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Flying in day of cruise - a cautionary tale

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2 minutes ago, Judyrem said:

"Run Judy run"  I heard as my husband and I did one connection through CDG, but we made and had a HUGE wine on board!


We had a tight connection at SFO one time. As we ran through the airport, DH saw me eyeing the See's Candy kiosk and said "NO!"


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I think my blood pressure went up about 20 points, just reading your post.  We had a close call on our first Mediterranean cruise, (we were cruising newbies) missing a connection and being the last ones to board the ship.  Thankfully we had a HAL transfer waiting for us at the airport, otherwise we would not have made it.  Live and learn!!


Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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4 hours ago, Tapi said:

I am too. And I agree with what you wrote. I remember an occasion when I was the Captain on a flight from Louisville to Minneapolis, and we were waiting on a group of 10 passengers who had checked in but were not at the gate yet. One of the passengers from the group went ahead of them and made it onboard. She begged with the flight attendant to hold the flight for the rest of the group that was stuck at security, who had mobility issues, and were traveling with medical equipment. She said that they were connecting to Vancouver to catch an Alaska cruise. 

The flight attendant informed me of this, so knowing what the consequences of leaving without them would be for this group, I went up the jetway and asked the gate agent to hold the flight for another 10-15 minutes to give these passengers a chance. The gate agent refused to hold the flight. They are under a lot of pressure from management to launch first flights of the day on time to avoid cascading delays throughout the day, so I took the delay upon myself. I told the agent to code the delay on the pilots, but that I would not be leaving without these passengers. 

Thankfully, the missing passengers showed up a few minutes after we had this conversation, all frazzled and exhausted. I walked down the jetway with them, but before they boarded the plane I stopped and said “Ok, you’re here, you made it, but before I let you on this airplane, I need all of you to raise your right hand and repeat after me: I will NEVER again fly on the same day of the cruise!” They all laughed, repeated the oath, and boarded the plane. We pushed back a few minutes behind schedule but landed in Minneapolis on time. 

These passengers were lucky that their Captain happened to be a cruise enthusiast who understood the consequences of missing that flight, but most likely, if it had been anybody else, these passengers would’ve had a very rough first day of their Alaska vacation.

Great story of kindness that I saw many times!  In my days in the biz the majority of the Captains were the best people you could work with!  Thank you for all your years of getting us safely to where we were traveling.   

Edited by Nymich
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18 hours ago, cruisinteach2 said:

We have done red eye direct from Seattle to Ft. Lauderdale. Has worked well but arrived very early and had time to kill before heading to the pier. Would not try if it were not a direct flight!!

We've done this also. Everything worked out ok but I was stressed for months before hand. The prices for hotels in and flights to FLL are getting outrageous in the spring now so it is tempting to come in on the Red-Eye  the day of and save on airfare and a hotel charge. The increased airfare and hotel charges  are adding well over $1000 to our cruise in Februrary but at least we don't have the stress of pushing it to the last minute. 

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On 11/7/2019 at 10:42 AM, bamelin said:



We actually have started staying a night after the cruise too.  Overall when you aren't rushing to airports it just makes the going and coming back part of the trip so much more relaxing.



Us to

day before and a day after

it uses more vacation budget but it is sooo much more relaxing 

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20 minutes ago, TheJurea said:

Us to

day before and a day after

it uses more vacation budget but it is sooo much more relaxing 


For sure.  If you choose to fly home upon getting off the ship:


1.  You are up at 6 or 7 AM, rushing to buffet then disembarking -- so already pretty tired. Maybe even missed the buffet due to early morning flight forcing you to express disembark

2.  Immediately having to deal with a busy airport after battling huge equally stressed crowds for a cab

3.  If not able to get reasonable priced afternoon flights, having to hang out in airport until late afternoon or evening

4.  Taking the flight and possibly having to connect.  Crappy airport and airline food all day since lunch

5.  Finally getting home and dealing with a drive home (in some cases a long drive)

6.  Collapsing in bed past midnight exhausted with mountains of laundry waiting the next day



As opposed to:


1.  You are up at 6 or 7 AM, head to buffet then disembarking -- so already pretty tired. 

2.  Tired but pretty relaxed since you were able to linger at buffet and casually saunter off the ship without a whirlwind time table ahead

3.  Shuttle/Taxi to luxe resort and check in.

4.  At the pool by 12 sipping on a cocktail, maybe having a bite to eat

5.  Afternoon spent at pool/napping/etc

6.  Delicious dinner

7.  In bed early to prepare for flight next day

8.  Get up at 10 or 11, have a buffet breakfast late so you are full before your flight and happy 

9.  Relaxing ride to airport happy knowing you have a great afternoon flight you got cheap because you didn't leave on a Saturday or Sunday

10.  The rest of the air stuff still sucks but at least you aren't tired  =)



That's the main thing really -- flying out the same day is exhausting.  Hotel doesn't even have to be a 5 star -- I tend to try to stick with Courtyard quality or better, but in the end it's about being able to rest before the flight so we are not exhausted wrecks the day we go home.




Edited by bamelin
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1 hour ago, Boatdrill said:

Even better that you had the HAL transfer. The ship has to wait for the last bus from the airport. 

I knew I didn't have much time to spare, so I tried to reduce risks in other ways: insurance, Flightease, direct flight, and HAL transfer.

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11 hours ago, taba said:

It was a reference to the Gilligan's Island theme song. It was also the second miscalculation I made on the trip.


I was on a 3 hour boat ride. The first 2 hours were uneventful. But in the 3rd hour the "weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed." I lost my lunch.🤢

Oh,  that flew right over my head.  Not a Gilligan fan 

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On 11/7/2019 at 4:50 PM, *Miss G* said:

I’ve done it twice.  First flight of the day on December 7th, BUF to FLL.  There was a light snow falling when we left our hotel but it quickly got worse.  All flights following ours didn’t make it out.  Midway through the cruise we met up with people finally boarding (pulling their own luggage) who had been stranded in Chicago.  They had Flight Ease.  I’m guessing everyone who didn’t have Flight Ease spent their cruise in Fort Lauderdale.


The other time was from a regional airport in England to Venice.  Boarded the ship around 2:30 pm.  There was no stress with that one because the ship was overnighting in Venice.  We got to see fireworks for some national celebration so that was pretty awesome.


The last time my parents caught a cruise (NYC to Southampton) their flight was to arrive at EWR, mid-afternoon, the day before.  Unfortunately the weather wasn’t cooperating in NY so their flight kept getting pushed back.  About 9 hours later it finally departed, but all further flights were cancelled and everyone was put up in hotels overnight and they would have to wait standby until they could be accommodated.  Could you imagine that mess?  Sometimes even the day before isn’t enough time.

As a fellow Buffalonian, I leave a day early just for local weather, and fears that the highways in town will close. We actually almost missed a flight out of town because our car got stuck in a snow bank in the airport. 

Always the case in Buffalo, somebody helped us get the SUV in place and we ran, through the lot, security and the airport as the last on the plane. 

I think I’ve got the winner of “got to town early” stories. We arrived in New Orleans on Friday,, August 25th 2005 to board a Carnival cruise ship and left the hotel on Sunday, August 27th  at 10 AM to board the ship. Our cruise ship was escorted out of port by the Coast Guard, hours before Hurricane Katrina. We were told ours was the last ship out of port.

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