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Old January 23rd, 2005, 08:48 PM
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Default Ft Lauderdale - Back to airport from ship?

We are sailing the Zuiderdam on April 2. It is scheduled to return to Ft. Lauderdale at 8 AM. Is it reasonable to think we can catch an 11:50 AM flight? We appreciate hearing about any experiences.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Ft Lauderdale - Back to airport from ship?

You "should" be able to make that flight. BE SURE to see guest relations early in the cruise and let them know about your EARLY flight. They'll get you luggage tags for early disemarkation.

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Old January 25th, 2005, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Ft Lauderdale - Back to airport from ship?

We disembarked the OOsterdam in FLL on Jan 9. Actual time of disembarkation is up to the whims and ways of US customs. That will be the key variable in your schedule. So, even tho we were docked about 7am, and even tho we were accommodated by Hal and put in the first disembarkation group for their bus transfer, we actually got off right behind the suite passengers at 8:45 -- for our 11:05 am spirit flight. we then sat on the bus, waiting for it to fill, till 9:30 or so. How bad could this be? the airport is 10 minutes, but the road is clogged with vans, taxis, buses and cars. To reach terminal 4, the last terminal, took forever, then we had to sit inside the bus while the driver unloaded the entire bus of luggage. We then realized , in shock, that the line extending from terminal 4 to terminal 3 was the line for spirit airline passengers! Well, i got on the cell and called spirit. And exactly as the Detroit reservation agent said, a big man named Danny came down the sidewalk and pulled passengers for flights. First to be pulled were all the la guardia passengers, then san juan, finally ohare! By that time, we had been in line outside for over 2 hours. We were still halfway between terminals 3 and 4. We got seats on the plane and 3 of our family suitcases arrived with us! we boarded about 12;30. Left around 1 pm --
We took the Hal bus because there were 4 of us and too much luggage for one cab. We should have called a cab or two...............or could i have some suggestions for a good van or limo company? spirit did take care of us, but we have been all over the world and have never seen a travel situation like what FLL has become!
we are almost at the point of adding a day after the cruise as well as the day before to smooth the embarkation and disembarkation.
I cannot speak for the situation at the other terminals, but FLL does not handle the crowds well that the superliners are generating these days!
Good Luck!
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Old January 25th, 2005, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Ft Lauderdale - Back to airport from ship?

Oh- Hal puts the form in your mailbox the first day regarding your return plans--turn it in on time!
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Old January 25th, 2005, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Ft Lauderdale - Back to airport from ship?

You should be fine. Take a cab, not a transfer from the cruise line where you have to wait for the bus to fill.

I just did the same thing in November and it worked out beautifully. I was at the airport by 10:00, in security line right away (which moved very fast considering how long it was), and made my 11:45 a.m. flight to Detroit without any problems.

I also think it depends on what day of the week you are disembarking. Saturday and Sunday seem to be the busiest days at the airport, but other days are not really that much of a problem.

I wouldn't worry about it - have fun on your cruise and fill out the form they give you early on, take a cab and you'll be fine.

Bon Voyage!
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Old January 26th, 2005, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Ft Lauderdale - Back to airport from ship?

Yes - I returned to Ft L twice - and got to the airport (10 minutes from the cruise terminal - plenty of taxis - so don't over pay and take the bus).
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Old January 31st, 2005, 10:55 AM
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Default Re: Ft Lauderdale - Back to airport from ship?

You won't have any problem making a 11:50 flight. The airport is within 5 miles from the cruise ship terminal. I've gone out of Ft Lauderdale at least 7 times and I'll be doing the same this week with a noon flight after my Holland America cruise. Make sure you provide your flight info which all passengers will be asked before the end of the cruise on the form provided. This way they will ensure they call your number to get off the ship early enough.

You have 2 options...pay about $12 per person to take the transportation provided by Holland America back to the airport or get a taxi. The taxi will cost you about $12 so it's a better deal and you don't have to wait on your fellow passengers to load up and claim baggage.

Enjoy your trip.
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