Is there any advantage to using the cruiselines air? A travel agent told me that if I booked with Princess, they would make sure I would make it to the port on time, even if my flight were canceled.
We are going in a day ahead. If the flight were canceled, don't we just have the airline arrange a new flight? As far as I know, I don't think the cruiseline would even be notified. They aren't at the phones on the weekends, anyway.
Linda: We've booked air travel through Princess twice, but arranged our own flights the last 4 cruises. If you're flying in a day ahead, save the money and book the flight yourself. We priced both ways for our upcoming October cruise. Going through Princess, airline tickets were $445 round trip each (for a total of $890.00. Booking through Southwest on-line cost us $444.50 (round trip) for the two of us. Our cruises left from LA. If we were to fly to Puerto Rico, then I'd probably go through Princess. Hope this helps.
These days it's always best to fly to your cruise departure city at least a day prior to the cruise. If you do this, it's always best to book your own airfare. If you begin looking at airfare at least a month ahead of time, you can always find better fares and pick the time of day to travel that suits you. When you find the fare you like, if you go to that airline's web site to book, you don't even have to pay a service charge for booking. It's always best to book yourself and go the source, eliminating the middleman.
Book your own air. You are flying in a day ahead, so you won';t have toworry about being late, and you will save LOTS of money.
Also Princess books awful flight times, the worst ever. ( they obviously book the cheapest air they can find and then charge you lots more.)
We have done Princess air twice,and this last time when we finally decided to book our own air we had left it too late to get good flight times( we have a 10 hour flight to get to the cruise port and children left with sitters so no flexiblilty) , next time we WILL book our own air as while researching the air last time I saw some way better prices.
a lot depends upon when you are crusing, with all of the hurricanes going on right now, if your cruise is sailing during hurricane season then i would consider booking your air with Princess, just to be on the safe side.
If you are crusing at anyother time of the year and since you are smart and are coming in a day early then book it on your own or with your TA - get the flights and times you want and probably save some $$$.
To answer your other question - yes you would have to pay an air deviation fee if you booked your air with Princess and came in a day early.
Although we love Princess, we will never book flights through them again. The last time we cruised, despite booking FAR in advance, we got the absolute worst flights at excessive prices. What should have taken 5 hours of travel, took 10. I tried to rectify the problem with their customer service department but got nowhere. Their explanation for our terrible flights just didn't make sense to me. For our next cruise, we've booked our own flights-nonstop and HALF the price.
As said, if you are flying down a day prior, booking your own can be cheaper and you have the extra time in case something should happen. There are times, however, when the air from a cruise line can be cheaper.
I took the Crown Princess Trans-Atlantic in 2000, flying to Copenhagen back to Washington from New York. I could not touch the airfare on my own.
Yes, the cruise is 'responsible' for aiding you if they arrange the air, but even if they do, you still go to the ticket agent and let the line know. And, the lines have people on the phones 7 days a week.
The last time I did Princess air, they had us arrive about an hour and a half before leaving, we were virtually the last people to board and they were in the process of doing the muster drill, so we missed that. Since then we've always done our own air arrangements, get the flights we want and save some money.
Yes, if you go down a day early and use their air arrangements, its a deviation and you will be charged for it. Just check around and price flights with the major airlines and you may find some good ones at a reasonable price.
The only time I found Princess to have less expensive fares are the one's to Tahiti and when you fly into one city and return from another, as when on a repositioning cruise. It is always worthwhile to see what one can get on their own.
Princess is not the only cruise line like this. We were able to book Virgin Atlantic flights at half the price of what Celebrity wanted, earlier this year. That was just round trip SFO-LHR and we wanted to make sure they would be non-stop going the polar route instead of routing us across the US and connecting in ORD or JFK.
We also had a situation where we had to leave a cruise early due to a death in the family. Princess, trying to be helpful found us one-way tickets from Maui to SFO for about $1400 on UA. I went on the internet from the ship and got both of our tickets on Aloha from Maui to Oakland for around $750.
It pays to check - don't take their word for it. And definitely go at least a day ahead of time.
Always book my own domestic flights, as suggested if possible go a day earlier, get on board early and really ENJOY the FIRST day fo the cruise. Overseas it sometimes is best to do the cruise lines fight since there may travel from ships port to major airport. Had that happen in Germay..3 hour bus ride to board the ship, glad I didn't have to get there on my own.
Linda, I would think it depends on what time of year our going. Friends of mine just went on the Aug 28th caribbean, because of the hurrcane the crusie ran 2 days longer. He had Princess air and they took care of everything, including the 2 days hotle in Miami.