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Old September 21st, 2009, 06:39 PM
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You people who always fly in a day early will certainly feel vindicated by this story, but please remember that I purchased CARNIVAL'S AIR + TRANSFERS !!!
Last week I flew into New York's LGA airport for the Triumph's New England/Canada cruise. After encountering an hour & 1/2 delay from Jackson MS to Atlanta I missed my connecting flight. Delta airlines seemed most unconcerned that I needed to catch a ship . They were unable to get me into New York until 3pm....problem was the ship sailed at 4. This is the biggest city in the USA so I knew I was in trouble. I called Carnival to notify them of the situation. They claimed to have contacted the ship telling them that I would be late due to Delta's delays.
When I could finally retrieve my luggage I was told Carnival's ground transportation had left me. At about 3:30 I hired a taxi which barely got me to the ship. I was the only passenger in the terminal and the ship was doing fire drill already. In my rush it never dawned upon me to request a receipt for the taxi ride. I suppose that I'm out of $35, but I preferred catching the ship to haggling for a receipt. A word of advice...NO condescending lectures on not getting a receipt. Believe me I didn't have time...it was THAT crazy .
After me notifying Carnival assessing them of these delays, the ship called my parents tellingthem I was missing and requesting my whereabouts. It seems Carnival didn't notify the Triumph after telling me they would.
Since I don't have a taxi receipt I suppose I'll never get my money back, but that isn't the issue here. It upset me that they almost left me !
Going home was an equally muddled story. Newark's flight to Atlanta delayed 2 hours, missing my connecting flight, meaning I didn't get home the same day.
Here's the morals of the story...
1)stay away from Delta and Atlanta's airport until they can get their act together.
2)If you book your own air...go the DAY BEFORE...never same day.
3)call and remind the cruise line NOT to leave you.
4) avoid blind faith in add on air
5) keep cash handy for emergencies ( taxi rides)
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Old September 21st, 2009, 07:41 PM
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I read a story on RCL thread that was very similar to yours. I used to think that if you booked cruise air the cruise line will make certain you get to the ship. Now two cruiseline have shown this is clearly not the case. I will never book cruise air. I can book on my own cheaper and have just the air I want.

Here is the link to the RCL story. She missed the flight and because Vancouver was the only international port she was not allow to to board the ship. So now she has to try and get her cruise fare back.
http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/vie...612422&start=0
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Old September 21st, 2009, 07:46 PM
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Lord, what a way to board a ship, in need of a gallon of pepto bismal! I think Carnival needs to get their act together, as far as your scenario, goes, they did drop the ball, in NOT letting the ship know....

I hope after all that, you had a great time.....get your pen out, and let someone know what took place!
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Old September 21st, 2009, 07:55 PM
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I'll repost my response to the similar problem that a Royal Caribbean passenger had.

Carnival's policy on cruise line air is almost the same as Royal Caribbean's.

This is directly from the Royal Caribbean Travel Agent Guide.

Responsibility:
Royal Caribbean in arranging for the transportation of guests to and from the ship, does so with independent contractors and only as a convenience to the guests.
Royal Caribbean is NOT responsible for incidents such as airline cancellations, reroutings or any disruption of scheduled services or accommodations.


This is why cruise air is usually not a good idea. Especially if you believe the cruise line will take care of you, if you have air problems, before during or after your cruise.

The myth that cruise lines will take care of you came from the "olden days" of cruising when cruise lines purchased large numbers of seats from the airlines. Now that the airlines are deregulated, fares have plummeted (from the 80's) and there is no commission on airfares the cruise lines have little or no pull with the airlines and you are basically on your own.

Also, if you purchase cruise line air, for a cruise that departs in the U.S., you will be put on the least expensive flights that are "scheduled" to arrive on the day the cruise departs. If you want to fly in early then you will need to pay an "air deviation" in order to give yourself a time cushion.

Travel professionals who advocate cruise air under the belief that the cruise line will take care of the client in the event of a delay or cancellation need to go back and read their books.

Take care,
Mike
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Old September 21st, 2009, 08:11 PM
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I can sympathize with you. I had cruise air booked for Feb 08 and the way they organized it we were to go 3.5 hours out of our way only to fly back 2.5 hours the opposite direction and fly south. They had us Edmonton to Houston via Toronto and arriving in Houston at noon. All about the ship was 2:30pm, we would not have made it. We booked a suite and did not want to be arriving so late. We cancelled out and paid the penalty and booked our own air at $100 more a person difference. We got there the evening before and were able to take it easy and get on board the Conquest at 11:30am!

