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  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 12th, 2005, 01:48 AM
Rita M. Ippoliti
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Default Am I Cutting it Too Close????

I realize this is not an ideal situation ... but ...

I am sailing on HAL's 30-day Hawaii/South Pacific itinerary in January. I am just a working stiff and thus had to "negotiate" vacation time for this voyage. Thus, I'm juggling available days in order to have enough.

My outbound flight is fine ... it will get me direct from Philly to San Diego with five hours to spare (flying out a day early is not an option). However, it's the return flight that is giving me fits. Our ship returns on a Sunday and that, for me, is a work night. I work graveyard shift.

In order to get home at a reasonable hour (about 6:30 p.m.), I need to book a 10:45 a.m. flight from San Diego. Our ship is scheduled to dock at 8:00 a.m. The next flight out is a connecting flight that leaves several hours later and would get me back to Philly late for work.

My question is ... does the ship usually get cleared reasonably quickly as to allow me to make a 10:45 a.m. flight from San Diego Airport? Of course, I would inform the purser's desk of my early flight so as to be among the first off the ship.

What do you think my chances are?

Blue skies ....

--rita
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old August 12th, 2005, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Am I Cutting it Too Close????

If docking time is 8:00AM, there's no way you're going to make a 10:45 flight. Once docked, Customs and Immigration have to come on board and do their thing before anyone gets off the ship. I've never seen that take less than hour. Even if you went to the purser's station and requested early deembarkation, you still have to wait for the "all clear" from customs, pass through customs, get your luggage, get a cab, get to the airport, check your luggage, go through security there, and get to your gate in time before it closes. And I know from personal experience, some airlines won't check in passengers with less than 45 minutes before a scheduled flight.

Then there's the issue of the airlines being able to keep to their schedule. I know you said leaving a day early is not an option, but the way the airlines are these days, I personally would never, never plan to fly the same day as the sail, or not have some leeway on the other end as well. Even if weather is not a factor, I can't tell you how many times I've been delayed because of "mechanical" problems, where you just sit there and WAIT! That ship isn't going to wait for you, and IMO the cost of a 30-day cruise is too big a chunk of change to risk missing the ship.

The only reasonble alternative that I can see for you would be to pay a higher fare, buy travel insurance from the cruise line, and book the air through them. For a slighter higher fee, they will even allow you to pick and choose your own flights. But to me it would all be worth it because if anything happens to your plane, they absolutely guarantee to get you on that ship, at no additional cost, even if it's left the port. As for getting back at a reasonable time to get back to work the same day you dock, be prepared to go straight from the airport to your job. Better yet, call in sick, because your brain is going to feel like mashed potatoes between the jet lag and all the stress you've been through. Good luck!





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Old August 12th, 2005, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: Am I Cutting it Too Close????

Remember that customs lines can be quite long these days. I wouldn't plan on any flight much before noon or so. 11:45 maybe, 10:45 little or no chance of making the flight. I.M.H.O.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Am I Cutting it Too Close????

The ship could also be delayed arriving back in SD due to fog or mechinical problems or some other reason.

I believe you have to be at the airport 2 hours before departure, check in, go through security, etc. etc. and this could take a long time.

You are taking a chance booking such an early flight.

I believe HAL tells paxs not to book a flight before noon, at least they used to.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Am I Cutting it Too Close????

In your circumstances Rita I would definitely let the cruise Line arrange your air. Hopefully you are using a living, breathing, around the corner Travel Agent or booking directly with HAL.

It is possible to make that 10.45 am flight but it's a risk and I'd not bank on it. As has been said there are to many things totally outwith your control. Cancellation, delay insurance is a necessity in your case.

I'd sure hate to go to night shift hours directly from a cruise - you're more than likely to 'fall asleep at the switch' around 4 a.m. your time. Think this through carefully before you make any commitments.

Fingers crossed that everything works out for you.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Am I Cutting it Too Close????

