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Old June 6th, 2009, 04:05 PM
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Default NCL's airfare

I've gone on cruises before and had the cruise line do the airfare and it has worked out well. NCL's air people have been a nightmare. Not only is the airfare ridiculously expensive, it is incredibly inconvenient. They have routed us thru O'hare when there are direct flights to Vancouver. I spend a lot of time flying in and out of O'Hare, so it isn't that scary an airport for me, but still I have to wonder why they thought this was necessary.

I could have spent the same money flying direct to Vancouver and stay for two nights in a hotel which would have been great because my son has never been there.

I have learned my lesson!
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Old June 6th, 2009, 08:36 PM
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You made out better than us. HAL routed us from NY to Atlanta to Anchorage. There were much shorter flights at a lower cost. But HAL used Delta and that's what we got.

Like you I learned my lesson. Now we make our own air arrangements.
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Old June 6th, 2009, 09:13 PM
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Let me guess you ended up on United thru Chicago. NCL has a major deal with them. Cruise air is always a gamble.

Original routing for my son was Tampa to Chicago to London. A couple of emails and calls and he ended up Tampa Miami London.

The few times I booked NCL air I have been lucky. Non stop Newark to London on Virgin.

My favorite NCL air my partner at the time was coming from Buffalo. They routed her thru Clevland to MIA. The sent me to FLL. On our return she went FLL to Buffalo and I was out of MIA

The goood news in all cases I made the cruise and had a great time.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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Update: Just got back from Vancouver yesterday. We live outside DC. We had "priority" disembarkation because we were in a penthouse suite. Some how we ended next to last in the line for the bus transfer to the airport. Can't figure out how that happened. Major confusion by the NCL people at Canada place about which line was for what. In the end, after standing for one and a half hours, they put us in a taxi to the airport @ NCL's expense. Note to self: next time arrange own air and take taxi to pier. The best thing to do for us would be to fly out a day early and fly back a day late.

This is not NCL's fault, but we had one of the worst experiences ever at Vancouver airport. This is just another reason not to fly on a Sunday when lots of ships get in. We got to the airport at nine for a 2 pm flight. I anticipated much boredom. (I went with my 11 yo and my husband did not come with us -- too busy working). We couldn't check in our baggage until 11 am, so we sat around for two hours. Then we got our luggage tags and went to the line for Canadian customs. The customs officials were none too happy with me because I didn't have a letter from the other custodial parent about taking my son out of the country. I had called NCL and they said I didn't need one. (Everything NCL onshore told me turned out to be true, so I'm not sure what possessed me to believe them in a question of law). They were quite irate. As a parent, I do appreciate their concern for kids' safey, but I was a little anxious to make an unschedule stop in Canada for a few days to get this straightened out. Canadian customs - that was an enormous line!!! Then we went to get in US immigration line which was also exceeding long and it was very hot. At least the customs officials were nice. Then we dumped our checked bags and got in line for Canadian security. I read all the rules(quart sized bag, laptops out). Apparently there had been a security "incident" earlier in the day and and they had to empty the terminal and all those people had to go thru security again. So security was twice as long in waiting time as it would have been normally. This was a longer hotter line than before. Toward the end, I began to seriously doubt we would make our flight. We got to the gate as they were concluding the boarding process. Then we had 6 hours of flying time!

All in all, the airport was ill prepared to deal with the volume of people. My normal response to that would be get there earlier, but United wouldn't let us check in earlier. NCL handled the diembarkation process very poorly.

Lessons learned -- never fly on cruise day and make your own travel arrangements.

But we did have a great time in Alaska!!!
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 09:55 AM
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I think cruiseline airfare is almost always not a good value and it is often very inconvenient. We used NCL's air on a Hawaiian cruise. We were off the cruiseship in Honolulu at 8:00 A.M. and our return flight didn't leave until midnight. This was a Sunday, which is not a good day for an all night flight, for those of us working on Monday morning. We took this cruiseline air because it was cheap. I guess you get what you pay for.

We had to fly Portland to SFO. SFO to Honolulu. This was with a three and a half hour layover beween the two flights, both to and fro. Had we bookrd our own air, we could have had convenient non-stop flights both directions, at only a minimal additional cost.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 12:22 PM
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Default LESSON TO BE LEARNED

If possible ALWAYS arrive at port one to two days earlier.. A few y ears ago we made the mistake of arriving same day..flight was delayed and we got the second last bus from airport to ship in Barcelona.. NEVER AGAIN. I was a wreck... Since we travel usually trans-atlantic..we have found booking o ur own airfares much less expensive.. Last trip we were going to Manaus and flew into Miami..to Ft. Lauderdale.. they wanted to direct us to Houston or Detroit then Boston. We ended up flying from Ft. Lauderdale where the plane sat for THREE HOURS for a repair.. then to D.C. then to Boston..Princess booked it.. and it cost a bloody fortune..but with our luggage and Parrot Pops walking problems I wanted to make sure.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davejohn
You made out better than us. HAL routed us from NY to Atlanta to Anchorage. There were much shorter flights at a lower cost. But HAL used Delta and that's what we got.

