Jump to content

Cruise Air and Air Deviation Explanation


Recommended Posts

If anyone has any great travel & medical insurance that they have had a great experience please let me know.

 

I travel internationally a lot for business. I NEVER leave the US without a Travelex Lite policy. I also purchase the offered additional medical insurance.

 

I travel to a lot of countries (SE Asia, Chile and Peru) where medical care is NOT the best. I want to make sure I have enough coverage to get me into an American standard hospital. My Blue Cross/BS does NOT cover out of the US. Travelex Lite is also a PRIMARY policy. No turning medical bills into my own insurance carrier, just to have it rejected and have to resubmit it to travel insurance.

 

I have had to file one claim for trip disruption (airline in Cambodia went on strike). I had to pay for another ticket on another airline, but when I submitted the form and the receipt for the first and second tickets, I was reimbursed for the second ticket within 2 weeks. I am very pleased with their insurance.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I booked my air/hotel/cruise accomodations through RCI. I was told that in order to get to my hotel check in time they would schedule my flight accordingly. However, I am reading all of the posts that state the contrary. I am confused.:confused:

 

ABSOLUTELY NO GUARANTEES. You MAY get there in time, you may not even make it to your hotel.

 

Your hotel, transportation to and from the hotel/port and airfare are booked as a CONVENIENCE. The cruise line makes NO guarantees and assumes NO liability if things go wrong. You are at the mercy of the airlines, transporters and hotels, NOT the cruise line.

Link to post
Share on other sites
But if they can book the full package, then the package is commissionable (sp?).

 

Hi,

Not anymore. Commissions are paid on basic cruise fare and that alone !!

Air-sea components used to be commissionalbe, no longer.

IMO

 

Cheers

:(

.

Link to post
Share on other sites
But if they can book the full package, then the package is commissionable (sp?).

 

Hi, Not anymore. Commissions are paid on basic cruise fare and that alone !!

Air-sea components used to be commissionalbe, no longer. IMO

Cheers.

 

Princess (as well as others) pays commission on cruise, hotels, and insurance. They do not pay commission on airfare nor on transfers.

 

The Princess Insurance covers you from the time you walk out your door at your house until you walk back in - IF you have purchased your Air through the cruiseline.

I ONLY buy cruiseline air with a deviation. I want to pick my own flights.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Princess (as well as others) pays commission on cruise, hotels, and insurance. They do not pay commission on airfare nor on transfers.

 

The Princess Insurance covers you from the time you walk out your door at your house until you walk back in - IF you have purchased your Air through the cruiseline.

I ONLY buy cruiseline air with a deviation. I want to pick my own flights.

 

If you read the date of the OP, I wrote it a year ago. Commission was still paid on cruise air for most cruise lines on that date.

 

Cruise air with deviation MAY NOT allow you to pick the EXACT flights you want. Example: You want the nonstop PHX/LHR on BA. The cruise line, when they entered into the airline contracts, MAY NOT have picked any seats on that particular flight OR the airline may NOT have made any seats available to the cruise line on that particular flight (which is the more likely scenario). IF you insist on the nonstop PHX/LHR BA flight, you will DEFINITELY pay a significant upcharge to the quoted cruise air price. Why would you do that when you can deal directly with the airline?

 

IF you read most any cruise line contract, air, hotels, excursions, etc. are provided as a CONVENIENCE to the pax and the cruise line accepts NO responsibility for the actions of any third party vendor. Princess goes so far as to disavow compensation/responsibility for DISAPPOINTMENT. Please check out Paragraph 15, subsection f.

 

http://www.princess.com/legal/passage_contract/index.jsp

 

 

And here is info from a NY State judge who looked into lawsuits filed against cruise lines for an entire variety of problems from medical malpractice to dirty curtains. MOST lost their cases.

 

 

http://www.courts.state.ny.us/tandv/cruiserights.html

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Have always booked my own flights in the past, but for reasons of little interest here, are using Carnival cruise air, with deviation, for a roundtrip Rome trip Oct. 1. Don't know when I will know what the flights are, but have decided we need to go a day earlier, even though the cruise doesn't depart until 7 p.m. and most flights from IAD arrive in the morning. Will flight deviation apply to the day before? How soon will we know whether Carnival has been able to accommodate our request.

 

We have to book a hotel separately (pre-cruise packages are sold out), we will need to make our own arrangements for getting to the hotel and from the hotel to the port - a considerable expense - and 60 days before the cruise (when I understand we get our final docs) won't give me much time to find accommodations.

 

We are booking the cruise (don't ask :rolleyes: ) through a TA who doesn't handle air. I feel like I'm between the proverbial devil and hard place and by the time I find out the flights, I won't be able to find a taxi/tour/ and hotel except at highest prices.

