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Missed the Millennium today - Reminder to NEVER fly on the day of the cruise!


Tapi
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On 6/21/2021 at 6:04 PM, graphicguy said:

The airlines have been skating on thin ice with staffing for years.  I can’t even count how many time my flights have been late/cancelled because of no or late fight crews over the past 6-7 years.  Yeah, these are extraordinary times.  But, the cutbacks that caused AA’s woes started many years ago.  

No one to blame but themselves!

 

I won’t get into any woes AA or any other airlines may or may not have, but airlines have definitely been affected by covid. After pilots haven’t flown in a while they are required to go back through some training. The airlines didn’t expect the public’s desire to fly so soon and so much. Due to this the pilots weren’t sent to training soon enough. They are now scrambling but unfortunately are having to cancel some flights.

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9 hours ago, ReneeFLL said:

I won’t get into any woes AA or any other airlines may or may not have, but airlines have definitely been affected by covid. After pilots haven’t flown in a while they are required to go back through some training. The airlines didn’t expect the public’s desire to fly so soon and so much. Due to this the pilots weren’t sent to training soon enough. They are now scrambling but unfortunately are having to cancel some flights.

Understood.  Point being, these personnel issues with the airlines started well before COVID.  Personally, I think the FAA should (re) institute some penalties that cost the airlines when they can’t (more likely, won’t) staff up to be reasonably on time.  I get the issues with weather and mechanical problems.  But, staffing has been an issue for a long, long time, as probably most in the industry can attest to.

 

All the airlines seem to want to do is to pack more and more people in a plane, cut more and more services, and not be answerable to any authority when the spotlight shines on their operations.

 

You can’t keep putting more and more seats in a plane, putting more and more people in uncomfortable positions in row upon row, with barely enough room to put your knees to your chin, with fewer and fewer people to support more and more scheduled flights.  

 

They have hit the breaking point and don’t seem to want to acknowledge they’re there.

 

I empathize with the crews, the mechanics, the ground personnel, etc.  They’re feeling the same breaking points as the passengers are.

 

We keep giving the airline’s management a chance to learn from their mistakes, over and over again.  They refuse to learn.

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On 6/25/2021 at 2:07 AM, Pickels said:

We learned the hard way on one of our very early cruises, (2003 or 2004).  Flying out of New York at 7:00 a.m. to Ft. Lauderdale for a cruise that was to leave at 4:00 p.m.  Thought we had oodles of time to catch the ship.  Had a problem leaving New York because of equipment issue on the plane, very late taking off.  Then at Ft. Lauderdale, because we were so  late, no terminal was available for the plane, to allow us to get off.  More delays!  We finally got to the terminal a little pass 3:0?0, too close for a 4:00 cruise.  Never did that again; always leave the day before.  And also, on the back side, make reservations at a local hotel/resort for the day your ship docks then leave for home, the next day or two so, there's no rush to get off the ship. and worry about catching your flight!

I (might) have to change my ways?🙄 And since I can't travel now anyway - it gives me time to reconsider my future actions😵

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Most of the people here are from the US and relate about flights to far away destinations to catch their Cruise. I have a base in Thailand and usually catch Cruises out of Singapore, Hongkong or Dubai and such flights are not that long. Furthermore, I usually arrange flights that arrive a long time before Embarkation to avoid rushing. Regarding my After Cruise Flights -  I just make such bookings a few days before the Cruise ends - and if there would be any problems with flights, I just re-book. Now, that I am retired, the time-constraints don't apply anymore - as they did before when Leave-days were tight. However, I do agree, that it is prudent to get to the Embarkation Port a day prior to Departure.

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14 hours ago, ReneeFLL said:

I won’t get into any woes AA or any other airlines may or may not have, but airlines have definitely been affected by covid. After pilots haven’t flown in a while they are required to go back through some training. The airlines didn’t expect the public’s desire to fly so soon and so much. Due to this the pilots weren’t sent to training soon enough. They are now scrambling but unfortunately are having to cancel some flights.

The FAA also had the no-fly restriction 48 hours after the vaccine. And that absolutely messed up scheduling. 

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On 6/25/2021 at 11:29 AM, lhsail said:

No way. We’ve sailed on the Epic twice out of Barcelona, always two nights in Barcelona to get our feet back under us. BTW, never stepping foot on the Epic again. 