Like you I learned my lesson. Now we make our own air arrangements.
OP was lucky on other lines or just doesn't remember. As a travel agent I can assure him and everyone else, what you are saying is the case. They always route you from hell and back unless you are very lucky. We were lucky with a group going from ABQ to LAX, but there were not too many options. There is always the option to pay an extra fee for a better routing. They book blocks of seats and get the best rate they can for a given date, if it is not convenient for you, OH WELL. The only problem with booking your own, and I do recommend cliants do book thier own, is the possiblity of missed flights, delays or whatever. The cruise line will not assist if you book independantly..

Nita
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffinemma
Update: Just got back from Vancouver yesterday. We live outside DC. We had "priority" disembarkation because we were in a penthouse suite. Some how we ended next to last in the line for the bus transfer to the airport. Can't figure out how that happened. Major confusion by the NCL people at Canada place about which line was for what. In the end, after standing for one and a half hours, they put us in a taxi to the airport @ NCL's expense. Note to self: next time arrange own air and take taxi to pier. The best thing to do for us would be to fly out a day early and fly back a day late.

This is not NCL's fault, but we had one of the worst experiences ever at Vancouver airport. This is just another reason not to fly on a Sunday when lots of ships get in. We got to the airport at nine for a 2 pm flight. I anticipated much boredom. (I went with my 11 yo and my husband did not come with us -- too busy working). We couldn't check in our baggage until 11 am, so we sat around for two hours. Then we got our luggage tags and went to the line for Canadian customs. The customs officials were none too happy with me because I didn't have a letter from the other custodial parent about taking my son out of the country. I had called NCL and they said I didn't need one. (Everything NCL onshore told me turned out to be true, so I'm not sure what possessed me to believe them in a question of law). They were quite irate. As a parent, I do appreciate their concern for kids' safey, but I was a little anxious to make an unschedule stop in Canada for a few days to get this straightened out. Canadian customs - that was an enormous line!!! Then we went to get in US immigration line which was also exceeding long and it was very hot. At least the customs officials were nice. Then we dumped our checked bags and got in line for Canadian security. I read all the rules(quart sized bag, laptops out). Apparently there had been a security "incident" earlier in the day and and they had to empty the terminal and all those people had to go thru security again. So security was twice as long in waiting time as it would have been normally. This was a longer hotter line than before. Toward the end, I began to seriously doubt we would make our flight. We got to the gate as they were concluding the boarding process. Then we had 6 hours of flying time!

All in all, the airport was ill prepared to deal with the volume of people. My normal response to that would be get there earlier, but United wouldn't let us check in earlier. NCL handled the diembarkation process very poorly.

Lessons learned -- never fly on cruise day and make your own travel arrangements.

But we did have a great time in Alaska!!!
you hit the nail on the heard, always fly a day or so prior to sailing. And what Shoreguy said is true. The airlines and cruiselines often work together. Yes, normally NCL does use United.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffinemma
Update: Just got back from Vancouver yesterday. We live outside DC. We had "priority" disembarkation because we were in a penthouse suite. Some how we ended next to last in the line for the bus transfer to the airport. Can't figure out how that happened. Major confusion by the NCL people at Canada place about which line was for what. In the end, after standing for one and a half hours, they put us in a taxi to the airport @ NCL's expense. Note to self: next time arrange own air and take taxi to pier. The best thing to do for us would be to fly out a day early and fly back a day late.

This is not NCL's fault, but we had one of the worst experiences ever at Vancouver airport. This is just another reason not to fly on a Sunday when lots of ships get in. We got to the airport at nine for a 2 pm flight. I anticipated much boredom. (I went with my 11 yo and my husband did not come with us -- too busy working). We couldn't check in our baggage until 11 am, so we sat around for two hours. Then we got our luggage tags and went to the line for Canadian customs. The customs officials were none too happy with me because I didn't have a letter from the other custodial parent about taking my son out of the country. I had called NCL and they said I didn't need one. (Everything NCL onshore told me turned out to be true, so I'm not sure what possessed me to believe them in a question of law). They were quite irate. As a parent, I do appreciate their concern for kids' safey, but I was a little anxious to make an unschedule stop in Canada for a few days to get this straightened out. Canadian customs - that was an enormous line!!! Then we went to get in US immigration line which was also exceeding long and it was very hot. At least the customs officials were nice. Then we dumped our checked bags and got in line for Canadian security. I read all the rules(quart sized bag, laptops out). Apparently there had been a security "incident" earlier in the day and and they had to empty the terminal and all those people had to go thru security again. So security was twice as long in waiting time as it would have been normally. This was a longer hotter line than before. Toward the end, I began to seriously doubt we would make our flight. We got to the gate as they were concluding the boarding process. Then we had 6 hours of flying time!

All in all, the airport was ill prepared to deal with the volume of people. My normal response to that would be get there earlier, but United wouldn't let us check in earlier. NCL handled the diembarkation process very poorly.

Lessons learned -- never fly on cruise day and make your own travel arrangements.

But we did have a great time in Alaska!!!
you hit the nail on the heard, always fly a day or so prior to sailing. And what Shoreguy said is true. The airlines and cruiselines often work together. Yes, normally NCL does use United.
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