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.