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Suggestion for air itinerary


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I know, unfortunately, our cruise is still a long way off, but the time to check on flights is quickly approaching. We are scheduled for a 12 day cruise on the Apex out of Amsterdam on July 8th. If we leave on the afternoon of the 7th, our flight from Detroit gets into Amsterdam at 10 am the next morning. The Apex is scheduled to leave at 6 pm. Does that sound like an itinerary that will work, or should we come in the day before?
 

Many thanks

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Are you connecting through Detroit, or is Detroit your home airport?  The more connections you make, the larger the chance things can go wrong. 

 

Most people will tell you to arrive a day in advance. Travel delays, luggage delays, jet lag - and also the chance to see gorgeous Amsterdam.  

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In our new world, I would always arrive at least one day in advance.  There are too many hiccups with the airlines.

Also if you have never been to Amsterdam, its definitely worth a two or three night stay before your cruise.

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Landing at 10am and needing to be on the ship for 6pm sail away sounds super stressful.  Why start your vacation like that?  If you can, I'd fly in a day early.  

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Going to Rome for August 8 2022 cruise and flying in the day before, as usual. Staying at the San Georgio hotel at the port. Far to chancy to arrive on day of departure for an international location. Keep you gambling to the ships casino!!

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We're in the same boat (not literally - different cruiseline ..) and are in contrary to popular opinion and lying overnight to arrive the morning for a late day departure like yours in Amsterdam.

 

We are comfortable with it as it a direct flight booked through the cruiseline (HAL) with a major carrier and we know there are a number of options that can get us there with them (and their alliances) if there is a problem. It is not a winter trip. We have flown into and visited Amsterdam before which helps. Our final deciding factor is our first day on the boat is a sea day going to Norway - so that will be our timezone sleep alot day.

 

We will take a couple of days at the end of our cruise to visit Amsterdam again though. We just figured a day before for us would be just a waste of a day on arrival when we are too tired to do much anyway except get to the boat and checkin.

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I would arrive a few days beforehand. Amsterdam is a lovely place to visit. Every time I do a flight to Europe we spend the first day trying to stay awake as long as possible so we can adjust to the time change. When you are already exhausted from not enough sleep and a long day of traveling, jumping right into embarkation lines wouldn’t be fun. Also, in a post Covid world, flight changes are more frequent and dramatic than they were pre-Covid. We recently had an international flight that was nonstop and landed by noon. The airline moved us to a connecting flight that landed at 9 pm.

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We've flown to Europe for cruises both early and arriving same day.  Best intentions aside, we always found it impossible to get anything close to a decent night sleep flying over - need to get a pair of those sound dampening headphones.  Consequently we always arrived exhausted which increased stress levels.  It may sound a little strange, but the airports themselves also affect stress levels.   Of the airports we've used, Marco Polo in Venice was by far the most efficient and easiest to navigate.  Barcelona and Heathrow were pretty good.  Schiphol in Amsterdam was by far the worst.  It is huge with confusing signage and no people movers.  It literally took 30 minutes to get to baggage claim.   Once we got to baggage claim we (and many other pax) found ourselves on the wrong side of a glass wall.  There was a sliding door for access but it was out of service so we had to backtrack to another route. On top of everything, the restrooms were filthy.

 

Full disclosure - unlike many here I rank Amsterdam (previous trip) just behind Nassau as my least favorite port of call.

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We always fly in at least one day before the ship leaves.  We missed a ship back in 1988 due to airplane mechanical trouble.  We will never do that again.  Even though AA flew us to the first port, first class, and put us up for 2 nights......it was not the same as being onboard.  Never again!

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I would definitely arrive a day early at minimum. For our last cruise pre-pandemic, we arrived in Amsterdam on Thursday morning for a cruise leaving on Sunday. There is so much to see and do that we would always recommend going a few day early. But that's us, and for someone not interested in pre-cruise tourism, an arrival the day before is sufficient.

 

Just a quick comment on Schiphol. When we arrived at the airport in 2019, our experience was the complete opposite of that of @cltnccruisers. We had no trouble with signage - plentiful in English - or in finding our way. In fact, we commented at the time how easy it was getting around. Once we exited the arrivals area into the general terminal, there were painted coloured lines on the floor similar to those you find in some hospitals, with signage telling you what line to follow for a given destination. We wanted the taxi stand, so we checked the sign, found the proper line, then followed it to the stand. We  are in our seventies and walk at a leisurely pace, but were out of the airport and into a taxi in under 30 minutes.  

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10 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

I would definitely arrive a day early at minimum. For our last cruise pre-pandemic, we arrived in Amsterdam on Thursday morning for a cruise leaving on Sunday. There is so much to see and do that we would always recommend going a few day early. But that's us, and for someone not interested in pre-cruise tourism, an arrival the day before is sufficient.

