I have noted ,with confusion, the large difference between purchasing air thru the cruise line and on our own. For ex... For our Dec cruise on Century we can purchase on our own for 393.00 round trip total but thru the cruise lines (air/cruise package) it would cost us approx 800.00 more for the two of us. Maybe I am wrong but feel that I should get the better deal by purchasing the air/cruise together. I have seen this same situation on past cruises. Since I can purchase air 100's of dollars cheaper than the cruise line....what is the incentative to book air thru the cruise line? Also, it would seem that the cruise line would get a better rate for air than I can on my own........so it appears that the cruise lines make a huge profit off of our booking air thru them. Maybe the cruise lines could get a little more realistic with their air charge.
I've noticed the same thing, but I always check and see if I can do it cheaper, believe it or not, there has been a time or two, where it was cheaper just doing the cruise/air. Of course I always like to do the deviation when booking like that, sure makes a difference.
Rick: This is something that's got to be ckecked on for every cruise, I'm afraid. I've run in to many where, like your case, it's much cheaper to book your own air. Sometimes, however, it works the other way. This is especially true with "open jaw" air bookings where you arrive at one place and depart from another place.
But I do agree fully with you that the cruise lines' bulk buying power should enable them to get better air rates 100% of the time. Either the cruise lines are trying to use this a another "profit point", or the airlines just aren't being very cruise line friendly.
did we ever get lucky.lol. We had a voucher from USAir for 100 dollars. Went today to use it to book flight to Ft Lauderdale...Dec 7 sailing of Century. Since it was worded 100 dollar for Mr "and" Mrs vice "or"......the agent gave us both a 100 off. Fare was already a low 396 RT for total.........with voucher we got it for 96.50 each RT...... USAir intent was a voucher for 100 dollars only but that one word "and" got us both a 100 off. Dang that felt good! lol......193.00 RT from Norfolk Va to Ft Lauderdale can't get any better than that. Thru Century...air would have cost an additional 441 pp.
You would definitely think that the cruise lines could arrange a better deal. Unfortunately that isn't always the case. For our October cruise on the Constellation the airfare through Celebrity was about $1200 pp. I found it on travelocity for $945 pp. For 2 of us I saved about $500.00. It bothers me though that the cruise line was so much higher because I would have preferred to book through them. At least in booking with the cruise line if they cancel the trip for any reason they cover the airfare but doing it on our own we are "on our own".
I wouldn't have concerned myself except that we got engaged shortly before 9/11 (this is honeymoon cruise) and when I looked then the Constellation was cruising Barcelona to Istanbul. Good thing I didn't book it then because around October the entire itinerary was changed to only western mediterranean - Barcelona to Barcelona and I would have been hopping mad had I already booked airfare only to be informed I was SOL. With the money I saved on airfare I can get travel insurance - how fun is that?
Even with an air deviation in order to avoid being bussed from Seattle to Vancouver, and in order to get direct flights, our air through Princess was cheaper than buying it separately . . . this was one of those "open jaw" situations mentioned. However, on a cruise I've booked for Nov., the air through NCL was not cheaper, between LAX and Miami, two large airports. Go figure! Happy Cruising ya'll.
A lot depends on the airlines as to the cost of the packages. The cruise lines tend to use the full-service airlines like Northwest, United, Delta and US Air. You can usually do better by using the discount airlines such as Southwest, Spirit, Airtran, or Frontier. I purchased air for my October cruise from Denver to Fort Lauderdale for $236.50 round trip, where Northwest wants $591.98 (Carnival uses them for their Denver passangers) for the same dates from Miami to Denver (and I would have to change in Minneapolis and Memphis, too). Carnival wants $569.00 for the cruise-air package from Denver (this includes an overnight hotel) to go from Denver to Miami non-stop.
Do you know how long it takes to disembark. We are a group that will cruise from San Juan, Porto Rico in March 2003 and it will be the "school break".
Since we have not purchased air/cruise package with Carnival but cruise only, I would like to know if I have time to get to the airport on time. Our flight is leaving at 12:00 and we should be at the pier at 7:00.