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Old February 6th, 2006, 10:55 AM
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Default Cruise's airfare?

Do you all always use the air travel arrangments through the cruise line? I'm considering going it alone, so to speak, as I can get airfare for two of us that is half what the cruiseline will charge for ONE of us.

What do you think?
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Old February 6th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Cruise's airfare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jvattes
Do you all always use the air travel arrangments through the cruise line? I'm considering going it alone, so to speak, as I can get airfare for two of us that is half what the cruiseline will charge for ONE of us.

What do you think?
Shouldn't be a problem, but I'd suggest giving yourself PLENTY of time, especialy on the outbound...I'd go so far as flying down the day before if possible. You never can tell about weather or mechanical delays.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 11:07 AM
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jvattes,

I always check what the cruiseline airfare price is but I almost never use it. I can almost always find it for less on my own for domestic air. The days when the cruiselines bought bulk seats at discount prices have long since gone. It also allows you to fly in at the times you want. Giving you the ability to fly in the day before. This is the best thing you can do.

There are times when there are exceptions. This is usually on Open Jaw airfares: Where the cruise leaves from one port at ends in another. Also on International flights. On these airfares the airlines can still come up with less expensive flights and the transfers in foreign ports can be worth it because of the language barriers and taxi situations.

Still: Look at the alternatives. On my upcoming Hong Kong to Osaka cruise the cruiseline airfare was $1800 p/p. I was able to find airfare for $958 p/p. This was a significant saving for me but on other international flights I haven't been able to come close to what the cruiseline has offered.

The rule is: Know what the cruise line air is and then try to find a better one. You can add the cruise air later if you can't find a cheaper alternative.

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Old February 6th, 2006, 12:02 PM
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Not only can you find it cheaper on your own, but the last time I explored air arrangements through the cruise lines, Flying from ISP ( Long Island) to FLL (Fla) Royal proposed flying me through Boston. I would note that booking air on my own, I ALWAYS fly in at least a day ahead.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 01:18 PM
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what website gave you the best airfare? we're going over spring break and having a hard time finding a good deal. thanks
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Old February 6th, 2006, 04:57 PM
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I have to agree with the others, do it on your own. You can pick the airline, time, etc. plus save money. If at all possible, you can save enough to fly down a day earlier and board the ship rested and relaxed and ready to cruise.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 06:02 PM
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Default Cruises' airfare

We always go down the day before and remember airfare through cruise ships is a part of the business just like the photo dept. or anything else; profit is the name of the game. We always book directly with the airline. Just go online and take your pick re: times, prices, etc.


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Old February 6th, 2006, 07:04 PM
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I usually book cruises way in advance then I can use my mileage.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 07:22 PM
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Hi there....no i do not. I always book my own flights through the airline im using. we are flying to port canerval on3/19/06 for our cruise...booked the flight with Jetblue....only 200. per person roung trip
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Old February 7th, 2006, 09:02 AM
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I check both ways and have almost always found its cheaper to book the air myself and I get better flight times. I start out checking through Expedia and QIXO. I also make sure I check the airlines not on those sites such as Air Tran, Southwest, JetBlue. Once I know which lines have the best prices I go directly to their website to book. Once Delta had the best price on Expedia and when I got to the Delta site I was able to save another $20/ticket (there were 6 of us going), had a better flight time and no booking fees. As someone else mentioned if booking you own air fly in the day before if you can. Any airline delay could make you miss the ship if flying in the day of your cruise.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 04:15 PM
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I too agree with the others...I always find it cheaper on my own instead of cruiseline, and I always get the flights i want. Many people complain how when they finally are given their air reservations in cruise documents how close the time frame is to the ship sailing...I never want that to happen to me. Therefore, I book my own.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 05:03 PM
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Hi there! We NEVER book the air throught the cruise line and have never had a problem...keep in mind that your transfer p/person will be additional $$$ but it is worth paying a cheaper air rate.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 11:19 AM
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We always book on our own and almost exclusively fly SWA. We check other airlines, but usu. the prices on SWA cannot be beat.

