We live in suburban NY so we booked one day ahead w/ air through our local airport to Ft Lauderdale through Celeb.--just in case of a cancellation or other problem. The air cost was abt $100 more pp than a regular fare but we thought it best to go this way. Our TA did mention we might have to change planes en route. Little did I realize what that could mean. Going down for the day prior we have a nonstop Delta flight early enough to enjoy an extra day ahead. Coming home however, we were going to have to have a very early flight to Phildelphia, a layover of some time & then go to our local airport on a small 32 seat prop plane......I am phobic as a flier so we ended up having to pay Celebrity $35 more pp to get a direct flight home on a regular sized jet.. Our TA is very good but they would not budge!...It's worth it but next time I might re-consider taking their flights..they seem to nickel & dime you all along the way. It's not like the inflated fare they charged us initially wouldn't have covered the direct flight in the first place.. Since this happened to us, we have heard many other interesting travele routes booked by the cruise companies We are ready to book our next cruise what is the general consensus abt getting air from the cruiseline??? It still seems like the best way to go but I can't imagine if the larger plane wasn't available by the time we found this out.
We never book through Celebrity. I have always been able to get lower fares on my own and we go a day or two early and stay an extra day on the back end. It's all about the cost of airfare to me. And the flights scheules seem to be better when I book on my own.
I have cruised three times with Celebrity....and have booked my air through Celebrity every time. The first time I was naive and had no idea what to expect.
We did not get our air arrangements until a week before the cruise. It was then that I found out that I had to fly from Pittsburgh to NY on a commuter plane, then from NY to San Juan. It was the same on the way back. I called my TA in a panic and she said there was nothing I could do. A few months later at our local home show I was speaking to a different TA who told me that did not have to happen....I could have booked an air diviation from the beginning for an additional $35.00 per person. I found it interesting that my first TA never mentioned that to me. Needless to say, I changed TA's and on the next two cruises booked my air with a diviation through Celebrity. Both times, I had great flight times.
This coming December we are cruising with Princess.....I've chosen to book my own air. Already, I'm having doubts that I did the right thing. It does appear as though I will save approximately $100.00 per person, but I'm not thrilled with the flights I'm seeing. I also enjoy the peace of mind knowing if the flight is delayed (and booked through the cruiseline) they will do everything in their power to get me on that ship before it sails.....not the case if I do it on my own.
Time will tell if I did the right thing.
Hey, Mary Lou. I read a posting here on the board the other day that really shocked me. Someone (and I wish I could remember who) stated that he found that Celebrity will not "hold up" the ship if you book through them. That was a misunderstood advantage. Do you know anything about that? I always thought that was the primary reasons to do so.
Anyway, we have been more successful with flights doing our own. But then we are in Texas going to Florida. I do know that all cities do not have the same flight advantages.
Oh, well!!! Later!
Booking air through a cruiseline does not guarantee that the ship will wait for you if you are delayed. It may, depending upon the length of the delay and the ship's schedule (sometimes they have ample time to get to their first port of call even if they are delayed in sailing, other times they are on a tighter schedule. As someone posted: they will definitely wait for you but not indefinitely and if you book on your own you may still share a flight that has other cruisers who booked through the cruiseline. If so, you should share their fate, for better or worse. It is always advisable to check all of your options before deciding how best to arrange your flights. Air deviation, in many instances, is a good alternative since you will have the convenience of having the cruiseline booking your flights, but will be able to indicate which flights you want. The cruiselines aren't always the ones responsible for your getting bad flight schedules, the airlines themselves play a significant role in this problem. Try to improve your chances by booking day before flights, or early morning flights to your destination, and have your travel agent's phone number, and the phone number of the cruiseline so you can contact them if you encounter a problem.
We took Celebrity air for our January cruise on the Millie. HORRIBLE seats! We had the last row seats in the back , where you can't recline the seats, an engine blocking the view in the window, and a really LOUD engine noise all the way. We had to stop in St. Loius( we flew from Seattle) and run to the connecting plane. Our plane was late and they were boarding when we got to the gate. We are cruising on March 30 and this time I booked my own air. We have a non stop flight from Seattle to Miami for a lot less money. However....We were told they could not supply us with a hotel if we booked through Celebrity for our March 30, Mercury cruise (because we booked so late) We might have gone with Celebrity's HELL flights, to get the free hotel in F.Lauderdale. Also, if the cruise is cancelled for engine problems or something like that . You are stuck with the air tickets if you purchased non refundable ones. So I guess you fly there and lay on the beach in Miami for a week
Thank you all..we will be wiser as we book the next cruise. Before I started flying again it was very easy. We drove 2 days to Fla., booked a day ahead hotel & then cruised. But that is really too grueling esp on the way home. I will know more when we book next time!
