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Shuttle bus - wait time


Megalyn
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Greetings!  I had a bad experience with Carnival many years ago with the shuttle from the airport to the boat.  It was an early flight and we ended up waiting nearly three hours at the airport for the bus to leave.  It wouldn't have been as bad if they were up front about it, but kept saying "soon" so that we were not able to wander around.  I vowed not to do the bus again and to get a cab.

 

I grabbed a cab (Miami airport) last year for an NCL cruise and ended up feeling unsafe - I'm a solo traveler.  Very angry cab driver without strong English skills.  Things were so packed around the port that the police made him do laps before queuing in line for dropoff.  Driver blamed me since he was using for extra gas for a flat fare.  I had no issue with giving a larger tip, but couldn't really communicate that well.  I seriously considered getting out of the car at one point when we were in backed up traffic but my luggage was in the trunk.  

 

I got my free flight information for my cruise next month and I'm due to arrive at the airport at 10 am.  I'm torn on whether to cab or bus it this time.  I feel like both of these experiences were the exception to the rule.  Leaning towards the bus since I'd rather be inconvenienced than terrified but I thought others may have experiences to share about the NCL shuttle bus service to help me decide.

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9 minutes ago, Megalyn said:

Greetings!  I had a bad experience with Carnival many years ago with the shuttle from the airport to the boat.  It was an early flight and we ended up waiting nearly three hours at the airport for the bus to leave.  It wouldn't have been as bad if they were up front about it, but kept saying "soon" so that we were not able to wander around.  I vowed not to do the bus again and to get a cab.

 

I grabbed a cab (Miami airport) last year for an NCL cruise and ended up feeling unsafe - I'm a solo traveler.  Very angry cab driver without strong English skills.  Things were so packed around the port that the police made him do laps before queuing in line for dropoff.  Driver blamed me since he was using for extra gas for a flat fare.  I had no issue with giving a larger tip, but couldn't really communicate that well.  I seriously considered getting out of the car at one point when we were in backed up traffic but my luggage was in the trunk.  

 

I got my free flight information for my cruise next month and I'm due to arrive at the airport at 10 am.  I'm torn on whether to cab or bus it this time.  I feel like both of these experiences were the exception to the rule.  Leaning towards the bus since I'd rather be inconvenienced than terrified but I thought others may have experiences to share about the NCL shuttle bus service to help me decide.

It all depends whether your flight arrival is early compared to other cruise passengers or not.  The bus isn't going to leave until it's mostly full.  Cab is going to take you sooner.  Or Uber/Lyft.  Or hire one of the shuttles.

Edited by billslowsky
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We have always taken a cab in Miami but there were two of us. Never had a problem. 

Always be sure to go to the taxi stand and don't be talked into taking a cab ride with

someone who is inside the terminal asking people if they want a ride. I don't have experience with

shuttles because most people said that they waits can be long. However if I was traveling alone

it might be worth the wait if I felt safer.

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9 minutes ago, Megalyn said:

Greetings!  I had a bad experience with Carnival many years ago with the shuttle from the airport to the boat.  It was an early flight and we ended up waiting nearly three hours at the airport for the bus to leave.  It wouldn't have been as bad if they were up front about it, but kept saying "soon" so that we were not able to wander around.  I vowed not to do the bus again and to get a cab.

 

I grabbed a cab (Miami airport) last year for an NCL cruise and ended up feeling unsafe - I'm a solo traveler.  Very angry cab driver without strong English skills.  Things were so packed around the port that the police made him do laps before queuing in line for dropoff.  Driver blamed me since he was using for extra gas for a flat fare.  I had no issue with giving a larger tip, but couldn't really communicate that well.  I seriously considered getting out of the car at one point when we were in backed up traffic but my luggage was in the trunk.  

 

I got my free flight information for my cruise next month and I'm due to arrive at the airport at 10 am.  I'm torn on whether to cab or bus it this time.  I feel like both of these experiences were the exception to the rule.  Leaning towards the bus since I'd rather be inconvenienced than terrified but I thought others may have experiences to share about the NCL shuttle bus service to help me decide.

flew NYC to Miami and had the transfers.  First time for us, and we checked in at NCL desk and got #2 boarding, waited  not too long, but soon as bus was filled, we left!  

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I know NCL farms out there airport to ship/ship to airport shuttles.  They obviously go to the lowest bidder.  Not sure if CCL uses their own busses or farms it out, also.

 

I've used NCL's shuttles a couple of times.  As others have mentioned, they don't leave until the get a full (or nearly full) bus.  Sometimes that means a long wait.

 

Personally, I'd grab an UBER.  They're usually no more expensive than an NCL shuttle, and will probably cost less.

 

But, if you're getting into the pier early, regardless of when you got there, you're going to have to wait to embark.  They don't begin boarding until somewhere around 11:00 a.m.  So, either you're waiting at the airport, or at the pier.  If you're there too early, you're waiting.  It's just a matter of where.

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If you want total peace of mind, do what we did and book a towncar from Larry's Limos.  They were excellent!   The driver met us at the baggage claim at MIA and carried our bags to the car.  They had cold water bottles and such available in the car for us, and the driver was very friendly and knowledgeable of the area.  It's a little more than the cost of a cab, but it is so worth the personalized treatment IMHO.

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2 hours ago, CruiseMH said:

When you arrive just ask them when the bus will leave so you know how long the wait is.I am sure they do know. And then you can decide wether to wait or take the cab.

 

 

It sounds as if the OP did keep asking but was told “soon” - that is somewhat deceptive.  But since, as another poster has suggested, that boarding is not until 11 am, later maybe it would just be best to download a favourite film onto your phone and just watch that while you wait.  You will get on to the ship, eventually.  You will get to your cabin, eventually.  You will have the safety drill, eventually.  Then your vacation will start.  Best to feel safe while you wait.

 

I have just come off my “9 months in the planning” cruise.  I now envy anyone in the planning process.  

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My last flight into Miami was around 10 am, and luckily a lot of people were also arriving around the same time.  It should say in your edocs, but I believe the first shuttle leaves at 10:30.  So if you've landed and have your bags by then, you can get on it with little to no wait

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