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  #1  
Old March 29th, 2012, 02:58 AM
noosagreg noosagreg is offline
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Unhappy Early Disembarkation

My wife and I are first time cruisers (as part of a visit to the USA from Australia), and it seems we may not have allowed sufficient time to get from our port on disembarkation to catch a flight. We are scheduled to arrive back at Miami port from a Caribbean cruise on Carnival Glory at 8:00am on Sunday 13 May 2012. We are booked to fly out of Miami airport at 10:45 that morning, almost 3 hours later. However, we were not aware (until now!) that the disembarkation process can sometimes take hours, which means we may miss our flight. Reading earlier Cruise Critic posts, we plan to do the following to expedite the disembarkation process: print flight boarding passes onboard the day before: self-disembark by carrying our own luggage off the ship; try to get near the front of the ship's self-disembarkation queue; use the ship's escalator; and get a taxicab to the airport. What we don't have control over is any delays in the ship's arrival into port, delays with customs, delays on Miami's roads (TaxiFare Finder states the trip should only take 17 minutes in medium traffic), delays with airport bag drop & security clearance. In our favour (we hope), is that all of this will take place on a Sunday morning! Would someone please advise: should we be OK with these plans or should we incur the additional, significant, cost of changing our flight to Sunday afternoon? Many thanks for your comments.
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  #2  
Old March 29th, 2012, 06:10 AM
1025cruise 1025cruise is offline
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Well, Sunday mornings when cruise ships are in mean the airport is a madhouse.

You should be OK if you self disembark.
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  #3  
Old March 29th, 2012, 06:49 AM
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If all goes well -- you should make your flight.

I kow that I would not want to be stressed and worrying about making a flight that early.

Don't know how soon your cruise is -- but right now is the high season for cruise ships in Miami and Ft Lauderdale -- many ships sailing on Saturdays and Sundays.

If you are cruising in late April it won't be as hectic as many of the ships leave for Alaska and Europe.
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  #4  
Old March 29th, 2012, 07:25 AM
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paul929207 paul929207 is offline
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If you can change your flights, I would.

You may make it, but it certainly would not be a shock if you miss your flight.
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  #5  
Old March 29th, 2012, 08:54 AM
alexandra cruiser alexandra cruiser is offline
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Unhappy I agree with above poster,,,change it,if you can

I ve had that BAD experience,,and really too much worry and a hassle.Can NEVER be sure you can get off early enough,even if you carry own bags.Too much CAN go wrong,,I had to change a few to next day just to prevent a repeat of missing 1 very important flight,,just ONCE,,,and never again.HAve learned from my mistakes...sorry,,not what you wanted to hear.
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  #6  
Old March 29th, 2012, 09:11 AM
Karysa Karysa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noosagreg View Post
My wife and I are first time cruisers (as part of a visit to the USA from Australia), and it seems we may not have allowed sufficient time to get from our port on disembarkation to catch a flight. We are scheduled to arrive back at Miami port from a Caribbean cruise on Carnival Glory at 8:00am on Sunday 13 May 2012. We are booked to fly out of Miami airport at 10:45 that morning, almost 3 hours later. However, we were not aware (until now!) that the disembarkation process can sometimes take hours, which means we may miss our flight. Reading earlier Cruise Critic posts, we plan to do the following to expedite the disembarkation process: print flight boarding passes onboard the day before: self-disembark by carrying our own luggage off the ship; try to get near the front of the ship's self-disembarkation queue; use the ship's escalator; and get a taxicab to the airport. What we don't have control over is any delays in the ship's arrival into port, delays with customs, delays on Miami's roads (TaxiFare Finder states the trip should only take 17 minutes in medium traffic), delays with airport bag drop & security clearance. In our favour (we hope), is that all of this will take place on a Sunday morning! Would someone please advise: should we be OK with these plans or should we incur the additional, significant, cost of changing our flight to Sunday afternoon? Many thanks for your comments.
Are you 100 percent certain that you can check in and print your boarding pass early? I find that sometimes I am allowed to and sometimes I am not.
Count me among the ccer's that think you are setting yourself up for added stress being the best case scenario on this one. I would change the flight to noon at the earliest.
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  #7  
Old March 29th, 2012, 09:21 AM
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Getting in at 8am will just compound your problems. Usually, there are several ships in by 7am. This will put you behind all those people when you are checking baggage at the airport and when you get to the security lines.
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  #8  
Old March 29th, 2012, 09:53 AM
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LHT28 LHT28 is offline
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You probably can change the flights for a nominal fee
Check the ticket rules ...sometimes it works out a bit cheaper to change after you have departed if all on one ticket

I would not book any return air before noon..what a way to spoil your vacation.....stressing about your flight
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  #9  
Old March 29th, 2012, 10:32 AM
Dancer Bob Dancer Bob is offline
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Early disembarkation is usually limited to US and Canadian citizens.
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  #10  
Old March 29th, 2012, 10:48 AM
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6rugrats 6rugrats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHT28 View Post
You probably can change the flights for a nominal fee
Check the ticket rules ...sometimes it works out a bit cheaper to change after you have departed if all on one ticket
I do not understand this advice. If OP is traveling solely on a domestic ticket out of MIA, for most airlines, it's going to cost them $150 in change fees for each ticket, and then the price of refaring, if the new flights are more expensive.

