We are first time cruisers and we are debating whether we should book our own airfare. We can save $400 if we do it ourselves which is a lot of $$. However I am worried that something will happen and we will miss the ship. Any thought or suggestions?
I almost always book my own airfare. The best advice I can give you is to fly in a day early and get a hotel room, close to the port. This will make sure you make the ship in the event of mechanical or most weather delays. If you are saving $400 by booking your own you will still save around $300 by doing this.
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Mike has far and away the best advice you will get on this. Always fly down a day early and stay in a hotel. You are assured of making the ship and you are rested and ready to embark on your vacation.
We too book our own air, we can get the flights, airline, times, etc. that we want. If at all possible, we try to go in a day early, can't always do that. In fact our next cruise, we are flying in the day of the cruise at the end of Jan, with plenty of hours to spare, but you never know. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I would also get some travel insurance, always a good idea.
Ditto, on the travel insurance! On our last caribbean cruise, we flew down the day of the cruise in order to save about $350 on the same flight the previous day. But we were so tired that we were in bed by 10:00pm. Going down the day before makes it a lot easier. Plus, you can get on the ship earlier and start the party a little early. <G>
We always book our own airfare and go in the day before. Depending on where you are flying into it can give you time to see some sites in your port. One year we went in two days early and spent a the time at Universal Studios.
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couldn't agree more. Come in a day early, get a nice hotel, rest relax and get into the cruise mode. $400.00 is a lot of money, go for it and if by any chance you can't fly in the day before, book the earlies flight possible the day of the cruise, and get the travel insurance no matter what (especially trip cancellation/interruption coverage)
Years ago before 9/11, I preferred booking my airfare. It was great to drop off your bags when you walked into the airport and not see them again until they arrived in your cabin on the ship.
Now everyone has to go and claim your own baggage and that's where the shuttles leave from.
There are several options on how to get to the pier.
We are cruising out of Honolulu in January and I've found numerous forms of transportation ranging from a shuttle at $12.50 to a limo.
I to always go a day early. It's worth the extra money to stay in a hotel and not sit worring all day if you'll make the ship. Ship's usually sail when it is time to sail...unless there is a large tour group that is late.