WWYD flight times and Miami cruise

lundve

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Cruising out of Miami in late March 2019. Cruise departs on a Sunday... WWYD? (Three kiddos ages 14, 11, and 5.)

Only have a choice of two non-stops to FLL from my city on Jet Blue: the first is 6AM-8:24AM; the second is 4:50PM-7:14PM

Option 1 - Arrive Saturday 8:24AM; rent car and explore in the morning and afternoon before checking into and stay at a hotel on Saturday night. Hubby drops us off at port and goes alone to return rental car.

Option 2 - Arrive Saturday 7:14PM; take shuttle to nearby hotel and go to sleep soon after. Hire shuttle to drive us to port in morning.

Option 3 - Arrive Sunday 8:24AM; hire shuttle to Port of Miami and begin boarding ASAP
 

lilsonicfan

<font color=teal>The TF knows Canada VERY well!!<b
Joined
Jan 20, 2003
1 if there’s something you want to see/do in miami, or 2 if you’d prefer a less stressful day in terms of getting up early. Definitely not 3.
 

Club Disney Chandler

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Cruising out of Miami in late March 2019. Cruise departs on a Sunday... WWYD? (Three kiddos ages 14, 11, and 5.)

Only have a choice of two non-stops to FLL from my city on Jet Blue: the first is 6AM-8:24AM; the second is 4:50PM-7:14PM

Option 1 - Arrive Saturday 8:24AM; rent car and explore in the morning and afternoon before checking into and stay at a hotel on Saturday night. Hubby drops us off at port and goes alone to return rental car.

Option 2 - Arrive Saturday 7:14PM; take shuttle to nearby hotel and go to sleep soon after. Hire shuttle to drive us to port in morning.

Option 3 - Arrive Sunday 8:24AM; hire shuttle to Port of Miami and begin boarding ASAP
I’d definitely go with option 2, BTW, an Uber XL from the Brickell area hotels is only about $20.
 
  • Carrie in AZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2003
    I would take Option 2 only IF there is another chance to get to Miami on Saturday night in the event something happens to your flight. There can still be storms around the country in March that can affect flights throughout the system. I would make sure your flight is not the last one out for the day.

    Good luck!
     

    Disneyland_emily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2003
    I’d vote #1 and at a distant 2nd #2

    After getting stuck on a tarmac for 3 hrs during a freak downpour in an otherwise sunny day- that took a 4 hr flights to almost 8..
     

    msmayor

    Finding my beach...
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2005
    I'd say pick another airline that provides more options in case of a problem.

    Based on your flight times, it would seem you are somewhere on the East Coast area of the country. As another poster said, March can be notorious for late-winter storms that can wreak havoc on airline schedules. For the last five or six years my husband and I have flown out of PHL to Florida for our annual cruise in March, and at least three of those years saw 2ft of snow fall within 72 hours of our trip somewhere along our route.

    If JetBlue only has ONE other flight that day and your early morning flight gets cancelled, what happens if both the afternoon flight and the flight the next morning are already sold out? You have no other options to get to your ship other than forking over big $$ to buy another ticket on another carrier. If the delay is weather related, you may struggle to find a carrier with open seats as they are going to accommodate their already-ticketed passengers first.
     
  • Cruising Engineer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 18, 2018
    Option One: everyone is correct that if your first choice is delayed or cancelled (it may not be snowing/raining at your airport, but the plane may be stuck at the airport it landed at the night before), chances of getting the whole family on over booked flights could be very slim.
     

    lady9

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 15, 2006
    Definitely fly in the day before, either #1 or 2. We flew in day of cruise out of NY very early in the morning. Storms were predicted for both our departing city and NY. I was a wreck for 2 days worrying we'd miss the cruise. Thankfully the storms held off and we had no problems but I vowed never to do that to myself again!
     

    cruiser21

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 19, 2016
    I'd go with option 1. I like early morning flights. Less chance of delays or cancellations, and airports less crowded. The only negative is trying to get teenagers up at 3 am.

