The Golden Princess is suppose to return to Ft. Lauderdale at 6:00am. We are worried about airfare. Most people say not to book a return flight until 12:00pm.
The flight we are looking at leaves FLL at 10:45am. Is this to early? We plan to take a taxi to the airport.
I think you could probably make it if you were returning from the Caribbean. If this is after the transatlantic repositioning I would not take the chance. When you are allowed off the ship depends on several factors. I. will the ship be on time, 2. will all the non US citizens be good and go through customs on the ship early like they're supposed to. Those two ifs would put me on a later flight, but I live 1/2 hour from the port and I like to arrive and leave a day or two early when I sail from ports other than Miami and Port Everglades.
I'd recommend a later flight. Even if the ship arrives in Port Everglades at 6 am, I don't know what time customs and immigration will begin processing disembarking passengers. If you book a later flight but arrive at the airport in time for that 10:45 departure, it may be possible that the airline can accommodate you.
I agree with everybody else who has responded. You will be better off with a flight that leaves after noon in case there's a snag with immigration or customs -- or, as can happen on occasion, the arrives in port a bit late due to some unforeseen circumstance.
If you want to save money, buy the transfers to the airport from Princess. If you fly to and from Fort Lauderdale, the transfers are only $5 per person. I suspect that the minimum taxi fare will cost more than that. Also, Princess has a very smooth operation for disembarkation at Port Everglades. Delta, American, and US Airways generally assign agents to conduct the flight check-in procedure and to issue boarding passes aboard the ship before disembarkation (usually while INS inspectors are performing the immigration inspection). Upon disembarkation, you claim your luggage, clear customs, and check your luggage with your airline at the cruise terminal. After you check your luggage for your flights home, you board the bus to the airport. Upon arrival at the airport, you can go directly to the security check point and then to your departure gate to board the plane.
Princess also offers several tours in the Fort Luaderdale area, including a tour of the Everglades, for passengers who have flights after 2:00 PM. These tours leave from the pier and end at the airport, thus accomplishing the transfer for you. You follow the same procedure for disembarkation, except that you board the tour bus instead of the airport shuttle.