Due to heightened security the last week or so, plus the holiday rush, let me recommend that you arrive at your airport 2 HOURS OR MORE before your flight! Especially anyone flying out from a big city like New York.
I personally just flew to Florida myself and even giving myself 2 hours check-in time at JFK, I would have missed my flight had I not complained to the security team and they reluctantly let me cut ahead to the front of the line. Then I ran like crazy from security to the gate!
I was told that the unofficial rule right now is: if your baggage is not checked in by one hour before flight, it won’t make it onto the flight.
If you get to the airport and find that either the check-in (or drop baggage) line is very long, or that the security line is long – and you may miss your flight, save yourself undue stress and find the nearest security person there. With enough polite badgering, they will cut you through to the front of the line.
1. Please get to the airport at least 2 hours before your scheduled flight.
2. Check and double-check that before you leave home, you have your drivers license, passport and any medications you will need for the week. If you have a prescription that might run out on the cruise, you can show your pharmacy the cruise tickets and they can usually get an okay from your health insurance company to fill the prescription earlier than regularly scheduled (ie, a prescription that you fill monthly).
3. Make sure you have printed your e-tickets for the cruise at Carnival.com. If you don’t know how to do it, or have problems using their system, call their 800 number on the website while you’re online and have them walk you through each mouse click till you have finished!
4. It is supposed to rain or snow – according to weather.com – in the northeast over the next few days. This includes New Year’s Day and the day of the cruise. My advice to those traveling from the northeast is this: Call your airline and see if they will allow you to fly on an earlier flight at no charge – since they will be juggling people due to the weather, and flights will tend to be late and some even cancelled. If you were planning to fly on the day of the cruise, see if you can get on a flight the day before and then stay overnight in Miami, just to be safe. Most of our group flying in early will be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, but they appear to be sold out at this point. If you go to www.maceddytravel.com, click on hotels, type in Miami,FL and then sort by “Price,” you’ll find a Days Inn near the airport for about $90 for the night. That’s about the best deal that offers an airport shuttle bus – and that is what is important to you – to find an affordable hotel that offers a free airport shuttle. On the morning of the cruise, you can take their shuttle back to the airport to be picked up by the Carnival bus.
5. On the day of the cruise, if you are flying into Miami (or Ft. Lauderdale) and/or are returning to the airport from a nearby hotel, do the following: Get yourself to baggage claim, either where your own baggage is, or any terminal. If you do not see representatives from Carnival holding up big Carnival signs, go to the information desk there (where they help with hotels, car rentals, etc.) and tell the person you need the Carnival shuttle. They will call and have them come to the door for you. Please note: most of you pre-paid for your airport transport. If you print the original cabin confirmation that I emailed you, it is noted there. It should also be noted in your cruise documents that you print from Carnival.com. Either way, you’ll have a record that you pre-paid for this service and you will be on their master list. NOTE: If you did not pre-pay for this but would like to have Carnival pick you up at the airport, you can pay them when you get on the bus.
Have a Happy New Year and see you soon!