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Old 04-07-2013, 08:27 AM   #1
jennyjinx3
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Flying in on day of cruise...your experiences??

Just trying to decide whether this is feasible, or come in the day before and stay at a hotel near the port. Thoughts from those who have done both? TIA
Edited to add this will be in November if that makes any difference.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
Mtinkerbell5189
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We flew in very early morning for our march 23rd cruise the day of. It was a hectic day as it was spring break for many people. Our luggage was pulled from the plane going to mco because the plane was too heavy. We spent the whole day in the airport waiting to see if would come on the next flight. Disney was very accommodating and offered to cab us to another store to get some essentials. It did come in on the last possible flight from Philly and we got on the last bus to port. We were even checked in for the cruise at the airport because it was so late.

Very stressful. I will from now on fly in the day before or pack very very differently if checking luggage.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:40 AM   #3
jennyjinx3
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Originally Posted by Mtinkerbell5189 View Post
We flew in very early morning for our march 23rd cruise the day of. It was a hectic day as it was spring break for many people. Our luggage was pulled from the plane going to mco because the plane was too heavy. We spent the whole day in the airport waiting to see if would come on the next flight. Disney was very accommodating and offered to cab us to another store to get some essentials. It did come in on the last possible flight from Philly and we got on the last bus to port. We were even checked in for the cruise at the airport because it was so late.

Very stressful. I will from now on fly in the day before or pack very very differently if checking luggage.
UGH!!!
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:48 AM   #4
Lisa Lisa
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We've flown in the morning of twice now, and did not have issues either time. We felt comfortable doing it that way because we had nonstop flights from DC which put us in Orlando at around 11:00. We flew in February last year and March this year, and we did have a contingency plan. If the forecast called for snow (or other inclement weather) that would likely have resulted in flight delays or cancellations, we would have started driving down to FL the day before. Luckily we didn't have to resort to that plan either time! For this cruise, we boarded the ship at about 12:30. We would do it again.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:55 AM   #5
jdb in AZ
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What part of Canada (how long is your flight?)

If we're crusing out of Los Angeles, which is just an hour flight away, and the airline has several other flights the same day, then it's not an issue. flying to Florida takes us at least 5 hrs (plus the time zone changes) so we always fly in the day before.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:04 AM   #6
caribbeandreaming
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Last year we flew in the evening before our cruise. We had one 3 hour layover in Charlotte which you would think would have been long enough to get our luggage off of one plane and onto the correct one. Not the case... we arrived sans checked luggage Luckily, it came in on the last flight that evening but we drove back to the airport to get it as I did not want to trust anyone to deliver it to me. When I reported it as lost, they took down our entire cruise itinerary and said they would deliver it at whatever port we were in if it came later. So that made me feel better, but I still panicked not having my luggage. It wasn't exactly a relaxing way to start the vacay!

If you do decide to fly in on the day of, I would pack a few clothes for everyone in a carry-on. That way if your luggage doesn't arrive, you have something for each person in your group. I was dumb and didn't do that last year - we had all my DS's clothes in the smaller carry-on suitcase but none of mine and DH's. If push comes to shove, you can do laundry on the ship.

Also, you can check the on-time performance of the flights you're considering online. You may also want to consider trip insurance for both the cruise and the flights (DCL insurance doesn't cover flights unless they're booked through them). In the end, I think you'll be fine as tons of people do this. I tend to be a worrier so it makes me less nervous to fly in the day before
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtinkerbell5189 View Post
We flew in very early morning for our march 23rd cruise the day of. It was a hectic day as it was spring break for many people. Our luggage was pulled from the plane going to mco because the plane was too heavy. We spent the whole day in the airport waiting to see if would come on the next flight. Disney was very accommodating and offered to cab us to another store to get some essentials. It did come in on the last possible flight from Philly and we got on the last bus to port. We were even checked in for the cruise at the airport because it was so late.

Very stressful. I will from now on fly in the day before or pack very very differently if checking luggage.
U.S. Air by any chance?
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:15 AM   #8
quickcat
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We have done both. No issues with flying in the day off. We take a direct and very early flight from Minneapolis but I found the biggest issue we had was we were all so tired from getting up at 3:00 AM that it took us a few days to get back on track.
Its much less 'hurry hurry hurry' by flying in the day before, for us anyway.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyjinx3 View Post
Just trying to decide whether this is feasible, or come in the day before and stay at a hotel near the port. Thoughts from those who have done both? TIA
Edited to add this will be in November if that makes any difference.
There are a multitude of horror stories about flying in the day of the cruise, a quick search of cruisecritic will give you hours of reading on the topic.
We have cruised 4 times, and I would never consider flying in on embarkation day. We live outside Ottawa, so driving or taking a train as a back up is not possible when cruising out of Florida. We even drove in the day before when sailing out of New York City! If there is any sort of storm, you're out of luck, and it can be difficult to catch up with the ship. Consider flying in the day before and the cost of the hotel as a form of insurance.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:35 AM   #10
disneyfaninaz
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For piece of mind, I always recommend flying in the night before and staying at a hotel. The extra expense is worth having that extra time for such delays as mechanical, weather (especially in November), misdirected luggage and other such issues. Like the PP stated, it's like an insurance policy.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:36 AM   #11
stmize
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We have cruised out of PC 3 times now. Jan jun and sep we followed the advice of arriving at least the day before. We always use our Dvc and stay at a Wdw resort and go to the parks. It helps to have aps for tics Don't think I would like that rushed feeling coming in the day of. In jan we actually went down two days early and spent some time in the parks and Dtd In nov we plan to do the same.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:44 AM   #12
jennyjinx3
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Thanks everyone, very helpful. For the PP who asked we are from Ontario but we fly out of Buffalo.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:47 AM   #13
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We have done it both ways. But in recent times we have moved to always be at our flight destination at least a day in advance. Not only does it make travel a little less stressful, we get on the ship less exhausted. (If flying in the day of, best to take as early a flight as possible so less chance of delay. But that means a very early morning to get to the airport and wait for that flight. So by the first evening, we hardly even wanted to make it to late dinner.) Flying in the day (or two) in advance, not only can we have a little extra fun, we head to the ship at our schedule so we can enjoy the whole day.

With the way airlines are limiting flights, overbooking them and security being what it is, most people will recommend having a cushion. It can be done same day. But if you can come in even the night before, it makes for such a better start for the trip.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:56 AM   #14
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We always fly in a day or 2 prior. Too much stress traveling the day of.

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Old 04-07-2013, 10:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyjinx3 View Post
Thanks everyone, very helpful. For the PP who asked we are from Ontario but we fly out of Buffalo.
Then you know of the interesting storms that can brew in that area . The big concern is either delayed or overbooked flights. Travelling the day before gives some room for error, finding alternate ways of getting to port and still catching the ship. Flying in the day of leaves little to no room for error.
The others thing to consider is that by arriving the day before, you can get an early PAT and spend a good part of the first day on the ship, instead of racing to catch it!
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