Air Reservations

There are several factors to consider when it comes to traveling to and from your cruise. One of the most important is deciding whether to arrange airline tickets on your own or use the air program offered by the cruise line. Here are the main points to help you with your decision.

  • Traveling to the departure port may involve an overnight flight. Allow extra time for connecting flights, and be sure to pay careful attention to flight times.
  • Choose an air carrier with a hub in your region.
  • Consider arriving at least one day prior. In some cases, you'll need to fly a long distance to reach your port of departure. Arriving at the port city at least one or two days in advance of your cruise will give you time to rest and get oriented before boarding the ship. Most cruise lines offer pre-cruise hotel packages.
  • For international flights, airlines recommend that guests arrive at the airport at least 3 hours prior to their flight's departure.
  • Some sailings require a charter flight from that the cruise line considers to be part of the travel package and is therefore included in the price.
  • Purchasing travel insurance is recommended. Be sure to read the insurance policy thoroughly and check for any flight-related restrictions.

Advantages of Arranging Your Own Airline Tickets
The main advantages of securing your own airline tickets are that you will be able to select the airline you fly and you will have some control over the timing and routing of your flights. You may wish to fly a particular airline to use frequent flyer rewards, earn frequent flyer miles or take advantage of nonstop service to your port city. If you arrange your own airline tickets you will have more control over these variables than if you utilize the cruise line's air program.

Advantages of Using the Cruise Line's Air Program
The main reason to let us book your air at the same time you reserve your cruise -- through the cruise line's air department -- is convenience. Cruise line representatives meet passengers at the airport and transport them to the pier. These transfers are frequently free of charge, but even if a charge is levied, it is typically less than what you would pay if you arranged your own transfers.

And finally, sometimes unexpected things occur that affect travel plans. Flight delays or cancellations, changes in cruise ship arrival or departure times and cancellation of sailings altogether are some of the things that can force you to rebook at a later date or seek a refund for your airline tickets. If any of these things should happen before or during your vacation, you will not be eligible for assistance from the cruise line if you arranged your own airline tickets. However, if we secure your tickets through the cruise line, you'll have peace of mind knowing that your air purchase is protected and the cruise line will assist you in making alternate flight arrangements if an itinerary must be changed.

The bottom line: Ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor to quote air from the cruise line and compare that rate to the best rate you can find from airlines directly. If the rates are close, you're probably better off letting us book your airline tickets through the cruise line.

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