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what time to book return flight from FT Lauderdale after CB cruise?


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We plan to walk off with our luggage and I believe we can then get off the boat early. What is the earliest we can book our home flight for at ft Lauderdale airport to be safe on disembarkment day?



Princess recommends noon or later; but we request early walkoff and handle our own luggage and usually take a 0945 flight with no problems.


But have a backup plan just in case the ship is late docking or customs is slow.



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On one of my cruises it took an hour to clear customs at the port. We have also been stuck in long lines to check-in at the airport and to clear security. Yes, if all goes smooth you can make an early flight, but there is always the chance that you will be delayed...

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Princess booked my air..it was only 20.00 than I would have gotten it for. Having their guarantee of getting there since my cruise is in Nov, leaving from NY can always be dicey....my return flight is 11:30 out of FLL

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We book from noon on, because there are too many variables. The worst is the TSA line at the FLL airport! The ship will usually be on time, customs can be slow when you're on a larger ship, and besides, do you want to go immediately into 'stressed out panic mode' as soon as you depart the ship?


Just not worth it IMO.


Have a great cruise and relax....:D

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We had an 11:35 flight last month after our CB cruise. I asked for and received the last walk-off group. It was slated to disembark at 8 but got moved back about 20 minutes. Going through Customs/Immigration took another 10 minutes or so. We waited in the cab line another 10 minutes and still made it to the airport before 9.


Southwest would not let us check in yet upstairs and directed us to a counter downstairs. The funny thing is that counter did not have a line and we ended up getting in the TSA line sooner than if we had checked in upstairs. An airport rep walked alongside the long TSA line asking for people with flights before 9:55. Even without his help because of our later flight time, we cleared the line in about 30 minutes minutes. We ended up with about an hour and a quarter before they started boarding our plane.


We would have had plenty of time to catch a 10:30 flight even with our last walk-off group. I would have requested the first group if we had a flight that early.

Edited by geoherb
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My experience is take a late afternoon flight. It is better to wait at the airport than miss your flight. The last time we arrived in into FT Lauderdale the ship was an hour late in docking. It took three hours to get off the ship and get through customs. We took the Princess shuttle. The shuttle bus didn't leave the port area until it was full and once we got the airport they would not let us off the shuttle until all the luggage had been removed from bus. We missed our flight. If you book your flights through Princess they guarantee that they will get you to the ship on time to make the sailing, but that guarantee doesn't apply to your return flight. Princess told us that hey could get us home late the next day. Now this all took part during Sandy when flights were at a premium.

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I returned from a recent cruise on the Caribbean Princess on Monday, September 1. I had an 11:45 am flight on Southwest from the Ft. Lauderdale airport. Even though I did the ship's transfer (the meeting time to the leave the ship was 8:10), I arrived at the gate in plenty of time.



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