In your circumstances Rita I would definitely let the cruise Line arrange your air. Hopefully you are using a living, breathing, around the corner Travel Agent or booking directly with HAL.

It is possible to make that 10.45 am flight but it's a risk and I'd not bank on it. As has been said there are to many things totally outwith your control. Cancellation, delay insurance is a necessity in your case.

I'd sure hate to go to night shift hours directly from a cruise - you're more than likely to 'fall asleep at the switch' around 4 a.m. your time. Think this through carefully before you make any commitments.

Fingers crossed that everything works out for you.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Am I Cutting it Too Close????

Under the best of circumstances...I've seen passengers weeping because they missed their flight because they couldn't get off the ship in time.

You are cutting it really close.

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Old August 13th, 2005, 01:13 AM
Rita M. Ippoliti
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Default Re: Am I Cutting it Too Close????

Appreciate all the good advice.

Think I will take a later flight then. I'll just try to sleep on the plane and hope for the best at work that night.

Thanks again ...

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old August 13th, 2005, 06:05 PM
Katerina
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Default Re: Am I Cutting it Too Close????

Good thinking about taking a later flight - we were on one cruise that was six hours late in getting in. Very few were going to make their flights - if the company booked your flight, you were looked after. If you booked your own flight you were on your own. Most had to stay overnight and fly out the next day.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Am I Cutting it Too Close????

What did you decide to do, Rita?
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Old August 30th, 2005, 01:31 PM
Rita M. Ippoliti
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Default Re: Am I Cutting it Too Close????

Thanks for all the great advice here. I decided to listen to it for the most part.

I will be flying out to San Diego on the 5th of January and spending one night pre-cruise at the Holiday Inn across the street from the cruise terminal. I was simply unable to get direct flights to San Diego from Philly and decided the stress was not worth it trying to fly down the morning of the cruise and praying I didn't miss a connection.

For the trip home on the 5th of February, I will be taking a flight which leaves San Diego at around 1:00 p.m. Having to make a connection in Salt Lake City, I will not get back to Philly until 11:22 p.m. I'm due in at work at 11:45. Of course, I realize that I won't make it. However, I'll make sure someone from the previous shift will hang around until I get there ... probably at around 1:00 a.m. or so.

I realize I will be very tired working this shift, but I was very lucky to be able to beg for another vacation day in order to fly out one day pre-cruise ... I won't take advantage and ask for another day post-cruise too. I'll just have to work tired the one night. I don't think that after a leisurely 30-day cruise to Hawaii and the South Pacific it will kill me. Sunday night is a really slow night at work anyway ... so maybe I can just take a nap there, if need be.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old August 31st, 2005, 11:36 PM
sealegs
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Default Re: Am I Cutting it Too Close????

Hi,

GOOD THINKING !!!!!
You're in great shape going to SanDiego the day before.
1.00pm flight out of SanDiego, IF BOOKED THRU THE cruise line, is a good choice.

Happy sailing
Cheers
CG
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Old September 3rd, 2005, 03:01 PM
Evelyn Richardson
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Default Re: Am I Cutting it Too Close????

Rita

I have a flight booked through HAL after disembarkation, they have booked me for 11.23a.m.

I may be able to join you and others for dinner on the night of the 5th, as you know I am in a different hotel to you, it will depend if I can walk to the Holiday Inn.

I did a trip on the QE2 recently , the flights booked through Cunard were a nightmare. Plane from gateway airport left over 2 hours late, so missed London bound connection at Atlanta, Delta insisted that in order to get on another flight I would have to buy another ticket "cruise lineticket is not transferable- even though it was Delta's fault", then was put on standby, when I got to London, the arranged "meet,greet and transport to hotel" all arranged through Cunard did not take place. "it is Sunday, we do not meet passengers on Sunday, in fact we do not meet single passengers only groups, you will have to make your own way to the hotel" Got there and no rep there either told " A van will call at the lobby at noon to take you to ship, be there at that time, he will not wait, if you miss him you will have to get yourself to Southampton".
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