Why do cruise lines, or cruise sites, charge such a hi air rate to go with their cruises? By simply going expedia I saved $250 pp on air. Cant these sites offer a decent air cost package? I'd use it if they did.
I can't answer why the airfare is so high. It does normally include all the transfers that drive up the price. We usually book our own if coming and going round trip from the same airport.
But I do know when it comes to an open jaw flight the cruise lines are hard to beat that include transfers. Takes a lot of research to find lower fares.
Round trip San Francisco Mex Riv, Mercury May 4, 2005
Transatlantic from Rome on Galaxy Oct 17, 2005
Round trip Los Angeles to Hawaii, Summit March 26, 2006
__________________ Ready to Steer towards another cruise
Some people are happy to pay that bit extra knowing they have only one source to deal with and that "they" the supplier will deal with everything regarding the vacation.
The alternative is to go into the free market and buy the cruise only, source your own flights, transport to and from the ship etc. What that does is place the risk and responsibility on you for each part of the vacation.
Great if you can take that all on, some people just want it all sorted for them,,no thinking, just get me there
I know this is a gripe board... and I usually agree with this one!! I can usually do WAY better myself than purchasing a "package" holiday.....
However, we are cruising with NCL from Canada in a week, and their air price was reasonable, not GREAT, but I did not think I could do better. In the end, once taxi / the overnight stay is factored in, I KNOW I could not have done better... and ... I dont' have to worry about missing the ship, flying in from a winter climate, that is a plus....
I was a little worried they'd give us a horrible timetable, a milk run and terrible times, but we have GREAT flights, two different carriers, I could not ask for better connections, and NCL arranged our overnight stay pre-cruise since the flights did not get us to Miami early enough....
Maybe it was a fluke? But for once, it worked out for me.
Also Tommy remember this if your flight is delayed, canceled or whatever in the world can happen the cruiseline isn't going to take any responsibility to get you there in time or meet the cruiseline in the next port. On my cruise there was a man that was flying in from Chicago and got delayed. He flew into Miami the next day early in the morning then rented a car and drove to Key West at his expense. If you are flying in the day before you are safe if not it is your gamble.
In the "old days", the airlines really needed the cruise lines` business. The cruise lines received preferential seats, routes, and prices. As a result they were able to pass those perks along to their passengers.
Not any more.
The airlines view the cruise lines as a nuisance more than anything else. As a result, they save the worst seating and routes for us. This also explains why the cruise lines are often unable to guarantee seat assignments until the last minute.
You might compare it to the cruise line concept of a "guaranteed cabin" at a reduced rate. The airlines are doing the same thing with cruise line air tickets.
But consider this: Would you try to book a cruise through an airline company and expect to get the best deal? Probably not.
These days, the same logic applies to booking airfare through a cruise line company.
Yes, Bruce, I also found your post interesting-- I just can't figure out why the airlines feel that way. I mean, look what happens on a weekend morning in South Florida: between the Port of Miami and Port Everglades, (Fort Lauderdale) ten megaships may dock, disgorging a total of TWENTY THOUSAND PASSENGERS. Some live within driving distance of the docks, but most are headed right to the airport. And the airlines can expect this kind of traffic on nearly every Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Isn't that what they WANT? Nice full planes and a customer base they can count on? Or is their disdain based on the fact that they're hardly making a penny on all us cruisers, because we book months in advance and take advantage of those cheap "loss-leader" fares? Kindly elaborate-- you sound like you have some insight into the industry.
Keep in mind many flights prices will be higher due to the fuel costs. We all know its costing us $2+ a gallon for our cars. Have you ever seen the size of a fuel tank on just one wing of a commercial airliner? It's HUGE! (I'm talking about the actual fuel tank, not the wing itself). So when you have to fill both wing tanks...do the math for fuel costs.