If it's a cruise that leaves and comes back to Fort Lauderdale, we just book our own air & take a cab (cheaper & more convenient than cruiseline air & transfers. This one starts in Ensenada, Mexico and ends in Honolulu, and we got a great deal on add-on air that included transfers. From what I've heard about Ensenada, taking the cruiseline transfers is really the only workable way to go.
Well... over the long haul, we feel you are far and away better doing air through the Cruise Line than on your own... for a multitude of reasons. One major "hang-up" can more than make up for the few dollars saved from time to time by doing air on your own. I think the cruise line's air generally is the better "value"... if not the lowest price in the short run. For one thing, you are getting the benefit of air bought by the cruise line in bulk... huge numbers... as compared to you buying just one or two tickets just once. Forget about the ship waiting. When it comes to alternative flight arrangements... due to equipment problems, weather requiring alternative routing, etc., whom do you think will get the best service from the airlines? Generally, it is those whose space was booked by one of the airline's major customers... the cruise line! I'm sure we'll now hear lots of anecdotal experiences to the contrary, but, I must say, I'd rather have the cruise line's clout with the airlines than my own.
...I've read all above and can understand the pros and cons....BUT..what would be the "best bet" in so far as flying to Europe ?? We are to sail on the Millennium ..leaving from Florida, and flying to Istambul..coming back from Barcelona. Am I better doing air "on my own" /deviate and pay the difference or hope that we get "good flights". I don't want to "get stuck" with small planes and many stopovers flights ..ANY HELPFUL suggestions would be greatly appreciated !! Thanks !!
Deviate with cruiseline air/sea is prob your best bet, i wouldn't take a chance an letting them assign me to who knows what carrier and on what type of aircraft.
On long flights you really do need to have contol of who, and what you fly...hey lets face it , do you want to be stuck in a middle seat all the way in the back of the plane.....NO..
It is always best to review all of your options before deciding whether to book your own air or to book through the cruiseline. (You really shouldn't blame Celebrity for your seat assignments. That was the responsibility of your travel agent or yourself to arrange. Most cruiseline brochures are quite clear about that particular detail.) As to price and itinerary, checking first should make your decision easier. In some instances, especially where you are sailing out of one port but returning and flying home from another (openjaw routings) the cruiseline can probably offer you lower rates. Even then you should consider the air deviation program which will allow you to pick your flights and for a nominal fee ($35 to $50) book through the airline. If you can get cheaper flights which will fit your schedule, by booking on your own, then you should definitely do so. There is no hard and fast answer to this question. You need to do the research before making your choice.
Yours is an instance where the fare may be cheaper using the cruiseline's air. However,you should be able to use their air deviation program to pick and choose the flights that are most convenient to you. If there are charges beyond the air deviation fee, you can refuse to go ahead with the cruiseline's air, and make your own arrangements. Check out the options and then decide
I'm in the process of booking a flight from Sacramento to San Juan. I couple of things stand out to me. As you all know , fling from the west coast to the east coast is an all day deal. I don't understand why Celebrity wont allow us to fly down a day early. The ship "Galaxy" leaves at 11:00pm. Leaving at 6:00 in the morning and flying all day the earliest that I can get to San juan is 9:00 pm. kinda close if you ask me. Also the cruise line is about $150.00 a ticket more than Bestfares or cheaptickets and I can choice my own fliclt schedule. To me it's a no brainer, Book your own. On my previous cruise leaving out of san Juan I booked my own because the it was cheaper to do it that way. On my first cruise however I let carinval make all the arangements. The were acceptable. Is anyone else flying in to San Juan from the west coast. I would really like to hear how you are handling your travel arangements.
> Yours is an instance where the fare may be cheaper using the
> cruiseline's air. However,you should be able to use their
> air deviation program to pick and choose the flights that are
> most convenient to you. If there are charges beyond the air
> deviation fee, you can refuse to go ahead with the
> cruiseline's air, and make your own arrangements. Check out
> the options and then decide