I had to book an 11:45 a.m. flight leaving Ft. Lauderdale because it was the only frequent flyer flight available to us on that day. I know it is cutting things close and I know I will be stressed. Anyway, how does Princess decide who disembarks and when? Is it possible to get off the ship in the first batch of people? We will be on the Grand Princess.
On our last cruise, RCCL Voyager, we had to give the time of our flight the day before and passengers disembarked in order of flight times. We were at Miami airport at 10:00 for a 1:30 p.m. flight!
"Anyway, how does Princess decide who disembarks and when? Is it possible to get off the ship in the first batch of people? "
Yes, it's possible to get off with the first batch of people. Somewhere along the line you will give Princess your flight info - then a day or so before disembarking, they will give you special colored luggage tags which are coded as to when you need to get off the ship.
I just returned from the Crown Princess 15 day cruise and had a 11:25 AM flight to catch ... received Red tags #2, and had no trouble catching my plane. The Crown was due in at 6 AM originally but didn't get in until 6:45. I went through immigration at 7:45 and the ship was cleared at 8:30. I got off at 8:35.
I don't know what time the Grand is scheduled to arrive in Fort Lauderdale, but you can call Princess and they'll tell you.
I cruise the Emerald Princess, Eastern Caribbean on April 16, 2012
An 11:45 flight from Fort Lauderdale should be no problem at all. Princess usually begins disembarkation by 9:00 AM at the latest. Passengers with the earliest flights disembark first, and the Fort Lauderdale airport is only five minutes from the pier.
As you apparently have done your own air... visit the front desk... (not on the first day)... bring your air tickets with you. They'll arrange for an early disembarkation tag. Shouldn't be a problem... unless the ship is late in being cleared. 11:30 out of FLL... no problem at all, actually.
11:45am flight - no problem. Returning Sunday from a Royal Princess cruise. Ship arrived at Port Everglades at 6:00. We were off the ship at 9:15 and at the Ft. Lauderdale airport at 9:30, via taxi, and plenty of time to make our 10:27am flight.