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Don't Risk Missing the Boat: Fly to Your Ship a Day in Advance

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It only takes a single episode of almost not making it to the port on time -- or missing the ship altogether -- to risk ruining a vacation. Flight delays are more common these days with unpredictable weather, overpacked planes and tighter security. One missed connection could mean the difference between sailing away with a margarita in your hand and waving goodbye to your ship as it sails without you. Who needs the stress! Whenever possible, fly into your port of embarkation a day or two early. Not only will you be more rested and relaxed, but if you happen to find yourself at a hotel near the cruise port, you could wake before the sun and watch your ship sail in amidst a beautiful sunrise.

A room for a night need not cost a fortune. For hotel recommendations, ask your agent or simply browse the web for deals. For the ultimate convenience, ask your agent or the cruise line to add an air/hotel/ package to your cruise. You may pay a little more, but every travel detail of your cruise will be taken care of, right down to handling of your luggage.

If you're on a tight budget and not very picky about your accommodations, give Priceline or Hotwire a try and bid for a room. While it's true you won't be able to pick your hotel or even the exact location, you can save a bundle on a 4-star hotel room to hang your head for the night.

Even better, if you have extra time and if your budget allows, why not give yourself a bonus mini-vacation and really explore your port of call.

Whether in town for a night or a week, by flying in early, you will arrive to your ship calm, cool and collected - and ready for a great cruise!

For more on flying early vs. flying the day of your cruise, check out the related article: Solutions for a Smooth Flight to Your Port of Embarkation.

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