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Use Cruise line flights or book your own?

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    Use Cruise line flights or book your own?

    First post so Hi there! Planning on cruising from Sydney to NZ & then finishing in Perth early next year. Want to go out a few days before we sail & stay for a few days at the end of the cruise before flying back. Any advice re choice of using flights arranged by cruise line (likely RCI) or arranging our own (from point of view of cost & preferred airline) & does anyone know which airline RCI tend to use on this route anyway?

    Generally it is cheaper to book 'cruise only' and book your own flights with expedia.co.uk etc. than use cruise lines packages. You will also be able to pick the airline, times and even seats - and get instant confirmation.

    However make sure you do a price comparison. You can get an instant quote form Expedia etc. They check 'cruise only' via the RCI web site.

    Yes, have a few days leeway at either end of the cruise. If you missed a the cruise or flight home, RCI would not be too interested if the flights were not booked via them.

    Make sure that you have aequate insurance in case you miss the flights and/or cruise.
    See my cruise blog: HERE


      Sorry I dont know which airline RCI use but just did a very quick look up on pricing on RCI and Celebrity RCI prices with flights jump up by £1500 and Celebrity £1700 pp.

      Whether we are doing long haul or short haul we always book our own flights independantly because we can choose which airport, our preferred airline and what day we fly out.

      You basically have 3 choices

      1. Book the whole thing as a package with RCI either direct or via a TA.
      2. Book the cruise and flights of your choice together with the same TA tailor made
      3. Book the cruise seperatley and book your flights independantly

      Option one will be the most expensive
      Option two gives you the safeguard that if anything goes wrong with the flights the TA will sort it
      Option three can work very well providing you plan and go out early with a back up plan should you have flight problems/delays.


        RCI will probably not tell you the airline until close to departure as they will take the cheapest option on the day. If you are going out earlier I would def do my own thing flight wise from a convenience and cost thing.

        I regularly fly long haul cruise and take the DIY option every time ............Wilba


          Another issue with taking the cruise company's fllights is that they will often use somewhat curious routings involving stops and changes of aircraft. This may not worry you, but as a slightly nervous flyer it's not something I enjoy, especially if one flight is late and it squeezes the transfer time!


            Why pay Expedia a fee when you can do it yourself... use Kayak.com to find all the options available, then book directly with the airline.


              I would always advise not to take the cruise line flights per se but there are occasions when using a cruise line to book schedule flights is very worthwhile. The main time to use a cruise line in this way is when you are flying to one destination and returning from another. If you book tickets for this though a cruise line, the discounted rates they get from airlines means that they are far better than anything you can do yourself. The only disadvantage is that you are unable after that way to use the airlines loyalty scheme to upgrade as you have gone in on a much lower price than the normal airline price.

              You can check all this out by getting quotes from a good understanding agent; this will enable you to look at all the options mentioned above and the one I am suggesting. I seldom book flights and cruise as a cruise line package as they can send you through some very peculiar routes because it suits their purpose and their pocket; you want it to suit your route and your pocket. Hope this helps. ....Neil


                The only advice I can offer is research research research....

                In the past we have paid more for Cruise line organised flights but at the time we were inexperienced and to be honest the extra peace of mind was worth the extra cash... Generally if you book "as a one-er" you'll get better protection outwith your insurance through ATOL (or is it ABTA I forget)....

                Having just returned from my first solo cruise though i have to stand up for the Cruise company arranged flights...

                I originally looked at my cruise as a cruiseonly fare. I investigated independant flights and got a price I thought was fair, although I had to arrnagemy own transfers. On a whim i went to my local TA with the combined price I'd found and asked them what they'd do. They matched the price (via the cruise line) but included the transfers (which from my research would have added about $100 to the fare)

                If you're planning a few extra days each side then perhaps independant is the way to go, but irrespective, get your best price then ask you TA to see what they can do. If you're flexible by a day or so each way then you may be pleasantly surprised.

                Worst case youve wasted a phone call but you may be pleasantly surprised

                Whatever you decide, please make sure your insurance covers it....


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