 

Any chance, if one has requested a deviation, and the selected flight is available, that Carnival will tell us sooner than August?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

 

 

 

The Princess Insurance covers you from the time you walk out your door at your house until you walk back in - IF you have purchased your Air through the cruiseline.

 

Might want to check this out again.

 

I'm taking a cruisetour with Princess to Alaska in September. I called Princess today to discuss their air program and what they could do for me if something happened enroute. The basic answer is "nothing". They might be able to help, if I purchased their insurance, but even then, if it's weather-related or something out of their control, their hands are tied--even more so if the passenger has a consolidator ticket. It's up to the airline to get the passenger to the destination. Where Princess' insurance might help is to get the passenger to the next port of call, but I didn't get a warm fuzzy about that either.

 

So, I bought my own tickets for $20 more than Princess' cruiseair, without the deviation fee. If wanted specific flights it could have been close to $850 - 900, with the deviation fee and the increase in the cost of the travel if Princess didn't have reserved seats on the flights I wanted.

 

Princess agreed, as did my TA's customer service that travellers are better off buying their own air if they want more control and specific flights. Providing air is only a service they offer as a convenience, not part of the package.

 

This thread is right on.

 

Lani

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

I'm certainly impressed by this thread! I don't know if any of the originals are still checking, but here goes nothing!

 

We're sailing out of San Juan on December 21 08. We have booked cruise air (from Buffalo). This is our second time using cruise air. Our first cruise we booked air ourselves, and our flight was cancelled, and we ended up paying around $500 more (2 people) and losing our non-stop anyway.

 

Here's why I chose cruise air - the price was guaranteed, and I know I have a seat. It is also refundable up until our final due date in October. I didn't like the fact that booking on my own I could only get completely non-refundable flights... there are a number of things that could potentially come up before then.

 

I also know that since our flights are not confirmed until closer to the cruise, there is a lower chance of the flight being cancelled since it's only 30 days or so out from travel. If I book myself now so far out, and the flight is cancelled, I will end up in the same boat having to pay through the nose for another.

 

In this climate, it seems there is no airline that you can count on to stay in the air or keep their predicted flights. Makes me nervous!

 

One more thing.. on our last cruise, because we were on cruise air and we were delayed, they allowed us to board the ship a few minutes after we were due to set sail, as they were waiting for 18 of us or so. We saw many pax getting on a few days later who hadn't been so lucky.

 

But... if I booked on my own I could fly from closer to home, and could choose a non-stop for not too much more than my cruise air. I'm not trying to champion cruise air - I just really wish I could feel more confident booking privately. So for all you experts, what do you think?

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm certainly impressed by this thread! I don't know if any of the originals are still checking, but here goes nothing!

 

We're sailing out of San Juan on December 21 08. We have booked cruise air (from Buffalo). This is our second time using cruise air. Our first cruise we booked air ourselves, and our flight was cancelled, and we ended up paying around $500 more (2 people) and losing our non-stop anyway.

 

Why did you pay $500 more??? Did you take the refund???? And then try to book another flight??? THAT was a bad move.

 

The price was guaranteed, and I know I have a seat. It is also refundable up until our final due date in October. I didn't like the fact that booking on my own I could only get completely non-refundable flights... there are a number of things that could potentially come up before then.

 

Better check out your GUARANTEED price. Some cruise lines are now NOT guaranteeing air prices UNTIL final payment. And MOST cruise lines have caveats in their contracts of carriage that they can raise prices on air, shore excursions, hotels, etc. Previously, you could pretty well count on cruise air prices being fixed. NOT in today's environment.

 

IF you book independent air and GOOD, third party travel insurance, you will not be out anything. You still have a credit with the airline for a future flight AND your travel insurance will pay for the change fee.

 

I also know that since our flights are not confirmed until closer to the cruise, there is a lower chance of the flight being cancelled since it's only 30 days or so out from travel. If I book myself now so far out, and the flight is cancelled, I will end up in the same boat having to pay through the nose for another.

 

This is incorrect. The flights were booked UNDER CONTRACT a year or more in advance. What is available 30 days out is what you get. And what is left 30 days out are the dregs of the consolidator class flights. Two or more stops, long/short layovers, etc., etc. IF you book independently now and your flight is canceled, the airline is OBLIGATED to put you on another flight that works with your plans. Sure, it may not be a non-stop, but I sure hope you are not counting on a nonstop with cruise air.

 

 

One more thing.. on our last cruise, because we were on cruise air and we were delayed, they allowed us to board the ship a few minutes after we were due to set sail, as they were waiting for 18 of us or so. We saw many pax getting on a few days later who hadn't been so lucky.

