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Are We Cutting It Too Close?

This November my wife and I will be on a Celebrity cruise that ends in Barcelona on the 7th. To make the most of our time in Spain, we would like to get off the ship and immediately fly to Granada. (Yes, we will visit Barcelona later in the trip.)

We have spoken to the folks at Celebrity, and they have assured us that the ship will dock, passengers will be released and go through customs - and then travel to the airport (20-30 minutes) in time to comfortably catch at 10am flight. The flight we would need to catch is at 10:50am.

Have you had experience in getting off a cruise ship in Barcelona and then going to the airport? We want to maximize our time in Spain (and going directly to Granada is the best way to accomplish that), but are we cutting it to close to book at 10:50am flight?


Posted by
4000 posts

Are you carrying your luggage off which might speed up the time?

Posted by
5059 posts

We've not ended a cruise in Barcelona, but we've taken many Celebrity cruises including ones that ended in Europe. We would not try to make a 10:50 flight. In addition to the time spent leaving the ship, perhaps collecting luggage, going through immigration, you will need time to go through security at the airport -- along with many others from the same cruise and perhaps other cruises. Better to schedule a later flight. You might wind up with extra time on your hands at the airport (as we have), but that's a lot better than missing the flight and the hassle that will cause.

Posted by
558 posts

If you are carrying off all your luggage yourself and not letting the ship do it for you then you should be ok. We have done that before. The trick is to be up early and ready to go as soon as they make the first announcement. Hand luggage folks are the first off after that then they start letting the others off and it starts to get crowded.

Posted by
275 posts

If you are doing self carry-off luggage, I'd book the 10:50 am flight. But I have noticed a pattern where I tend to disagree with the conventional wisdom on these forums of always arriving at airports 3 hours+ early so consider me a suspect source!

Happy travels.

Posted by
6788 posts

Caveat: I have no experience getting off cruise ships in Barcelona or anywhere else. But I have "cut it close" plenty of times.

Whenever asking this type of question - "Are we cutting it too close?" - you need to consider the following:

What are the consequences if you don't make it?
Exactly how bad (and how expensive) would that really be?
What's your Plan B look like (what are your alternatives) in case you don't make it? (You do have a Plan B in your back pocket, don't you? You should anytime you're cutting it close...)

Personally, I would never try to "cut it close" when heading for my flight home - because the consequences could be dire (price the cost of buying a one-way, same-day ticket home to see exactly how dire).

But if you're just headed to a domestic flight, maybe extra the cost (in $$$) of buying a later flight wouldn't be terribly high, and it's no big deal if you would get there an hour or two later? Better to find out now how bad that would be, rather than when you're at the airport and they close the boarding door as you're running through the terminal. Likewise, I wouldn't risk "cutting it close" on the way to boarding a cruise - if you miss the boat (literally), I assume headaches and non-trivial expenses would follow. But here you're coming off the boat, so how much would it really mess with your wider plans?

For me, the answer to "are we cutting it too close" all depends on the "what if" consequences if you don't make your planned connection.

Posted by
24 posts

Thanks for your replies!

I should have mentioned this in the original post (since the later flights that day don't work at all). If we do not take the 10:50 to Granada, our Plan B is this: Get off the ship, take a taxi to a hotel, spend the day in Barcelona and then get up early (again) the next day to catch at 7:30am flight to Granada. Do-able and perhaps less stressful - but immediately heading to Granada is a much better use of our time.

Posted by
7906 posts

You might be able to make it, but why suffer the worry, simply plan a day in Barcelona, fly the next day. You plan on coming back to Barcelona, so just adjust on the other end to make up for the early day in that city.

Posted by
27419 posts

It's not so easy to "just adjust" for the early day since that day could turn out to be nearly worthless due to sleep deprivation and jetlag. But sometimes that's what you end up having to do.

Posted by
11507 posts

We have spoken to the folks at Celebrity, and they have assured us that the ship will dock, passengers will be released and go through customs - and then travel to the airport (20-30 minutes) in time to comfortably catch at 10am flight

Does this 'assurance', include a 'we will pick up the ( additional) cost if you miss the flight' ?

Depending on how much luggage you have the walk up fare looks to be $150-$200 per person.

The other issue is the size and weight limit Vueling has, which may compel you to check your bag(s) which adds time to the whole process.

It's your $$$ so place the bet as you see fit..... Good Luck

PS-- What time is the ship scheduled to dock?

Posted by
3521 posts

My answer to that question is: If I have to ask, then I probably am!

I don't move as fast as I used to.