OK, SW just opened up their flight schedule through September so I took a look at the flight times for our cruise. We are on the Freedom in August and the arrival time back to port is 8AM. Does an 11:30AM departure seem more than reasonable to make? I know the airport is close to the cruise port but being this is a larger ship, will it take much longer to get off? The next non-stop flight home is 2:30 so I would rather take the earlier flight if its good to do so.
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! I was worried about this too, asked here first, and booked an 11:20 flight out of Fort Lauderdale, also, just got off Freedom.
For us, piece of cake, based on debarkation instructions, we carried off our own luggage (You WILL have to do this to make sure you have enough time) AND did everything as per their instructions as EARLY as we could and we were sitting at the Fort Lauderdale airport 3-4 hours before the flight left. We had a lot of extra wait time, but there was an advantage. We checked our luggage in at the airport as soon as we possibly could then minutes later the whole airport was bombarded with MORE busses and passengers. So many people that the lines extended OUTSIDE the terminal! (Delta, Air Canada, etc.)
We actually jumped on the Carnival transfer, which was also a bus, but I guess we were on one of the very first busses to the airport. While we were up very early for showers, breakfast, etc and were very tired, I wouldn't have done it any differently for no other reason to avoid the mess of people that showed up not long after we did.
Customs, etc off the ship was a total breeze, hardly anyone was getting off with us it seemed?! Again, maybe customs was a little easier as there were not a lot of people getting off when we did.
Personally, I think you're fine, but be on the safe side, don't doddle, and get off ASAP in the morning. Better 3-4 hours early, than 3-4 minutes late when it comes to a flight.
There are people here who claim they may have made flights leaving at 9:30 in Fort Lauderdale. I would not push my luck that far for sure.
I think the longest part of it all, is getting through security. With the Alllure and Oasis adding to the already crowded airport, it can get bogged down...I would go with 11:30...there are always personnel checking the lines to assist people close to their flights.
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Thanks for the opinions and if I hear all right, I should be OK as long as I self-disembark. I see the port arrival time is 8AM. How soon after port arrival does self-disembarkation begin? I have only done the regular disembarkation.
Hello from very cold Ohio!! I'm in kinda the same situation. Will be coming back from the Allure on 4/10. Itinary says we arrive at 7:am in Fort Lauderdale. I booked an 11:30 am flight back home. We always self disembark but have always taken cruiseline transfer bus to the airport. Should I try a taxi this time, or would we be ok with the bus transfer? Never taken a taxi from the port before, are there usually alot of them? I appreciate any info. Thanks!
Its colder here in Manitoba I bet. It's -41C here today with the windchill
The transfer vs. the cab may be 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of another. It doesn't hurt to ask when the transfer bus leaves. There may be another line for people getting regular cabs that could cause you to wait longer than the transfer.
The other thing that MAY cause some difference in you situation is you are on a larger ship with more people. I was commenting on my experience with Carnival on a smaller ship, with less people to disembark.
I can also say this. You say that your RCL ship will dock at 7am. Carnival was supposed to dock at 8am. The morning we got off Carnival Liberty, we were already docked, watching RCL's Oasis come in. So this could mean one or both of two things.
1.) Carnival Liberty docked earlier than what they claimed (8:00)
2.) RCL Oasis was late docking (7:00)
I think our ship was just extra early, but seems to be typical of Carnival. They say they will dock at 8:00, but many CCL customers in the past have commented on this forum that when they got out of bed, before 8:00 they were already docked.
I think you will still be fine, just take all the earliest options to get off as soon as you can, and look at the cab line and ask when the next bus transfer leaves and take the quickest option.
Another point here is that once you get to the point to make that decision, look at your watch. If it's 8:00, and your flight is 11:30, it's recomended to be at the airport for your flight, 60 or 90 minutes before departure? Well that means that based on the airline's recomendation, you're left with 2 full hours of travel time to get from port, to the airport. You could probably walk to the airport in 2 hours !
I think you will be fine, but the larger group on Oasis or Allure, could slow you down. Best ask this in the RCL forum.
Krunch - you are so right - it's alot colder where you are!! This will be our 6th cruise and we have cruised on Carnival and Royal (my cruise buddy is my 7 yr old grandson). I must have gotten "lost" on which site I was reading!! I really appreciate your info on whether to take the cab or bus. I hate to admit, I never thought of there being a line to take a cab - (duh on my part!). I think I'm leaning towards the bus.
Like I said, play it by ear, but yeah, I did actually see a "Line" per say of people waiting to get a taxi. There were small groups of people scattered in the parking lot and cabs were pulling in and out, but again, there were people actually waiting for cabs.
How late can you stay on the ship?
Were in the same position, we dock at 8:00 and there are only two direct flights to Chicago that day. One is at 11:30 am the other not until 4:30pm. I’m unsure about the early flight because we were so late coming in on our last cruise from Tampa. I don’t mind the later flight but what to do with the bags?
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The best you can likely do is drag your feet getting off. You can sleep a little longer, then put your bags outside your room door on the last night. By using their luggage service, this will make your disembark time longer. I think it would be the longest, based on what deck you will be on that week. I THINK the higher the deck, the longer it will take you to get off. If you can get off at 10 or 11, by the time you get through customs then, and get to the airport, hopefully it would be close to noon. Still, you will still have to wait a while though before your flight.
How about get off early and rent a car for a few hours? If you pick the right rental car place, you can then get a FREE ride to the airport on THEIR shuttle. Take a car for a few hours, bring it back to the airport again, same day. If you get a free airport shuttle to the airport, the money saved here can offset your car rental