I can't go into all the details but watch out. We booked a cruise on the Grand Princess for the March 14 thru 21 7 day cruise. We went thru Princess for everything including air. They booked us on a connecting flight(USAirways)out of Indy into Charlette with just a 25 minute layover for our connecing flight to Ft. Lauderdale. Both I and our travel agent questioned this flight and Princess assured us it would be fine. Well the plane had machanical problems and they were not discovered until the pre flight just before takeoff. The plane had been sitting at the gate for over 2 hours and was not flight checked at all as far as we can tell all these 2+ hours. USAir was not able to find us another flight at all that would get us into Ft. Lauderdale until after the ship was gone and Princess said they would not hold the ship for just two passangers. Needless to say we missed our cruise we had been planning for 6 month(our 31st anniversary cruise). We had insurance but that is only good incase we need to cancel. We are trying to get our money back now and we may not get anymore than a 75% voucher for a furture cruise at best. As I mentioned this is just a small summary of this disaster. The letter our travel agent had us compose to sent to several people is 6 pages and very detailed. I just thought I would pass this along. We have cruised many times and this time of year because it is our anniversary and never had a problem. Beware of short connecting flight that get you to your destination with just 3 hours until the ship leaves.
I had a problem, although dissimilar to yours, wherin the "boat broke" - we never left the dock due to propeller problems. It was also with Princess. The company went above and beyond to reimburse/calm/satisfy/mollify/ and service passengers.
I would hope that Princess hasn't changed that much in 10 years since my incident and that they will again prove to be the first class company I dealt with. I would hope they reimburse you the entire amount of the air and cruise fare. Since everything was booked through them and they assured you the flight time was sufficient, it would seem to me that they are the responsible party.
Please keep us posted with the results of this sad situation.
Princess likes to call it close. We've not had problems, but we were the last ones to board the Grand Princess for a transatlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale. The airline was spot-on for arrivals and transfer in Kansas City.
We were hot and sweaty and would have liked a shower, a drink, and a stroll on the decks. Instead, we scrambled into life jackets (and sweat some more) for a drill. Obviously, not earth shaking, but it would have been nce to be on board earlier. Out long-time TA said Princess would not change its policy.
I too have a long drawn out story regarding our " lovely" flight that Princess booked us, I mean the fact that it is faster for us to fly to eastern europe then to FLL thanks to the flights Princess has arranged for us!
We are lucky in that Princess is flying us in the day before( well 13.5 hours on travel will do that ) but we will never book our air through Princess again. We had done cruise air three times before( twice with /Carnival and once before with Princess) and on those other occassions the flights were in fact rather decent. That was then and this is now and it seems like cruise air is not any good anymore. The price was not unreasonalbe but the flights basically tag three extra nights onto our travel!
We have used both Princess airfare (to Tahiti it was the least expensive), and making our own arrangements (to Copenhagen this summer). If you pay the air deviation price ($75?) with Princess, you can chose the airline, flights times, etc. BTW, shouldn't the insurance have paid for any hotel accomodations and flown you to the cruise's first port of call?
Arriving a day early is the best advice. So many things can go wrong on the day of sailing to chance missing out on your vacation. Most everybody has experienced some delays in flying that it ought to be standard protocol to fly in the day before.
Just last week I flew to Nashville and my luggage flew to Baltimore. It was actually carry on luggage but the plane was full and I was the last passenger on board so they took my bag and said they would check it. Luckily I had my wallet in my pocket so when I arrived at the airport I was able to get a rental car and hotel room. I no longer will travel with my wallet in my carry-on bag as I did for years.
Why book air through a cruise line? You don't book cruises with an airline.
And, PG, you can't expect a cruise line to know that you live on an island and have to coordinate with ferry schedules. That's what local TA's are for. Yes, you might pay extra for the expertise you want/need, but you avoid having to post complaints and concerns later.
Our insurance, which we took out thru Princess won't do anything without a letter. They have already stated sence it was aUSAirways problem, the most they are willing to do for us is a 75% credit towards a furture cruise. At the time we had only a few hours of panic and were at the airport in Indy trying to work it out with USAirways and Princess. Neither were willing to fly us in the day before to one of the ports. They only offered to try and get us there the day of which in all cases was after the ship left...smjj
Cruisin Oke, I DID use a local ta.A very experienced agent who did the best that she could! Unfortunately Princess does not "recognize" the INTERNATIONAL airport. in our city. The city we live in does have about 350,000 people so it's not exactly a village!!
As for posting concerns or complaints , I thought that was part of the purpose of these boards, thank you for enlightening me . I will now run my posts past you first to see if you approve of them.
Just a reminder about using "always." There are exceptions and I have flown to Sydney, Australia and returned from Auckland, New Zealand at the end of a cruise for $599 p.p. (we live in Los Angeles). This was just two years ago and it included our transfers. It was a lucky break and it was after booking the cruise separately. But after checking air carriers prices I happened to check back with "RCI" and backed into the air deal.
I was ready to book my own air travel to Europe this May and "RCI" offered to beat the price, put me on my requested carrier with seating already assigned, and make sure I got credit for my air miles. Fortunately this option is free since I am at "Diamond" level with "Crown and Anchor" but I think "Princess" needs only 6 cruises completed to waive the air deviation.
So just saying to check as many options as possible. The more we help each other save, the more we can cruise!
I thought that if you booked your airline through the cruise, they would get you to the first port of call, if anything happened with your flight? Isn't that supposed to be one of the reasons to book your flight thru the cruise line? Please let me know, as I am planning to cruise soon with my sister and want things to go as smoothly as possible. In the past, we have booked our own flights and arrived a day early. I am just not sure if she will have the time to do that.
Also, I believe that if Princess booked your flight they do have legal responsibility regarding it. Or do they have you sign off on that?
Both USAirways(UslessAir) and Princess tried to get us to a port but only on the day the ship was in port, not the day before. As a result, they could not get us into port before the ship left that port. At the time there was so much panic and dismay taking place on our part, there were probably some options we could have used that we did not know about at this time and we are finding others still 9 days after our cruise start date.We were talking to the Princess emergency desk and they were no more help than a regular rep. He seemed to not have any authority to make arrangements or offer suggestions than a reguler rep. We only had a few hours to make the ship anyway. The one lesson I have learned and others from other discussion boards have pounded into us is fly in the day beofre or at the least insist on no short layovers(25 min) in our case...Hope this answers your question...smjj
Well we just heard back from Princess. They are not refunding our money. They said they made our air arrangements as a courtsey to us and they have no other obligation towards us.. I will keep you posted but it does not look good...smjj