I'm on Navigator with 4 friends in September. I've been checking flights frequently to get the best rates. My problem is that the closer it comes to sailing the higher the rates are going for the flights. There are still cheeper flights but the times on them seem to be too early or too late.
Does anyone know if we will be back in port in time to make a 9:50 flight from Miami? Also, it's a bit cheeper for me to fly into Fort Lauderdale. Is that close enough to the ship to make a cab ride worth it?
I think that the common response on the boards is going to be that you will not make a flight that early. I understand your problem though, since we fly out of STL and they dont have many departure choices anymore. We have also flown into FLL and departed MIA ,, there are a number of private transportation companies which IMO are better/ cheaper for a party of 4 than taxi or cruiseline shuttles .
Personally, I think a 9:50 flight is pushing it really close.....if I remember correctly the first person got off the ship around 8:30-8:45 when I went. Try to find a flight around noon-1PM should be perfect.
Cab fare from FLL airport to Miami is about $45-50.00 1 way. That's your call, if the flight is alot cheaper into FLL, and you can share the cab it might be worth it. Forget about a 10-11am flight home if you have to go from Miami to Fort Lauderdale. Noon would be the earliest I would book...1PM I would feel more comfortable. Hope this helps.
To make a 9:50 am flight you'd have to be in the airport at 8:20 am to make it through security. The very first passengers are usually only getting off the ship that early,. Once called to get off you still have to go through customs, pick up your bags, get transport to the airport, go through security and bag check there. So, no, I don't think you could make a 9:50 am flight. 1:00 pm is about the earliest, meaning you'd be at the airport around 11:30 am.
The reason those earlier departure flights are cheaper is that cruisers don't buy them, because they probably won't make them. Southwest can get you in and out of FLL, but if your ship departs from MIA, you might have a problem getting back to FLL on time. That 1/2 hour drive is on a good day with no traffic problems. Always took us about 45 min. to an hour., and then there was check-in and security. Anytime I do this, I book a cheaper flight that leaves at 5-7p.m., and take one of the ship's tours to the Everglades/tour of Miami and South Beach, etc. They'll keep your luggage in the tour bus and get you back to either airport in plenty of time for your flight. Last spring, a group of us went on a cruise out of Miami, and one of the guys booked the Air Tran 9:50 a.m. flight back to Atlanta. He missed the flight and got home the next day, and the Miami pier was only a 20-minute drive from the Miami airport.
Yes - the bus will drop you and your luggage off right at the airport...either MIA or FLL. They will say that you cannot book the tour if your flight leaves before a certain time, though. Seems to me your flight had to leave after 4 or 5 pm, so they can get you back to the airport in plenty of time to check in luggage and go through Security.
Try this...book a 6 pm flight, book a cheap hotel for the day and hang out at the beach or pool until it's time to go to the airport. We do this every year and it just adds a very relaxing day to the end of our vacation...I recommend this highly!