    Miami is a great city to spend a day exploring.
     

    Dug720

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2012
    Option 1. I adore Miami!

    If not, then option 2.

    Option 3 would never be a consideration for me. Way too much could go wrong flying in the day of.
     
  • ScooterScott44

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 23, 2018
    I’ll vote, in my preferred order - 2, 1 then 3.

    Option 3 is too risky due to flight delays/cancellations and traffic on 95 can be a mess at any time. That can make your first day on the ship can be anywhere from stressful to non-existent.

    You stated you would be arriving at FLL so there are some good choices for hotels around the airport to crash. Would it be a big deal to miss the Ft. Laurderdale or Miami Beach’s since you are going on a cruise? And both cities probably have more for adults than for the kids, so unless there is something specific you want to do I don’t see a big reason to have a partial sight seeing day. With the wake up time for a 6 am flight (probably 3am at minimum) are you really even going to want to do anything. So option 2 seems the better choice, ideally an arrival earlier in the afternoon would seem best but not one of your choices.
     

    rcchello

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2008
    People seem to miss the fact you are flying into Fort Lauderdale. It is approximately an hour ride between the airport and the Miami Cruise Port. There are several shared shuttles between the two the one I have used is SAS transport found at ridesas.com $13-$15 depending on number of people in your party.

    There are many nice hotels around FLL airport with free shuttle to/from the airport. Many show free shuttle to the port but they mean the Fort Lauderdale cruise port.

    I always come in at least the day before because I have been on many delayed flights. If you plan on the early flight and it is early you could rent a car for dome local sightseeing and hitting a good Cuban restaurant.
     

    cruiser21

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 19, 2016
    Cruising out of Miami in late March 2019. Cruise departs on a Sunday... WWYD? (Three kiddos ages 14, 11, and 5.)

    Only have a choice of two non-stops to FLL from my city on Jet Blue: the first is 6AM-8:24AM; the second is 4:50PM-7:14PM

    Option 1 - Arrive Saturday 8:24AM; rent car and explore in the morning and afternoon before checking into and stay at a hotel on Saturday night. Hubby drops us off at port and goes alone to return rental car.

    Option 2 - Arrive Saturday 7:14PM; take shuttle to nearby hotel and go to sleep soon after. Hire shuttle to drive us to port in morning.

    Option 3 - Arrive Sunday 8:24AM; hire shuttle to Port of Miami and begin boarding ASAP
    What airport are you departing from that has such limited flight selection?
     

    cadien

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 19, 2017
    We get four departures a day, two on each airline. Small towns are fun.


    I’d definitely go with option 1.
     

    lundve

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2005
    We are flying out of Richmond, VA; just far enough down I-95 to miss most of the "fun" traffic should we chose to drive.

    Weather wise by the end of March we more than likely should be fine, this far south.

    We are leaning most toward Option 1 (we'd have to leave the house by 3:45-4AM). However, we figure the plane begins here and then it would possibly be less likely to experience a delay. From a purely monetarily standpoint it may cost $250+ to come early once you figure hotel (most do not sleep 5 unless a suite) and rental car so that makes arriving day of (Option 3) more appealing, and theoretically we could have more money to spend onboard.

    JetBlue is our preferred airline due to my son's food allergies. We could also chose Delta but really do not want to connect through ATL first.
     

    MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    Have you thought about driving north to catch a flight out of DCA? Might be more options from there.

    Of those three I for sure would pick #2. If your flight was cancelled, you could get the flight out the next morning. I just doubt you'd really enjoy Miami with option #1 because you'll be so tired from the morning flight and can't check in until late.
     

    GrumpyBelle

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 26, 2008
    I would also go with option 1–just in case of delays/etc. You can always drop your bags with Bell services at the hotel and go to lunch. After lunch, perhaps back to the hotel for a nap and then spend the evening exploring Miami. We have done this several times.
     

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