 

But... if I booked on my own I could fly from closer to home, and could choose a non-stop for not too much more than my cruise air. I'm not trying to champion cruise air - I just really wish I could feel more confident booking privately. So for all you experts, what do you think?

 

ESPECIALLY in this day and age, cruise air is the WORST of your options. With planes flying full, you will WAIT until your originating airline has space available seating-could be 2 hours, could be 2 days. ESPECIALLY your time frame-XMAS!!!!! Did you read the first part of this thread about NON ENDORSABLE tickets???? You are essentially STUCK with your originating airline on a cruise air ticket. You cannot use your ticket to board another airline. And did you read the cruise contract???? The cruise line has NO obligation to get you to your cruise. They will try, but most likely, you will be pretty much on your own.

 

Please don't be hung up on a non stop. They are more expensive to begin with AND they are the flights that are getting canceled more and more. And using cruise air, normally the flights are booked day of cruise, unless you pay for air deviation. Why anyone would take a chance flying in the day of a cruise in today's airline environment is beyond me???

 

Your choice, but that is why I started this thread. Cruise air is NOT a good idea, IMHO. When things go badly, they go REALLY bad with cruise air tickets.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

When you are just going for a cruise and coming back, and use a major airport, then you'll probably have a decent flight arrangement. But most folks are not that lucky.

 

The reality is the internet makes it so easy to book flights, that you would be unwise not to do it yourself, or hire your twelve year old computer saavy grandchild to do it. Given the number of cruise lines and ships that offer similar itineraries, lining up simple and economic air tickets is the hard part. Do the research on that first. Use Orbitz, Expedia or any number of airline search sites. Check the web sites of airlines that use your nearby airport.

 

Its also the way to go if you want a pre cruise or post cruise stay.

 

Last thing, arrive a day early. Do you really want to savour the $100 you saved on the flight, as your ship pulls away from the dock you are standing on.

 

happy cruising.. and flying

 

Paul

Link to post
Share on other sites

We will be flying from PHX to HNL-Celebrity Cruise-then fly from AKL back to PHX. Cruise air was only $800 PP, which I know is wonderful. Since we have never taken cruise air before, I am a wreck after reading this thread. I certainly acknowledge the validity of EVERYTHING you have advised and am now looking for the best places to find my own air. It appears that Hawaiian Air on Oct. 16, (day prior to sailing) out of PHX to HNL is the best fare and option. But the fares on Nov. 2 from AKL to PHX are super expensive. I tried Kayak, orbitz, travelocity, etc., with no relief. If you have any other suggestions, I would be deeply appreciative.

Link to post
Share on other sites
We will be flying from PHX to HNL-Celebrity Cruise-then fly from AKL back to PHX. Cruise air was only $800 PP, which I know is wonderful. Since we have never taken cruise air before, I am a wreck after reading this thread. I certainly acknowledge the validity of EVERYTHING you have advised and am now looking for the best places to find my own air. It appears that Hawaiian Air on Oct. 16, (day prior to sailing) out of PHX to HNL is the best fare and option. But the fares on Nov. 2 from AKL to PHX are super expensive. I tried Kayak, orbitz, travelocity, etc., with no relief. If you have any other suggestions, I would be deeply appreciative.

 

At this late date, the cheap seats are gone. The cruise line booked their seats a year pre cruise, so can't compare cruise air to independently booked flights.

 

HOWEVER, $1353 from LAX-to HNL, then AKL to LAX on the Qantas/AA codeshare. Best price, best flights. You can either drive to LAX or jump on a cheapie United/US Air or SW flight to LAX.

 

I can see it in my office Sabre but I can't pull it up on the AirPacific website. $913 total from AKL to LAX. One stop in Nadi Fiji. If you are interested in this price, please post and I will post the booking codes. You will most likely have to get a TA to book the one way at that price. On the AirPacific website, the price is $1205.80 (too much)

 

$1007.00 Air Tahiti Nui with a stop in PPT

 

$!023-Air New Zealand nonstop

 

All flights out of/into LAX. Once you add in the PHX component, you trash any hope of cheap fares for your trip. You will be FAR better off figuring out how to get to LAX on your own than trying to book PHX/HNL and AKL/PHX. Yes, you will have to collect your luggage at LAX and recheck it if you fly PHX/LAX. BUT you will save AT LEAST $200pp over booking the compete trip in one shot.