Also, I like the flexibility that SWA offers. If you purchase your ticket today and after your purchase, they have a big fare sale, you can switch to the lower priced flight (as long as there is availability) and they will give you a credit towards a future flight! Amazing!
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Old February 9th, 2006, 01:02 PM
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There are exceptions to "always" doing it on your own. We used to take the package deal BUT experience taught us to venture out on our own (air/hotel AND excursions). The air exception will be when the cruise is using cheaper air as a "teaser." We backed into such a deal when we had already booked our cruise and independent air was going to be as much as the air/sea package that "RCI" had quoted us originally. I called "RCI" to go ahead and add on their air and the lady seemed shocked at the rate herself. It was half of the going rate AND included all transfers. I'm sure "RCI" didn't mean for it to be combined with the great cruise discount we had received but we booked it and it all worked out.

We also backed into a spectacular rate from "RCI" on an upgrade to "First Class" air on an International flight to Barcelona (from LAX). Granted these are truly exceptions but twice out of two dozen or so cruises works for me, Robbie
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Old February 9th, 2006, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennimc1975
We always book on our own and almost exclusively fly SWA. We check other airlines, but usu. the prices on SWA cannot be beat.

Also, I like the flexibility that SWA offers. If you purchase your ticket today and after your purchase, they have a big fare sale, you can switch to the lower priced flight (as long as there is availability) and they will give you a credit towards a future flight! Amazing!
Yes typically SWA is the cheapest by far. We use them almost exclusively. However, we are flying JetBlue for our Hawaii cruise this March because SWA didn't have a nonstop from ISP to LAX and I did get a non-stop on JetBlue from JFK to LGB
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Old February 11th, 2006, 11:56 AM
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For our 4 Caribbean cruises we did our own airfare and it was much cheaper than the cruise line's. But for Alaska, we were with a group and the Celebrity package was a good deal. This summer we are doing a N. Eur. cruise and are going with the RCI package, which is about the same as anyone else. We didn't feel comfortable even trying to coordinate things on our own for a European itinerary.
I booked through Orbitz the first two Carib. cruises, but the last two I found that the airlines themselves were cheaper than Orbitz or Expedia and they had more flights available. Last year we got a direct flight to Houston, ($214) which wasn't available on the so-called discount websites. Took the Celebrity shuttle to Galveston and boarded the ship just before noon. Quick and painless--the way to go.

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Old February 13th, 2006, 02:44 PM
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I always use air miles so I do it myself.
If I don't have the miles I sail from N.O., Galveston or Houston, all of which are a 4 hour drive.

But when I fly elsewhere I check Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia and just see who has the best deal. Occasionally the airline website is the cheapest. Whodathunkit.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 01:40 PM
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Thank you all! I was glad to hear that the response was overwhelmingly to book our own. I can get on SWA for $400 combined (maximum!) roundtrip, whereas RCI wants $400pp!

Thanks for the insight
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Old February 17th, 2006, 07:36 PM
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My first two cruises, I used the cruiseline air. I have since learned, that I much prefer booking my own air arrangements.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 05:10 PM
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Get your own airfare & fly down a day before if you can. Probably alot cheaper. Problem with the airlines booking it is you really don't have a choice at the times or direct/layover of flights. And the times you have to fly might be pretty ugly at getting up at 3am or so as some folks on here can probably attest to .
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Old February 21st, 2006, 10:54 PM
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We have never used the Cruise Lines Airfare. We are going to Alaska this summer. The Cruise Line wanted 790 from Washington Dulles to Anchorage and back from Seattle. We got it for 330.

Give yourself extra time. We are going into Anchorage two days early and leaving Seattle four days after the cruise
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 09:04 AM
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Default We also backed into a spectacular rate from "RCI"

Robbie,did you do the upgrad thru RCI or directly with the airline? I just booked a cruise that starts in Venice,and on first blush,RCI was almost $400 cheaper with transfers.The lady told me there could be a charge of $50 if I want to go a day or two early(which I do).So for now Im keeping the RCI airfares,but gonna look a little more..Dot
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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:00 PM
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I would always recommend booking the air on your own. I usually start by checking Orbitz and Travelocity to see which airline is the cheapest for my flight, then I will head to that airline's website to try to get the flight yet a few dollars cheaper.
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