! (M

I'll let others more experienced than I address the disembarkation time issue. Unless you're taking an international flight out of Miami(?), I'm not aware that anyone's suggesting more than one hour check in for flights anymore. Granted, Miami is a VERY busy airport but midday on Sunday would seem be a pretty forgiving time and day. I can't see that end of it being a problem. If you WERE to miss your flight, are you flying nonstop to your home airport? If so, standing by for the next flight(s) is an option. I personally wouldn't pay $200 to change the tickets as, worse case, you can rent a cheap motel for one night and start standing by the next morning.

I'm sure some of the "pros" on this board will give you good advice about disembarking but if I were flying blind, I know I'd be contacting someone at the cruise line, explaining my problem and BEGGING for help I have to believe that, on a one-off basis, they could move you up in the queue. Good luck. Things will work out, I'm sure.
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Old May 5th, 2004, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: HELP - did I book my return flight home too early !?! (M

I've cruised out of Miami many times and I've always been at the airport by 10:30. You just need to get the early tags for your luggage at the pursers desk or purchase the airport transfer from the excursion list. Those groups leave the ship first thing and the ride to the airport is quick and easy. It also speeds things up if you keep your luggage with you instead of letting the ship stack it with everyone else's luggage on the last night. As for the 2 hour rule, it seems to be a non-issue when returning from a cruise.
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Old May 5th, 2004, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: HELP - did I book my return flight home too early !?! (M

I think you will be OK with that flight. I have made 10:45 flights, if not a dash.

A few points you want to consider:

Onbard ship, you will be asked (questionaire) about your debarking plans / arrangements. That is where you notify the ship of your flight times. Being an 'early' flight, you will likely be put ashore in the first debarking group (usually starts about 8:30am)

Be sure you have your customs declaration, ID complete and handy when you debark. You do not want to be held up by customs at the pier while looking for your declaration form!

Next, take a taxi to the airport. After you claim your bags on the pier, and pass Customs, it is faster to jump in an awaiting taxi and you won't have to wait for an entire bus or shuttle to fill up before departing to the airport from the pier. Likewise, when arriving at the airport, you can check your bags curbside, and proceed directly to your gate area. It is faster to hop a taxi and scoot to the airport than hassel with shuttles and hoards of passengers.

Ultimately, you be be 'ahead' of the bussed groups heading to the airport. Just be sure not to hang out in the main terminal...head to the gate area, security screening etc, asap.

Have fun!
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Old May 5th, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: HELP - did I book my return flight home too early !?! (M

As an adder to this thread, when we came back from our cruise in March, there was a very long line to get through security. There was a foreign gentleman next to us in line and his flight was leaving in about 15 min. We talked to one of the people at one of the counters, I believe it was Delta, and he took the gentleman to a section of the security line where they expedited the man through the screeners. So, even if there was a time crunch, and I don't think there will be, there are ways through the lines.

Ed

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Old May 5th, 2004, 10:51 AM
David Starkey
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Default Re: HELP - did I book my return flight home too early !?! (M

Best of luck...we spent 1 hr going through security at Miami returning from a Sunday cruise once. Saturdays and Sunday are very busy (unusal for most airports)due to a high number of flyers doing cruises.
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Old May 5th, 2004, 12:32 PM
leavensunday
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Default Re: HELP - did I book my return flight home too early !?! (M

Good luck if you are crusing carnival. We told them both when we got ON the ship and the morning we arrived back in Tampa that we had a 12:10 flight. Needless to say, we missed our flight. They choose to ignore our request to get off the ship first-and then, the rep who boarded our bus at the airport , when we advised him we had to make a flight in 10 minutes said: "guess you are gonna miss that flight". There were NO other available flights back to Mpls until Wednesday-we ended up driving.
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Old May 5th, 2004, 02:03 PM
amy c
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Default Re: HELP - did I book my return flight home too early !?! (M

We had no problem making our noon flight when returning..Carnival offers express debarkation..so if you can carry all your stuff off the ship and get up early..you are off the ship quick...not sure if RCCL offers this same thing..taxis were lined up at the port to take people to the airport..we also did immigration at the St. Thomas stop so we did not have to do it upon returning to Miami...good luck..have a great time
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Old May 6th, 2004, 08:54 AM
Whiteknight
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Default Re: HELP - did I book my return flight home too early !?! (M

It is impossible, I repeat, "Impossible", for the cruiseline to ignore your request to get off the ship early if you purchased the "Airport Transfer" excursion. And as for the bus getting to the airport too late for your travel time, the first bus is filled and gone in about 15 minutes followed by another every 10 minutes. On several occasions, I was getting off the bus at the airport when I recognized other cruisers from my ship getting out of cabs. It's not that big a deal. The key to being among the very first off the ship is to place yourself close to the entrance of the room that you're instructed to go to for debarkation. Don't get stressed out over contrary information.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: HELP - did I book my return flight home too early !?! (M

here is where i think that the transfers are worth it. They get you on those buses and you go. We didn't wait at all, very organized. IF you are running close to your flight time, someone comes on the bus gets you off, you get your luggage and are escorted to security check in ( at least that's what happened to us on Princess)
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