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  #1 (permalink)  
Old April 7th, 2006, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Hollywood, California
Posts: 96

Hi everybody!!! As an experienced cruiser I have cruised 20plus times and have read terrible things that happened to cruisers who missed their cruise due to airplane flights, airport problems, etc.

I always like to arrive one day early so I can rest before my cruise because if I don't do that I will not totally enjoy my first day on the cruise and will go to bed early because I am tired.

AIRPLANE FLIGHTS - I have had the experience of having to run to the next gate for a connecting flight and find out the gate was changed again and I missed my connection. There are some flights that are not non-stop. I prefer non-stop and am willing to pay the extra money but there are times when planes do not have non-stop flights. Plus, if a plane has a mechanical problem.....your plane can be delayed by three hours and you can miss boarding your cruiseship. I have seen that happen to lots of people.
If it is winter/snow or rain season..... your plane may be delayed until the weather is safe to fly. Try not to make a stop where you know there will be snow. For example; if I am flying to Miami in December I make sure our plane doesn't stop at a Snowed city like New York, Chicago, etc. I would rather make a stop in Arizona or Las Vegas which are some of my choices where I book a one-stop flight because it is the only choice I have.
If a plane is delayed coming back to my home base of Los Angeles I don't care because my home will not cruise away and leave me behind.lol.

AIR-PORTS like LAX - In Los Angeles... any little thing can slow you down.
I always take Super-Shuttle instead of having a relative drop me off because sometimes I have noticed that there will be a long line of cars being stopped by air-port security. I know some of those people missed their flights. The police let Shuttles go through without being stopped.
When LAX has a security problem all traffic stops and everybody misses their planes. When there is a bomb threat... the airport gets closed for hours.
When a plane is having a problem landing.... the airport stops all flights.

CRUISE SHIPS - They hardly wait for anybody unless their Charter plane is late... then they will wait for them. But I heard that they sometimes don't wait. They are supposed to wait for their own shuttle buses but sometimes they forget to wait for them because someone didn't call the cruise ship to let them know they have been delayed. I heard this info. from a travel agent. Cruise ships are not like Hotels. You can arrive late and your Hotel is still there waiting for you.lol. So if you book one day early at a hotel...
and your flight is late it doesn't matter. See what I mean?

Most SINGLE CRUISING GROUPS like VTG SINGLES have a pre-cruise party where you can meet singles in advance. They don't advertise their pre-cruise parties to singles because sometimes only a few singles show up to a pre-cruise party and some single people can be a real pill and complain. So be aware of that situation and just go one day early just to rest or see the city. I prefer to go for two days so I can have fun in the city and see the sights.
VTG SINGLES has a private website after final payment is made so you can meet the other singles before boarding the ship. They also mail you a VTG Singles t-shirt. I already have 3 t-shirts and have decorated them to my liking. VTG stands for VACATIONSTOGO.COM
Click on Hosted Singles to see all the cruises planned for the year.
I consider this group number one in my book. I have cruised many years with Singles group. I am a cruise-addict and also belong to cruise-addict.com
This message board is the best one for Singles communicating with eachother and I plan to do a lot of posting of topics.
One last comment..... Always buy cruise/travel insurance because if at the last minute you get seriously ill you can cancel your cruise. My sister was seriously ill with a cold and we had insurance but she didn't want to cancel so she just rested the first few days intil she got better. When my plane was delayed going home I didn't know how long the delay was going to be so I called my travel insurance company CSA and they gave me the info I needed to get re-imbursed if necessary. It was great calling them from my cell phone while I was on the plane. I thought I would have to spend the night in Fort Lauderdale but the plane took off after waiting three hours on the plane. Bah-hum-bug to waiting on a plane. Lucky I had water and food with me. You must take your snacks on planes now because they are super cheap-skates. They didn't give us nothing until the last hour of the trip. The airline pilot knew how to talk Americanise which means they talk between the lines....... like killed by friendly fire. That is called Americanise language. The pilot would say something stupid like, "we have a small problem with the plane", "we will be leaving soon", "There is another thingy that needs to be fixed and we will just be another 5 minutes", WHICH meant another 2hours. See what I mean?