We have sailed on the Epic three times before, so I can echo your view about taking another cruise on her.  Unfortunately, though, NCL just cancelled our planned October cruise on the Dawn out of Venice.  It was supposed to have been sandwiched between two other tour packages we have planned for Italy.  The only other viable option we have found so far to replace it is the Epic out of Rome a couple of days later than the planned Dawn sailing.  Now we have to choose between sailing the Epic or just traveling Italy on our own for ten days.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/19/2021 at 5:31 PM, Tapi said:

Not me, but I witnessed as a 78 year old lady, traveling by herself this morning to St. Maarten to board the Millennium, missed her connection, with zero chance to make it there before the ship sails tonight. 😢
 

It absolutely broke my heart, just thinking about all the preparations, and anticipation after so many months without cruising, go down the drain.

 

So I just wanted to throw this out there, and remind everybody to never fly on the same day of the cruise, no matter how many times you’ve done it without issues, or how many backup flights there are, etc, etc. 

In 2016, my husband argued with me over the fact I wanted to take an earlier flight over a later flight out of Tampa to Miami, Florida. We ended up taking the earlier flight! After getting on the plane in Miami to meet our cruise ship in Spain we were told by the flight attendant that the second flight out of Tampa was grounded by mechanical difficulties. No one from that plane made our final flight out of Miami to Spain. The flight attendant had to fly out of Tampa on a special seat, in order to arrive in time for the Miami flight.  My husband had to admit I was right! I used to work for NWA as a reservation sales agent and I am all too familiar about what can go wrong. Never leave anything to chance, be prepared and count your blessings every time, "what can go wrong, usually does." ~ SilentlyPerfect (Katia).   

Edited by SilentlyPerfect
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On 6/19/2021 at 5:31 PM, Tapi said:

..So I just wanted to throw this out there, and remind everybody to never fly on the same day of the cruise..

That's why I always book flights to arrive in the port city at least 4 to 6 hours before the ships sails.

So far, I never had an issue; with what I spent on cruises, I couldn't justify spending more on a hotel for a day - unless the cruise line is paying.

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42 minutes ago, SireDoime said:

That's why I always book flights to arrive in the port city at least 4 to 6 hours before the ships sails.

So far, I never had an issue; with what I spent on cruises, I couldn't justify spending more on a hotel for a day - unless the cruise line is paying.

sounds like you have all the aces in your hand!  🙂

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2 hours ago, The Traveling Man said:

We have sailed on the Epic three times before, so I can echo your view about taking another cruise on her.  Unfortunately, though, NCL just cancelled our planned October cruise on the Dawn out of Venice.  It was supposed to have been sandwiched between two other tour packages we have planned for Italy.  The only other viable option we have found so far to replace it is the Epic out of Rome a couple of days later than the planned Dawn sailing.  Now we have to choose between sailing the Epic or just traveling Italy on our own for ten days.

Good luck with your decision. Our last cruise was on the Epic November/December 2019. Fortunately, it was a fantastic itinerary. First time on a cruise I’ve been genuinely hungry. Some of our food at dinner was inedible and I’m not a big eater. Lots of service issues. There was a lot of grumbling as people were getting off. 

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We're in line with the folks that do a risk assessment based on direct flight only, arrival several hours before departure, available backup flights options,  weather etc. When booking 'day of' we only book flights with the 'guaranteed to get you to the boat'  clause so at least we are covered financially.

 

The only further comment I would make that I haven't seen (or missed) is how important is that particular cruise?  A good example would be a short 5 day cruise in September we just booked out of Miami where we fly in the morning of (from Toronto). Very low risk the major airline we are booked with can't get us there. If something goes wrong and they can''t get us there, kinda disappointing, but certainly not catastrophic.

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I'm glad this came up.  We have a couple of sailings in the Fall, and we might've been trying to cut things a little close.  I see this thread, and then I think about a flight we had cancelled last month, the folks who were at the airport when their flight was cancelled as we were about to fly home from that same trip, and our son who woke up on Friday morning to find his flight later that day had been cancelled. 

"Oh, we have a few hours cushion" isn't as comfortable to say as it was a couple years ago.