 

Your biggest problem with your cruise air flights will be getting to HNL on time. IF there is a glitch, at least you are going in a day early. Sorry I can't be more help, but it is too late to get the cheapest rates. They were available BEFORE Xmas 2007.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so very much for your kind and helpful response to my request for your knowledgeable assistance. Unfortunately, I didn't even book the cruise until a week ago. The $800 PP airfare is what enticed me to do it. So, I guess now I pay the real price. ;)

 

Just prior to my reading this thread, I emailed the agency for a custom air request. I can hardly wait to see what they come back with.:rolleyes: In the meantime, I will certainly explore getting to LAX separately, and then proceed with your instructions. To be honest, now that I am much more educated in the perils of cruise air, I'm petrified to even imagine the air itinerary they will come back with for only $800 PP. At the time of booking, I inquired if I would need to arrive a day early for the cruise. They advised that it wasn't necessary. When I look at the Phx/Hnl flight choices, I am perlexed at their original response. If need be, I will advise if I need the Air Pacific information. At this point, we may just cancel the whole thing. Afterall, it was the low fare that sold us on the cruise; and if we now have to shell out over another thousand dollars, we won't do it.

 

Again, Greatam, thank you so much. You are a sweetie!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have just booked a Med cruise with Celebrity, Venice to Barcelona for Oct., 2009. TA said she'd add airfare with Celebrity but suggested looking for our own fare. Cruise air is there just "in case." Since flights aren't out for this time period there is no way of checking now. I didn't ask about Custom Air hoping I wouldn't need it. Anyway, since I have booked so far out is there a greater possibility of actually getting something decent? We are flying out of Philly but if I'm booking myself I have no problems with EWR, JFK or even BWI.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When booking air travel on your own, matrix.itasoftware.com is your friend. Sign in as a guest and search away. It has the most advanced search algorithm that I know of. Unless you have access to something like Sabre or Amadeus (you pretty much need to be a TA for this any more), use ITA. I find the graphical flight option to be very handy. Note: you can't book flights from this site, only identify them.

 

As someone else previously mentioned, http://www.expertflyer.com is very handy for many things, but especially fare availability by class. Another thing that http://www.expertflyer.com is useful for is finding alternative routings when you are stuck during irregular operations. It can find those tricky routes and multiple airline itineraries. For example, it found a route for me when everything was sold out going PHL-ORD-BOI-SFO. Yes, that is a very bad route, but better than nothing when all the normal routes were zeroed out. It would still get you there, albeit painfully.

 

There are always other handy tools out there as well. KVM and http://www.seatcounter.com are two more examples, but I am sure there are others.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not used cruise air before, but appreciate everything said so far. It has been very educational. It does seem, however, that the advice is based very much on those searching for the lowest fare economy tickets. My question is, "Do things change with cruise air if you are looking for a premium cabin such as first class, business, premium economy or even specific fare basis codes in economy such as W fares on United or Lufthansa? Would cruise air always book you into full fare premium cabins or would they go for discounted fare premium cabins, or does it just vary by cruise line? For example, if I were going to fly United and wanted a business ticket, would cruise air book me into C, D, or Z?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Would cruise air always book you into full fare premium cabins or would they go for discounted fare premium cabins, or does it just vary by cruise line? For example, if I were going to fly United and wanted a business ticket, would cruise air book me into C, D, or Z?
NCL books me into BA's World Traveller Plus either one or both ways on our flights to cruises sailing from US ports, and this is always in T class, the lowest WT+ class.

 

I can't speak for other cruise lines, but I would personally be astonished if any of them did anything else. They will be looking to stick you on the cheapest possible flights.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have not used cruise air before, but appreciate everything said so far. It has been very educational. It does seem, however, that the advice is based very much on those searching for the lowest fare economy tickets. My question is, "Do things change with cruise air if you are looking for a premium cabin such as first class, business, premium economy or even specific fare basis codes in economy such as W fares on United or Lufthansa? Would cruise air always book you into full fare premium cabins or would they go for discounted fare premium cabins, or does it just vary by cruise line? For example, if I were going to fly United and wanted a business ticket, would cruise air book me into C, D, or Z?

 

MOST cruise lines buy in bulk-negotiated a year or more pre cruise on non published fares. Airline states "we will sell you XXX city pair for YYY dollars. We will tell you later what flights that city pair consists of. And you can sell your tickets for whatever you want" So IF first/business is even available, it would most likely be a discounted ticket. Not all cruise lines have premium seats even available to them.

 

Cruise lines as a general rule DO NOT buy a ticket SPECIFICALLY for one passenger. Visualize-they have stacks of tickets with various city pairs sitting on a shelf. They take one off the shelf with your particular city pair (plus all the connections) and put your name on it.

