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  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 6th, 2007, 09:08 PM
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Default Flight Delay: Risk or no risk!?!?

You can read more about it on this article:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20147071/

Sometimes cruiselines have low airfare package deal, and I will jump at the deal, then I won't have to worry much on flying in early and book a hotel room. If I book an airfare package deal with the cruiseline, then the cruiseline guarantees I get on the ship regardless of the flight delay.

Since I am a budget minded and practical avid traveler, I try to find the best deals with less hassel. And, sometimes we save several bucks, but we end up putting in more time and effort.

I'd like to know what you travelers do to save money and where to search for deals on cruises, land transportation, and hotels??
End of October, I will fly to Spain for 10 days cruise with X, then I plan to stay 'til end of November. I will most likely fly to Greece for several days. I am considering doing hostile in order to save $$. any of you have more information on hostile ?? I am new at the hostile thing...
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Old August 6th, 2007, 09:27 PM
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Bear, there is no guarantee that you will get to the cruise ship on time if you book with the air with the cruise line directly. I think most ships will just wait two hours for their cruisers if you book the airfare with them.
I have heard of a bus load of cruisers being left behind eventhough they had bought their airflight with the cruise line. The next best thing they do is to fly you to the next port at their expense. This happened to a friend of mine. She had to wait three nights in Puerto Vallarta for the ship to show up to the first port so she could board it. So we always have to be ready with PLAN B.

It is always best to fly in one day early if you live far from the cruise port.

This summer United had a computer problem that caused a friend of mine to have to wait two days before the problem was fixed with United airlines. She was flying to Europe and missed three days of her tour because of the delay. She was with a group tour so she had to wait with the group to fly out.

This past winter.... Jet Blue and other airlines had problems when JFK got snowed in. I never fly to N.Y. and then to Florida. I by pass this problem by flying non-stop or just stop in a airport in Florida before getting to Miami or Fort Lauderdale.

We can't give information on what companies we use to buy our cruises/air/hotels from because that is advertising for the companies.

BUT.... I will send you a private message with what companies I use.
Angel gal
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Old August 6th, 2007, 09:31 PM
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The problem with booking airfare through the cruiselines is that they are working for their own benefit and not necessarily yours. That means that they will book through the airlines that they have agreements with and not necessarily the most direct or timely flights. Many times the flights that the cruiseline books are not direct flights and are flights that come in late late morning or early afternoon. In spite of this, the cruiseline will ALWAYS charge the prevailing rate on airfare. Carnival will charge somewhere in the neighborhood of $500-600 for airfare to and from NYC to Florida. I can book my own flights for less than $250.

The airlines are fully aware of when cruiseships are scheduled to leave from what city and they price their flights accordingly. Therefore, the early morning flights are more expensive on days that cruiseships are leaving from any particular city. The same goes with late morning or early afternoon flights out of the same city on debarkation day. For this reason the cruiselines almost never book their passengers on the most ideal flights. Those that are direct, arrived mid/late morning and those that leave late morning/early afternoon.

Now, the guarantee that you will make your ship is fine if you are a few minutes late. However, if you are booked on a flight that is scheduled to arrive in the debarkation city at 2:00 for a 4:00 ship departure (this is what the cruiselines do because they don't want you on the ship too early) and your flight is two hours late, the cruiselines will not hold the ship for you. What they will do is rebook you on a flight to get you to the next (first) port of call and maybe pay for an inexpensive hotel room near the airport. Hence, you can very well miss one, two or perhaps three days of your cruise while you wait for the cruiseline to make arrangements for you to catch the ship. The cruiseline is fined if they do not pull out when they are given clearance. For a large group or a large number of passengers who are delayed, the ship MAY wait an hour or so. However, generally, they do not wait much longer than that.

What I do is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS book the first flight of the day for the day of debarkation. Some people come in the day before but for me that involves too much work. Hotel, transportation to hotel, a meal or two, transportation from hotel to the ship -- way too much work and added expense. By booking the first flight of the day, I select the airline that (1) has the best price; (2) best track record; and (3) has several flights scheduled behind mine that will still get me to the ship on time. I live in NYC which is a major hub so I usually have any number of airlines to chose from. Also, barring extreme weather conditions, the first flights of the day are the ones that are more likely to leave on time (or close) and not be cancelled.

On my next cruise, I am booked on a 6:30 a.m. flight to get me to my ship's city at 9:30 a.m. I can't get on the ship before around noon so I have plenty of time to get my luggage and leisurely get to the port before they begin boarding. Also, if I show up at the airport at 5:00 a.m. for my 6:30 flight and there are problems, I have 11 hours to find another flight and get to my destination. I am usually flying from NYC to Florida which is a two hour flight and just about every major airline flies from NYC to Florida.

Lastly, I have learned to invest less than $100 on travel insurance.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 09:54 PM
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Hi Cruiser gal, you gave us some great advise. I also do what you do and that is to check to see what other flights are right behind my flight so in case something happens I have other flights to depend on.

I just remembered that it is best to always choose a seat and get your boarding pass on-line. It will guarantee an airline seat.

Since I live in the WEST COAST and have to fly all the way to Florida.... there is a time change against me by three hours. I prefer to just fly the night before so I can relax at a hotel after a long 5 hour flight.

New York to Miami is a piece of cake which is great for you.

Los Angeles to Vancouver is a piece of cake for me because it is only a few hours flight. I am able to arrive early and get on the cruise ship on time. I don't need to leave a day before because it is only just a few hours flight.

