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KDGodwin October 2nd, 2011 05:23 AM

Travel Plans to Seattle...
My husband and I are booked on the Golden Princess Sept. 8th, 2012! I am a planner, and it is killing me that I cannot yet see flight info, excursions, etc! However, I have priced several options for August to get an idea, and am trying to narrow them down! I was told September may be cheaper because it is later in the Season and is less since school has started already, so that would be something to keep in mind.

We are flying out of the Phoenix area, and I have several choices (two general ideas). I can fly out of PHX (our large airport with all the big airlines) on Southwest, Alaska, or another big name, or out of a smaller airport (Mesa-Gateway) on Allegiant. Here is my concern:

The larger lines are typically twice the cost of Allegiant! For two people after tax and fees for similar dates to ours, the best deal on Orbitz was around $690 round trip. Allegiant for the same was $495. Not quite 1/2, but better for sure.

The reason it is less (I believe), is because they fly in and out of smaller cities. This flight would take me to Bellingham, two hours north of Seattle. They also have limited days they fly to each destination. So in this case, we would have to fly into Bellingham on a Thursday evening for our cruise Saturday, return to port Saturday and fly home Sunday.

This causes 3 additional nights in a hotel, as well as travel from Bellingham to Seattle. This could be good or bad. Neither of us have been to Washington, and would enjoy the extra time to look around.

I have figured out after a little research, that the Amtrak runs from Bellingham to Seattle for $44 a couple. I am unsure, however, at how much transportation from the airport to the Amtrak and from Amtrak to the hotel will add.

Hotel wise, we are not picky people. We have stayed in Motel 6 locations all over, as well as Marriott resorts and everything between. On the best deal, in my opinion, was $127 a night for a King Bed with a kitchenette in room and a complimentary breakfast buffet. It is within two miles of the Amtrak and a few miles from the cruise pier. Not too bad.

I could go on and on about all the options, but my point is that after I crunched all the numbers (which will be different for the actual dates we need), I have to make a general choice.

So for Allegiant (for two after taxes and fees):
11 Day, 10 Night Trip
8 Days of Cruise
Roundtrip Airfare (Thur, Sun)= $494.76
Amtrak to Seattle= $44
2 Nights at Hilton= $254 (breakfast and shuttle included)
1 Night at Hilton (returning)= $114
Returning Amtrak= $44
TOTAL= $950.76

Best Orbitz Deal (for two after taxes and fees):
8 Days, 7 Night Trip
All Cruise
Roundtrip Airfare= $684.78
TOTAL= $684.78 (plus cost for shuttle to and from pier)

That is a difference of $225.98 for an additional 3 nights and 2 full days to spend in Seattle.

So my question to all of you? Is it worth it?

Any tips or suggestions would be great! Thank you!!

Dhill October 2nd, 2011 12:33 PM

My wife and I have been to Seattle a couple of times. Theres plenty to do In Seattle for a couple of days.Theres of course the Space Needle you can have dinner at the top in the rotatimg resturaunt. That will cost you about fifty bucks a plate but its worth doing it a least once. Theres Pikes market thats a must see. Theres the underground city tour. You can take a tour of the city which we found extremly interesting. We never knew that they had a big fire in Seattle and ended up pushing part of a mountain over the burned out city. Theres the Jimie Hendrix muesum ,fishermans wharf. plus a lot of other stuff worth a couple days IMHO, NOw Bellinghan I have not seen much to do there just a typical small town they have a shopping mall you could probaly go charter fishing if you like that kind of stuff.If it was me I think I would spend some extra cash And spend a couple of extra days in Seattle before the cruise. And just fly in and out of seattle.Oh buy the way you wont have any problem finding a place to have coffe there is a star bucks just about on every cornor Have a nice cruise. And enjoy youe vaction. We found less expence motel within walking distance of down,Oh just a word to the wise if you are going to be there on a weekend you might might to check out if there is a football game in Seattle(the seattle seahawks) that weekend and make sure you have reservations for a motel they all fill up around the down town area.:)

ruthlessboss October 2nd, 2011 01:09 PM

To make a long story short, just go to Seattle. You won't have the transport hassle, and that alone would take away the vacation experience.
We booked an all inclusive with a travel company to stay in Seattle and tour before being transported to Vancouver. They arranged a late flight in, had time for a snack, get a room (in the package), up next day for long ride to Vancouver. Saw NO Seattle. When the cruise was done, waited hours to get back to a hotel. Except for the cruise, it was a total waste of vacation time and saw nothing!

Never mind the dollar savings, unless that's how you must do it.

Donna October 2nd, 2011 04:48 PM

Don't forget to check with the individual airlines too, sometimes, there are more fights listed and different prices. Although, they change quickly, sometimes more than once during a given day...At least for now, you have plenty of time to figure out how much time you want to spend on the traveling part.

MercedMike October 3rd, 2011 11:19 AM

A few days in Seattle would be lots of fun! There are many things to do in the city and it is a nice vacation break. If you have the time and the money, go for it!

BUT -- your budget left out three days of living and sightseeing expenses. Seattle is an expensive city and taxis, admissions, and especially meals are not going to be cheap.

Have a GREAT cruise!

KDGodwin October 7th, 2011 05:45 AM

Thank you!
Thank you all for the tips! I think we may just fly straight into Seattle and still take the extra couple days anyway. We'll see. I am a super planner, so I stay excited all year booking parts of the trip, buying odds and ends we'll need, etc. When the trips actually comes, we'll be all set! Wish me luck!!

Donna October 7th, 2011 06:40 AM

Oh, it never hurts to plan ahead. I think its half the fun, deciding in all the factors and what to do and not do..

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