If OP is on an international ticket, it's going to cost at least $250 in change fees for each ticket.

I don't consider these fees "nominal". The only way it's "cheaper" to change after you have departed, is if your airline lets you standby free, or pay a less expensive standby fee that does not require that you refare, for a later flight. And on a day when a lot of ships are returning to port, what are the odds you are going to find very many empty seats on other flights? Slim I would think.

Last edited by 6rugrats; March 29th, 2012 at 10:49 AM.
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  #11  
Old March 29th, 2012, 10:59 AM
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OP is from Australia.. I would think there would be few options once the initial flight is missed.
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  #12  
Old March 29th, 2012, 11:14 AM
Essiesmom Essiesmom is offline
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Carnival Glory is the only ship in port that day. Ships usually dock earlier than scheduled. The hangup at the airport will be if you have to wait in line to check a bag. Checking it curbside is faster. Then security...My last flight from Miami I was sitting waiting for my flight and a young girl rushed up sat down, got out her cell and called Daddy, telling him she missed the flight, was 5 minutes late to the gate after being in security line for an hour. And there are several places to go through security, depending on your gate. EM
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  #13  
Old March 29th, 2012, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6rugrats View Post
I do not understand this advice. If OP is traveling solely on a domestic ticket out of MIA, for most airlines, it's going to cost them $150 in change fees for each ticket, and then the price of refaring, if the new flights are more expensive.

If OP is on an international ticket, it's going to cost at least $250 in change fees for each ticket.

I don't consider these fees "nominal". The only way it's "cheaper" to change after you have departed, is if your airline lets you standby free, or pay a less expensive standby fee that does not require that you refare, for a later flight. And on a day when a lot of ships are returning to port, what are the odds you are going to find very many empty seats on other flights? Slim I would think.
Since we have no idea how or with what airline the person is ticketed they should check the FARE RULES for that ticket
...then decide if they want to rebook/change the ticket or take a chance on missing the flight
The fee is dependent on the FARE CLASS booked


I am sure the OP would like to hear your suggestions
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  #14  
Old March 29th, 2012, 01:53 PM
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Change your flight.

For an international flight you have to be at the AP at least 2 hours before the flight leaves. http://www.miami-airport.com/departures.asp In your case you have to be at the AP no later than 8:45. That is the time to worry about not the time the plane leaves the gate.

Do you really think you can make it to the AP by 8:45? It's at least a 1/2 hour drive. It also takes at least 1/2 hour to clear customs as a US citizen. Whoops, you are already late & that's if everything goes smoothly.

What happens if you miss your flight? The airline will put you on the next available flight if you call in advance & tell them you are missing yours. Do you know when the next available (not full) flight home is? It's not always just the next flight. I missed a flight once & got stuck at the AP all day. Four full flights left before I was able to board one that had seats.

The cruise line suggests you make reservations for a flight home no earlier than 1 pm or 5 hours after your cruise is scheduled to dock.

While you might make it, it will be very very close & very very stressful. Why risk it?

Change your flight.
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Last edited by trish1c; March 29th, 2012 at 01:53 PM.
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  #15  
Old March 29th, 2012, 02:10 PM
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I'm a great believer in not being stressed on vacation, so I've always booked the flights with a good cushion for both arrival and departure, I'ld rather wait than worry. Additionally I will pay more for the guarantee of being able to change flights if need be, even if it meant I needed to spend more for the tickets. We always allow 2 hours domestically and 3 hours internationally for the TSA security check lines regardless of what the airport sites lists as their average check in time.

In your case it might be less expensive and less stressful to change the flight now even though it's "additional, significant, cost of changing our flight to Sunday afternoon". You may be surprised how much more the expense of changing the flight at the airport is after missing your flight.

You do not know ahead of time how many other people will opted for self disembarkation and how many of them may of earned head of the line privileges as VIPs. Also you do not how long the international passenger line for the CBP check will be after the cruise if it's significant this could further delay you from getting to the curb for a cab. Now add to this the off chance that ther could be a mishap with others disembarking. Twice I've experienced delays either disembarking (Port Canaveral) or boarding (Baltimore) because departing passengers fell on the gang way and had to be removed by landside ambulance. In both cases it turned out to be a self assist passenger that tried to carry (wheel) too much and was pulled or pushed by their luggage hitting into other departing passengers (domino effect) causing at least 1 sever injury.
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  #16  
Old March 30th, 2012, 02:39 AM
noosagreg noosagreg is offline
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Smile Early Disembarkation

Thank you everyone for your comments, which were very useful, if not what I wanted to hear. I agree that you don't want stress when you are on holiday & I've bitten the bullet & changed the flight. Now we can just get on with enjoying our cruise!
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  #17  
Old March 30th, 2012, 06:59 AM
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Glad you could make the change. Have a great cruise
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