Have Your Cruise Agent
Double-Check

Are you and your cruise agent on the same page? Some details are more important in determining whether you will enjoy a successful cruise.

In fact, one factor could mean no cruise trip at all.

Below is an often not-thought-of aspect of booking a cruise that has the potential of becoming a major problem, if not nightmarish.

Booking air travel separate from your cruise package can save you money. (For two or more people the savings can really add up). But, if you must change planes, you could encounter trouble if you do not consider when and where that change takes place.

Costa Victoria Cruise Ship

The Cruise Ship Will Not Wait
For Your Arrival

You must consider if it is worth paying extra money for a cruise package that includes air travel.

Of course, whenever you fly, you may arrive late at your destination due to weather conditions, mechanical or other difficulties.

Your risk increases when you do not have a direct flight. Note: A direct flight (as used here) means flying straight from your departure point to your final destination, with no change of planes or stopovers.

Be aware that some schedules will show a flight as "direct" when there is a stopover because the stopover does not involve a change of planes. In most cases you stay on the plane during the stopover.

Have your cruise (travel) agent double-check the details.

When your itinerary involves a change of planes or stopover, have your cruise agent pay particular attention to the following:

  • Location of changeover as it relates to weather conditions. For example, during winter months choose a location like Phoenix, Dallas or Atlanta over Chicago or Denver.

  • Airport congestion during the time of your changeover. Choose a location like Memphis over Atlanta.

  • Amount of time prior to departure of your changeover flight (i.e., your layover time). Allow more time than normal, in the event your departure flight (from home) arrives at your changeover location late.
  • If your flight is late for the changeover, you may have to make alternate air arrangements.

  • Ability to arrange alternate flights. It is preferable to use an airline that has its' hub (or a major presence) at your changeover location.
  • An airline with a major presence will have more outbound flights to your final destination.

    Ask your cruise agent about hub locations.

  • The amount of time between your layover and the departure of your cruise ship. If delayed, and you have to make alternate arrangements, will you still arrive before your ship departs?

If you make air arrangements as part of a cruise package, you may not have the flexibility to decide on one or more of the conditions above.

However, if your ship departs before you arrive, not all is lost. The cruise line will likely get you to the next port-of-call, at no extra charge. With separate air, you will have to make your own arrangements, perhaps at considerable extra cost.

One More Tip - If you absolutely must change planes (during poor weather, or at a congested airport, or there's a tight schedule) consider arriving to your port a day early. You can use that day for sight seeing.

Oh yes, definitely ask your cruise agent about trip insurance options.

Now that you and your cruise agent are on the same page,

Travel Happily! 


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