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Old September 29th, 2003, 10:14 PM
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Default Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

This will be my 5th Carnival cruise - but the first time I've let them book the air. Usually I've been able to get a better price on the air than what the difference in price was with Carnival. This time, it seemed close enough that I figured I'd let them book it and have the transfers included etc. BUT - I am kind of worried about whether they'll get me a good flight itinerary. I want to get there as early as possible so I can feel like the boarding day is not just a travel day. (Boarding day happens to be my birthday...and I'd like to spend as much of it as possible on board!) When I was checking air fares, I had picked an itinerary that got me to San Juan by 12:46 p.m. and a lot of the others I'd seen would be much later in the evening. When I asked the booking person (at Carnival) about whether I could have any input into flight schedule, he said the air dept. probably wouldn't book it until about a month in advance. Anyway - my question is...

If you had Carnival book your air, were you satisfied with the schedule and when you arrived at the port?

I plan to call the air dept. and see if I can put in my .02 to have them book us on as early a flight as possible.

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Old September 29th, 2003, 11:25 PM
Andee
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

You can put your $.02 in, but I expect that they'll book you on whatever route is cheapest for them.

Most cruise lines have an air deviation charge that will alow you more input into your flight itinerary.
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Old September 29th, 2003, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

So far we have been pretty pleased w/the booking Carnival has done for us, with the exception once of a red-eye to Miami, but usually they give us a free night stay in a hotel the night before, so the day of embarkation, we do not feel rushed at all..and we had a Carnival representative meet us at the airport to assist us with getting to the hotel without any problems...

Good luck to you!

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Old September 30th, 2003, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

If the costs are close, I would book the air myself to insure I get the flights I want. Cruise lines tend to book air that is CHEAP and not necessarily the best times/routes, etc. Book your own in this case.

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Old September 30th, 2003, 07:01 AM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

we always book our own air because we usually get a better price and you have more control of the flights that YOU want.
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Old September 30th, 2003, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

I let Carnival book my air once

ONCE (if you've ever seen the movie "Johnny Dangerously" you'll get that reference)

Never again...

They had me fly VERY early, a long layover in the hub city, and I had a middle seat on all flights (although I explicitly told them no middle seat)

The only positive to having Carnival book your air is if the flight is delayed/cancelled, etc. they will get you to the ship (even if it is another port)

I highly recommend travelocity.com or orbitz, so you can choose your own itinerary and comparison shop the airlines. I just booked air travel from Washington DC to Cleveland round trip for $86 on a major carrier (I hate Southwest airlines)

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Old September 30th, 2003, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

I've all ways booked my own because I get the flights I want and the time schedule. I think it is cheaper to book your own flight because you can book your flight anywhere
from 330 days or less ( depending on the airline) from the sailing date so you get a good rate. The cruise lines book the flights closer to the sailing date making it more
expensive.

Gary
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Old September 30th, 2003, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

Yikes! Wish I'd asked the question BEFORE I booked the cruise/air. I guess I'll hope for the best and just let this be the only time I do it this way.

Thanks for your comments!

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Old September 30th, 2003, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

Janet Lynn - if you have not made final payment, you can cancel the air portion without penalty and find your own flights down to San Juan.

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Old October 1st, 2003, 07:02 AM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

for a fee (I believe its $35) you can tell Carnival what flights that you prefer.
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Old October 1st, 2003, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

Janet, you don't say where you are flying from. I am going to San Juan in Jan for our Celebrity cruise. We got an cruise/air deal. I checked rates for us and it was double. I don't like not knowing what airline, what stopover, how long and when I arrive/depart. But I did save money so until I make the final payment I will continue to check air prices and if I can get close to the deal I got great but if not then I will take what they give us. I would rather spend the extra money on the islands. Happy sailing!
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Old October 1st, 2003, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

I let Carnival book my air when I took the cruise from Hawaii to Ensenada last year. Basically I was not left with any choice since we had to take a 3 hr. bus trip from the pier in Ensenada to San Diego to fly home from there. I had no idea how we would have gotten from Ensenada to San Diego if we didn't have Carnival make the arrangements??? But I do have to say it was the longest trip home ever since they had us on 3 different flights to get back to NJ. Guess that was the cheapest way possible.
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Old October 1st, 2003, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

Hi Janet,
I think you can still do an air deviation and see what Carnival will charge for that, it used to be $35, but may be $50, but well worth it if you can pick our air carrier and flight times, check with your travel agent about that.

