I am looking for the opinion of the many experienced "cruisemates" regarding the decision to arrive the day before your cruise begins or to arrive the same day the cruise departs. We are planning on the June 3, 2006 Navigator of the Seas that departs from Miami Fl. Our travel agent is recommending that we arrive in Miami the day before and have plenty of time to arrive at the ship.
This will be our 5th cruise, and with the exception of the Disney cruise in which we had a large group arriving for the cruise, we have always arrived the same day of the cruise and have had no issues arriving on time. I would prefer not to leave a day in advance. To me it is inconvenience, and would like to board the ship upon my arrival to Miami.
We are traveling from Albany, New York and I know post 9/11 air travel has changed and "things' can happen. What would you recommend? Thanks
I do no think it will be a problem to arrive in Miami on the day as departure especially sicne you will be flying in June. We usually fly a day in advance only bc we live in Montreal and always travel int he winter months. The day in advance gives us a head start in case we get snowed in. Don't worry about it if you can not take the additional day and arrive early everything will be fine. Enjoy!
I would arrive a day early jus so you don't have to rush and your not flustered by the time you get to the ship. The hotels are pretty cheap if you book directly through Rccl. We are going 2 days early as we just want to explore Miami a litle.
In good weather months, I would not have a problem with arriving same day, as long as early flight to embark city. In winter, would go a day early, not worth the stress and worry. Plus you get to add a day to your vacation, always good. Nice time to relax, rest up and be ready to cruise.
We have always flow the day of the cruise. I would recommend taking the first flight out so if there is a delay you have a cushion. The later in the day you fly, the more chance you have to enounter delay caused from an earlier flight. If your travel agent is really concerned, she should recommend you take the insurance offered by RCCL. It would proably be the same as a hotel room, but would cover many other issues than a flight delay.
We had freinds that took the insurance who made believers out of us and now we will not travel without it. They missed the connecting flight due to an equipment problem and in turn missed the boat - litterally. RCCL paid for the hotel, first class in Florida ( and then again at the first island), food, rerouted them on connecting flights, found their luggage, and then met up with the ship and got on, as everyone else was getting off for the first port of call.
Our last cruise (May 2005) port secruity was tighter than it had been. Custom's did not release the ship until around 3:00 that afternoon so it was a madhouse in the terminal. We got into the Miami airport at 11:30 only to have to wait at the ship terminal, with no where to sit. Since it was release so late, everyone arrived on board at one time, including all the luggage so it was mass chaos, everyone tired, hungrey and anxious for the trip to begin. Normally you use that time boarding and sailing to assimilate and relax . The Windjammer was a free for all. This was of no fault of RCCL, but the manner Customs was operated from the previous arrival. Coming on late, all the rooms were ready, but the bags were very late, again because of Custom's delay in releasing the vessel. Has anyone else seen this problem continue?
We used to always arrive the day of. Didn't want the hotel expense back then (I was on a tight budget) but started flying the day before and it was soooooo much more relaxing and have always enjoyed the extra time we had at the area around the port - did a lot of exploring.. Now we take cruises close to home though so arrive the day of. If you don't want to arrive early then I would recommend like others to take the first flight you can so you have back up in a later flight if there are problems. Have fun!! Debbie
I am a travel agent as well and I always recommend that my clients (if flying) arrive the day before. Everybody has a different opinion, but I always suggest going a day early just to be on the safe side. You never know what may happen with flights. You may have bad weather in your hometown that might delay you, or bad weather to where ever you're flying. I recently had clients that flew from Atlanta to Seattle for an Alaskan Cruise. I suggested they go a day early, but they decided to take the earliest flight out of Atlanta that morning (the same day of their cruise). They had a stop in Salt Lake & their luggage was lost! Instead of boarding the ship at 11 am, they boarded at the very last minute before the ship left port because they were waiting on luggage that never arrived. They didn't get their bags until the next day in port! I felt bad for them, but things can always go wrong. Just my 2 cents!
We always fly in a day early, it's just so much less stressful. The risks of flying in the winter months are obvious, but even in the summer, you could have beautiful clear weather in both the departure city and the arrival city of your flight, and thunder storms in some part of the country your going nowhere near can foul up the schedule.
