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Flights departing Fort Lauderdale- how early can our flight be?

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We are cruising on Navigator in March out of Fort Lauderdale. RCI website says we should not book departing flights before 11:30am on disembarkation day (we arrive in port at 5:30 am). I booked  a flight leaving at 11:05 (it was either that or 6:00PM). Will this be a problem? What time do they usually get everyone off the ship? How long does it take in cruise terminal to gather luggage and catch a taxi at Port Everglades?

Thanks!

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If you are going to wait for your luggage to be delivered for you by Royal Caribbean, I think their recommendation of a noon (or later) flight is best.  

It's possible to make an 11am flight, but you will be HUSTLING!

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The airport is close so if you did a walk off I would say probably no problem.

 

If you are going to let them handle luggage and pick up in the terminal it is probably ok but could get tight if there is any kind of delay/backup.

 

On balance I would suggest walk off or later flight to be safe.

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We are cruising on Navigator in March out of Fort Lauderdale. RCI website says we should not book departing flights before 11:30am on disembarkation day (we arrive in port at 5:30 am). I booked  a flight leaving at 11:05 (it was either that or 6:00PM). Will this be a problem? What time do they usually get everyone off the ship? How long does it take in cruise terminal to gather luggage and catch a taxi at Port Everglades?

Thanks!

How many people will you be traveling with and will you have a lot of luggage? 

I cruised from FLL last month for my first time and booked a flight at 2:00pm that day. We ended up walking our luggage out on our own and it was a huge time saver, especially when we saw others scavenging through hundreds of similar looking bags to find theirs. I don't know about you, but since your flight is super early, I'd try to get off the ship as soon as you can. I would highly recommend walking your stuff off, it would have saved me a ton of stress if I was in a hustle to make my flight.

 

Also, how are you planning on going to the airport? We stayed at Holiday Inn Express on 17th street, and they had a 3rd party service take us to the ship, and we ended up buying transportation to the airport on disembarkation day. 

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So based on what everyone is saying I should probably choose Express departure. Do you sign up for this on the ship or can I do it ahead of time?

Jeremy- We will be staying at the HIE on 17th street. Can you tell me what you paid using the 3rd party service to get to the ship? On disembarkation day we figured we would just grab a taxi at the pier. Are their always plenty of taxis available?

Thanks to everyone for all the advice!

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Based on my experiences there is nothing you have to do to self-check out.

 

You just keep your luggage in your room the night before...and usually between 7-8:30am you can walk off the ship with your luggage.

 

Has never taken more than 30 mins total for me from out of my room to curbside. I realize this can vary, but its usually a very quick and smooth process and probably the best option if your trying to catch an earlier flight!

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So based on what everyone is saying I should probably choose Express departure. Do you sign up for this on the ship or can I do it ahead of time?

There is nothing special to do.  Keep your luggage in your room the night before you disembark and then when the ship is cleared, take all of your luggage and leave the ship when you're ready.

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So based on what everyone is saying I should probably choose Express departure. Do you sign up for this on the ship or can I do it ahead of time?

Jeremy- We will be staying at the HIE on 17th street. Can you tell me what you paid using the 3rd party service to get to the ship? On disembarkation day we figured we would just grab a taxi at the pier. Are their always plenty of taxis available?

Thanks to everyone for all the advice!

Awesome! That's a great hotel, perfect for pre or post cruise accommodations. There is a Walgreens and other restaurants within walking distance from the hotel. We paid $8/person each way. I don't remember the 3rd party company, but it was arranged by the hotel beforehand - I'd assume they frequently make stops at the hotel on embarkation day. Call the hotel to make sure the 3rd party is running. Also, if you decide to sign up for it, put yourself on the list when you check in, and then you'll have to buy the tickets on embarkation day in the hotel lobby about 30 minutes before you leave. Super easy. 

 

We decided to pre-purchase our transfer from the cruise to the airport on disembarkation day. It was a breeze, and i'm glad we did it. Same price, $8/person, and there was a van outside waiting to take people to the airport. We got off the ship and were waiting in line at the airport in record timing. It was a seamless and hassle-free process, exactly how I want my vacation to be! The airport is super close to the port. FLL is a great port to cruise from, since the hotels and airports are so close. For $32, I think we got a great deal. Let me know if you have any other questions! Enjoy your cruise!

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