 

Just a quick comment on Schiphol. When we arrived at the airport in 2019, our experience was the complete opposite of that of @cltnccruisers. We had no trouble with signage - plentiful in English - or in finding our way. In fact, we commented at the time how easy it was getting around. Once we exited the arrivals area into the general terminal, there were painted coloured lines on the floor similar to those you find in some hospitals, with signage telling you what line to follow for a given destination. We wanted the taxi stand, so we checked the sign, found the proper line, then followed it to the stand. We  are in our seventies and walk at a leisurely pace, but were out of the airport and into a taxi in under 30 minutes.  

We were also there in 2019.   Different day, different travel experience.  🙂

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2 minutes ago, cltnccruisers said:

We were also there in 2019.   Different day, different travel experience.  🙂

I also wondered if different airline could be a factor, as we were flying KLM.

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1 minute ago, Fouremco said:

I also wondered if different airline could be a factor, as we were flying KLM.

Lots of factors for certain.  We were on AA.  I also found that I'd developed a blood clot in my calf, probably on the flight, which definitely didn't help hiking through the airport.

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3 minutes ago, cltnccruisers said:

Lots of factors for certain.  We were on AA.  I also found that I'd developed a blood clot in my calf, probably on the flight, which definitely didn't help hiking through the airport.

Yikes, what a start to a cruise! I hope that things improved dramatically after that.

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Just now, Fouremco said:

Yikes, what a start to a cruise! I hope that things improved dramatically after that.

Well, it's been good for the pharma and compression sock industries.  🙂

 

Thought I'd just pulled something.  Made it hard to hoof it around the old brick and cobblestone streets of the old towns.

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I assisted by brother and his wife on booking a Baltic cruise several years ago out of Copenhagen and I strongly recommended they arrive two day before their cruise. When they came back my sister-in-law thanked me many times over since with jet lag and the time change she said they wouldn't have enjoyed the start of their cruise without the two day pre-cruise stay.  Arriving early just take the stress out of the trip. Even if you arrive on time; but your bags don't then at least you have a day or two for your bags to catch up with you.   

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No one has mentioned that the Amsterdam airport is well out of town. You train into the main train station, it isn’t close. I realize arriving at 10am gives you lots of time to get to the ship, but there are few/no fallbacks on transatlantic flights. You’ll just miss the departure. And spend lots of time catching up after the stress of not only flying over by flying over late. 

 

Amsterdam is a fantastic city to explore or even relax in. we got a nice hotel right near the tram (got tram tickets for 5 days) that was across the street from the great art museums. Rested the day-in and then went sightseeing for the next 5 days. You don’t have to spend that much time there, but there is a Ton to see and just relax and enjoy. 

 

Why set yourself up for the stress of watching the weather and flights the days prior, then the stress of traveling and arriving the same day and being very tired starting off. This is a vacation.

 

But there have been many many threads on when to arrive and so on, and many even fly in the day prior to Florida ports, let alone going to Europe…..the OP’s call… But is it really worth a few hundred bucks even only staying one night??

 

Den

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Amsterdam is such a terrific city to be a tourist in - easy to stay and walk.  We choose to fly at least 3 days early (make the most of that long/expensive flight) - easy train ride from the airport with several very close by hotels.  The first Day/night keep moving, eat and sleep at Amsterdam times and recover from any jet lag.  Then 2.5 days to explore the area on foot, try restaurants, visit museums, ride the canal boats.  Then embark on your second adventure of the trip.

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I am sure you will get both sides of do  - it don't do it.  

I will just respond as a experienced traveler having traveled over 2,000,000 miles on United alone.   Many miles traveling internationally as I use to live in Dublin and would have to commute back to the bay are one week a month.  

 

I have high priority on United for life and in the event of cancellations my name pops to the top of the wait lists.   Even with priority I no longer fly in the day of  a cruise. 

 

Plan an extra night in Amsterdam and enjoy the beautiful city.  If you do an overnight flight along with jet lag you will be worn out and will loose a day just suffering the time change.    Just fly in a day early have a nice day casually strolling the streets and enjoying Amsterdam.    Hotels are plentiful and reasonably priced.    Amsterdam is the easiest city in the world to get around and Central Station is walking distance to the port.   There is a train station built into the airport so easy to get to town very quickly. 

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I wouldn’t even think about booking flights until next year  closer to spring. As things improve more flights will be added. I don’t know the history of Detroit flights, precovid out of Minneapolis here we had 6 daily nonstops to AMS. Right now we only have one maybe two. As things improve the airlines will continuously add flights back and there will be many more options. 

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