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Fly in day of cruise?

Discussion in 'Know Before You Go' started by BiXLL, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. BiXLL

    BiXLL Member

    Jan. 17th we will be doing our second cruise. Last time we flew in a day early. This time in researching flights my best bet would be a flight that does not even land in FLL until 8:10 PM on the 16th.

    There is a flight on the 17th that arrives at 10:10 am and I think that should allow plenty of time to get to the port in Miami. It would save me a little over $50.00 for the flight plus hotel fees.

    I am a little worried about flying out of Pittsburgh in mid Jan., but really, how many flights are actually cancelled?

    I guess I am looking for comments, does anybody fly in the day of their cruise, am I being stupid here?
  2. Jamman

    Jamman Carnival Specialist Community Sponsor

    Flying in the day of the cruise in the winter is very risky. I myself wouldn't do it. Make sure you have trip insurance.
  3. Priscilla

    Priscilla Well-Known Member

    I've done it both ways. Flying in day of has always worked out, but my worry-wart side feels better about giving myself an extra day Just-In-Case
  4. Cruizer

    Cruizer Well-Known Member

    Do you have a non-stop or a connecting flight? Where is the connection airport? Where is the connecting airplane coming from? When will you get to FLL if you miss one of your flights?

    Basically for only a $50 savings I would not take the chance. Of the fourteen cruises that I have flown to, I have arrived the day before eight times, two days before five times and on the day of once. However, that was a non-stop flight that was scheduled to land more than twelve hours prior to the ship's departure. That flight was fifteen minutes late and I was the first one to board the ship.

    I have had some issues on the return flights, but have had good luck with my pre-cruise flights. However, I did have one close issue on a day before flight that left LAX late. Basically they closed the door on my connecting flight right after me. Some how my luggage also made it on the flight.

    Which brings up another issue. Twice my luggage and I have taken different connecting flights. Again it has only happened on the way home. Nonetheless, arriving a day early gives your wayward luggage a chance to catch up with you before the ship leaves.

    Bottom line, I don't think the small chance that you will not make it to the ship on time is worth the $50 your are saving. However, that decision is up to you.
  5. George C

    George C Well-Known Member

    I like flying in the day or 2 before FLL is a nice place to spend some time
  6. BSeabob

    BSeabob Reinststed due to good behavior-Subject to change Staff Member

    Did fly from here (YVR) day of, several times before we had a close call and now our TA builds at least a night before into the itinerary.

    Thousands of people do it on the day of the cruise however.
  7. Gayle V

    Gayle V Cruiser's Compass Editor

    If it were me, I'd pay the extra to go the day before.

    So if your flight lands perfectly on time at 10:10. You'll likely get your luggage, no earlier than 10:45. Schlep it out to a taxi, and head to the pier. FLL is really close, but allowing for traffic at the pier, give it another 35 to 40 minutes. All things going perfectly, you'll be getting in line at just before noon.

    Guests must be checked in one hour before sailing. 90 minutes for international. Most likely sailaway is at 5 o'clock, so you need to be ON the ship by four. Sounds pretty good. Your leeway time is four hours. Any delay less than four hours, and you'll be fine. Anything longer and ..... Most air delays that we have encountered were in that range, but a few were longer. Good odds, but I'm no kind of gambler. I'd could never handle the stress. Good luck.
  8. Gayle V

    Gayle V Cruiser's Compass Editor

    Hi BiXLL, Just thought I'd share what I wrote in the Cruiser's Compass about this exact topic. Some won't apply to your specific situation, but it's worth a look...FWIW:

    The first rule of thumb about flying is to travel to your port city the day before the cruise, or sooner. Not only does it help guarantee that you don’t miss your ship, but just a single extra day adds so much more to the vacation than you might think. (BTW, this is good advice whether you drive or fly.) Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind if you are still considering traveling to your embarkation city on the day you sail:

    Traveling on the day of the cruise likely means:

    • Waking before dawn for early flights.
    • Stressing about flight connections and arrival times.
    • Arriving close to sail away time and having very little of the first day to enjoy on the ship.
    • Later arrival means less selection when trying to schedule spa and specialty restaurant reservations, booking certain excursions, or trying to change meal time errors.
    • Possibly not receiving your luggage in your cabin till late, maybe even after dinner.
    • Generally arriving exhausted and too tired to enjoy your first evening onboard.
    • Worst case scenario, it may mean missing the ship entirely.