So like Pat Hagan says, "try to leave one day early so you don't miss the ship for any reason. Plus, you will be rested. You can also stock up on your favorite sodas, and alcohol bottles and pack them in your checked-in luggage. The ship scans the luggage but they never take out your bottles of liquor from your luggage as far as I know. They would lose a lot of time doing that plus people would complain that some of their expensive clothes is missing. It has never happened to me.
Don't carry liquor on your carry on bag they may take it away from you.
I always pack bottled water, sodas, and some small bottles of liquor.
Make sure they are packed in strong plastic bags so they don't ruin your clothes. I pack my liquids in a soft flexible soda storage bag.
Cheers, Luci
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old April 9th, 2006, 12:24 AM
Thoth's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Miz-sippy
Posts: 1,604

That good advice Luci !
At one time I trusted the airlines enough to fly the same day as my cruise but NEVER again. In 2004 I was bumped on the way home from a cruise and then I realized that could happen GOING too. woops !! Last month I was on a flight with seats to spare BUT the baggage was too heavy so they bumped passengers. This was on Masaba air= the Northwest conection. If you ever find yourself in Memphis stay away from Masaba air and Saab 340's ( if you can). Chances are I'll have to use them again becouse that's the line into this local airport 20 minutes from home, friendly service, free parking, and it takes maybe 1 minute to check in. cheers,
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old April 9th, 2006, 09:57 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Hollywood, California
Posts: 96

Hi Wayne, thank you for the advise. I mostly fly Delta because I have relatives in Albany, Georgia. Delta's home base is Atlanta, Georgia. I even got me an American Express Delta credit card.
I will be flying on Jet Blue this month for the first time. The planes are beautiful with large comfy seats and space for my beautiful legs.lol. Plus you get your own t.v. screen in from of your seat to watch t.v. or play games.
Jet Blue only flys to certain airports. I am lucky that it flys from Burbank, Calif. to JFK - New York. I am only paying $300. to fly round trip in Sept 16th when I will be cruising on the NCL Dawn ship going to Canada/New England.
You can't find Jet Blue on Expedia, Orbitz, or Travelosity, etc. because they do their own deals mostly on-line.
Continental Airlines home base is Houston, Texas. That airline is expensive but they also have airplanes with your own t.v. screen in front of you.
Sometimes they have good deals.

Yes, there are some fly by nights airline companies that don't last long.
I once flew on a rickety old plane to Jamaica. The name of the company was Arrow Airlines. Flying back home to LAX I thought it was going to crash because it started to go down in splurts like a ball falling down some steps. I just put my head down in my pillow ready to crash. But the plane straigthen itself out and I survived. yeah!
I am not afraid of flying but I think flying is soooo boring that I take something to put me to sleep and lose track of time. It is a long flight from the Westcoast to the Eastcoast. Luci
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Old April 10th, 2006, 12:37 AM
showcat's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,355

Luci you are a cruise Diva! I agree about flying out early. A day or more in port pre cruise gives you a chance to explore the port and see the sights in Ft. Lauderdale, Long beach, Port Canaveral or where ever your ship departs from. On my first cruises I flew in the day the ship left. I was very tired so the first day on board I was on auto pilot. Kind of a zombie like state, not enough energy to really enjoy. Ditto for flying home the same day, plus the airports are packed with all the other passengers rushing home to get to work. I say take a few extra days off and relax it's well worth it if you can do it!
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Old April 10th, 2006, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Hollywood, California
Posts: 96

Hi Showcat! I also think that leaving two days early is better because then you get a chance to explore the city. Los Angles/Long Beach is so spread out that it is a good idea to just rent a car and drive around with a local map.
You really can't get lost if you follow the map.
I do remember when the East Coast cities got snowed in and no airplanes were able to fly out for two days. Cruise Diva, Luci, .
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old April 11th, 2006, 08:22 AM
Senior Member
First Mate
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 468

Luci, you are a world of knowledge and I love to hear tips from an experience cruiser.

Though I have played with the idea of arriving during the day of the cruise even with travel insurance to cover you in case of a miss the boat doesn't make you comfortable when you see your ship leaving port.

Yes, at least a day should be given for rest and preparation for the adventure next day.

If you are from the east coast and taking a cruise on the west it is also a good idea to stay a day after your cruise to get use to the time difference.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old April 11th, 2006, 12:39 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 10
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I usually arrive one to two days early when I go on cruise.If you are going on a singles cruise they have pre-cruise get together before the cruise.This is the best way to meet people before the cruise.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old April 11th, 2006, 01:40 PM
Pat Hagan Singles Editor's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 553

I don't think enough can be said in favor of arriving a day--or days, if possible--before your cruise departs. Not only do you not have to worry about missed connections, lost luggage, and feeling all grungy when you go onboard, you have a chance to experience all that the port city has to offer. And remember--you can find information about port cities on Cruisemates, giving you tips on sightseeing, the best places to eat, shop, hotels, etc.

Some cruise lines have repeat passenger "clubs" that allow early embarkation. This, to me, is one of the best perks--getting onboard ahead of the herd. It gives me a chance to familiarize myself with the ship before the crowds start moving about. I find my cabin, dump my carry-on, and head out. By the time the halls are filled with luggage and people, I'm having a drink at the pool bar and relaxing! 8)
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