 

Some of the luxury lines (Seabourn, Cunard, etc) CAN specifically buy for a passenger, but you also must have a TA who can make it happen. Too many TA's have little knowledge of air purchased with a cruise.

 

As Globaliser noted, cruise air bookings for European passengers are done differently AND are much better, IMHO. You actually have CHOICES booking in Europe. Even booking custom air in the USA restricts you to whatever tickets the cruise line negotiated with the airlines, UNLESS you want to pay huge upcharges. Sometimes specific tickets CAN be made available, but then the question becomes WHY would you book a SPECIFIC ticket through the cruise line and pay a HUGE upcharge. You can generally find better on your own.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Well all I know is Jan. 6 I booked an air/cruise package with Celebrity through Crucon for 9 adults and I figured to since it was the first time I had ever booked the air/cruise I would not have to worry about getting to the boat on time. I have always gone a day early. Needless to say Delta flight in Cinn. had mechanical problems which delayed the plane. I did ask Delta if we could go through another city and they said no. When we got to the horrible Los Angles airport that flight had left. Delta did put us up in a hotel however the flight only go at night so we did not fly out until the next night and therefore Celebrity cruise ship had left. Not to mention when we arrived in Auckland, NZ our luggage was lost, Celebrity had no one there to greet us or anyone to contact. A fellow cruiser had there cell phone and after many calls somehow got a bus to take us to the ship and another day not to mention the best tour had been lost. The clothes finally arrived a week into the cruise-wet, apparently they had been left out in the rain in Los Angelos.

Many lessons learned by me, Celebrity could have cared less and although they did provide $125 on board credit that did not near cover the cost of standing in line ups at the guest relations desk everyday not to mention 2 days of the cruise. Crucon did and still is providing an ear to talk to to at least make it better for future travellers. Delta within l day after coming home and me sending a letter send a $100 air travel voucher to be used within the year.

Moral of the story-book your own flight, go in l day ahead, take the least amount of luggage and pack in each others where possible and have wonderful travel insurance if you can find any. We had Mastercard coverage and so far have had no satisfaction. Apparently for the luggage lost we would have needed to purchase extremely expensive replacement clothing on the ship, which by the time we got there, so many people had lost there luggage everything was sold out and the trip delay insurance well nothing there either since Delta covered the cost of the hotel, but who cared that we had no makeup or clothing to sleep in or for the next day. We missed the ships Great Ocean Road Tour as apparently the ship arrived into port to late but the tour desk was closed in the morning for us to book anything else. When we arrived home Air Canada had lost our luggage. So needless to say it was a very stressful trip and I am still writing many letters to at least give them some suggestions so future travellers wont have to go through that.

If anyone has any great travel & medical insurance that they have had a great experience please let me know.

 

I have found a great site for us to find Travel Insurance and want to pass the site on to help.[ insuremy trip.com ] you pick out what you want and compare prices, I have used the insurance a couple of times and had good results ! Happy travels, Sam

Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks for this discussion. I will be taking an Oceania Australia cruise next Feb. Route : 2/4/09 SFO-SYD, return 2/27/09 BKK-SFO. The "free" air credit with taxes amounts to $1470 pp.

 

I'll want to go either 1 or maybe 2 days earlier to preclude the problems that others have mentioned - I'm guessing that will add just the $75 pp deviation if I go with cruise air, as I'm not changing the destination.

 

This seems considerably cheaper than the $1720 pp I have been able to find on matrix.itasoftware.com as others have advised. Have I missed all the "cheap" flights already? I just booked this and we're still 6 months out. any advise here would be appreciated....

 

I would have liked to upgrade to business seating as these are very long flights, but that seems to be another $5000+ pp extra - does anyone really pay these excessive charges for a flight? Maybe 1000 pp would be worth it - but for me even that's that's stretching it. can that be found anywhere?

 

Thanks, Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

We are from Houston sailing to Med from NYC on 4/18/09 and returning to Houston from Barcelona on 5/3/09. We wanted to fly first class or business. The coach fares online are very expensive and first/business class was outrageous ($14,000 for two). Our TA checked with NCL and they offered the following.

 

Houston to Atlanta (with 1 hour layover) to LaGuardia on 4/17 - First Class both segments

Barcelona to Atlanta (with 2 hour layover) to Houston - Business from Barcelona and First from ATL

 

Including deviation fee of $50 and fare differential of $1,650, we are at $5,600 for two. We have dates and flight numbers, and booked it today. We can cancel up until final payment and lose only the deviation fee of $50 each.

 

Do we have anything to be wary of? Is there some downside we are not considering? Should we purchase insurance? Thanks for your help!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Cruise Critic's State of the Industry Report - Trends & Future Outlook
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...