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Old August 11th, 2006, 07:07 PM
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Default PRINCESS AIR FARE FOR ALASKA? NEED YOUR OPINION.

Hi,

I will be sailing on the 7/28/07 Diamond from Anchorage to Vancouver.
Would like to know if I am better off booking Princess Air Fare from JFK NY or getting my own.

And where we would change flights and also if you know how long traveling is?
I really appreciate all your help with this.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 07:18 PM
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I have yet to find Princess' airfares or hotels competitive in price.

Get them on your own.
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Old August 12th, 2006, 04:22 PM
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Find a good travel agent. They will take care of everything and probably save you money in the long run.
Jim.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 03:15 PM
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Book the flight on your own, or if you're not comfortable doing so, work with your travel agent. We live in the mid-west and booked our flight through Southwest.com to Seattle for $198 round trip per person. Keeping checking airfares on line and you might find yourself a bargain.

We've purchased airfare through Princess in the past and pricing was not competitive. In addition to the cost, you won't have any choice in flight schedules.
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Old August 14th, 2006, 09:05 AM
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In my experience booking air with the cruise line is not a good idea. You have no control over your schedule, the price is probably more than you or your TA could get, and times may be unrealistic.

Returned last month from sailing the Golden to the British Isles and there were many, many unhappy campers at the airport. Heard quite a few tales of missed flights because Princess had scheduled them unrealistically close or with crazy lay overs.

Go to expedia, travelocity or any of the other online sources and pull down schedules and prices. Look it over and then either book it yourself and take your preferred flights to your TA.

Don't forget that in Vancouver you will need to clear immigration and customs so allow yourself time.
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Old August 14th, 2006, 01:02 PM
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I suggest booking on your own. I am also flying to/from NYC for our trip to Alaska in May, 2007. We are doing the northbound (Vancouver to Anchorage) and we got a flight with AirCanada from JFK to Vancouver for $300 per person and back from Anchorage to Newark on Continental first class for $889 per person. (regular coach is much cheaper, but it's such a long flight its' worth the extra cost for first class I think). The flight between Anchorage and Newark stops in seattle I think but we don't have to get off the plane which is a bonus. It's difficult to find any direct flights between NYC and Anchorage. Booking with Alaskan Air makes sense for flights to the west coast, but not to the east coast. Instead it was too long and confusing and more expensive. We booked both tickets direct from the airlines instead of travelocity. Although I use travelocity a lot, we got the same prices buying direct and it's easier if you have to make any changes last minute. Best of luck!
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Old August 15th, 2006, 07:47 AM
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I usually initially get the Princess airfare, that way I'm guaranteed airfare. Then I start looking for it, and if I find it at a cheaper rate, I book it. Almost always, when booking my own air though, I go at least a day early.

There have been some instances that you can do better with the Princess air, and if you don't like the air schedule you get (about 45 days prior) it can be customized.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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We do the same thing that CruiseAholic does, we book the cruise lines air just to have it, and then our TA shops around for the best route and price.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 06:07 PM
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mybabyskye,

I usually book my own flights directly with my preferred airline. Then again, I'm a premium tier frequent flier so I want the miles on my preferred airline to retain that status and the perks that go with it.

By way of full disclousre, you should be aware of two consideratoins in relation to the previous replies.

>> 1. The cruise line's flight package includes transfers between the airport and the pier before and after your cruise, which account for at least some of the difference in cost. If you book your own flights, you will incur some additional expense to get from the airport to the pier whether you choose to take a taxi or to buy the cruise line's transfers. If you wish to use the cruise line's transfers, be sure to find out the cruise line's requirements for times of arrival and departure of your flights before you book them.

>> 2. If you book your flights through the cruise line, the cruise line assumes responsibility to get you to the ship and to get you home. In particular, the cruise line will either change your flights for you and provide accommodations en route, at no additional cost, if there's a change in the ship's schedule or if a delayed flight causes a broken connection. If you book your flights on your own, the consequences of any fallout due to changes in schedule or problems en route would be your responsibility.

That said, I have met some passengers who booked flights through a cruise line and ended up with arrangements that were less than ideal.

