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disembarkment & air travel


blqueena

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Hi,

Need advice on whether these air travel times will give us enough time to get to and from ship.

Sailing on Princess Carribean, plane due to arrive FT. Lauderdale @ 1:40pm ship leaves port 5:00pm.

Returning Princess says disembarkment @ 7:00am flight leaves at 11:00am. First time traveling with a wheelchair so not sure if we will make the flight.

Thanks,

Brenda

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You are cutting it close. As long as your plane does make it by the 1:40 you will be fine but pre-arrange with a taxi company to pick you and wheelchair up. If plane is delayed at all for any reason you will NOT make it. You must be at the pier by 3:30 because it may take time to get through all security screening. This gives you 1 1/2 hr to get your bags, check your equipment and arrive at the pier. You must be on board by 4:00 pm for the muster at $:15 or so.

 

If you want the 11:00 am flight you must be first person off the ship and hope that everyone showed up for immigration. That nothing goes wrong and that you have all your bags and equipment ready to leave. Get the first taxi or pre-arrange again as they do not always have wheelchair taxi available right away. You could be off the ship by 9:00 taix to airport, and get in line which hopefully will not be long.

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You are cutting it close. As long as your plane does make it by the 1:40 you will be fine but pre-arrange with a taxi company to pick you and wheelchair up. If plane is delayed at all for any reason you will NOT make it. You must be at the pier by 3:30 because it may take time to get through all security screening. This gives you 1 1/2 hr to get your bags, check your equipment and arrive at the pier. You must be on board by 4:00 pm for the muster at $:15 or so.

 

If you want the 11:00 am flight you must be first person off the ship (Red 1)and hope that everyone showed up for immigration. That nothing goes wrong and that you have all your bags and equipment ready to leave. Get the first taxi or pre-arrange again as they do not always have wheelchair taxi available right away. You could be off the ship by 9:00 taix to airport, and get in line which hopefully will not be long.

 

One question are you or person using wheelchair confined to it or not? If not above will apply.

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Having traveled with my husband who also uses a wheelchair, I am concerned that your times are too tight.

 

If the ship is sailing at 5 PM they usually want you aboard by 4:30 at the latest. The port is quite close to the Fort Lauderdale airport, but traffic can get backed up. In addition, wheelchair passengers are usually the last off a plane so we have found that getting off and retrieving our luggage can take as much as an hour. Therefore, if the plane is late, you could be cutting it close. Its not worth the stress if you have another choice.

 

The same with your return flight unless your cruise goes through immigration prior to returning to Fort Lauderdale. You can not disembark until immigration clears the ship. We have been on many cruises and have never been able to disembark before 8 AM. More often it has been at least 9:30 or 10:00 before we have been able to get off. Once disembarkment did not start until after 11:00 because a foreign national did not show up at immigration. In addition, traveling with a wheelchair usually takes extra time and the airlines usually want you to board first so I do not book flights prior to noon.

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The others are right. If your arrival flight is on time and you have no lost luggage issues you will be fine. However if you still have a choice, you should see what's available for you to arrive earlier if you can.

 

If everything goes well and you board earlier, you have a chance to get on board and unpack while you are still in port and can have a relaxing start. If you board at, say, 3:30 or 4:00, you will be pressed for time before the safety demo and dinner, if you're on early seating.

 

As for your return home, 11:00am is way too early. Remember, you and thousands of other cruise passengers (yours and other ships) will be descending on the airport in a short time period. A 12:00 noon departure time is really the earliest you should consider.

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ok, I'm just going to repeat what everybody else said. I think your times are too tight and personally I wouldn't do it -- nor would I ever advise any one else to do it.

 

There are just too many things that can go wrong -- including flight delays (very, very common). Next thing is that (yes) you will be last off the plane (add 1 hour on a cruise arrival/departure day -- busy airport). And finally you need (I'm assuming) wc accessible transport to the port. Unfortunatley (even if you pre arranged it) it WILL be late and it WILL take time, especially on a cruise arrival/departure day.

 

I would advise you to arrive earlier and depart later (yes it will cost you money, but it's better to safe than sorry -- you don't want to miss your cruise).

 

Candy

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I would like to thank all of you for responding, it has helped me a great deal. I didnt take into consideration all the possiblities of what could go wrong. After reading your posts, I have decided that we will be arriving the day before and take the 4:00pm flight home, which should give us plenty of time to get to know the airport. Any suggestions on a hotel in Ft. Lauderdale?

thanks again

Brenda

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We like Embassy Suites (17th Street Causeway) for space, convenience and price. If you ask for a rear facing room on a higher floor you should be able to see the dock and you can watch your ship come in if you are up early enough.

 

I think you'll be very pleased with your day ahead arrival. It will get you into the cruise mood without worrying about connections, traffic, etc.

 

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I think I answered this on the Princess board. But you will be tight on disembarking. Are you confined or can you walk a few steps. This will make a difference. Walking means you can fold the wheelchair into the back and use reg cab if not far more problem.

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We liked the Springhill Suites. Its about a mile from the airport and provides a shuttle both to/from the airport and the port. However, since we did not use it, I do not know if the shuttle has a lift.

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You might check with the Embassy Suites if you do stay there. A customer service person at that hotel told me that they would have a lift equipped shuttle by the first of the year 2004. We were there in Nov 2003, and there was not one, but they did arrange for us to have one from the hotel to the port. They DID not arrange for us to have one from the airport to the hotel, though they said they would. IF they DO have the lift equipped shuttle, that would make things really easy from the airport, and to the pier. They do have a shuttle for folks that don't need a lift equipped vehicle. Maybe someone knows whether or not they DID implement the lift vehicle.

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Per the ADA, if the hotel offers a free shuttle for AB guests, it must also provide (with the same conditions) a wheelchair accessible shuttle to those who need it. They can either provide this with their own vehicle, or by contract with another company. If the AB shuttle is free, so must be the wheelchair shuttle. If there is a fee, it cannot be higher than that required of AB guests.

 

It would be best to contact the hotel manager's office to assure that arrangements are made ahead of time, and the ADA regulation should be correctly quoted in your discussion. You can get publications related to Title III (the related section of the ADA) here:

 

http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/publicat.htm

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