Flying in on day of cruise...your experiences??

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by jennyjinx3, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. jennyjinx3

    jennyjinx3 DIS Veteran

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    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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  3. Mtinkerbell5189

    Mtinkerbell5189 Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  4. jennyjinx3

    jennyjinx3 DIS Veteran

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    UGH!!!:faint:
     
  5. Lisa Lisa

    Lisa Lisa DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  6. jdb in AZ

    jdb in AZ <font color=green>It could end up curdled<br><font

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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.
     
  7. caribbeandreaming

    caribbeandreaming Mouseketeer

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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 :)
     
  8. caribbeandreaming

    caribbeandreaming Mouseketeer

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    U.S. Air by any chance?
     
  9. quickcat

    quickcat Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  10. CanuckTraveller

    CanuckTraveller Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  11. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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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.
     
  12. stmize

    stmize Dvc member since Nov 2010--WDW mom of ds 17 & dd 1

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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.
     
  13. jennyjinx3

    jennyjinx3 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks everyone, very helpful. For the PP who asked we are from Ontario but we fly out of Buffalo. :)
     
  14. clten

    clten DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  15. disneychic

    disneychic DIS Veteran

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    We always fly in a day or 2 prior. Too much stress traveling the day of.

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     
  16. CanuckTraveller

    CanuckTraveller Mouseketeer

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    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!
     
  17. Mtinkerbell5189

    Mtinkerbell5189 Mouseketeer

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    Yes it was US air. They were not helpful and even the people at the Disney ME desk were surprised at how rude they were being to me. I only got answers after calling them and demanding to be transferred to a supervisor who then called the Philly airport. In Orlando they could not even tell us if our luggage was even in their possession. On the phone I got more answers and eventually it was put in a later flight. Luckily we were on a very early flight and had all day to deal with this. We only knew because we checked one bag that we wanted to pick up and carry on the ship with us. The two other bags had dlc tags and one dis not. If we put dcl tags on all our luggage then I don't think we would have known to ask the me agent and we would just be wondering why it was not in our stateroom.
     
  18. safeti01

    safeti01 Mouseketeer

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    Would never flyin the same date. Way to much stress. In Sept we flew in the day before and stayed at WDW POP. By the time we got settled and had lunch, it created a issue because we had to take Disney transportation to every place. The the next morning we had to wait till 12:45 to get DCL trans to the port.

    We are going in Feb of 14 and going down 2 days before and staying at BLT (we are DVC member.) This way we can really enjoy the trip.
     
  19. JRM815

    JRM815 Earning My Ears

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    We've gone this three times, twice with DCL and once with another cruise line.

    The first time (done with the non-DCL line) was the most stressful. We had a flight on American from New York's LaGuardia airport to Ft. Lauderdale at 8:00am. Because of traffic we arrived a bit late, but we got to the front of the check-in line one hour before the flight. We were told it was not enough time to have our luggage scanned and put on board. We ended up getting on a 10:30 flight, and arrived just in the nick of time to get on board the ship. I was totally stressed out and was doubly worried until our luggage finally got to our cabin by 8:00pm.

    The second time was with DCL. We booked our own flights, took Disney transport from MCO to the port, and everything was fine. The flight we took ended up getting us to the ship by 1:30, well before the last call for boarding the ship, and the timing worked out. Unfortunately, because of a hurricane in the eastern Caribbean our itinerary was switched to be a western cruise, but that is another story.

    The last time was also with DCL, and we finally got to do the eastern cruise, this time on the Fantasy. We let Disney book our flights, and ended up getting a really early departure from LGA (6:00am). This meant we had to leave our house by 3:00am to get to the airport, check-in, get through security, etc. Once on the plane, things were great. I and the kids napped on the flight, getting to the ship (again with Disney busses) was a breeze, and we were among the first groups allowed to board once the boarding began (I think we were part of group #7). We brought some swimwear in our carry-on and were some of the first people on the Aquaduck.

    So, from my experience I'd say it was doable, it can save you the cost of a hotel room, but it can be stressful. I would not recommend trying it unless you can get a direct flight into Orlando, you can catch an early flight, and you can catch a later flight if something goes wrong.
     
  20. jennyjinx3

    jennyjinx3 DIS Veteran

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    DH just mentioned that just for the sake of my stress levels alone :rolleyes: we should do the day before. So...next question what hotel at port is good for a family of five but not too pricey??:goodvibes
     
  21. caribbeandreaming

    caribbeandreaming Mouseketeer

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    I figured as much! Whenever we have baggage issues, it's always when we're flying US Air. I try to avoid them whenever possible. Sorry you had so many problems on that trip, but glad it all worked out in the end :)
     

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