>> Remember the gag about Allegheny Airlines flying from Spokane to Boston by way of Moscow and Canton? That was Moscow, Idaho, and Canton, Ohio, but still not exactly an ideal flight. I have met pasengers aboard ship whose charter flights, arranged by the cruise line, left their home airport early in the morning on less than direct routes with two or three intermediate stops to pick up more passengers destined for the same cruise. I have no idea what their return flights did, but I have no reason to believe that the arrangements were any better.

>> I have also met passengers who had routings on commercial flights that were a lot less direct than normal. The cruise lines apparently scavange whatever seats the airlines have not sold, so it's not uncommon to go from, say, Baltimore or Philadelphia to Fort Lauderdale via Chicago or Memphis.

Such itineraries are the exception rather than the rule, but cruise lines do book them sometimes.

I agree with the suggestion to go through a reputable travel agent who specializes in cruises, whatever you decide to do.

Norm.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 09:39 PM
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Last year on a cruise to the Carib when we changed planes in Atlanta, three couples (6 people) destined to the same cruise we were on,missed their connecting flight to Tampa. We were on the last flight from Atlanta to Tampa and it was completely full. They were pleading with the airline and the passengers to get on the plane. No one agreed, I don't know if they made the cruise or not, I never saw them on board.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 10:23 AM
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Default Extra Cost

If one books their flight with Princess, and decides they need to customize the flight for better routing ot timing, there is an additional charge per person.

When we flew from Florida and Ohio to L.A. for our Hawaiian cruise, we found that by booking our own air, we saved over $200 per person, chose our flights at times and routings we were comfortable with, and flew in a day in advance. We did, however, then, book a hotel stay on each end of the cruise thru Princess, We stayed at a very nice hotel at the airport, and Princess transported us to / from the hotel included in the price. As I recall, our hotel package cost us $55 each per night. The total cost was just a little less than what it would have cost us with Princess air, but the peace of mind was great, and that is how we will do it in 2008 when we do the Hawaiian cruise again.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CACRZR
Last year on a cruise to the Carib when we changed planes in Atlanta, three couples (6 people) destined to the same cruise we were on,missed their connecting flight to Tampa. We were on the last flight from Atlanta to Tampa and it was completely full. They were pleading with the airline and the passengers to get on the plane. No one agreed, I don't know if they made the cruise or not, I never saw them on board.
This the exact reason why you always fly at least one day before the cruise.

Now with all the extra security and airline threats, I pan to go 2 days before our next cruise to South America.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:44 PM
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Yep, above posters are right. Book it on your own. You'll have control over any possible layovers, flight times and most importantly....price!

As an extra idea...if you really like to travel & don't mind trains, you can take Amtrak from Seattle back home or across Canada on their trains.

It's a really great way to see the country (about 2-3 day trip) because where they travel - there's no highways. So you are seeing a part of the United States (or Canada) you can't see from the road.

Grab the sleeper car - its includes all your meals (which are quiet good!). It's a pretty good deal.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 11:55 AM
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Default PRINCESS AIR FARE FOR ALASKA? NEED YOUR OPINION.

HI,

I have been checking all the airline prices and it seems that Princess is only 50 more than there prices. Spoke with Princess, and they said there are certain airlines that will not be covered in case of a delay.

What are your thoughts?
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Old August 19th, 2006, 01:57 PM
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We were first time cruisers and first trip to Alaska. We booked in Sept 05 and sailed this month.
We had Princess book the flights - in our case we made out ok, because of the price of fuel going up since last fall.
We questioned our schedule going, but when we went to travelocity it was about right.
We went from Norfolk, VA to Detroit, to Minneapolis to Fairbanks. A long day. Plenty of time between layovers. The flight from Minn to Fairbanks was 5 1/2 hours. This was all on Northwest.
Return trip was from Vancouver to Atlanta (4 1/2 hrs) to Norfolk on Delta.

Princess also offered a precheck in for $15 a piece. We got our luggage checked in with receipts and boarding passes on the ship. Than shuffled off to buses to the airport. Lots of security and two customs stops but all moved fairly quickly. It was well worth it for us as we returned during the heightened security.

Everything I've read, if you book your own flights = arrive a day early!
Use a knowledgeable travel agent.
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Old August 19th, 2006, 08:24 PM
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Default was this airfare customerized?

[

Can you tell me when you booked with Princess did you pay extra for upgrading flights?
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