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Including Airfare in Your Cruise Package

by Shannon Kietzman, writer for Your Wedding

If you are like most couples about to embark on a honeymoon cruise, you do not live close enough ports to simply drive there. Therefore, you will need to consider adding airfare to the total cost of your honeymoon cruise. Airfare costs can be quite expensive, whether you purchase it separately or as a part of your cruise package. There are, however, several tricks of the trade you can call into action in order to make the cost of your honeymoon cruise less expensive.

Adding Airfare to the Honeymoon Cruise Package

One option with airfare is to add it to your cruise package. Many cruise lines allow the expense to be added to the cost of the cruise package. In fact, several have their own catchy names for these cruise packages, such as the “Fly Cruise Plan” from Holland America Cruise Line or the “Air/Sea Package” from Royal Caribbean. If you take a Disney cruise, you can take advantage of the “Air Program” or use the “Fly Aweigh Program” with Carnival.

In addition to receiving discounted air travel by purchasing it through a cruise package, many cruise lines offer additional perks. For example, many provide escorted transportation from the airport to the cruise ship for those purchasing a cruise package. If the flight purchased with a cruise package is cancelled or delayed, the cruise line is more likely to provide assistance or to delay the departure time. You can even customize your travel dates with most airlines when you purchase them with a cruise package, which can be very convenient when planning a honeymoon cruise around all the other excitement of your special event. Many airfare cruise packages also provide guests with priority boarding or airline upgrades.

Making Your Own Flight Arrangements

On the other hand, there are some downsides to adding airfare to your cruise package. First, you will have to contact the airline directly to make any special seating arrangements you may need. In addition, the majority of these flights leave on the day of the cruise, which can make for a long day by the time you fly to the cruise line departure port. If you take advantage of Frequent Flyer points, you might not be able to include the points from this flight with your account and cruise line air arrangements may include more layovers than a flight you book yourself.

If you do decide to make your own flight arrangements, you should still inform the cruise line of your travel arrangements. In fact, many cruise lines require passengers to provide contact information for a day or two prior to the cruise departure in case drastic changes to the cruise need to be made. Also, you need to understand that the cruise line will be less likely to make arrangements for you if your flight is delayed. While the airline and the cruise line will work together to provide you with alternatives, you do not have the same security as when you book your flight through the airline.

Airfare is an added cost that must be considered when planning a honeymoon cruise. Be sure to weigh your options carefully and come up with a plan that works the best for you and your sweetheart.

© 2006 Your Wedding

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