many of the interesting cruises to like St. Thomas and Panama Canal leave from San Juan. Since you are paying for a high dollar cruise, how much extra cash do you pay for a ticket to San Juan on an airplane? Leaving from like the Tulsa Or Kansas City Airport? Does anyone have a clue about this or where I can find info about this? Thanks!
Brittany-Hope this info helps. We booked our cruise leaving from San Juan. Ocean Princess, flying from Portland, Oregon to San Juan. We went through a cruise only travel agency. The price quoted in the Princess Winter/Spring Carribean booklet quoted $639.00 per person. We paid $199.00 per person because our agent was able to find a special air travel special via Princess. So, our total was $398.00. We did an air deviation flying to San Juan so we could arrive a day early and enjoy the city. Additionally, our air deviation allowed us to route through Atlanta, rather than take the chance of routing through a N. Eastern city (concerned about bad weather in NE this winter). The additional cost was $110 for two of us. We did not do an air deviation on our return flight but got a good itinerary. So, our total air from the West Coast is $508. I would recommend booking through a cruise only agent and to use the Princess Seabird Air Program if you can get a good deal. According to the brochure, the roundtrip price (per person) from Tulsa to San Juan and return is quoted as $609. Good luck.
You can start by checking the airlines on line, priceline, etc. Unfortunately the airfare to San Juan is fairly steep. We paid $500 last year from Chicago O'hare, but to me its worth it do cruise the southern itinary, I just love it! Good luck on finding some decent airfare :-)
www.onsale.com has a 7 day cruise with airfare from Chicago to San Juan
aboard the Majesty for $1399 for TWO on 2-18-2001. This may be another place for you to look. You may also want to try Priceline I have had good luck with them but with a cruise you would have to go a day early and come back a day late. You could always but a cruise on a 24 hour hold and then try Priceline so you will know if you can get a good deal or not. If you haven't used Priceline before make
sure you read the instructions so you understand how it works because you can not cancel.
Part of the fun and anxiety of preparing for a cruise is the research. When you book your cruise even if you tell the cruise line to include air you can always change that and do the air yourself. For one way like Panama Canal, you would be very wise to check the internet for Multi-City Fares. Look for a major carrier from your home international airport i.e. Tulsa. For us from Boston, American flew to San Juan (non-stop) and out of Acapulco Mexico (one stop in their hub on Dallas). The major carriers are going to have the better schedules and reliability, too. Check your fares for your extended vacation dates as well; i.e. going to San Juan one day earlier than your cruise and staying one day longer in your disembarkation city. Take the lowest flight cost you find on the net and compare it to the Cruise Lines airfare (be sure you are including all airport taxes too) plus your deviation fee of usually $50-$75 pp (plus the cruise line can charge you any difference in airline ticket cost). When I did this, we were savings almost $700 per couple by doing it ourselves and getting the exact flights we wanted. Much more than a nights hotel stay including dinner and transportation on land! Have fun.
You should be able to book the air fare for a Panama Canal cruise as a so-called "open jaw" itinerary. Basically, the airlines treat a legal "open jaw" in the same way as a round trip so you pay half of the round trip from your point of departure to San Juan and half of the round trip from your point of departure to the airport that serves the other terminus of your cruise (probably either San Jose, Costa Rica, or Acapulco, Mexico). In order to be legal, though, an "open jaw" itinerary must meet two requirements. First, the trip can be "open jaw" at only one end -- either origin or destination -- so you will have to return to either the same airport where you originate your trip or a legal "coterminal" thereof (basically, another airport serving the same city or metropolitan area). Second, the "open" leg must be the shortest leg of the trip. The geography of the Caribbean and Central America is such that the altter requirement usually is not a problem on the classic Panama Canal itineraries.