For my last cruise (Asia) my wife and I arranged our own airfare when what the cruise line offered was unsuitable. On the cruise before that, I was given “flights from hell” with multiple stops and inconvenient times.
Too simplify things; I have selected Celebrity’s provided airfare for my July 3rd Baltic cruise, even though I can find flights for $342 less. However, my previous negative experiences with cruise carrier provided flights continues to nag at me, making me wonder if this is the right choice.
This is my first Celebrity cruise, so I am unfamiliar with how they handle their flights or what their history is for providing reasonably convenient flight arrangements.
Can anyone enlighten me as to what I am likely to encounter with Celebrity? How cooperative are they in adjusting flights to suit the customer’s desires? How do you communicate with the “flight arrangement” people early enough to influence their selections?
Frankly ... if you've found good flights for less money, I'd definitely book my own air.
If you chose to use Celebrity's air, you can pay an "air deviation" fee and choose your own flights. I believe the fee is $75 now.
Tell your TA you'd like to use "air deviation", give them the flights you wanted requested, and Celebrity will come up with a price.
Early on I found that we could book non-stop flights on Virgin Atlantic for our upcoming Baltics cruise for about half of what Celebrity wanted. Plus, we wouldn't know what Celebrity would have put us on until 30 days before leaving, not much time to get better routing. They are going to get the best deal - for themselves - and they don't care how long it takes or how many stops there are. I wanted the polar route from SFO to LHR and when Virgin's prices were so much lower, it turned into a no brainer.
The only thing I would recommend if you book your own flights is to plan to arrive at least one day ahead of time in case you experience any delays. When you book your own airfare you are "on your own" if you miss the ship due to flight delays.
I do my research on the web then call captains club and they book it for me --- it is the only way to fly especially when doing a european cruise. you only have to do the air faire from hell once then after that join the captains club and they will help you find what you want
last year we even got upgraded to suite with the captains club.