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wyomom2

Red Eye Flight into FLL - Nieuw Amsterdam

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Cruise December 2019 (Holiday/Christmas). Family of 6 - adults.  This will be our 5th cruise w/ HAL, our first Holiday.  To save some money we are considering flying "red eye" into FLL.  We would land at 6:00 a.m.  How early can we board ship?  Should we go ahead and get hotel to get few hours sleep?  Thanks in advance for guidance. 

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The earliest we've been able to board is 10:30a. If you do decide to get a hotel - I'd highly recommend calling the hotel to book arrangements and a booking for the night before so you can get in, sleep for a few hours and then leave at about 11 for the ship. I'd think though at that point you'd be excited about the cruise and wouldn't be able to sleep.  

 

HOWEVER, I would HIGHLY recommend not flying in the day of the cruise. If anything should go wrong and the flight is delayed, then you miss your cruise. Yes, there is an additional expense in flying in a day early and staying the night, but you leave yourself a buffer. Early in our cruising years we did fly in the day of, and didn't have any problems (family did) - but we've come to find out that we were just lucky. After 40+cruises we've heard all the stories of flight delay's and cancellations.

 

But you do whatever makes you happy! 🙂 Happy cruising!!

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Boarding is normally started around 11:30 barring an inspection.

 

I would definitely contact the hotel and arrange for a stay if you can.  Better yet, I’d fly in the day before and make full use of my stay.  Red eye flights are no fun and not conducive to sleep.  

 

I’d far rather arrive the day earlier, feel rested and happy to be on board and not stressing about missing the ship 😉 

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I agree with the others. If you're going to spend money to get a few hours of sleep, you might as well go the day before and get a good night's sleep for your money.

 

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We ended up with a red-eye from California to Florida (that we didn't intend - long boring story) that arrived really early in Ft. Lauderdale.  Being young folk (in our 60's), we just bit the bullet, found a place to pretend to nap in the airport (head on crossed arms on table in eating area.......).  We survived until we could get on the ship.  But I don't think I'd do it again (still in 60's....but farther along towards 70).   But you might seriously need someplace to actually lay down....counting on your ages....... it's your choice and decision.  

 

Having experienced the red-eye before getting on the ship.....I'd also go in the day before.  At least.  Just saying.

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3 hours ago, Atlanta07 said:

The earliest we've been able to board is 10:30a. If you do decide to get a hotel - I'd highly recommend calling the hotel to book arrangements and a booking for the night before so you can get in, sleep for a few hours and then leave at about 11 for the ship. I'd think though at that point you'd be excited about the cruise and wouldn't be able to sleep.  

 

HOWEVER, I would HIGHLY recommend not flying in the day of the cruise. If anything should go wrong and the flight is delayed, then you miss your cruise. Yes, there is an additional expense in flying in a day early and staying the night, but you leave yourself a buffer. Early in our cruising years we did fly in the day of, and didn't have any problems (family did) - but we've come to find out that we were just lucky. After 40+cruises we've heard all the stories of flight delay's and cancellations.

 

But you do whatever makes you happy! 🙂 Happy cruising!!

This is very good advice.  I always fly in a day early.

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9 hours ago, wyomom2 said:

  Should we go ahead and get hotel to get few hours sleep? 

 

Whether you want a hotel for a few hours that morning or fly in the day before and need it all night, be aware this is the height of tourist system in that area and hotel prices (assuming rooms are still available) will be high. I assume with six adults you will need two and possible three rooms.

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Definitely fly in a day early.  During the holidays, prices for hotels whether it be for a few hours or the entire night, will be the same and high.

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I sooooooo agree with majority of our CCers! Please for your sake  try if you can to fly in the day before! We did this once and NEVER AGAIN!  What an awful day that was! Should of been an exciting time stepping onto The Nieuw Amsterdam but it ended up miserable because we were so 💤 tired!! We missed SAILAWAY! Sleeping!

We had to do a read eye at the time because I had obligations with Patients

and I could not change. Now retired it is different.

Denise😊 

 

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23 hours ago, kazu said:

I’d far rather arrive the day earlier, feel rested and happy to be on board and not stressing about missing the ship 😉 

True, the one and only time we did fly Red-Eye for day of cruise, I was so stressed about delays, missing boarding etc, that it just wasn't worth the savings. That being said, flying in to FLL in the springtime is VERY expensive and it was hard for us to find a hotel this time.

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OP - you don't say where you're flying from.  Which might make a difference at another time of year but since its during the December Holidays I would urge you to fly in the day before your cruise.  If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent that - book your air through HAL.  At least you won't be left at the pier on your own.  Although you might have a hard time finding a last minute hotel room - South Florida is very crowded over the holidays - and not just from cruisers.

 

And finally, if you do decide to take the most risky choice - red-eye in the day of the cruise, realize that you must pass through the security checkpoint to claim your luggage.  After that, there are very limited seating and food options in baggage claim.  You'd probably want to leave the airport and have about 4 hours to spend before you can go to the ship.  I can't imagine what decent hotel in a safe area would be willing to rent you a "day room" during the holidays.  

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Also consider a multi-city itin where you lay over in a connecting city for your overnight.  For example, we've gone in the night before into ATL where hotels are cheap, plentiful, and the odds of a winter storm preventing us from successfully getting from ATL to FLL are very low.  It was booked as multi-city, something along the lines of BUF-ATL something like 7p-10:30p and then ATL-FLL 7a-9a.  The benefits of this are that they airline will often let you rebook if weather is forecast to affect your departure city and this would leave open the ability to change into flights the day before the cruise departure.  Hotels in hub cities are probably cheaper than FL hotels (esp. at holiday rates).

 

Also travel insurance is worth adding imho. 

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I will be on this same cruise! It's our first holiday cruise as well, through we've cruised many other times before... I booked a flight that gets us to FLL at 11:30pm the night before and I was worried about that just in case there are winter weather delays (we are flying from PA). I can't imagine the stress of flying on a red eye getting there the same morning, not to mention I know I'd be super cranky! If you have to do the red eye, definitely try to get some sleep so you can enjoy your first day on the ship and not sleep it away or be miserably tired 🙂

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