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Old 06-23-2004, 11:27 AM
Tom Tom is offline
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Just wondering if any of you have the inside scoop on current airfare prices. We're going on two cruises (one during the last week in August and another during the 3rd week in September). The first cruise leaves out of Miami and the other out of Ft. Lauderdale. We will be flying out of Portland, OR. Over the last few years, airfare has averaged $200 per ticket roundtrip to either Orlando, Tampa or Ft. Lauderdale (the first 2 options would obviously require a car rental). Currently, airfare to any of these cities is going for about $350 rt for these time periods. I've always purchased airfare at least 3 months out to guarantee seats. However, we're down to 2 months before our cruise and I'm starting to get nervous. Does anyone suspect that airfare will go down over the next couple of weeks (perhaps after June 30)?

A second question has to do with buying airfare thru the cruiseline. When I called our travel agent, I was told that the current airfare RT for our first cruise would be about $580 if we bought it thru the cruiseline!! YIKES!! That's over $200 more than I could get on my own. Additionally, I was told that the flight times are determined by the cruiseline (in this case, Carnival). That means that not only do I pay more, I don't get to pick when I fly out there. I imagine the advantage is that Carnival would make sure that I got on board the ship at their cost should something delay my flight. Other than that, though, what is the advantage to buying airfare thru the cruiseline? Am I missing something?

Tom
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Old 06-23-2004, 11:27 AM
Tom Tom is offline
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Just wondering if any of you have the inside scoop on current airfare prices. We're going on two cruises (one during the last week in August and another during the 3rd week in September). The first cruise leaves out of Miami and the other out of Ft. Lauderdale. We will be flying out of Portland, OR. Over the last few years, airfare has averaged $200 per ticket roundtrip to either Orlando, Tampa or Ft. Lauderdale (the first 2 options would obviously require a car rental). Currently, airfare to any of these cities is going for about $350 rt for these time periods. I've always purchased airfare at least 3 months out to guarantee seats. However, we're down to 2 months before our cruise and I'm starting to get nervous. Does anyone suspect that airfare will go down over the next couple of weeks (perhaps after June 30)?

A second question has to do with buying airfare thru the cruiseline. When I called our travel agent, I was told that the current airfare RT for our first cruise would be about $580 if we bought it thru the cruiseline!! YIKES!! That's over $200 more than I could get on my own. Additionally, I was told that the flight times are determined by the cruiseline (in this case, Carnival). That means that not only do I pay more, I don't get to pick when I fly out there. I imagine the advantage is that Carnival would make sure that I got on board the ship at their cost should something delay my flight. Other than that, though, what is the advantage to buying airfare thru the cruiseline? Am I missing something?

Tom
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Old 06-23-2004, 08:56 PM
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Tom we get stuck with the same decision that you have to make. If we get our own air we need to go in a day early to insure that we will not miss the cruise. When you take into consideration the extra cost of the lodging, meals and having to take another day off it almost becomes a wash. There is stillthe chance of missing the ship even if you do leave a day early if you have flight problems. I hate to pay the extra but we do. The price of the cruise is not bad but after you include air, insurance and transfers a cruise that costs $2000 per couple ends up being $3500 before you even get on the ship. At least you have peace of mind that the cruise line will get you on board. One cruise we were on left about 7 hours late because a flight was late. If you would have booked this yourself they would not have waited. When I go on a vacation I do not want to have any worries or hassles.
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Old 07-08-2004, 07:08 AM
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Tom, the advantage of purchasing through the Cruiselines are:

1) The cruise lines make sure that you will get on board the cruise if the flight is delayed, even helping you get to the next port if for some unforseen reason you miss the ship completely.

2) With the purchase of the curiseline's air your transfers are usually included, which means you do not have to pay taxi costs or limo costs from the airport to the cruise ship, and back to the airport at debarkation.

3) I had a customer who took a ship out of Puerto Rico back in March, Carnival arranged some awesome flight times...they arrived early enough to board the ship, then get back off and went sight seeing around the area, they arrived around 11:00 am and the ship did not leave port until 10:00 pm that night. Also arriving back at port their flight was approximately 8 hours after disembarking..Carnival arranged with a local hotel for passengers leaving later to stay and enjoy the facilities of the hotel, they stored their luggage and also transported them to the airport when it was time to leave.

I alway recommend either to go a day early if booking your own flights or make sure that you get in early enough to be able to get to the port and also to book departing flights later in the afternoon in case the ship is late arriving in port so you won't miss flight out.

I guess if you weigh the additional costs you pay if you book your own flight to the costs the cruise lines charge it really compares about the same.
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Old 07-09-2004, 02:29 AM
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I was wondering how the cruises handle the situation where they have to dock in another port than the departure dock? This happened when a cargo ship sank in the mouth of the Mississippi. I think the cruise ships could not get into New Orleans and they had to leave the passengers off at Tampa. The Cruise that starting that day also left from Tampa instead of New Orleans.

In this situation if you had purchased your own flights I think you may have been in trouble.
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Old 07-27-2004, 07:43 PM
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Southwest currently has a featured special on airfare to Ft. Lauderdale which will fit your situation, but you have to book before JULY 29! Here's the scoop:

$34 to $94 one-way.
21-day advance purchase required.
Purchase through July 29, 2004, midnight Pacific Time.
Travel August 17 through December 11, 2004.
 
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