My wife and I are sailing on Carnival in May. We arrive in port at 8:00 am. We have a 10:45 flight out of Miami (the port of call) and have been told they have an earl departure announcement at 7:00am. Is this a realistic time to reach the airport ? We would like to make this as our next choice of flight time would be 6:45 PM !
You will not be getting off the ship at 7am. I just don't see this happening as they must first have Homeland Security clear the ship. (Customs) You might get off around 9am if everything goes well and you are the first off. It takes at least a half hour to get to MIA and then at least another hour to get through security so as you can see, you are cutting it much too close IMHO. If you miss it you might be able to get the next flight on a standy basis I don't know, depends on your ticket. Talk to the airlines and see what they can offer so that you can try for the earlier flight but still be able to take the later one if you miss it. I really could not personally recommend any flight before noon out of Miami.
I think you're cutting it close too. On our last cruise our ship "docked" at 7:00 a.m.. By the time we got off the ship it was about 11:30 a.m.. They usually start calling ticket colors around 9:00 a.m.. I don't know what happened this time but no one started getting off until about 10:00 a.m.. I personally will not book a flight prior to 1:00 p.m.. I'm sure this isn't what you wanted to hear.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
When you get on the ship you can take your airline ticket to the pursers desk and
they will give you a special colored tag for your luggage that allows you to leave the ship as soon as they have clearance. There is no way of knowing when this happens because
they can't let anyone off until the ship clears customs. This depends on how many ships are in port at the same time and if any of the guests have questionable paperwork.
I would not recommend any flight before noon and 1:00 would probably be better. You have to find your luggage, then a half hour drive to the airport and they want you there an hour and a half to two hours before the flight.
You'd have to get off at 8am, have your luggage and a taxi by 8:30, at the airport by 9:00 you'd be just in time to checked in for the 10:45 flight. The problem is it depends on a lot of ifs. Also if you are taking the ships shuttle to the airport they don't leave until the buses are full and you'd never make it.
We did an 11:30 flight once and had trouble with finding our luggage and we barely made it on to the plane. It wasn't a fun situation.
Another option would be to see if you can fly out of Fort Lauderdale, it's about an hour from the port and sometimes they can offer you better flights.
If the tickets are already booked I would ask the airline what happens if you miss the flight. If you just have to spend another day, that may be smarter than paying $100 each to change the tickets. It depends on the type of tickets you have.
We are pushing it by booking a noon flight! I would NEVER book one any earlier than noon! If you can't get your flight changed - be sure to contact the purser AS SOON as you get on board and inform then of your flight time. Also - tell your cabin stuart that you need luggage tags for an early flight!
I live in Florida and usually drive to the ports, however we cruised out of New Orleans last fall and because I'm such a lame-brain I booked a 10:30 a.m. flight back home that day and it was a non-refundable ticket.
I asked the same question as you did and received the same replies. What we did is give our luggage to our travelling companions and had them pick it up for us and ship it to our home a few days later. We zipped right off the ship at 8:00, got a cab, arrived at the airport terminal about 9:10 and had no problem whatsoever catching the flight.
You might make it if you can carry your luggage with you then you can disembark at the earliest time.