How early can I book a flight after 7:00 a.m. docking?
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I am on the Jan 15-25th Celebrity Equinox cruise. The ship docks at 7:00 a.m. in Ft Lauderdale and we have preferential disembarkation. I want to book a 10:05 a.m flight of Lauderdale. The taxi ride from ship to airport is very quick as I have done it many times before but never have taken a flight before 11:00 a.m. Has anyone out there ever booked a flight that early?The majority of the time you will make it, but there is some risk. Sometimes ships arrive late and (more often) there are delays with the ship clearing immigration. I just debarked from Equinox two days ago and was in the fifth group off and at the airport by 8:45am. However the sailing before us had a two hour delay being cleared by customs; people were still debarking up until about 12:15pm. FLL is located very close to the seaport, but FLL can be a very hectic airport with long lines, so if you arrive with moments to spare it might be hard to make it through security on time for your flight (especially if you have to check luggage). It really depends how much of a risk taker you are; if there are no delays with the ship arriving and clearing customs you almost certainly can make a 10:05 flight, but you do not have too much wiggle room in case things go wrong. Also keep in mind that most travel insurance policies will not help you out if you do not leave much of a buffer between a ship's scheduled arrival and your flight's scheduled departure.
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Do not book any flights until after NOON.
There are a lot of things that could go wrong -- the ship could arrive back in Ft Lauderdale late; the ship may not get cleared right away,etc.
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If you cam in on Jan 24 -with six ships offloading almost 18,000 passengers, it would definitely be a bad idea. But, since a lot of those 18,000 getting off on the 24th will be smart enough to not try a tight connection, many of them will be hitting the airport on your morning.
Give yourself a break - why get stressed immediately upon returning from a relaxing cuise? Shoot for a later (or even next day) flight.
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For those 11am flights, what time did you arrive at the airport? It's your call!
Remember domestic check in is at least 1.5 hours before departure so you would actually have to be at the AP by 8:30 a.m. Do you really think you can do that?
If you want to try to leave that early, book a later flight just in case but move your buns on debarkation day & beg to fly standby.
I have been on ships held up that did not begin debarking till almost noon, and many that did not start till 9:30 or so, always customs and Immigration hold ups.
and it can take up to an hour to get through Airport security.
booking 11:00 is just plain foolish.
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