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Old November 21st, 2007, 09:06 PM
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Default HUGE problem with air/sea to Galveston

Well, I am still so hgyed about living the "suite" life on the Conquest that I won't let this air fiasco bother me. We have a serious problem and I don't know if the person was drinking heavily when they booked our air reservationed at Carnival or if they wanted to play a cruel joke on us.

The problem is as follows: I keep checking My documents on Carnival website to see if ticketing has been done. To my suprise the info was available yesterday evening. I made the adobe image larger and then my eyes popped out of my head! We booked a Cat 11 cabin with the expecation of flying to Galveston the day prior (Feb 2) to the cruise and expected to stay overnight in a hotel. We are flying from Western Canada (Edmonton) to Houston and the minimum flight for any airline is 6 hours and the arrival times vary from1-2 int e afternoon to midnight. I full expected to overnight based on the flight information I gathered.

Boy was I wrong, oh so wrong, so totally wrong! According to Carnival's air/sea department they have us on the following flights:

FEB 3 Edmonton to TORONTO (Ontario) 12:25am
FEB 3 TORONTO (!! ?? !!) to Houston arrival 11:15
FEB 10 Houston to TORONTO 4:45 pm
FEB 10 TORONTO to Edmonton arriving 1:15am (!! ?? !!)

I am travelling with a 67 year old and a 11 year old, who I doubt would do well on a red eye flight and my niece also happens to have to go to school 7 hours after the plane lands. I also told the travel agent that if there is a delay of longer than 30 minutes in Toronto (our flight out of Toronto to Ft. Lauderdale in January left 25 minutes late) or landed in Houston more than 20 minutes late we would NOT get out of the airport and to the port in Galveston in time. You may say there is time, but I want, no EXPECT to be on the ship no later than 2pm. If there is a 30 minute delay we probably won't get there in time for the 3pm deadline because all passengers have to be on board no later than 3:30, and for me, 2pm is my cut off time!

I want to explore the ship, take pics, unpack what I have in my carry on and have time to catch a bite to eat. Getting on after 2:30 won't allow me that because I will have my mother and my niece in tow and I doubt I could cover much ground with them in tow! Not only that, if I will be up at 7-8 Feb 2 (mountain time) and get on the ship, if lucky, by 2:30 Feb 3 I will have gone without ANY sleep for close to 32 hours, and that means our first afternoon/evening on the ship is going to be spent SLEEPING! I know this because in September I had a 1am flight to Miami (arriving 1pm) . I woke up Thursday at 5am didn't (couldn't) sleep a wink on the flight to Miami and was so exhausted that at 7pm FRIDAY (38 hours later) I couldn't stay awake any longer.

Ok, how come they want us to head almost 4 hours East and then spend another 3.5 hours heading West (and South) again! Hell, I live in Western Canada where there are flights that connect to Houston from Calgary (South), Denver (South), and Salt Lake City (South!).

No, to me it is not acceptable to fly in the day of and spend 10 hours flying when I can be there the day before and flying time of 6-7 hours. Needless to say the only option we have now is to pay $50 each ($150) to choose another flight, but we also have to pay the difference over and above what the flight they booked us on costed. What is worse is we will have to get a hotel for overnight, and more than likely we will have to find our own way from Houston to Galveston. So that would mean up to $200 more each per person plus an additional $200+ for a cab/hotel, unless Carnival will pick us up and transfer us to our ghotel (unlikely). We are already paying $5600 for the three of us to go on this cruise in a Cat 11 suite.

If I had known this I would have told my mom that we are going on the Freedom out of Miami instead because cost wise, it would have been cheaper. I am sure Galveston is a great port, but if Carnival can't overnight you and thinks you have plenty of time to get to the port isn't thinking of weather delays or other possible problems. I might suggest they look at what happened to Denver airport this past winter to know what could go wrong when you try to fly people int he same day!

Ok, so it is long, but I have speak my mind. I don't think bad things of Carnival, but I do wish their air/sea department would get with reality and book reasonable flights for those who choose the air/sea option. My mother doesn't drive on highways so cruise only was not an option, but is now becoming the only option, and it will be considerably more expensive than if Carnival did it right the first time like the way they do it for Miami, Port Canaveral, or Port Everglades cruise-overnight the day before for certain cities (most Canadian cites excluding cities in/around Toronto or Montreal.

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old November 21st, 2007, 09:47 PM
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misguidedangel, you've just learned the reason that most people don't book cruise air . They will schedule you on whatever flights cost them less. I'm really sorry that you had to learn this the hard way. If I were you, I'd either suck up the extra $$ for better flights or cancel the cruise flights and book your own.

(I'd also find another TA if she/he didn't tell you about cruise line flights.)

The one time we looked at cruise flights they had us going from Arkansas to Detroit to Ft. Lauderdale, taking a whole day .

I do hope you can work this out for your and your family's comfort !
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Old November 21st, 2007, 09:48 PM
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Never ever ever ever book air through the cruiseline.Sorry you had to learn this lesson the hard way. I think $150 would be well worth it to fix this mess. I would want to know how they intend to remedy the problem before I plop down anymore money
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Old November 21st, 2007, 09:53 PM
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Boy, between this and your other fear of missing Grand Cayman, it's not looking good for you! You're working yourself up and you're not even remotely close to being on the ship yet! I think you are very close to the 75 day cutoff/final payment period, if you still have a chance, maybe you might want to consider canceling without any penalties but I think you have to act real quick.

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Old November 21st, 2007, 11:54 PM
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We will find a better flight, and we will suck up whatever it will cost. I have another cruise booked, but I am going to go talk to the travel agent and when I do final payment, when the loonie hits $1.05 again, or when the final payment date gets close. I'm going to look at what flights are out there and tell them what I want, even if I have to pay $50 and a few bucks more.

As for the February trip, it was paid for three weeks before final payment date.

We will have fun, even if it costs more!

Jeanette is me name, by the way...
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 09:10 AM
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If you can, and you can fight this out with Carnival & probably win. Tell them those 3 airports you mentioned, and hopefully, they can do your air that way. Mention the other people traveling with you.

They are like any other TA & have access to the airline system & therefore they can do the tickets your way. You may have to pay more (or less) for the tickets, but I'd try it anyway,.

Go online & try to find the flights you want (look for availability) and then call them. Good hunting!!
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 08:33 PM
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There is a flight out at 6am arriving at 12:52 pm that is a better choice. Ideally, I want to fly out in the afternoon, but that means getting there after 10pm, which wouldn't go over so well when travelling with an 11 year old.

We will still get trasfered to the hotel, which we will have to book and pay for, and from the hotel to the port. I'm going to look at what hotels they use and check em out. Yes, in the end it'll be around $100+ more per person, but at least I will be able to get on the ship early without worrying we'll mis it, that and being dead tired!

I've learned my lesson on how cruise/air works. In the future, I will see if I can get a better deal on my own as opposed to using them. The good thing is if I go for a Mexican cruise or an Alaskan cruise it makes more sense to book things on my own because I can fly to Vancouver in 75 minutes and LA around 4 hours (nonstop).

OK, so I am a little slow, but I learned didn't I?......
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 09:28 PM
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Hi Jeanette,

No, you're not "a little slow"! All of us go through this in one way or another before the "light bulb" above our head's go off .

I'm glad that you were able to book something that's better for all of you.

Next time you'll know what to do! Book your own air and hotel !
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Caribbean Princess 2007 NCL Dawn 2008
Island Princess 2008 Island Princess 2009
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