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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-15-2005, 05:51 PM
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Hi everyone,

Well, my Mom and I are starting to plan for a cruise that is much ahead in the future, but its so big, we kinda have too. Were planning on going on the Australia/New Zealand Diamond Princess cruise. The MAJOR problem is the airline price. I looked and the lowest I've ever seen from Pittsburgh to Sydney-Auckland to Pittsburgh was $1200 a person. Now its up to $1700 a person. I was wondering if anyone has any secrets or tips they can give out on how to get the best possible price for airline tickets. We're desperate! Thanks!
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Old 02-15-2005, 05:51 PM
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Hi everyone,

Well, my Mom and I are starting to plan for a cruise that is much ahead in the future, but its so big, we kinda have too. Were planning on going on the Australia/New Zealand Diamond Princess cruise. The MAJOR problem is the airline price. I looked and the lowest I've ever seen from Pittsburgh to Sydney-Auckland to Pittsburgh was $1200 a person. Now its up to $1700 a person. I was wondering if anyone has any secrets or tips they can give out on how to get the best possible price for airline tickets. We're desperate! Thanks!
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Old 02-15-2005, 06:33 PM
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Hi there! I'm new to this cruise thing, but through my research I have found that travel agents can always get you the best price. My school is going through NAWAS based out of California. If you'd like their number please let me know, they seem to know what they are doing. The travel agent that you choose usually can get you a good price on both airline ticket and cruise together. Good luck and have fun in Australia. My sister has been and she loved it...make sure you take a helicopter ride over the coral reef...she said that is one that you don't want to miss!
Good Luck!
Keri
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:44 AM
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I went to school to be a travel agent (dropped out now I'm an artist...lol) - so I learned a bit about this from thier point of view.

This is what I do:

If I am booking a cruise from here in the US, I always do airline seperate from the cruise (90% of the time I book through my TA).

If I am booking an international cruise, I would pay more to book the air from the cruise line. What if you are delayed? Book through the cruise line and they take care of it. If the cruise goes an extra day for whatever reason? The cruise line will take care of it.

I figure here in the USA if I'm delayed, it wouldn't be for more than a few hours usually (I usually fly out the day before the cruise and stay the night in the departing port), but if its international, a few hour delay could mean missing other flights...I'd rather know the cruise line has my back. Plus if the air has to change on the way back through no fault of my own, I don't want to be messing with international airports...let the cruise line do that.

In my opinion, it's worth the couple hundred dollars more...
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:34 AM
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Here is a good trick to remember for inexpensive air to OZ. Try the airlines that serve both the U.S. and OZ from their hub. While demand is high during the winter months for direct flights to Australia, it is weak to northern Asian countries. Try Thai, Korean and other international airlines connecting through their hub.

Also try another gateway from the west coast and then buy your domestic ticket separately.

Search www.ITASoftware.com for applicable city pairs.

Once you have found your fare and ticket:

BUY IT FROM A LOCAL TRAVEL AGENT!!!

ALWAYS ARRIVE AT LEAST ONE DAY BEFORE AND LEAVE ONE DAY AFTER THE CRUISE!!!

BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE!!!

Sorry for SHOUTING but this should be every cruiser's mantra.

Have a great cruise.

Tom
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:10 AM
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Thanks everyone for the advice! Well my Mom and I have made the decision on doing a cruise tour as well. We also want to fly into Sydney 2 days before the cruise tour starts so we can see the city. (We know that it takes 2 days to get to Australia)

Tom...I have some questions about your reply. Would it be OK to just buy the airline tickets on Ezpedia or Orbitz? Or should we do EVERYTHING with the TA? And why? Also, why is it a good idea to leave one day after the cruise is over? Thanks again!
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:53 AM
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If you had read the horror stories that have appeared on this foum over the years, you would never ask the question. Here is why you want to buy from a local travel agent.

When things go wrong, one call to them will set corrective action in motion. The people that have purchased their travel products from on-line sources simply do not have the same back up. The chances are that nothing will go wrong, until it does.

A local travel agent will work their fingers to the bone to make things right for you and are in a position to access all the information necessary to salvage the situation.

One post that I remember vividly is about a guy that posted that he had missed his cruise because of weather and the on-line agency would not help him, nor would the cruise line that he had booked directly with. He simply lost the entire amount e paid for the cruise because he did not buy travel insurance either.

While no one wants to pay more than they have top, being a smart consumer dictates that you take the appropriate action to ensure that the elements of your vacation come to reality.

Trust me on this, find a local travel agent that you want to work with and stick with them.

Always arrive at least a day before your cruise departs.

Always purchase travel insurance (especially on International travel)

Hope that helps.

Tom
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:59 AM
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Ooooops, on an International cruise, such as you are considering, you never know how the arrival and debarkation will proceed. If you are trying to scramble for a flight and the ships is late, immigration is a problem, luggage is lost, the airport has weather delays, the airline has delays or any number of other events occur, the process of disembarking and flying home can turn into a nightmare.

Since most international cruises generally start at one port and terminate at another, your best bet is to disembark, check in to a hotel, enjoy the port and a nice dinner, reconfirm everything and then make your way to the airport the following day refreshed and relaxed for a day of travel.

Just my opinion, but I cruise internationally all the time and would never do it any other way.

Hope that helps.

Tom
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Old 05-13-2005, 11:12 PM
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I agree with Tom wholeheartedly about arriving and departing at least a day in advance and a day following the cruise. It saves major headaches if something does come up unexpectedly, and DEFINITELY go through a travel agent. They are there to help if things do go wrong, they have your itinerary and know your travel schedule. It's a real person to deal with,not a computer keyboard! And yes...get the travel insurance! Life happens and things do go wrong...my 2 sisters and I were to cruise together this past Jan. I always get insurance and this time, I needed it...my one sister who has never been sick or hospitalized ended up requiring emergency surgery 6 days prior to our departure and could not make it. Not to worry....my other sister and I did go and were reimbursed for the portion not used...and it was $2100. It happens!
 
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