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Old 09-06-2008, 12:21 PM
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We are going on a cruise in Novemeber and decided to get the air package this time. We've never done this before and are curious about the Air travel situation these days with availiablity and pricing. Will they honor the price they gave us when we booked in the Spring? Has anyone had an issue with this? Anyone know typically when youtend to arrive on departure day? Do they book you on red eyes or on fights that get there in the nick of time? I see on the site they arrive at the latest 1:45. I thought that was a little late- anyone know what we can expect? thanks.



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Old 09-06-2008, 12:55 PM
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Going strictly by the wording of the contract, they could increase the airfare portion of your booking. However I've never heard of that happening. Since they have contracts for blocks of seats with all the major airlines they should have a set price for X months or however long the contract is for.

Since they have special pricing with the airlines it also means some less-than-stellar flight times on occasion. They do ensure you get flights that will get you to the ship on time (not counting for flight delays - no control over that). The flights home can often be a different story and I wouldn't count on a nice early afternoon flight.

I recently used the RCI air/sea package for a 3-night cruise on the Sovereign out of Port Canaveral. I normally don't do this but wanted to gain some experience so I can discuss it. In my case I was flying from Huntsville to Orlando, and while this normally means going through ATL there are two direct flights each day between HSV and MCO. I assumed I'd get lousy flights and I called the custom air desk to see what I had and make changes. I was stunned when she told me I was booked on the direct flights both coming and going. That was the ideal situation for me. I got to MCO around noon, was greeted by a very nice ground transportation staff, and was on the bus by 1pm.

I see you are leaving from Port Everglades, so I'd figure on my flights going to FLL. They do send people to MIA though. Since FLL is essentially across the street from the port, arriving as late as 1:45pm is not a problem. Even if you arrived at MIA you'd be okay. Just ensure you've completed your on-line check in and your Set Sail Pass is completed.

If your flights haven't been posted to your reservation at the RCI website yet, they should be available soon. Alternately, call the custom air desk at (800) 636-2440. They may have your flights already booked and can tell you. Officially, flights for cruises booked directly with RCI can be available 60 days prior to departure, and up to 90 days if you booked with an agent.
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Old 09-06-2008, 02:17 PM
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Yes, according to the website we will get them around 60 days in advance. I'm not too concerned about "getting there" since I know they say they won't leave without you if you fly through them. But I was concerned aver the huge changes in air travel and if they would change our price.

We are flying out from an airport about 90 minutes from the house so time of day won't be too big of a deal. Sthe only way we'd have a huge problem would be where on the website it says something like- if we can't get you there the day of the cruise or a red eye than we will bring you in a day early and pay for your hotel. That could be a little bit of a problem because there is no way I could leave the day before until after 6pm because I've used all my personal days for the week of the trip and my son is in college and has his last classes that day. I would think that would be an exgtreme measure for them if they have to pay hotels.
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Old 09-06-2008, 02:24 PM
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It is unusual for them to fly air/sea pax from one part of the east coast (such as WV) to Florida a day early.
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:49 AM
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we only cruise about once a year so we always pay the extra fee per person and buy custom air and just choose the flight WE WANT, which is strait through instead of connecting flights. It is much easier traveling that way with a child.
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:55 AM
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we always pay the extra fee per person and buy custom air
Once you make platinum C&A level, you get free custom air.
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:36 PM
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Now there's a perk I wish Princess would pick up on.

Just curious, Dave; how many cruises to reach Platinum on RCi?

With Princess it is Platinum from cruises 6-15 or 50-149 cruise days; Elite starts with your 16th cruise or your 150th cruise day.
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:54 PM
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how many cruises to reach Platinum on RCi?
You need five cruise credits, but that doesn't mean five cruises. You get an extra credit for a suite, or for a cruise of 12 nights or more. But I don't think they give more than two credits per cruise regardless of accommodation or length. Thus it is possible to reach platinum in as little as three cruises.

In fact, you could reach platinum by doing three back-to-back cruises of three days each, with two of the three cruises being in a suite. So a person could go from new RCI cruiser to platinum member in 9 days. Of course, it would take a while for the C&A application to be updated. You can't join until you have completed one cruise.
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Old 09-07-2008, 02:08 PM
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Thank you, Dave; that seems like a much more equitable arrangement.

Princess used to go strictly by the number of cruises; but this was clearly not fair to those that usually take long cruises. So thay started going by number of cruises OR number of days. But this still dosen't give any advantage to those that book suites.

But all-in-all it's a pretty good program

I sure would like to see that custom air perk, though; I might consider flying again.
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Old 09-07-2008, 02:24 PM
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But all-in-all it's a pretty good program
We did 5 cruises to reach platinum level. At the time I wasn't dwelling on the member level. Once at platinum I got a little obsessive and wanted to make diamond level. So we just made the jump to diamond with only 3 cruises - two of them in suites - which gave us 10 cruise credits. Diamond is 10 credits and offers more perks like balcony discounts, private lounge with free drinks at night, etc. I'll probably never make diamond plus which is 24 credits.

Bottom line for me - I made diamond with 8 RCI cruises.
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