You've booked your cruise and now you must decide whether to let the cruise line book your air, or to book it on your own. What are the advantages and dis-advantages of each?
You should always check to see what the published airfare prices are versus what the cruise line will charge for air arrangements. And when comparing the costs, factor in the cost of transportation from the airport to the pier and back. The cost differential may be negligible or it may be quite substantial. Here are the pro's and con's of booking with the cruise line or booking it on your own.
WHEN THE CRUISELINES ARRANGE YOUR FLIGHTS
An Air Deviation is a compromise, and in many cases the solution the Cruise Line/Air Fare conundrum. It allows you to customize your air schedule, picking the carrier, routing and flight times you prefer. Depending on the cruise line, there is a service fee for these arrangements which ranges from $25 to $50 per person.
A simple and relatively painless process, the only requirement is that your cruise be under deposit with the cruise line and depending on the cruise line, the request be filed at least 45-75 days prior to departure. You or your travel agent then submits the schedule request to the cruise line. They will then check the availability and usually reply with 24 to 72 hours with a confirmation. If they can confirm the arrangements you requested, they will advise any cost differential. You are then given between 24 to 72 hours to accept or decline the deviation. If you accept, the cruise line will charge you any difference in airfare and the service fee for processing the request.
I highly recommend Air Deviations and any good agent will advise you of this option, along with the requisite pros and cons. This simple process and and the relatively small cost can save you a lot of aggravation and headaches. One of the most common complaints people have in regards to their cruise is the air arrangements. And too many times I have heard people decline this option to save the $25-$50. Penny Wise and Pound Foolish I say!!