I agree, cruise air is not well planned or done, and it needs to be looked at and changed to work in favour of the passenger.

The airlnes simply do not care about the passengers at all. The airlines care about us paying them to fly and not a damn bit about where we are going and WHY we are going there. They also fee/supplment us to death and don't care about that either. A passengers right's need to be written and followed to make the airlines accountable.

As for the $35, oh well, lesson learned, but I truly feel for you and the shock and horror your parents must have felt when they called and said you were unaccounted for....I hope you had a cell phone on you to call and tell your folks you were the one they waited for!!!!
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Old September 21st, 2009, 08:17 PM
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Years back, when we once did RCI cruise air, for the purpose of pre cruising...I was able to find out they had us landing in Fla, at around 6...ish....this was what was convenient, and the cheapest way for them to do it...I fought tooth and nail, and got us in at a time where I could enjoy the day there.....since then I have never booked cruise/air....leaving from Boston, they could send me to Chicago, to get to Fla..no thanks....
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Old September 21st, 2009, 08:27 PM
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I never book air with the cruiselines. We usually fly in two days before the cruise and allways get out trip insurance.

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Old September 21st, 2009, 10:23 PM
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First of all, whenever possible, I avoid Hartfield Jackson Airport in Atlanta like the plague. Nothing ever works well there, especially since it is one of the most confusing airports in the nation(I have been in several, being a frequent traveler). If you can afford to, go the custom route and opt for go through Charlotte Douglas International Airport(airport code CLT) or Raleigh Durham International Airport(airport code RDU) instead. These two airports are fairly easy to get through and I have never really had an issue at the airports themselves. A debacle with the transit system in Durham nearly caused me to miss my flight once. Thank goodness it was running late. As far as airlines go, I feel the most reliable ones tend to be Jet Blue followed by US Airways and United. I suggest not booking flights through the cruise lines because you can get them half price without having to worry that you won't make it if you give yourself a few hours buffer time. Also, transfers can be bought through Carnival if you need one, even if you aren't on their air/sea package. Do not believe a travel agent who says otherwise. They are just looking to make money off of your ignorance of this fact. Take it from someone who has had a travel agent try to pull that on them(May the travel agent go out of business, for surely he needs to). Just my thoughts on the whole air/sea deal, but if you do purchase from the cruise line, ask for the custom option. You can get just the route you want, the times you want, and the airline you want that way.
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Old September 21st, 2009, 11:38 PM
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No doubt someone dropped the ball at Carnival, in not contacting the ship. BUT.. even if they did, they wouldn't be holding the ship if you arrived late.

It can happen on occassion if there's a large group of passengers on a flight, but VERY rare!

The other thing is, you haven't been paying attention We ALWAYS tell people to PASS on cruise line air. With the possible exception of open jaw flights (flying to a different city than you're returning from) you can always beat the cruise line prices, and choose your own flights!!

Cruise lines will always put you on flights and routes that are the cheapest for them. Your convenience is NOT an issue.
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Old September 21st, 2009, 11:46 PM
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Thanks everyone ! 8) I paid my travel agent a visit and we had a nice chat. We are looking into getting a hotel for April's cruise because I'm NOT playing that song & dance game again.
Also for what it's worth, I did write two letters... one to Carnival ...one to Delta. Not that I think it will change anything.
Good news is that the cruise was wonderful. Great ship with a wonderful crew....why can't Delta learn from Carnival? Customer service on these ships actually pretends to care!
Boston offered some interesting colonial history.
From Portland ME I took a tour to the Mount Washington Cog railroad in lovely New Hampshire.
In Saint John NB, it was off to the Fundy National Park with the world's highest tides.
Halifax is simply a wonderful port of call. There I went out to picture perfect Peggy's Cove. The fort in downtown Halifax was a big hit with me.
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 08:12 AM
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Troth - glad you could relax a little after all that drama and enjoy your cruise.
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
No doubt someone dropped the ball at Carnival, in not contacting the ship. BUT.. even if they did, they wouldn't be holding the ship if you arrived late.

It can happen on occassion if there's a large group of passengers on a flight, but VERY rare!

The other thing is, you haven't been paying attention We ALWAYS tell people to PASS on cruise line air. With the possible exception of open jaw flights (flying to a different city than you're returning from) you can always beat the cruise line prices, and choose your own flights!!