Listen to your travel agent...look at it as starting your cruise an evening early...find out how many other CM are going on your cruise and will be arriving the night before and plan a get together with the safe knowledge that you are there safely, with bags
then, stand on deck as the ship is departing and watch the people who missed the boat by 2 minutes go crazy screaming on shore and wave at them and toast your travel agent for giving you good advise with your bon voyage drink
I live in the Panhandle of FL and we generally sail out of Miami about a 10 hour drive. This year we are driving to Orlando and spending the night then driving the 4 hours to Miaimi. we always go day prior you are paying big money for a nice vacation. With Priceline or RCI you would not be about more than about $200 which would include a meal. We sail right after New Years and this is high season in Miami so we are staying at Disney for $88 and driving to the Brillance the next am. Taht way we are not too tired.
Day early is what we always do if flight is involved--even today my sup at work is flying to Fla but fears delays & possible cancellation due to thunderstorms---you never know. It just gives you an extra time frame if a problem ever develops. Also nice to start the trip nice & fresh--not after a long travel day! It does ad somecost an extra vac day from work but we feel it is worth it.. Obviously in the winter there is a greater risk than june!
Fly in the day before, its so much easier, more relaxed less hassle. You fly in when you want, check into your hotel, relax go for a swim, have a cocktail, walk around town, have a nice relaxing dinner, wake-up when you feel like it, have a nice breakfast, grab the shuttle from the hotel to the pier and board your ship.
Whenever I depart from Miami/Ft Lauderdale (or any other florida destination for that matter) I always take the earliest (or one of the earliest flights) to ensure that if there are delays I still have plenty of options and time. I am in Northern VA so there are several flights to that area. However, whenever I sail out of San Juan I always go at least one day early to avoid any problems.
I would arrive the day before just because it is more relaxing. Weather in June can affect flights because of thunderstoms and etc. Also, there are times when we have gone to the airport and flights are just plain canceled. We were flying from Milwaukee to Puerto Rico a few years back and our flight from Milwaukee to Detroit was just cancelled. We ended up taking a different airline to Detroit and then our original flight from Detroit to Puerto Rico. Lucky for us the flight from Detroit was delayed or we would never had made the connection. It is up to you but like others say have a back up plan and buy the insurance.
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I know this may sound strange, but the only time we had an air delay was in June. We were flying from Pittsburgh to Montana and when we arrived at the airport, we were told our flight was canceled and they could not get us on another one until the next day. It was due to strong storms. So, I'm an avid believer in flying in the day before.
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We always fly in the day before. Why be stressed the day of just in case of any delays? And these days, it's not all that uncommon. Especially if you have a large group coming in, I think it would be a lot more relaxed if you didn't have to worry about finding everyone the day of, especially if they are coming in from different areas.
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We flew out of OMA in January on our cruise & went to FL a day early. Enjoyed that, just relaxed that nite & were fresh the next day to start the cruise. Make sure & leave enough time, one couple was rushing to board just before sail away.
We have always booked our air the day of the cruise. we try and book the first flight out in the morning or the next one if it is too early. Never had a problem. Although I am aware that problems can occur and I may be waving at the ship from the dock.
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Arrive a day early. I just returned from a Cruise Training. I traveled Omaha, NE to Ft. Lauderdale with a stop in Houston. I was delayed BOTH ways and had to spend the night in Houston. One delay was sitting on the runway waiting for a gate to unload in Houston.
The airlines are cutting schedules too tight and leave no room for error. Flights are also very full, so if you are delayed and all other flights are full (which was my case) you are stuck.
There is a nice shopping area in Miami called Bayside with hotels. The cruise terminal is about 10 minutes away via taxi. You can taxi to the hotel, visit Bayside, taxi to the port. You won't need a rental car.
I always fly in the day before. I once sat in an airport for over four hours as our plane had mechanical problems and another one had to be diverted from somewhere else. Even with flying in June you can have weather delays due to thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.
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We have done it both ways. The last 3 cruises, we have gone the day before and it was so much better that I will never go back to flying in the day of the cruise again. Just so much more relaxing to wake up rested, have a leisurely breakfast, and know that you are just a taxi ride away from your ship. You also have a day to explore the port city. I highly recommend it. Twice, in San Juan, we also stayed one day after and it was a great way to end a wonderful vacation without the big rush getting off the ship and dealing with a very crowded airport. Much less stressful.