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Old 07-07-2008, 10:23 AM
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TrvlPro TrvlPro is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 2,172
I'm also not a big fan of cruiseline air, with any of the lines. Most people don't know, and the cruiselines don't really want you to know how they get their air. The airlines guarantee a certain number of flights on sailing dates will be available to the cruiselines. The cruiselines don't actually book your air when you book your cruise. They take what the airlines give them after the airlines sell what they can. That leaves you with what the airlines couldn't sell and give to the cruiselines near the sailing date. The cruiselines get bulk rates for these and pass it on at pricing that is often as high or higher than the rates you'd get choosing your own itinerary if you booked your air and chose what you wanted. That means situations like this poster is encountering and sometime the opposite, a very long delay. Occasionally the only routes are very strange and fly you the wrong direction for a stop on the way to the pier. LAX via Denver or Minneapoils on a flight headed to Seattle?!?! Most people who book cruiseline air feel there is some inherant protection in doing so. The best protection is to fly in early as mentioned in the previous post and many other posts on this site by seasoned travelers. The other protection is good travel insurance. If you get snowed in for two days in Chicago or Buffalo, it won't matter if you booked that flight with the cruiseline or on your own, you'll have the same result. You'll have missed your cruise and be under penalty with the cruiseline that they are not required to waive even if you booked the flight with them. Their first question when you call stranded in the terminal is going to be, "Did you purchase or decline travel insurance?"

I make my own flight arangments, always have and always will. You can choose what's most comfortable for you. Just be aware that for the savings you'll see booking your own air on many sailings vs doing cruiseline air, you can afford that hotel the night before and the insurance.

Cheers, Neil