Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
layteacher

Flying in to San Juan day of cruise. anyone experience missed ship?

Recommended Posts

thank you for your report. glad it turned out well for you. Looking to come the day before now.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the time we fly in the day of the cruise (San Juan several times).

 

A couple of years ago we even flew into to Rome the morning of our cruise. Next one, out of Athens, we will arrive a few days before.

 

We like to fly into NOLA a day early because we like to visit the French Quarter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I would do is look for your flight on your airline on FlightAware or something and see often its delayed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most people think of snow storms causing delays but thunder storms and mechanical problems are just as bad.  And with airlines booking solid or overbooking, it's hard to get another flight right away if your plane is delayed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were scheduled to leave for San Juan the day before our cruise.  the night before our flight, we got a message our flight from BTV had been cancelled, due to weather in NYC.  the plane wasn't coming in to Burlington.  It was February vacation week and we couldn't get a flight out anywhere on Saturday.  We were rebooked for Sunday, out of Albany.  we had to drive to Albany, spend the night and then find out, that flight had been cancelled.  we did get on another flight to SJU and made It there around 4 PM.  I have flown into cities 3 times, the same day as cruising, but the stress level is off the charts. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Mr2Scents said:

We have flown to San Juan for embarkation twice. One time was great, the other not so much. The bad was bad. We were set to fly out the day before to avoid any issues. There was fog at our stopover and we were delayed by an hour plus in leaving Cleveland. We only had an hour layover. Made up some time in the air. Get to one of the worst airports in the country for congestion, ask the flight attendant to call the gate to let them know we're coming. She won't do it, just says don't stop heading there. We run through the airport, get to the gate 10 minutes prior to the departure. We aren't the only ones in this predicament as there are probably 25 of us running down the concourse. We are yelling at them to not close the doors. The agent sees us and proceeds to close the ramp. She tells us it's closed and she can't open it. There are 20+ people staring at her breathless. The plane proceeds to sit at the gate for no less than 30 minutes and they never let us on. We all have to rebook on another airline in order to get out San Juan. We get to our hotel at 12:30AM instead of 2:00PM. We would have missed the ship if this was same day. To add insult to injury(so to speak), the new airline loses my wife's luggage. We do get it back before we sail.

Sent from my Lenovo TB-X304F using Tapatalk
 

Something similar happened to us. The gate closed in front if us. The plane sat there for at least another 30+ minutes.  We complained, but to no avail.  An airport worker told us the airline probably gave our seats to standbys.  Sometimes, stuff just happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you cannot change your flights,  there are two things you can do to improve your time from plane to ship. 
You could improve your time through the airport by traveling with carry on luggage only.

You can avoid the taxi line by booking a reputable car service pickup ahead of time and then calling them to check in as soon as your plane lands ( if not sooner using the planes wifi). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Steve551 said:

A couple of years ago we even flew into to Rome the morning of our cruise.

 

 

you are one brave soul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going out of SJU in April as well and will *possibly* be flying down the morning of.  Direct flight from ATL to SJU arriving about 1:30.  Ship leaves at 8:30 pm and the flight we are looking at arrives at 1:24 on Delta.  But I have trip insurance AND a passport just in case. We wanted to fly down the morning of so we could swing first class since my husband has never been first class before.  If we went down the day before and have to pay for a hotel we like then we couldn't justify first class.  This is a 5 year anniversary trip for us so we wanted to make it a little extra special.  😞 Ugh, I hate doubt.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Have you considered purchasing your air travel through Carnival?. Carnival will be much more likely you delay the ship for as long as possible or aid you in meeting the ship if not. Of course assuming that there was in fact a delay in your arrival. i haven't used Carnival Air program in while but from what I hear from others the prices are comparable if not cheaper than you can get yourself. 

 

https://help.carnival.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3110/~/carnivals-fly2fun-air-program

Edited by Shirleybird

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, jsglow said:

Without knowing where home is (edit, I see it's Tennessee), here's an option you might want to consider.  I'll use Southwest as an example as that's how we did it.  Perhaps you can fly to SJU in 2 separate legs.  Shortly after Maria essentially wiped out much of the San Juan hospitality industry for a time, we flew Chicago Midway to Orlando on a Friday night and then caught a 6a flight the next morning to San Juan arriving something like 8a.  Our Windstar ship wasn't departing until late evening so we had the cushion of 2-3 additional SWA flights that day that would get us there in time.

 

Bite off some miles the day before if you can and the price isn't prohibitive.

 

PS:  San Juan is a wonderful port to sail from.  I've done it at least 3 times.  Perhaps my favorite.  

 

See if this is logical for you to do. We also did this after Maria...our hotel the night before the cruise was cancelled and we didn't trust getting a room with power (this was in November after the hurricane). We flew to FLL and spent the night there and flew out early the next morning (day of embarkation). This worked well for us.

 

If your current flight options have you switching planes, you might want to consider getting anywhere with an early-morning direct flight the night before. That way at least your chances of mishap the day of the cruise go down. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 6/7/2019 at 9:03 AM, coevan said:

 

 

you are one brave soul

It was a little stressful. We won't risk it again. Our next Med cruise is out of Athens, we'll fly into Rome (our 2 youngest sons have never been there) a few days early then fly to Athens the day before our cruise.