This is a great topic because we always have to be ready for PLAN B.
I bought yearly travel insurance which is a lot cheaper for me since I travel so much. Angel
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Old August 6th, 2007, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelgal
Bear, there is no guarantee that you will get to the cruise ship on time if you book with the air with the cruise line directly. I think most ships will just wait two hours for their cruisers if you book the airfare with them.
I have heard of a bus load of cruisers being left behind eventhough they had bought their airflight with the cruise line. The next best thing they do is to fly you to the next port at their expense. This happened to a friend of mine. She had to wait three nights in Puerto Vallarta for the ship to show up to the first port so she could board it. So we always have to be ready with PLAN B.

It is always best to fly in one day early if you live far from the cruise port.

This summer United had a computer problem that caused a friend of mine to have to wait two days before the problem was fixed with United airlines. She was flying to Europe and missed three days of her tour because of the delay. She was with a group tour so she had to wait with the group to fly out.

This past winter.... Jet Blue and other airlines had problems when JFK got snowed in. I never fly to N.Y. and then to Florida. I by pass this problem by flying non-stop or just stop in a airport in Florida before getting to Miami or Fort Lauderdale.

We can't give information on what companies we use to buy our cruises/air/hotels from because that is advertising for the companies.

BUT.... I will send you a private message with what companies I use.
Angel gal
if you can't post 'em publicly, then please PM me with the info. I am here to learn from other experienced travelers, so it will save me time and money when I decide to take the same route. I'd appreciate any insights and tips you and other travelers can offer.
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Old August 7th, 2007, 01:12 PM
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Biggest tip is always have a plan B, whether for flights, shore excursions or the like. Plan B starts with luggage - break down what you carry and distribute it across suitcases, carry on, and in the hold. If a suitcase in the hold does not arrive it will not be critical when half your socks and shirts are in the carry on that did make it. 8) If a couple, mix your stuff across the suitcases, ditto kiddo stuff. Redundancy is good for small items. Be sure the most important items (tickets, cash, regulators (for us diver types) stay in hand at all time. Front button pocket "safari" shirts can assure items stay on you, whether a foldable wallet, a ticket or a passport.

Second biggest tip is to arrive a day ahead of time in port. Your late luggage may thank you and it will reduce stress. 8)

I take it you are xUCLA? I'm xUSC, but don't hold a grudge since I'm also xCal Poly. 8)

Quote:
Originally Posted by "xCalBear
I'd appreciate any insights and tips you and other travelers can offer.
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Old August 7th, 2007, 04:12 PM
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I am guessing xCalBear is an ex Californian and not a UCLA Bruin.

Diver guy, you are soooo right in mixing the clothes and things. Plus, it is very important to carry on some clothes in case your luggage gets lost by the airlines. That does happen a lot. I have met gals and guys on cruises who tell me their luggage was lost.

Here is a funny story about two stupid guys who cruised with us singles on a singles group. They were trying to save money so they booked two different airlines to get to the cruiseport. For example; they booked one airline to get to Arizona...... they didn't go pick up their luggage to take it to the next airline company to get to Los Angeles airport. They thought by some kind of magic that the airlines would know that their final destination was LAX. They got on the ship hoping that their luggage would arrive in our first port of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. When we arrived in Mexico the luggage was not there. One guy chose to go buy some clothes at Wal-Mart that is located right across the street from the port.
The other guy chose to fly home. Their luggage was still sitting in ARIZONA airport waiting for them to pick it up. Sad story because the guys didn't buy travel insurance either.
Carnival has a laundermat where you can go wash your clothes so it was easy for the guys to wash their clothes on the ship. All they had to do is buy some clothes on the cruiseship or ask some of the other guy crusiers if they had any clothes they could share with them. I would be willing to help out a gal who needed some clothes since I over pack lots of clothes in one luggage when I fly and I pack two luggages when I don't fly.
Moral of this story is..... be careful how you plan your flights. Luci
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Old August 7th, 2007, 07:17 PM
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Angelgal:

Good point, but will note many of the new ships on various lines no longer have the self-service laundermats you can use to reduce your total clothes packing load. For some folks it will be pack-all-you-need or buy a weekly laundry service which is not as good an option (think the advantage of self-serve for dealing with wet swim gear or towels). Best check what laundry service your ship has and adjust your packing list. 8)



Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelgal
Carnival has a laundermat where you can go wash your clothes so it was easy for the guys to wash their clothes on the ship. All they had to do is buy some clothes on the cruiseship or ask some of the other guy crusiers if they had any clothes they could share with them. I would be willing to help out a gal who needed some clothes since I over pack lots of clothes in one luggage when I fly and I pack two luggages when I don't fly.

Moral of this story is..... be careful how you plan your flights. Luci
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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Perhaps xUCB? I guess our Texas version of UCB is UTAustin, although I think Texas State San Marcos is a far better school since you can scuba there at Aquarena (Texas Rivers Institute).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelgal
I am guessing xCalBear is an ex Californian and not a UCLA Bruin.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster
Perhaps xUCB? I guess our Texas version of UCB is UTAustin, although I think Texas State San Marcos is a far better school since you can scuba there at Aquarena (Texas Rivers Institute).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelgal
I am guessing xCalBear is an ex Californian and not a UCLA Bruin.
You guess? PLEASE do not compare UT to UCB. It's like saying parasailing is the same as paragliding. :o UCB engineering program is the leading in the country (not compare to Ivy League).
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Old August 8th, 2007, 11:53 AM
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Just comparing the schools as being the premier public schools in their respective states. That said our local Texans will tell you comparing a Texas school to any out in the lesser 49 is pointless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by "xCalBear
You guess? PLEASE do not compare UT to UCB. It's like saying parasailing is the same as paragliding. :o UCB engineering program is the leading in the country (not compare to Ivy League).
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