A Cruise Vacation That Can Include Airline
by: Mary Hanna
An air-sea cruise is when your cruise vacation has been booked with
airline reservations to get you to the shipís port and back home again.
The cruise line buys its tickets in bulk from the airlines. They find
out where you are coming from for your cruise travel and book you
passage from a nearby airport to one close to the cruise ship's home
port. Each cruise line has its own policy on how they deal with the sale
of airline tickets, so here are some cruise tips in that area.
What is the cost of the tickets if I book them with my cruise?
The amount will be quoted when you book and will be shown on your bill.
If I need to cancel, are the refund policies different for the plane
tickets than for the cruise?
No, as long as you cancel before the penalty phase begins.
Is there a service fee charged to have the Cruise Line issue my Airline
Only if you use their air deviations plan. The fee is around $50.00
Do I have any choice in which Airline is used?
Yes, if you use there air deviation plan.
Can I get credit for my frequent flyer mileage if the cruise lines books
my airline reservations?
No. You can use your frequent flyers if you book on your own.
Can I fly nonstop or have any control over the route that is taken, or
do I just get what ever they find?
Here again, use the air deviation plan.
How do I get from the Airport to the shipís pier?
If you have booked an air/sea cruise vacation the cruise lines will
supply you with a voucher for a shuttle bus. If you booked your own
airline reservations it will be up to you to get to the port.
Is there a shuttle service available from the airport where youíll be
arriving? Is there a charge for this service or is it included? Is the
service included if you donít book your flight through the Cruise Line?
If you book your flights through the cruise lines, there will be a
shuttle and you
use your transfer.
How and when do I meet up with Cruise Line personnel?
They will be standing in the baggage claim area and will hold a sign
with the name of the ship. They will direct you to the shuttle.
How is my luggage handled, do I have to pick it up at the airport or is
it automatically sent to the ship?
You will have to pick it up at the airport and then the shuttle will
take it to the ship with you.
What accommodations, if any, are made if the Airline they use causes me
to miss the ship?
If you have booked with the cruise lines they will accommodate you by
getting a hotel room for the night and a flight to the next port.
There are many advantages to booking an air-sea package for your cruise
travel. The cruise line takes care of the airline reservation. Since
cruise lines buy in bulk and usually provide a discount package rate,
the ticket price is generally lower than what can be found in the
general market. The transfer of luggage is easier, and a free shuttle
will take you from the airport to the docks for your cruise vacation.
The cruise line will have your flight information and will be able to
track your flight in case of a delay. Others on the cruise might be on
the same flight and they might just hold the ship waiting for you to
board. The biggest advantage is that if anything goes wrong to delay
you, the cruise line will generally become more involved in getting you
to the ship.
There, of course, are disadvantages as well to booking an air-sea
package. You might be able to find a better deal on your own, or you may
have to fly an airline you donít like. You will not get credit for
frequent flyer miles by going through the cruise line, and you might not
be able to fly non-stop. Finally, you might end up flying a longer route
than youíd pick for yourself.
You could book your own airline tickets, but only do so if you can get a
better deal. The strongest consideration should be how confident you are
in being able to make it to the ship for your cruise vacation on your
own. If you are already flying in a few days early, know youíll be there
on time and you can save over the air-sea on plane tickets and shuttle
costs, then you might just consider going it alone. But, remember you
are going it alone. In many cruise reviews it is recommended that you
book your airline reservation with the cruise line.
The cruise lines will be more likely to make accommodations and work
with the airline if their booking didnít get you to the ship on time.
They will be better able to track your late flight and might even delay
the ship if they know youíll only be slightly late. There have been many
cruise vacations that have delayed the departure from port especially if
there is a large group of cruise travelers on a late plane.
Depending on the circumstances, they might even rebate some of your
cruise or give you a discount toward your next cruise vacation with
them. However, the airlines are independent contractors. Most cruise
conditions of carriage state that since the airlines are independent
contractors the cruise line makes no warranty and assumes no
responsibility for any failure or delay in their contractorís services.
This is another reason to purchase a strong trip insurance package.
When you book your own airline tickets for your cruise vacation, if the
route you picked to make it to the ship fails, you are on your own.
Donít risk missing your cruise travel over a few frequent flyer miles.
No matter how you get to your cruise vacation, try to avoid this
situation by booking a flight that leaves you plenty of time to get you
to and from the pier to the airport. It is recommended that your go on
the internet and read the many cruise reviews on this subject.
Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.
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