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    How should I get there?

    I’ve done this before but it is worth doing once more, I believe.

    This will probably not interest those whose cruise starts and ends in the UK, it might not interest those whose cruise is with P & O and sometimes Princess as they use charter aircraft unless, of course, you are unhappy with the quality and standards set by the charter airlines and wish to make your own way to the port of embarkation using a cruise only fare for that cruise.

    There are some major advantages in using the cruise line’s package when buying a cruise :
    a) Transfers are generally included to and from the ship overseas. This could include transfers to and from a hotel if you have booked one with that package.

    b) If your cruise starts or ends in the UK and you therefore need a one way flight, the cruise line will generally get a much better offer from scheduled airlines than the one you will be able to get. One way flights particularly long-haul can be extremely expensive when comparing it with a return flight. This also applies to flights to one continent and back from another. The cruise line can arrange this at a very good price

    c) You are guaranteed to be transported to the ship should there be any hold up and or late flights. The cruise line is obliged to fulfill their obligation and get you onboard. This is not the case when you make your own arrangements and why many of us go a day or three early.

    d) You will be looked after from the time you board the aircraft, often earlier and directed to coaches sometimes not seeing your luggage again until it is in your cabin.

    e) Normally you will be able to take a flight days earlier and also you can often fly to airports other than the one used for the port. This allows you to have extra time before sailing and this can be spent in another area than the one from which you will embark. I will add that sometimes transfers, when you make this alteration, are not available.

    There are disadvantages as well:
    a) The aircraft used are often full and you are one of many on the aircraft and on the buses.

    b) The routes taken by the air line are not necessarily direct to the port of embarkation or your overnight hotel. There can one or even two changes at various en route airports making the journey to the ship or hotel a much longer and far more tedious affair at the start of a holiday. Some people treat this as an experience but many more find it irritating and unnecessary.

    c) Many people like the idea of being looked after all the way but others of us prefer to have our own freedom to do what we like and dislike being “herded”. That can well be the feeling when you use the cruise line’s package all the way.

    d) It can be cheaper, even when the cost of a hotel is included, and more convenient to work out your own itinerary and allows you to enjoy the freedom and enterprise that come with doing your own thing.

    So, what about buying a cruise only fare and doing the rest yourself?

    The disadvantages are fairly obvious:
    a) You probably will not have the camaraderie of meeting fellow passengers from the word go and all that goes with that.

    b) You will not have the “fail-safe” mechanisms so if you are late or delayed you have to make your own way to the ship.

    c) You will be subject to all the problems which can arise from today’s transport systems; unexpected strikes, volcano eruptions, late flights or simply a cancelled flight.

    But the advantages are:
    a) You are in charge

    b) You choose the time, the destination and search for a good price. You can use an airport suitable to you.

    c) It can work out economically more advantageous or you can use your savings on a better hotel or a longer stay because when you use this way of going it is often better to travel early and start your holiday earlier. Going early allows you to relax and lose any jet-lag prior to the cruise and takes away the worry of being late and or catching up with delayed luggage. You can often add onto the end of a cruise as well.

    d) You can really save if you are willing to use “Budget” airlines and if you are willing to put up with some of the “restrictions” they levy. Many people swear by their services, some however swear at them.

    e) All of the advantages in each section above can normally be applicable to you and you can avoid most if not all the disadvantages.

    I think what I am saying is that when arranging your cruise you have options and although making your own arrangements is extra work there can be real benefits attached. I find that it adds so much to a holiday; the fact that I have arranged what I want to do and how I want to do it.

    Whatever you choose I wish you happiness with it. ….Neil
    Last edited by Neil Down, Southampton; 10th April 2012, 09:20 AM.

    #2
    What have I done wrong with this thread? To date 149 views and not a single post to add to or detract from my idea of how to view this type of arrangement.

    Maybe it calls for no reaction or maybe I didn't ask for views of its validity, correctness or mistakes or maybe I got it completely right, that would be a first.

    Maybe it’s just boring.

    ......Neil

    Comment


      #3
      Neil - I think you did not ask for people's opinion. If you re read its a list of Adv and Disadv of packages versus DIY etc and to be honest it is very comprehensive with very little for others to add.

      You could have asked in what circumstances people used DIY versus packages!

      Comment


        #4
        I read it, thought 'that's interesting' and moved on. It is pretty comprehensive although I suspect that most of us didn't learn anything new. More like a magazine article really.
        The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.
        T Pratchett.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks guys, it was what I suspected that it was a little too clinical as you indicate. I just wanted to make sure, mainly for newcomers, that I had put the right information down.

          Many things I have written about what to do when, where and why have aroused comments previously so the reassurance that all was correct and little had been omitted was concerning me. ......Neil

          Comment


            #6
            Sorry Neil - I didn't realise that you wanted us to edit it: Normally I wouldn't presume to comment on a poster's spelling and grammar.

            There are a lot of missing commas and full stops which, I am sure, you can find for yourself.

            I found this confusing:
            You are normally able not only to go on a flight days earlier than others but also to different airports so that extra holiday time at your convenience and in your desired area is available. I will add that sometimes transfers, when you make this alteration are not available.

