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Arriving early for cruise

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55 minutes ago, Pima1988 said:

I was thinking it was because at 8 pm in AK it is bright as it would be at 4 pm in San Juan. 

Not so much in September in AK.  Sunset in September is not much different than summertime in Florida where ships still sail at 4pm and sunset is experienced at sea. 

In Florida I suspect port operations and pilots drive the tradition we know of ships departing at or around 4pm.   Port operations may be a factor in moving ships away from the pier when they do.  For many itineraries the next stop is close enough to allow a later departure.  

As we look to restart the travel industry traditions we are used to have to re-examined.  Most airlines turn a plane in under 60 minutes and boarding typically starts 30 minutes prior to departure for most domestic flights.  Perhaps that needs to be re-examined during a pandemic.  A slower boarding process reduces risk of exposure.  A longer turnaround time leaves more time for cleaning between flights.    A slower turn reduces airline revenue since a plane may not fly as many legs in a day.

Slowing the cruise ship boarding process will reduce risk and exposure but it will come at a cost.  Casinos can't open on time, pilots may charge more after dark, ships have to increase speed to arrive at the next stop on time, etc.  However if that allows cruising to restart then the decision must be made to accept the costs if a delayed departure as the new normal means cruising can restart with greater safety during a pandemic.

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4 minutes ago, twangster said:

Not so much in September in AK.  Sunset in September is not much different than summertime in Florida where ships still sail at 4pm and sunset is experienced at sea. 

I lived right outside of Anchorage (Eagle River) for 4 yrs., husband flew F15E out of Elmendorf.  Trust me I know that. For us, from May 15th through Sept 15th we were camping every weekend.  

Anyone that has watched the local weather report will get this.  Everyday they start it off with we lost X amount of minutes of day light today (June-Dec) or today we gained X amt of minutes of day light.

For me Sept. is really pushing it for cruising season.   May is also a month I would shy away from.  We called it the SPIT month.  It doesn't rain per se it spits.  The mosquitos are HUGE.  Never saw them that size before and still haven't since we moved from there.  End of May to me would be perfection.  Salmon is running.  Mosquitos are smaller.  Spit is not happening, and you have a lot of day light.  Every solstice we would do a midnight white water rafting trip.  It ended at 3 a.m.  It was basically the same light as 7 pm where I live. 

Back to the regular programming of arriving early.

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As others have mentioned, airport lounges are a great opportunity! But it really just depends on when you are sailing. If it is anytime this year, I would doubt it is possible to gain access to a lounge on your arrival (since most lounges are closed or limiting access as it is). Not to mention, the lounges are located in the terminals next to departure gates... you wouldn't be able to grab your bags and then head back in. (you could leave them on the turnstile... but that sounds riiiiiisky to me!) 

Military Hospitality Lounge is an option (if you have an honorable separation from military service) that's outside the TSA checkpoint... but they don't open until 09:00... and are ALSO under restriction right now. 

Even the shopping and restaurants appear to be closed... https://www.shopmiamiairport.com/

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