I changed our plans to fly in day before instead of say of.  I'll pay the cost of a hotel for a night and, from here on out, just figure that in as part of the trip cost when planning.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/26/2021 at 1:40 PM, ustasmom said:

The FAA also had the no-fly restriction 48 hours after the vaccine. And that absolutely messed up scheduling. 

Not sure about that. When Mike got his vaccine it was done on his days off.

 

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Believe the pilots were considered essential personnel and received their vaccines long ago.   I don’t think any flying restrictions are hurting the schedules right now.   Southwest has had computer glitches.   We were in Tampa yesterday evening and there were many cancellations between Southwest and American.   The weather wasn’t bad but there is always a thunderstorm around in the summer months leading too many delays and cancellations.  The airport was very crowded with many families with probably unvaccinated children.

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2 minutes ago, Covepointcruiser said:

Believe the pilots were considered essential personnel and received their vaccines long ago.   I don’t think any flying restrictions are hurting the schedules right now.   Southwest has had computer glitches.   We were in Tampa yesterday evening and there were many cancellations between Southwest and American.   The weather wasn’t bad but there is always a thunderstorm around in the summer months leading too many delays and cancellations.  The airport was very crowded with many families with probably unvaccinated children.

Airline crew wasn't essential in my state nor in the state where he is based. They were classified after grocery workers, food workers, and garbage men. That was a pretty big miss as he does go to ICN, PVG, NRT and SYD. 

 

We are cruising in less than a week. We had to buy tickets. There is just no way we would have made it. 

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On 6/26/2021 at 5:16 PM, LGW59 said:

sounds like you have all the aces in your hand!  🙂

 

I should clarify that I schedule flights prior to my scheduled embarkation check-in time, not when the ship actually sailed, which was about 2 to 4 hours after check-in.

 

Both cruises I took with Celebrity in 2019 I scheduled to arrive within 4 hours of my 1pm scheduled check in. However, my flight from TPA to FLL arrived about an hour late due to rain, but I still arrived before my 1pm embarkation check-in.

 

On both cruises, the ship sailed at around 4pm and 5pm, respectively.

 

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We also fly in the day before the cruise, but we live on the West Coast so really difficult to fly in same day.

 

Even flying in a day early can be scary at times.    We were flying in for a cruise with a connection in DC and were suppose to arrive at 5:00 PM.    Everything was going perfect until a sudden Icy Storm hit and our plane was the only plane that for some reason froze over.     They had plenty of equipment but no staff to work it.      We sat on the plane for 6 hours.   The pilot and crew were excellent on keeping us appraised as to what was going on.     He finally came on and said if we didn't get a push back in 30 minutes he would have to cancel the flight as the crew would no longer be legal.   4 minutes before cancellation he came on again and said we got the push back.  Big sigh of relief.  

 

Long story short we didn't arrive until 3:00 AM and were absolutely starving.  Luckily we found a 24 hours pizza place with delivery and were able to some sleep before heading to the ship.

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We're sailing out of San Juan after spending a week on St Thomas.  It's a 30 minute flight from STT to SJU, with multiple flights per day (and I believe a ferry option in non-COVID times) but we're still flying over the day before to be safe.  I'd rather have extra time on St Thomas but we always fly in the day before any cruise.  Wish we had more sailings (and better ships/itineraries) out of Baltimore which we can drive to in an hour.

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On 6/20/2021 at 7:43 AM, Tapi said:

Unfortunately, the existence of a later flight doesn’t mean that someone will be able to take it if they miss their original flight. Flights to leisure destinations, specially those with Saturday only frequency, are most of the time operating at 100% capacity. The airline isn’t going to bump confirmed passengers off a later flight to accommodate someone who missed their earlier one, even if they are on their way to catch a cruise. 

This is so true.  No guarantees you are going to make it the next day even if you tried to fly the day before and flights get jacked up.  
 

If you have a problem and miss your connection you probably can’t get anyone on the phone in time to help you in a reasonable amount of time.   Also, getting in a long line at a “special services” counter can cost you valuable time when you are trying to get an alternate flight.   Something that has worked for me a few times is to find a gate where a flight (any flight) has just closed the door and there’s still an agent there.  Nicely plead your case that you are trying to get to a cruise and beg for their help.  They can help with ANY flight on that airline, just like the special services desk.  The key is finding one that will help.  I did just two weeks ago in Orlando.

