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Old 01-13-2008, 02:40 AM
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Hi, I'm cruising on the sapphire princess to Alaska on July 26,2008. Princess is arranging my flights. We are flying from Albany, NY to Vancouver and then back from Whittier. I have made arrangements for all transfers. I am wondering what the experiences of others have been with Princess arranged flights. I won't be provided with details until 45 days prior to departure, so I'm hoping I made a good decision to let Princess handle things. Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:49 AM
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One thing you can look into is paying a little extra money and having Princess put you on flights of your choosing. That way, you get to choose the departure time, the number of stops, etc. If the flights you want are available to Princess, they will put you on those flights and charge you an "air deviation" fee. If there is any extra airfare involved, they'll let you know that and you can decide if you want to go ahead with those arrangements.

Another thing to consider is flying into Vancouver the day before the cruise departs. Not only is Vancouver a wonderful city in which to spend some extra time, but flying in the day prior gives you a chance to rest up a bit and relax after the transcontinental flight and time change. Then, on sailing day, you can get up at your leisure, do some walking around or sightseeing until it's time to head to the cruise terminal for check-in. If you want to fly in the day before, you'll still be paying for an air deviation, but that will automatically let you choose your own flights both to Vancouver and home from Anchorage. You don't pay anything until you get all the information and agree on the flights. If you decide not to go ahead with it at that point, you haven't lost anything, and your reservation just reverts back to Princess choosing your air arrangements for sailing day and arrival day.

Sandy
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Old 01-13-2008, 02:24 PM
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I have used Princess Air many times and never had a problem. My only comment would be that sometimes the layovers between flights have been pretty long. But considering the delays that can occur, especially on long international flights, the gaps between flights have saved me from missing connections several times.

Sandy makes an excellent point about flying in a day ahead. It gives you a chance to relax and do a little sightseeing before you sail.

Have a wonderful cruise on Sapphire Princess. It is one of our favorite ships.
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Old 01-13-2008, 04:24 PM
 
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I also think you are paying a premium when Princess books flights for you -- not just the $50 if you choose your flights, but even more. You should consider booking them yourself on the internet. We did and had no problem. Also, I would definitely try to arrange to get to Vancouver the day before just as a precaution against late flights, lost luggage etc.
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:34 PM
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I agree with waterart on shopping your air carefully. Cruiseline air is seldom if ever the best rate or itinerary you'll find and choosing your flights costs even more than their normal rates rates. I'd shop the air before letting the cruiseline do it for convenience.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:11 PM
 
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We do a lot of cruising (on 6 continents) and have developed a general rule about air. If we can do our own air for about the same price (or less) than the cruise line we always book our own air. This lets us choose our flights, our departure airport, get our seat assignments far in advance, have no problem getting FF miles, etc. We also always fly into our embarkation port at least one day in advance. We do this to make sure we get to the ship on time, are well rested, and it also helps ensure we get our luggage. If luggage is misplaced by the airlines (very common these days) there is a good chance it will catch up to you by the following day on time for the cruise. Having seen many folks on our cruises without their clothes, this is always a consideration in our planning. We also prefer to do our own transfers in most ports since its faster and cheaper than cruise line transfers. There are some exceptions in Europe,,,,particularly ports like Civitavecchia and Dover,,,but this is a whole different topic.


Hank


Hank
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Old 01-14-2008, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hank:
We do a lot of cruising (on 6 continents) and have developed a general rule about air. If we can do our own air for about the same price (or less) than the cruise line we always book our own air. This lets us choose our flights, our departure airport, get our seat assignments far in advance, have no problem getting FF miles, etc. We also always fly into our embarkation port at least one day in advance. We do this to make sure we get to the ship on time, are well rested, and it also helps ensure we get our luggage. If luggage is misplaced by the airlines (very common these days) there is a good chance it will catch up to you by the following day on time for the cruise. Having seen many folks on our cruises without their clothes, this is always a consideration in our planning. We also prefer to do our own transfers in most ports since its faster and cheaper than cruise line transfers. There are some exceptions in Europe,,,,particularly ports like Civitavecchia and Dover,,,but this is a whole different topic.


Hank
Hank, that's about the best post and advice I've read on the subject. Every point is accurate and well put.

Bravo, Neil
 
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