Cutting it Close?
I was asked if flying to the departure city on the same day as the cruise is a bad idea. The answer is how comfortable do you feel with the high stress of cutting things close. I have known people that took a redeye overnight to Fort Lauderdale for a cruise a same day. I typically drive or catch a ride to the cruise terminal the same day. Flying in the same day is not typically a good idea, even if it’s a redeye.
The reasons for trying this high risk endeavor are numerous. You may desire to save a few hundred dollars on a cheaper flight. Maybe you do not want the expense of an additional hotel room in the port city. Perhaps work demands require you to be there until the last minute. It’s just not a good idea to fly on cruise day or even overnight with same day arrival from cross country.
So why is that that? Suppose red eye gets canceled or there’s a flight delay. You’ll probably be fine if you have a back up flight early the next morning. If you’re coming in from across the country and you have connections, your risk doubles or triples. Bottom line, it is just is not a good idea if you’re coming in from Seattle to Florida .
Further, we currently have a mess with our airlines. Air traffic is rebounding after Covid and the airlines are running short of crews, canceling flights with very little notice. I’ve been there, sitting at an airport mon ignoring the screen and had my flight cancelled. Further if you’re flying to the southern United States, there’s always a good chance that you’re gonna have rain or thunderstorms - causing additional delays.
If you really enjoy travel, just take it safe and try to arrive a day or so early and enjoy the local port city. Chances are there are fun places to see and things to do in around the departure city. You will save some stress, make a few memories, and meet interesting folks.
But what If you miss the departure time. Stress levels go up. You'll have to either meet the ship in a subsequent port of call or head for the house. Your cruise line, travel agent or travel insurance provider might be able to help you make plans to catch up at the next port of call. Otherwise, you'll have to make your own arrangements.
Another interesting fact, you can request to embark or disembark at a port of call other than the scheduled embarkation/disembarkation port. The cruise industry refers to this as “down lining” and is on a request basis only, subject to approval by Royal Caribbean or other company. This can be lucrative, if it works out!