            The errors below are highlighted.
            The cruise line are obliged to fulfill there obligation
            The routes taken by the air line and not necessarily direct
            meeting fellow passengers fro the word go and all that goes with that
            mechanisms of knowing that whatever (?) you will be taken (not miss) the ship

            I spotted others too but they may just be me being pedantic. (For example, the paragraph spacing seems to have gone awry).

            8/10
            Last edited by Santa, Redditch; 9th April 2012, 12:57 PM.
            The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.
            T Pratchett.

            Comment


              #7
              Neil - like others I have read what you have to say and, as usual, it is very comprehensive and does not leave many questions that need asking.
              For my part, if I fly cruise, although I hate and detest the charter flights I will still go that way purely for peace of mind. If a flight is delayed - as our Caribbean one was - for over twelve hours and you know the ship was due to sail at 5.00pm but you will not get to it until 11.00pm there is always the horror of being left behind as it sails off into the sunset.
              With a flight that has been chartered and is carrying hundreds of passengers for that ship - it stays put until you get there - that has to be worth the dis-comfort of sardine airlines.

              Comment


                #8
                My only addition to the discussion is that if you are inclined to do a DIY flight that you do NOT book it to travel the day the ship departs. My ideal way of doing things is to fly out some days and a minimum of 1 day before the cruise departs, have a city / beach break for some nights, do the cruise, embark and straight to the airport home unless its a one way cruise and I want to see the sites of the final port.

                Comment


                  #9
                  The main disadvantage of arranging your own connections to the ship would seem to be that if things go wrong you may miss your cruise and have to pay even more to join it at another port.

                  The main advantage of using the cruise line travel package would seem to be that they are responsible for getting you there and can compensate you if things go wrong.

                  How ever tempting it is to save a few bob on connections, we always opt for the package for peace of mind and ATOL/ABTA protection.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I usually take the cruiselines fly/cruise mainly due to a worry bags hubbie, peace of mind and work holiday restrictions.

                    it is okay if you are flying from a London airport as most destinations are direct but flying from Scotland is a different matter. our long haul flights a usually via London or another international airport. we booked out flights with Celebrity for our Celebrity Caribbean cruise last Dec. when I looked up BA's site our flight was the shortest flight available.

                    we are thinking of either cruising or touring the US next year and have found most of the flights are not direct and have 1 or 2 stops. we also do not get the 'bargain' flight prices that you can get if flying from London.
                    don't want to work, just want to cruise.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      We always take the package as an insurance. In 2010 with the volcanic ash it paid dividends in that we had all our money refunded as we were unable to fly to Texas to board the ship. The friends we were going with got their airmiles refunded but lost the cruise fare and hotel.
                      Fossil1

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Santa, Redditch View Post
                        Sorry Neil - I didn't realise that you wanted us to edit it: Normally I wouldn't presume to comment on a poster's spelling and grammar.

                        There are a lot of missing commas and full stops which, I am sure, you can find for yourself.

                        I found this confusing:
                        You are normally able not only to go on a flight days earlier than others but also to different airports so that extra holiday time at your convenience and in your desired area is available. I will add that sometimes transfers, when you make this alteration are not available.

                        The errors below are highlighted.
                        The cruise line are obliged to fulfill there obligation
                        The routes taken by the air line and not necessarily direct
                        meeting fellow passengers fro the word go and all that goes with that
                        mechanisms of knowing that whatever (?) you will be taken (not miss) the ship

                        I spotted others too but they may just be me being pedantic. (For example, the paragraph spacing seems to have gone awry).

                        8/10
                        Thank you very much, my dyslexia really banged in on this one and having looked at your comments I could see that it needed to be sorted.

                        I never mind, in fact I prefer it, when mistakes are pointed out and don't take any offense because I do make mistakes and if what I am saying loses sense or context then that needs seeing to.

                        I have re-written the thread post and am grateful for the 8/10 mark. ....Neil

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Probably stating the obvious BUT it all depends on where you are flying to/sailing from. For example - we have enjoyed many fly cruises in the Caribbean and always have included direct flights from Manchester. However, some 2 years ago we cruised from Shanghai to Bangkok on 'Ocean Princess'. Our travel-agent booked that as cruise-only and then put together a flights and hotel package, which meant that we had direct 'Emirates flights (again from Manchester- avoiding the dreaded Heathrow) with 2 nights each in central Shanghai and Bangkok and all transfers for £250pp less than the fly-cruise 'Princess' price. That price was from Heathrow only and 1 night at each end of the cruise in an airport hotel!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            One comment I would make regarding booking "one way" flights and their high cost is to book return and just be a "no show" for the return leg. We have done this for our flight to San Francisco in two weeks time and it was cheaper by a very significant amount.

                            Keith.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              We always book our own flights rather than risk having to take several connections ... BUT ...

                              As a professional worrier, one day wouldn't be nearly enough for peace of mind. In January we flew to Miami 4 days before embarkation in case of snow like last year's - and of course there wasn't any!!

                              It worked out brilliantly, though, as we hired a car and spent the time touring; it felt like two holidays in one, and of course the jetlag had gone before we boarded

                              Cheers,
                              Lynn

                              Comment


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