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Old October 1st, 2003, 10:33 AM
Melissa Pasquantonio
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

I did that once and spent the entire day in the airport till my flight took off after 4pm, after that I have always booked my flights seperate. Good luck
Melissa
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Old October 1st, 2003, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

JanetLynn, as others have said, you have not made a mistake booking air with the cruise line. You still can cancel it if you find something better for your travel needs. Do you have a travel agent? Ask them to verifty what flights Carnival would book if you were to Deviate (want certain flights/travel a day early, etc. & Pay the Deviation Fee. Have your preferred flight data in hand. If it matches and your price was right, you may wish to pay the $50pp fee and be happy to know you got exactly what you want.
We have booked both with cruise line and on our own. With less flights, increased costs, and less flexibility of schedules involved with a cruise and air fares have sky rocketed, you must shop around. My 2004 cruise, I did the cruiseline air to FLL @ $309. There are 7 of us. I felt Southwest would open up and I could get a lower fare for a prime Winter date and we planned to leave a day early anyway. Well you know it, I missed the rate change day by one day with SW. Their rates on unacceptable time table of flights is over $400pp. I had hoped Jet Blue may come to NH, but they announced a deal with Boston yesterday. Rates are favorable, but we really don't want to go to the city.
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Old October 9th, 2003, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

I have priced air from Boston to Orlando round trip, but need to know the earliest return time
I should book. There is a flight at 10:45 that looks good. I will be on the Glory [4/1704 to 4/24/04]

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Old October 9th, 2003, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

That is too early. We just sailed the Glory and they have express debarkation (carrying off your own luggage) but even using that you probably wouldn't be off before 9am and it's a 45 -60 minute drive to MCO. We didn't use express and were off at 9:45 am, used Carnival bus transfer for $19/person, arrived at MCO at 11:00. To be safe I would suggest 1pm or after. Have a great time.

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Old October 9th, 2003, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

The only draw back about booking your own air is that if you happen to cruising in the
winter and if the flight is late the cruise line will not wait but if the cruise line books the
air then they will wait for you to get on the ship.

Gary
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Old October 9th, 2003, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

I prefer the hands-on approach and always book my own airfare for several reasons. I like to go a day or two before the cruise to spend some time locally. I also get the benefit of getting the very best price, my choice of available seating and timing of my flight. I believe you said that you were going to San Juan. I don't remember where I saw it, but I recently saw a deal from one of the budget airlines, Spirit or Jet Blue, I think, to San Juan under $300 round trip from several airports. The budget airlines are not usually listed on the normal major sites like Orbitz and Expedia, but if you go to this site ( www.flybudget.com) you'll see prices that the big boys don't want you to see. There are about a half dozen or so budget airlines that know how to show you that they appreciate your business where it counts, in your wallet or purse. I don't remember all of them, but some of them are Spirit, Jet Blue, Southwest, Air Tran and others that don't come to mind at the moment. Anyway, you can also go to their own sites to find out about specials also. Good luck.
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Old October 9th, 2003, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

Janet Lynn,

When dd you say you were going on the Destiny? I let Carnival book my air and I got a direct flight, not that early in the morning either. We get there around 12:15 which is perfect since they start allowing passengers to board at noon.

i was quite pleased with carnival.
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Old October 9th, 2003, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Letting Carnival book air..good idea?

Hi all,
Thanks for all of the input! I decided to let this ride and see how it goes with them booking it. If it doesn't work too well, I'll revert to doing my own next time.

We're leaving out of Louisville KY to San Juan on November 16th. I haven't heard from the air department on the flights yet.

Anyone else going on the Destiny on the 16th??

Thanks again!!! Janet

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