Top Tips for Fly-Cruise Holidays
Celebrating the opening of our new Cruiseabout Takapuna store on 9 January 2012, the team share their top six handy tips for travellers planning a fly-cruise holiday
On a fly-cruise holiday, you fly into the first departure port of your cruise ship. After your cruise holiday, transfer back to the airport for your flight home. A fly-cruise holiday allows you to avoid days at sea getting to the first port of call, and puts you immediately in the heart of the action.
1) Connection times
While statistics show that most flights take off on time, it pays to expect the unexpected when you’re planning airfares to connect with your cruise. Naturally, you don’t want to arrive at the port to see your ship sailing off into the horizon. If your cruise leaves from an international port, consider arriving at your departure location a day or two before your flight. If your cruise leaves from a domestic location, plan to arrive several hours ahead of your scheduled boarding time. A similar rule applies to your return flight – allow for possible delays.
2) Flexible flights
It doesn’t necessarily pay to book the cheapest available flights to connect with your cruise. Fares that are slightly more expensive may provide you with more options, particularly if your cruise ship is delayed on its journey home and you need to reschedule your return flight.
3) Open JAW airfares
If your cruise sets sail from one city or country and returns to another, ask your Cruiseabout consultant about an “open JAW” airfare. In basic terms, an airfare of this kind allows you to fly in to one location and to return home from another, rather than having to fly in and out of the same city. A hypothetical example could include a fare that allows you to fly to the UK and home from Athens after a cruise from Southampton to the Greek Islands.
4) Consider a package or an earlybird deal
Rather than booking cruises and airfares individually, consider the value of a fly-cruise package. The package may include a heavily discounted airfare that is only available in conjunction with the cruise. Depending on where you’re going, you may also be able to book an earlybird special if you’re prepared to commit in advance.
5) Don’t be weighed down by baggage charges
Don’t assume that your collection of suitcases will be acceptable on your cruise just because it is acceptable on your flight. Cruise liners and airlines will both have luggage restrictions, but they won’t necessarily be the same, so check-out the rules in advance. Where possible, allow for some extra weight in your bags on the flight home, as you’re certain to collect souvenir T-shirts and other holiday trinkets during your cruise’s shore excursions.
6) Plan ahead
Cruising is an incredibly popular holiday choice. Consequently, many ships will be full, so don’t leave your booking until the last minute. By booking early, you also increase your chances of securing the cabin of your choice or special facilities that you may require. In addition, it pays to lock in airfares as soon as possible as the cheapest fares tend to sell first, leaving only the more premium offerings available closer to departure date. Sign up to your local Cruiseabout’s news bulletins to ensure you’re notified of the special offers as they arise.
For more cruising tips or to plan your next cruise holiday, call the experts at Cruiseabout Takapuna on 0800 22 11 14 or visit www.cruiseabout.co.nz