Is this true what my travel agent said about airfare?
I was told that when you book your airfare thru the cruiseline, that you get the worse flights, than if you (or the TA!) book it separately? Why would you get a less desirable flight? Plus, I would think the cost might be lower (like a package) and you can make sure that you DO have a flight coming and going. I
There are just too many varibles to say for sure. For example where are you leaving from? Where are you flying too? Do you want to stay overnight before or after the cruise? Do you have access to some of the discount carriers like Jet Blue?
A good TA will explore and let you consider the options.
RCI Monarch of The Seas 1998
Carnival Miracle 9/24/07
Upcoming Fascination 11/5/09
I have only taking the cruiselines air one time - when I went to Hawaii.
And it was the worst connections. But I normally do not book their air because I can travel the night before and stay in a hotel for less than just their airfare. Check out the air fare the night before and figure a hotel in - I would bet you can go on your own cheaper. Not sure when you are traveling, but I would go a day early anyway from the midwest (especially if you may have to deal with snow).
2 Royal Caribbean
1 American Hawaii
Holland America 1/15/11
The criselines use contracted air from major carriers, which can be more or less than your TA can get for you from published air. It depends on what your originating city is and where your flying too to determine whether the cruise line contracted air or your own published air would be better.
When you use cruiseline air/sea package, you have to accept the flights they give you, or you can pay more to get specific flights from the cruise lines air department. The cruise line contracted air will almost always be on the day of the cruise, and even red eye if it is cheaper for them.
When you buy the air/sea package from the cruise line, you won't get your flight assignments until about 45 - 30 days out from your cruise. If the flights are not acceptable, they try to make accomodations, but may charge you more to get the specific flights you want.
The rule I use is that if the air portion of the air/sea package is more than the flights I would want as published air flights, I just buy them on my own.
Majesty of the Seas - 10/03 & 02/07 & 11/08
Enchantment of the Seas - 10/04 & 10/11
Mariner of the Seas - 10/05
Vision of the Seas - 10/06 & 09/07
Carnival Liberty - 10/07
Adventure of the Seas - 9/08
Ruby Princess - 12/09
Voyager of the Seas - 9/10
Carnival Spirit - 11/10
Oasis of the Seas - 9/13
Even if it's just close I would book my own. When we cruised to Alaska, the cruiseline's flights would have meant one change of planes, flying in the day of the cruise into Seattle and then being bused to Vancouver. We went the day before, flying directly to Vancouver and stayed in a lovely hotel right across the street from the terminal. All I could think about if we took the cruiseline's flights would have been lost luggage, missed connection, late arrival, etc. The actual airfare we got was a little less, but even factoring in the cost of the hotel, the peace of mind was priceless.
I've heard too many horror stories regarding cruiselines' flights, including family groups (yes, even children) being put on different flights. No thanks - it would have to be a really big price difference to even consider it.
Yo have to check to see what the fare would be with cruise air and without. Once you know then you have a basis to see if you can find airfare, transportation, andin some cases a hotel with that price. I am in Canada, so it is hard to diffcult from where I live to match the price. I was planning on using it for my cruise last February, but when I found out they were going to red-eye us into Houston and then we's have to speed from the minute we left the airport to get to the port for last check in didn't sit well with us. We cancelled out the air and paid MORE for the airfare, plus hotel, and transfer.
I am using cruise air this September, but I am paying $110 more in fees and extra cost to NOT get a red eye flight. I am looking into flights for January and all the flights I am finding are astronomical (upwards of $1400 for ONE person to get to Miami or Ft L!!!!!!! I also have to get a hotel and pay for transfer to hotel.....Cruise air wasn't an option for that cruise as it was the "free" cruise I won...
2007 Victory & Triumph
2008 Conquest & Liberty
2009 Valor, Freedom, and Splendor
2010 Glory and Liberty
I would be flying Airtran, nonstop flight out of a large midwest city to Ft. Lauderdale.
Airtran nonstop to Ft. Lauderdale? I'd book it myself.
Last time we used Princess Air, they changed our return flight from a one stop flight out of Ft. Lauderdale to a bus to Miami, AA flight to Orlando, switched to Delta to Charlotte, NC then to Myrtle Beach.
No thanks, I'd never again use Princess Air to get to/from any US port.
Not knowing any better when we first started cruising, and nervous to book on our own, we booked our air with our cruise and always got the terrible flights - especially returning home, we had the latest flights, which we hated. You have no choice. We finally started booking our own air, most times going down the day before and enjoying the port we are sailing out of for a day. The cruisemates are right, sometimes it is not much more going the day before and booking your own air - and you have peace of mind about delays, and are rested for your sail away party. We will always book this way in the future. Even our PCP told us we are better off to do it this way. But having said that - if you have to fly the day of your cruise and it is in the winter, I would book through the cruiseline just in case of weather delays. Happy cruising !
Celebrity Equinox 2014
Carnival Victory 2012
Carnival Dream 2010
Carnival LIberty 2008
Carnival Glory 2006
RCCL Grandeur Of the Seas 2005
RCCL Majesty of the Seas 2003
Carnival Destiny 2003
Carnival Fascination 2001