    Arriving a day early, means:

    • You can book later flights
    • Fly relaxed and not stress about the time and connections.
    • Having a chance to visit your embarkation city.
    • Arriving at the ship rested and early, with most of your first day onboard still ahead of you.
    • Having a cushion of time that allows you to weather delays calmly, and prevents you missing the ship.

    As stated, the best advice is certainly to fly to your embarkation city the day prior to your cruise. But sometimes that’s just not possible. Here are some “rules of thumb” to use, should you face the decision to fly on embarkation day:

    • Schedule the very first flight out, no matter how early.
    • Only fly on embarkation day, if there is at least one later flight on the same airline that will safely get you there in the event something happens to your flight.
    • Never do it for international flights.
    • Only do it on direct flights
    • Never cut it closer than 5 hours. That means if the ship sails at five pm, your flight had better be arriving by noon.
    • Think seriously about it if you are in the North and the cruise is in winter.
    • Now re-think it. If you cannot pass these rules of thumb, don’t consider flying in that day. If you can, go for it, but be realistic about the risk you are taking.
  9. chefjrp

    chefjrp New Member

    I highly recommend flying in the day before. We also book everything, flight and hotel, through our cruise line (princess). We are guaranteed next port protection in the event that a delay with our flight results in missing our ships departure from our embarkation port.
  10. S&M in Pgh

    S&M in Pgh Well-Known Member

    Being a fellow Pittsburgher who has cruised in the middle of winter many times, I strongly suggest you fly out the day before.

    With our weather here, you just never know. Even if we have a bad storm, the airport may be open, but will you be able to get there?

    Flying to FLL a day early and staying at a hotel is a lot cheaper than missing your cruise or having to fly to the first port to meet the ship.

    Besides, it gives you an extra day in warm weather and after last winter.....

  11. gram

    gram Well-Known Member


    I am also from the Pittsburgh area and have cruised many times in December. I would never fly in the day of the cruise. Think about your luggage. Airlines sometimes misplace them. So if you go in the day before at least you have time for the airline to find your luggage.

    The weather may be alright at Pittsburgh but in the connecting city you may get delayed due to their bad weather. So many factors to consider. But the bottom line is \ play it safe and go in the day before the cruise.

  12. Beryl

    Beryl Trivia Specialist

    Fly in the day before!! It is not worth the risk of missing your cruise. Myself...I would probably fly in 2 days early just so I could spend the extra time in the warm sunshine!! :biggrin:
  13. Krazy Kruizers

    Krazy Kruizers Holland America Specialist

    We fly out of Pittsburgh. And yes -- we have had the first flight cancelled which then screwed up our connecting flight.

    Now -- last February we missed our cruise out of Tampa. Thanks to the snow storm that shut down Atlanta and Charlotte for the better part of 3 days. And we were scheduled to fly down 3 days early.

    No way would I try to fly in on the same day.

  14. Priscilla

    Priscilla Well-Known Member

    I'll echo this. I arrived 3 days early for a cruise out of Greece. My checked luggage didn't. All I had in my carryon for clothing were some tees and shorts. No dress shoes, no pretty dinner clothes, none of that stuff you need on a cruise. Luckily, my luggage caught up before the ship sailed.
  15. John

    John I'm on Island Time Staff Member

    I always recommend you fly in a day early, it will make your first day the much easier and less stressful. One delay and you will could miss the ship.

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