Hi, for our Mediterranean cruise next year we did the maths and decided to make our own travel arrangements.
We're having 2 nights in Barcelona pre-cruise and even by the time we've paid for the flights, hotel and transfers it's still over £100 cheaper than booking just the airfare with the cruise.
We could have gone with the low cost airline that flies direct from our local airport to Barcelona but didn't want to take the risk of not getting there. (This would have saved us probably another £200) So we've booked the BA flights via Heathrow that the cruise-line probably would have put us on anyway.
Have other cruisers found this too?
Radiance of the Seas San Diego to Vancouver
June 2010 Vision of the Seas Stockholm, Tallinn, St. Petersburg
January 2010 Golden Princess Hawai
May 2009 - Brilliance of the Seas Egypt and Eastern Med
September 2008 - Serenade of the Seas Alaska
December 2007 - Freedom of the Seas Eastern Caribbean
June 2007 - Voyager of the Seas Mediterranean
December 2005 - Explorer of the Seas Western Caribbean
Sometimes you can take the cruise air and pay the "deviation fee" (pick your own flights) sometimes it works out cheaper sometimes not.
We took the free air offered by the cruise line paid a $50. pp deviation fee...got our own times on the flight but the fare was a bit morethan the cruiselines bulk ticket so cost us another $150. pp now we may have been able to get flights/hotel a lot less if we had done it ourselves.
You have weigh out all the option.
I think with the advent of the home computer, people are more apt to book their own airfare. It used to be that only a travel agent or a phone call to the airline could secure a ticket, but now one can "shop" online anytime and usually find a much better price.
At least that has been my experience in the last 8 years or so. If I'm going to an embarkation port that is overseas, I might be more likely to book through the cruise line as they would be responsibility for me getting there! But for an ordinary Michigan to Florida flight, I book directly with N.W.A.