Cruise lines will always put you on flights and routes that are the cheapest for them. Your convenience is NOT an issue.
This means one always flys in a day early. I've done that twice . Transfer from airport to hotel and hotel to ship was never as easy as I had hoped. Sometimes food isn't handy.
Last time I had a bad experience with low class hotel in Ft Lauderdale, so I attempted something different after that.
For the Splendor I'm looking into Carnival's hotel.
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoth
This means one always flys in a day early. I've done that twice . Transfer from airport to hotel and hotel to ship was never as easy as I had hoped. Sometimes food isn't handy.
Last time I had a bad experience with low class hotel in Ft Lauderdale, so I attempted something different after that.
For the Splendor I'm looking into Carnival's hotel.
In Miami or Fort Lauderdale I can't understand how getting to a hotel, airport or port cannot be relatively easy. Use a taxi cab. The cost will not be more than $15 in FLL or $25 in Miami unless you book a hotel somewhere out in the boondocks or fly into FLL and leave out of Miami.

In both areas I also strongly suggest using Priceline for a hotel and not bidding for anything less than a 3* in the Downtown zones. You will end up with a decent hotel that isn't too far from the port or airport. It will also be FAR less than purchasing the hotel from the cruise line. Those prices are excessively high.

Take care,
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 02:17 PM
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In Fll, you can be rght down the street from the port, and have everything you need, at your fingertips, with a choice of many hotels......shopping restuarants and the trolley or water taxi..Most hotels have shuttles to the port too.

I just got the 4 star Rennaisssance, right in the midle of this all, for $59.00 a night, a great deal!
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 04:48 PM
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Last time I booked a hotel the night before it was the Red Carpet Inn Fort Lauderdale.
The van didn't act like it wished to pick me up at the airport...more than one call
the place was a dump
management was non-existant
unsafe area
only food within walking distance was low class beer joint
van to ship wasn't the most relibale
cost was near $100
The next year I booked Carnival's air and someone was at the airport holding CARNIVAL sign. That worked in Miami and it worked in San Juan so I expected it to work the same way in New York.
Sometimes the air is much cheaper on one's own, but not always. The last two cruises were comparable.
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 08:38 PM
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I am flying into Fort Lauderdale the day of the cruise and getting a transfer from Carnival to the port, but I also know I am booked on a very reliable airline and have left out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport several times so I know the times for security and everything. I am also catching a fairly early flight at 9:35 AM so I should have no trouble getting to the ship before the 2:30 cutoff time.
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 08:43 PM
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Brad, that sounds good, and I hope it works out, but stuff happens, delays, mechanical and, such, and of course, I am not telling you anything you don't already know..... The day before is always a good idea, for those in the snow belts......another tip is to try and get the first flight out...
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 09:02 PM
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The night before was not an option for me so I chose an airline with a reputation for not having problems. If I should have a problem, I will work with their service representatives to find an alternative.
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 09:32 PM
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Thoth have you ever cruised out of California before? San Pedro and Long Beach cruise terminals are very close to each other. I know both areas. Because my Star Princess cruise was out of San Pedro and my Paradise and Ecstasy cruises were out of Long Beach. I like the San Pedro are a little better. Both are safe and I have heard the Hilton Long Beach is what a lot of people get on Priceline. The Crowne Plaza in San Pedro is suppose to be quite nice also. I'm eyeballing the Residence Inn at 600 Queensway Drive. There are two Residence Inn the one on Queensway is the newer one. Resdience Inn has a Park N Cruise package.
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad813
I am flying into Fort Lauderdale the day of the cruise and getting a transfer from Carnival to the port, but I also know I am booked on a very reliable airline and have left out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport several times so I know the times for security and everything. I am also catching a fairly early flight at 9:35 AM so I should have no trouble getting to the ship before the 2:30 cutoff time.
sounds like you have a direct flight & from a large hub. You should be fine.
33 days for you.... won't be long 8) .
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 10:26 PM
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Aside from Atlanta, Charlotte and Dulles are major hubs for southbound flights. I do have a direct non-stop flight on JetBlue. DirecTV and XM-Radio on board, free snacks and drinks, and great service. Also, I paid about $107 when they were running a sale back in July. Since I don't drive, I am going to have to leave out October 25 for Charlotte on a Greyhound and take a cab to the airport. I do not forsee any major problems, if any problems at all. The worst delay I have had on JetBlue in the past has been around 30 minutes.
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