I have read good and bad about booking the air fare with your cruise package. Is it better to book your own to be assured when, where, prefered airlines, and better flight times? We are wanting to arrive the day before and do not want any issues with getting to the port etc.. Thanks.
Yes, I'd shop around for your own air, with the airline of your choice and the times you want, its usually cheaper as well. Its always best to go in a day early if you can do that, I'm sure you'll find the flights you want, best of luck.
Since you're going a day early you have hedged against any flight irregularities, so just look for a good deal and convenient flights.
Use the cruise air fare as a starting point, and go from there. There are exceptions, but usually the only time cruise air proves cost effective is on open jaw itineraries, where the cruise doesn't end up where it started.
The only time I've found it cheaper to book Cruise Air is when the flights are open jaw. Usually it is significantly cheaper then. Otherwise I always try to book my own flights. Let's me choose airlines and price and days and times that I want to fly. Doesn't hurt to know how much the cruise air is gonna be simply because it is always best to have all the information when you are looking.
I agree with Chuck Palm...I'm a Priceline junkie for hotels, but I don't use them for air travel or cruises.
I like to book my own air so I have control over non-stop flights and the times I want to travel.
I have a great TA for my cruises.
I'm all set. Just need unlimited funds, but for now I always look for the bargains.
2008 Liberty OTS (Caribbean)
2007 Summit (Alaska)
2006 Century, Infinity (Panama Canal), Summit (Hawaii)
2005 Millenium, Voyager of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas B2B
2004 Explorer of the Seas, Constellation (Canada/New England)
2003 Horizon (Bermuda), Summit
2002 Explorer of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas (Caribbean)
I'm with those that voted for Priceline. Use it all the time for hotels and save bunches of money. I have only used Priceline once for airfare and had no problem because I booked a day earlier than I wanted to be in Florida and left the day after the cruise. But that is the only way you can do it since they can give you flights at any time of the day you choose to fly.
When you do your own air you can still purchase a cruise line transfer. I find its usually not worth it. The easiest and usually the least expensive is to grab a taxi from the airport to the pier.
In Miami a taxi from airport to pier will run about $20 per car, not per person.
Fort Lauderdale: $10.
I also can't stress enough how much more relaxing and enjoyable it will make your cruise if you come in one day early. There is far less worry about missing a plane or having it delayed due to mechanical or weather issues, causing you to miss the ship. They aren't holding it for you.
Even if you book cruise air they aren't going to hold the ship, for any length of time, for 2, 5, or 10 people. They will make arrangements to transport you to the next port to board but you still will lose one or two days of the cruise.
As AR and Tweety said: Cruise line air is usually only a good deal when it is an open jaw, fly into one airport and fly home from another, or international. However, always know what the cruise line air price is before you start looking. You need to know what you are up against.
Take care and have fun.
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DebbiAnn- flying in the day before is definatley the way to go. Check and see if your hotel has shuttle service from the airport to the hotel, most do. Some even have shuttle service from the hotel to the pier. Make sure this is a complimentary service.
Another thing to think about is that since you are flying in a day before, if you choose to use the cruise lines air you will most likely have to pay for an air deviation which can cost $50.00 p/p & up depending upon the cruise line.
9 times out of 10 you will do better if you or your TA gets your airfare separately.
Good advise. I appreciate all the input and think all of you are correct about seperate air fares, whether through the TA or on the side. Will we know what area to go to to meet the ship? I know (dumb question). We plan on leaving from Ft. Lauderdale. Thanks.