Hi, has anyone done the cruise without the "fly aweigh" program included? We are contemplating getting separate air because of the savings, but is it worth it?
When we did a Carribean cruise we had it all included and it was very nice. This time we are doing the Mex. Riviera. How stressful would it be ? Any advice would really be helpful. Thank you!
We've done separate air on 2 of the 3 cruises we've gone on. Depending on how far you are traveling, I would suggest being in the port city a day prior. This is great because it gives you a chance to relax and not be rushed on the day you leave on your cruise.
It seems in most cases, you can find cheaper air than what the cruise lines will give you. We've managed to in both cases. Assuming your ship returns to port around 8am, you shouldn't plan your air departure any earlier than around 12 noon. This allows time in case there's any delays in disembarking.
Sounds like you had a good experience with booking through the cruise line. It almost boils down to how much time and effort you want to put into doing your own air. However, it could save you some money. Either way, my wife and I will always arrive in the port city the day prior. Good luck and have fun!
For our first 3 cruises, my wife and I booked air through Carnival's air/sea package (Fly Aweigh). On one of those trips, we wanted to arrive in San Juan a day early. Carnival couldn't accomodate us so we had to book air separately. Since then, we've booked air separately (thru our TA) with no problems.
For our first 5 cruises we used Carnival's vacation insurance package because we didn't know any better. On our 6th cruise we switched TA. Our new TA offers another vacation insurance package named Travel Guard. The Travel Guard plan is one-third cheaper than Carnival's insurance plan: for my at my age that is $99 vs. $63 for a 7-day cruise.
Since you are booking air separately, I recommend Travel Guard and encourage you to use a vacation insurance plan that will cover both your air and sea. It's important now more than ever given recent events and news. The protection is a good thing.