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Hi there

Just wanted some experienced opinions! My mom will be taking a cruise with some friends and I found out that they have, what feels like to me, a short window from ship to flight time after they disembark the ship.  I personally havent ever been on RC so I dont know how the morning goes and I hope that im worrying about nothing.  Here are the details.  They come into Port of Miami on the Empress with the schedule showing 7am port time, they need to get to FLL for a 10:40 flight and will need to check bags, it will be a sunday so hopefully traffic wont be too much of a factor.

 

1- I know the ship has to wait for the clear from port authorities, with RC does it ever happen earlier than 7am?

2-They are planning on walking off with their luggage and they are willing to be ready and in a line to get off the ship easily by 6am and would not have any issues with elevators as they can be so crazy on disembarkation day. 

3-How long does customs generally take if your walking off first thing?

4-Should they schedule a private shuttle to drive them to FLL or just get an uber when they are off the boat in case they get off earlier than planned, there will be 4 of them.

5-Let me know if I missed any important info!

 

Wondering if you all feel like its doable and if so what are the best ways to make it happen. I just want this to be a great experience for my mom! Thanks in advance 

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2 hours ago, caymanislandgirl13 said:

4-Should they schedule a private shuttle to drive them to FLL or just get an uber when they are off the boat in case they get off earlier than planned, there will be 4 of them.

An Uber XL may work. Making that flight will be a bit tight but should be doable - others may not think so.

Edited by Biker19
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If they are first in the self-assist line, they should be able to get off the ship around 45 minutes after arrival.  I'd have a private transfer service arranged ahead of time.

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while the ship may arrive prior to 0700, I would NOT expect the  shore side operations to begin prior to that.  as for self disembark, it woods depend on how large a percentage of the pax choose that option.   being in line at 0600 may actually be too late if they want to be  within the first dozen off.  

 

you would definitely need to have pre arranged  transport to be waiting for them up front.  

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While there is always a risk of a problem, I have done flightS around that time many, many times. If they don’t have TSA Precheck, and travel fairly often, maybe have them get a know traveler number to get TSA pre-check,in case there is a security line.

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5 hours ago, Host Clarea said:

If they are first in the self-assist line, they should be able to get off the ship around 45 minutes after arrival.  I'd have a private transfer service arranged ahead of time.

I will doing a similar flight from FLL and getting off Explorer in about two weeks and wanted to know what prearranged transportation you will recommend. Is SAS transportation recommended ?I had used them several years ago and they were good. Thanks for your advise .

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11 hours ago, Biker19 said:

An Uber XL may work. Making that flight will be a bit tight but should be doable - others may not think so.

How long is it generally for an UberXL to be onsite for the pickup?  I know uber varies by number of drivers available/time of day/etc but more wondering if there are plentiful drivers at that time of morning and many XL options because of so many getting off the ship with large suitcases? If they are readily available, pickup could potentially be faster than if the private driver is behind schedule.

 

11 hours ago, Host Clarea said:

If they are first in the self-assist line, they should be able to get off the ship around 45 minutes after arrival.  I'd have a private transfer service arranged ahead of time.

I love the having a private driver and think this is probably their best bet on making it however I have had an experience in Athens where we were able to get off the ship earlier than planned and we sat and waited for 45 minutes while other drivers were standing there and asking us if we needed a car and could have taken us to our hotel and we would have had an extra hour in our day. 

 

Its been several years since I have been in or out port of miami.  Are the drivers able to be waiting at the exit of the ship/customs area, hired or looking for hire drivers  If driver has been booked will my mom need to call once they have cleared customs and they drive in from some park and wait area?  Or is there another way they do pickups?  A run through of how is works at Royal Carribean terminal would be awesome!  

 

I know SAS is a reliable service but they only do shared shuttle services.  I did a bit or research and Jiffy Jeff had a good review and have messaged them for a quote but does anyone have a solid company with great reviews for a private service they suggest?

 

AND THANK YOU for all you who help to make this such an amazing resource for so many travelers!

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A 10:40 flight shouldn't be difficult to make it doing self assist an hour early as you suggested.  It's a small ship so I wouldn't expect to see a huge line that early.

 

You don't need pre booked transportation.  There is plenty of taxis waiting for you when you walk out.  

 

I would expect them to be at FLL by 8:30AM, if not earlier, based on your plan.  More than enough time for any unforeseen circumstances or minor delays.

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4 hours ago, BNBR said:

A 10:40 flight shouldn't be difficult to make it doing self assist an hour early as you suggested.  It's a small ship so I wouldn't expect to see a huge line that early.

 

You don't need pre booked transportation.  There is plenty of taxis waiting for you when you walk out.  

 

I would expect them to be at FLL by 8:30AM, if not earlier, based on your plan.  More than enough time for any unforeseen circumstances or minor delays.

 

I know an Uber would be around $35 - 45, how much would a taxi be?

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Would recommend that you rebook your flight to a later time.

Last cruise, our ship actually got back to port by midnight, but customs & immigration at the port didn't show up on time & were short staffed.  Those who did self assist were still waiting onboard the ship by 9am.

Why worry about all that stress with an early flight...?

 

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4 hours ago, sburrus4 said:

I know the Key is a debated purchase, but the one consistent I’ve read is that disembarking is quick. Might be a worth it purchase in this case. 

 

Would having the Key make disembarkation faster than being in the self-assist line?

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Did self disembark on Empress this past April.  They will have you wait in the theater, enter on Starboard side, you will disembark through the Port side.  People would come in and place their luggage in line and then sit in a nearby seat.

 

You could go in early, drop luggage, have one or two people wait with the bags as the others run up to Windjammer to grab some food and then swap people.

 

Overall, traffic wasn't too horrible when we got back on a Sunday (and we also went to FLL).  We just called a Lyft when we got there but there was only two of us so it was easier to get whatever car was available.

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4 hours ago, Host Clarea said:

 

Would having the Key make disembarkation faster than being in the self-assist line?

I can’t say from personal experience, but I’ve read it’s typically a 15min disembarkation whereas the self-assist line may be longer depending on how many people use it. Maybe someone here or under the key review page will have some experience?

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What cruise is it, if it is the first time the ship is visiting the US such as a transatlantic it could take longer to get thru customs.

I would look to rebook I would guess they are flying Southwest so should not be too hard.

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We recently cruised Explorer from Miami. Scheduled 7:00 self-assist debarkation started late and at 7:35. We were in a taxi by 7:50 and at MIA airport by 8:05 am.

 

You may not want to use Uber/Lyft. We noticed surge pricing and long wait times. Given there was no taxi queue, we decided to get in one. Our taxi fare also wound up being cheaper than the quoted, surge price.

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Read the posts.

 

OP is coming off the ship in Miami and flying from Fort Lauderdale  airport, not Miami airport. That's a big difference in travel time (45 minutes to one hour to the FLL without any travel delays).

 

Given the time needed to check in and go through security before bearding, making the 10:40 AM flight would be a nail biter.

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