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Old 07-05-2012, 12:37 AM   #1
rosermama
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Flying in and out of Tampa

DH thinks that I am totally crazy I booked our flights in and out of Tampa. Since Jetblue is now offering non-stop flights to Tampa from Washington DC Regan Airport I thought I would check them out for our upcoming cruise. The flights were $70 one way and the 1st checked bag is free (bonus).

The rental car was signifanctly cheaper in Tampa as well, one way to the Port was $52 for a mid-sized and back from the port was $70 mid-size. If I take into account the extra gas and tolls I still save money.

The arrival isn't an issue since we are flying in the day ahead early in the day and by the time we get to AKV it will be close to 4pm check in time. But leaving is his issue, I got us on flight out of Tampa at 2:40pm and he thinks it will be cutting it close. I think he is nuts the airport is only another 60-90 mins away from MCO. The biggest traffic is getting out of PC. The latest you can get off the boat is 9:30ish it would give us 3.5 hrs to get our luggage a rental car and drive to Tampa (takes 2.5 hrs to drive). I think we will have plenty of time to get there no worries.

He wants to get off the boat sooner in the morning, I say no.

Anyone had experince with flying in and out of Tampa? Should he be worried and make us get off the boat sooner?
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:21 AM   #2
bmer1rick
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We live in Tampa and have made the drive back an forth to PC more than 20 times when cruising.

If you disembark the ship between 8:30am and 9, you will have no problem getting to Tampa NLT noon. The speed limit is 70mph for most of the trip and most people are traveling 75-80mph and normally takes about 2 hrs. When we depart on the weekends we leave as soon as the gate open between 7:30 and 8am and we normally get home by 10am and we live 15 mins past TPA. When we depart on the weekdays, it normally takes an extra 15 mins to get through Orlando. If you are concerned about getting caught in Orlando, just take SR417 around Orlando. SR417 will take an extra 10 mins, but is never backed up like downtown Orlando sometimes gets during the weekdays.

I wouldn't worry, but would get off the boat by 8:30 just to be sure. But I always try to get to the airport at least an hour early.

Also remember the road to Orlando is a toll road (SR528) and will cost you about $7.

Have a great trip.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:35 AM   #3
leahmichl
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We were back in the Tampa airport area before noon on our last PC cruise and weren't in a hurry - you shouldn't have a problem.

For what it's worth - I have road warrior employees who live closer to MCO than TPA, and they request to fly out of TPA only. They say the entire experience - coming and going - is far more enjoyable/easy/quicker. I've only flown into MCO once, but they fly literally 40+ weeks a year so I'd be inclined to take their word for it
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:18 AM   #4
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Granted, you have PP's who claim they've done these things, but I have a hard time believing you can get from one side of the state to the other that quickly without speeding! I-4 is notorious for horrible traffic and typically takes me a little over 2 hours from where I live. And it takes me about 45-50 minutes to get to PC from my house.

Personally, if it were me deciding to fly out of Tampa, I wouldn't book my flight for anything prior to 3 PM just to be on the safe side. But if residents there say it can be done by noon, go for it.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:38 AM   #5
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In out of Tampa

I too live on the west coast of FL (about another 15 miles west of Tampa toward the gulf). TPA is one of the nicest easiest airports to maneuver and the drive is about 2 hours to the Cape. (I think I made it in about 2 and 15 last May when we cruised). You should have plenty of time.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:20 PM   #6
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Count me in as living south of TPA. If you take I-4 to the toll roads to the cape and vice versa, it really is about 2 -2 1/4 hours (and not really speeding, going a bit above the speed limit). And it's so much easier getting around TPA you save loads of time you would have spent in security alone at MCO
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:43 PM   #7
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While I certainly don't live in the area, I can vouch for TPA being a great airport to fly in and out of. We cruised out of Tampa on RCCL in 2010 and the whole airport experience was one of the best I've had. If the cost is less and the local say it will work, I say go for it.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:00 PM   #8
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My wife and I did a 4 night in November and flew in and out of Tampa. Took the toll roads, cruise control set on 70, and made it to/from Port Canaveral in 2:15. Easy way to go.
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:15 PM   #9
rosermama
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Well since our flight is at 2:40 I think as long as we get to the airport by 1 ish we will be ok

I am glad others make it across the state with not much problems
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbydoll8 View Post
I too live on the west coast of FL (about another 15 miles west of Tampa toward the gulf). TPA is one of the nicest easiest airports to maneuver and the drive is about 2 hours to the Cape. (I think I made it in about 2 and 15 last May when we cruised). You should have plenty of time.
We live in Vt. and LOVE your Tampa airport. Easy as pie to use. Laid back attitude just as the west coast of Fla.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:11 AM   #11
leahmichl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpenta View Post
We live in Vt. and LOVE your Tampa airport. Easy as pie to use. Laid back attitude just as the west coast of Fla.
This made me laugh - the closest international airport to Tampa/TPA is St. Petersburg/Clearwater, and their call sign is PIE. So I suppose it is both literally AND figuratively as easy as PIE to use!
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:24 PM   #12
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Not sure if OP will see this, but...wondering if you took your trip yet? How was the drive from/to Tampa? I am flying in/out of Tampa in November and would like to know what to expect.
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