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How long does it take to get off adventure of the seas cruise when doing express checkout?


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We booked a cruise in February 2020. We port at Fort Lauderdale at 5:30 a.m. and plan to take the first direct flight back home leaving Fort Lauderdale airport at 9 a.m. If we do express departure or self assist check out, would we make our flight at 9 a.m.?

Does anyone have real experience to share with me regarding Royal Caribbean express departure at Fort Lauderdale with the Adventure of the Seas? 

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53 minutes ago, Allen2 said:

Pretty doubtful - too many things could go wrong, including immigration/customs, weather, late arrival.  Last fall had almost a three-hour wait for immigration in Tampa, and self assist did not help.  Would suggest you re-think departure time!

Have to agree. I would be way too nervous to try and pull this off.

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I agree with princevaliantus.  We did Adventure out of Bayonne in July.  We docked by 5 a.m., however, they did not allow anyone off before 7:30 a.m., even though the expectation time was 7.  My BIL and his wife were in the carry off line by 6:30.   They were off and in their car by 8.  You can see that would be way too close.  

I would add one more thing to think about.  You will go through custom control.  On our cruise, my other SIL's name was on the random spot check for the custom agent.  They will take you aside with your luggage and go through the questions of what you purchased etc.  It took about 15  mins. more for her to clear customs.  You will not know if you are on that random check until you are off the ship

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It is completely possible to make this flight.  You do need to accept that things can go wrong and be willing to have a back up plan just in case.  We've done early flights 9:30 from FLL but we were out of Port of Miami.  Port of Miami has facial recognition which makes customs a breeze.  Your choke point at PE will be customs so you need to be one of the first in line to get off the ship  As someone who is willing to take a chance on an early flight, here are some tips:

  • You must do self disembarkation (ie carry off your bags)
  • Get the Key.  Many ships allow Key members off with the suite guests.  You still need to carry off your bags.  Verify with the ship that key members can get off early with the suite guests.  Each ship operates slightly different so verify the rules of your ship.  
  • If you don't have the Key, get to the line early, like around 5:30 am.  You need to avoid a long customs line.
  • Either chose to Uber or use a taxi.  You may want to use a taxi as they will be waiting.  You don't want to wait for an Uber.
  • Have TSA precheck.  If at all possible, try not to check bags.  We always have bags to check but this means you need to make sure you are at FLL by 8.

Like others said, even if the ship docks at 5:30, you typically can't get off the ship until at least an hour later.  So the earliest disembarkation will begin is 6:30.  Even if they start later, you still have about an hour to get off the ship.  Your goal is to be through customs by 7:30.  


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2 minutes ago, melski94 said:

We've done early flights 9:30 from FLL but we were out of Port of Miami.  Port of Miami has facial recognition which makes customs a breeze.  Your choke point at PE will be customs so you need to be one of the first in line to get off the ship  

Port Everglades has the facial recognition as well now.

It canbe done if everything goes right and you are off the ship with the first wave of people.  FLL is very close to Port Everglades.  This is possibly the only port I would even consider this just because of proximity alone.  But it is one more thing to stress about and I'd hate to ruin the end of my cruise with worrying about making my flight.

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Disregard that 5:30am time. It's more of an estimate when the ship will enter the channel, not the time you get off the ship. 

Even after the ship docks, gets tied up and all, it needs to be inspected and cleared by customs. 7am or so is a more realistic estimate, but that inspection by US Customs is a real X-factor because there's no telling how long that will take.

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I did this exact thing this past April (Adventure in FLL).  Here is my story:

Our flight was like 9:20 or something like that, it was direct.  The next options were like 12-1 pm with layovers and they actually cost more.  I decided to risk it.  Did the self disembarkation, was in line around 6 am.  There were a lot of people already in line, I would say a few hundred probably, the line was long already at that point.  The ship got into port on schedule, but then there was a hold up for something, we didn't start moving until about 7 am.  I asked someone from Royal what the issue was but they didn't know, said it should start soon.  I was nervous already from the night before because I debated last minute to change our flight and there literally was not a single seat available for purchase from Southwest on any flight that day, they were all full.  I even called the airline in case the website was wrong. I had a group of 8 (my wife and two kids, my sister and her husband and my parents).  So if we missed our flight then standby for a later flight wouldn't really be an option.  We got through customs relatively easily and made it to the airport around 8:15.  My group of 4 have pre-check, the other 4 did not, but thankfully we all made it through with about 20 minutes to spare before boarding began.  So when I was home at my house by 1 pm the same day my cruise ended I was thrilled, but I was a nervous wreck for about 4 hours that morning.  Worst case we had about a 40 minute window before they closed the boarding door.  

A 9 am departure is very risky, but we would have made it.  If there wasn't a holdup with starting to get off, we would have easily made it and I wouldn't have been as nervous.  The uber or taxi ride to the airport in FLL is like 10 minutes, and there are lots of taxis and shuttle vans waiting.  It really depends on whether you like to gamble or not, lol.  I would say the ship is on time and things go smoothly more than 50% of the time, so the odds would be in your favor.  But it is far from a guarantee.  Would I do it again?  I'm not sure, it would have to depend on how bad my flight options were.  If I did do it again, one thing for sure is I would make sure I was in line to get off at 5 am.  I guarantee even if you were in line at 5 am, you still wouldn't be first in line.  

Good luck!            

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