 

it’s a zoo out there now, especially in weather situations.  The airlines only obligation is to put you on the next AVAILABLE flight.  That could be days away in the current flying environment.

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On 7/2/2021 at 3:58 AM, SireDoime said:

 

I should clarify that I schedule flights prior to my scheduled embarkation check-in time, not when the ship actually sailed, which was about 2 to 4 hours after check-in.

 

Both cruises I took with Celebrity in 2019 I scheduled to arrive within 4 hours of my 1pm scheduled check in. However, my flight from TPA to FLL arrived about an hour late due to rain, but I still arrived before my 1pm embarkation check-in.

 

On both cruises, the ship sailed at around 4pm and 5pm, respectively.

 

All it takes is 1 time and you'll be very regretful.

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On 7/2/2021 at 9:32 AM, radarcruiser said:

 

If you have a problem and miss your connection you probably can’t get anyone on the phone in time to help you in a reasonable amount of time.   Also, getting in a long line at a “special services” counter can cost you valuable time when you are trying to get an alternate flight.   Something that has worked for me a few times is to find a gate where a flight (any flight) has just closed the door and there’s still an agent there.  Nicely plead your case that you are trying to get to a cruise and beg for their help.  They can help with ANY flight on that airline, just like the special services desk.  The key is finding one that will help.  I did just two weeks ago in Orlando.

 

i

We saw a situation like that Thursday night at the gate next to us.  We were flying home from a week in Alaska, so at the Anchorage airport waiting for our red eye.

The gate next to us had people waiting for their 10:45 flight to Houston.  It was delayed about 2 hours.  The plane came in and then the captain came out, and said something about timing out.  I think that the crew would time out before they got to Houston, so they were diverting to SFO, where, presumably, they'd load a new crew and go on.  the flight would arrive about 7 hours late.

The problem would be for people making connections in Houston.  The gate agents recommended that those people get on the phone to rebook, as there were only two of them at the gate, and they couldn't help everyone in a timely manner.

 

I also remember once when we had a delayed late afternoon flight to NY from SFO, a guy going to the next gate over and saying to the agent there (there was no flight, he was just there maybe finishing up) "But I have to be in New York tomorrow morning".  His response was "Sir, everyone on the flight has a reason they need to be there".

 

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"All it takes is 1 time and you'll be very regretful."

 

While I appreciate everyone smacking me down with comments like this, each one's experience is different. I don't think I should smacked just because I was fortunate enough to never have missed by boat on embarkation day.

 

Have a safe holiday!

Peace

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On 7/4/2021 at 9:15 PM, SireDoime said:

"All it takes is 1 time and you'll be very regretful."

 

While I appreciate everyone smacking me down with comments like this, each one's experience is different. I don't think I should smacked just because I was fortunate enough to never have missed by boat on embarkation day.

 

Have a safe holiday!

Peace

Sorry it wasn't intended to sound that way. I am happy that it has always worked out for you and that it continues to do so.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/2/2021 at 7:58 AM, SireDoime said:

 

I should clarify that I schedule flights prior to my scheduled embarkation check-in time, not when the ship actually sailed, which was about 2 to 4 hours after check-in.

 

Both cruises I took with Celebrity in 2019 I scheduled to arrive within 4 hours of my 1pm scheduled check in. However, my flight from TPA to FLL arrived about an hour late due to rain, but I still arrived before my 1pm embarkation check-in.

 

On both cruises, the ship sailed at around 4pm and 5pm, respectively.

 

so amazing       wow

Edited by ericfromri
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On 7/2/2021 at 3:58 AM, SireDoime said:

 

I should clarify that I schedule flights prior to my scheduled embarkation check-in time, not when the ship actually sailed, which was about 2 to 4 hours after check-in.

 

Both cruises I took with Celebrity in 2019 I scheduled to arrive within 4 hours of my 1pm scheduled check in. However, my flight from TPA to FLL arrived about an hour late due to rain, but I still arrived before my 1pm embarkation check-in.

 

On both cruises, the ship sailed at around 4pm and 5pm, respectively.

 

What would you have done if the flight was delayed for 5 hours?

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