 

Edited by Steve551

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We sailed our Honeymoon cruise out of San Juan. We had no choice but to fly in the morning of embarkation, because well, we were getting married the day before. It was a very early morning, very early flight, hectic and chaotic. But we made the ship in plenty of time. I wouldn't repeat that in the future though, if I had a choice. It didn't feel like a nice relaxing start to our honeymoon and married life. It felt rushed and stressed and tiring. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in the 90's when we lived in MN, we always flew to San Juan the day of the cruises because the ships left late at night. Never had a problem. One time we had to change planes in Atlanta and our flight wasn't for a couple of hours. We happened to see a flight on the same airline going to San Juan that was leaving in a few minutes and we asked if we could get on that flight. We were the last two people to board and we were given two first class seats next to each other! Didn't have to pay an upcharge either.Those were the days when your luggage was automatically sent to the ships so we didn't have to wait at the airport for our original later flight.With all the changes in air travel, I probably wouldn't do it now. We moved to FL in 2005 and just have to drive to the ports now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/6/2019 at 5:07 PM, 2wheelin said:

Hate to be a downer but remember this past April and the rain storms. Many people who were flying to the Easter cruise we were on planning to get there a day ahead did not even make it with that cushion.

Good Luck.

This is correct. Two of my clients were in this predicament. Luckily, they were flying in 2 days early. They got stuck Friday night in HOU. Finally got a flight to MIA and landed around 1000 AM on Sunday. If they would have been a day later, they would have missed the ship with all the backlog. Good thing they had trip insurance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have another thing you might want to consider. We flew in same day and had flight delays  and missed the ship. We had insurance through Carnival so they flew us into Nassau. The problem was they rescheduled us on a flight that left the next day around 1! That flight was delayed and we made it on the ship with less than an hour to spare. So we ended up with two very stressful travel days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

What these things always come down to is time and options.  The more you have of both, the better off you are.  It's even true in business travel.  It's a weird feeling being in a city where one plane is landing that evening and is the only chance to get home.  Spoiled here in Chicago.  I don't know how many times I've told a gate agent as a storms rolled in, "Get me in the sky to anywhere.  They'll figure out the rest later."

 

Absolutely true story.  With a snowstorm beginning I figured out a routing the airline computer couldn't even handle.  But the agent followed along dutifully as I outlined the plan, booked all the tickets, and said 'Nice work'.  I was on the last plane taking off just before the airport closed and got to my final destination (3 planes later) the day I was supposed to. 

Edited by jsglow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We thought about flying in day of to San Juan. Frontier only had flights on Sunday going down. But finally found a good flight on Saturday on Delta and just decided to do that. Our cruise is July 7 th and our all aboard is 3pm. It would probably be ok since we are just coming from ATL, but I’m glad we decided to go down a day early. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So one person posting has missed a sailing because of flight delays out of all those who posted?  Plus most others who haven't posted because of how the heading was specifically asking about anyone who has missed a SJU sailing and they haven't?

 

The scare stories I read about sound just like those scare stories that promote ship sponsored excursions (you might miss the ship) or ship sponsored store shopping (you might get ripped off).

 

Everyone else has talked about their fear and anxiety about missing the ship, yet they still made it.  I would say 75% of cruisers fly in the morning of a cruise, esp. in SJU where you have late sailing times.

 

For all those who say stuff happens, well sure, but think this way:  I have seen cruisers whose flights were the day before a cruise cancelled who were on stand at the airport by the morning of the sailing, while I boarded with my confirmed seat.  Should those who got cancelled have flown in 2 days before?  3 days?  When does the anxiety stop?

 

I have flown in the morning of a cruise maybe 40 + times, never had an issue.  Now that I live 2 hours drive time from most ports, about the same time as the flight time from NY, should I drive in the day before?  I don't think so.

 

Finally, if there are some weather delays, the cruise arranged flights have often resulted in the ship being held at the dock until those flight pax make it to the ship.  I have been on several ships that sailed late while waiting for flights to land.

 

Disclaimer:  I flew in from NY to FL ports non stop, direct, early morning flight, often with no checked luggage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never taken a cruise from San Juan, but have flown in many times. Old San Juan is about 20-30min from the airport when there is no traffic.  On a traffic day, you can find yourself taking about 45min or more, but when there are cruise ships it gets pretty backed up in Old San Juan. It becomes a maze, of course, your driver (taxi, shuttle, etc) will know the best direction. Anyhow, as long as you have no issues on the flight end, you will have time but it will get scary knowing you are on a clock! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NCbmwmom said:

We thought about flying in day of to San Juan. Frontier only had flights on Sunday going down. But finally found a good flight on Saturday on Delta and just decided to do that. Our cruise is July 7 th and our all aboard is 3pm. It would probably be ok since we are just coming from ATL, but I’m glad we decided to go down a day early. 

Good call going the day before.  Staying in the Old San Juan area the night before will be fun and a nice start to your vacation.  Enjoy your cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@JohnSpo I agree, even when I fly in to see family. Viejo San Juan is always my first stop before going to see anyone. Love the place. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/6/2019 at 12:01 PM, layteacher said:

Due to work schedule and a 7 day cruise, we will be flying into San Juan on embarkation day. Our flight is supposed to arrive at 1 and we dont embark until 6. With that said, we bought insurance from Carnival on the website. Anyone have experience with missing the ship and what happens? How does the insurance work? How do you get on your cruise?

Thanks for any help with this. 

Having done this itinerary last September, there is no way I would fly in the day of. We were scheduled to fly out of Knoxville on Saturday the day before sailing. Earlier that week, Hurricane Florence started gaining strength and was swerving towards the Atlantic coast. On Wednesday, we received a travel alert from American. I called and was asked if we had leeway to change our travel plans as they didn't know how Florence would affect Charlotte. I said we could, so on Thursday we left Knoxville and flew to San Juan via Philadelphia. For our Journeys cruise in February, it was cheaper to fly out of Nashville instead of Knoxville. Due to an issue at BNA, it was almost 11 PM before we got to our hotel in Miami. On the return flight from MIA to BNA, our flight was delayed due to not having a pilot for our flight home. Too many variables for flying in the day of.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks so much. Already got it worked out after so many responses. Flying in the day before. Already got our rooms reserved. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...