First You Have to Get There ...

When planning a cruise, I have learned the hard way that I better check the air fare to the port FIRST or my cruise can wind up costing way more than I planned.

I think I got spoiled in the past year by lucking out and finding some really good air fare deals...

Have you noticed how much higher air fare is right now or is it just me and I've been spoiled by good deals in the past?

13 Answers

Yep, I've noticed. And you're getting a lot less too with those higher fares.

When you live in the middle of the US (or anywhere in Canada) you must fly or take days to a port, so yes we noticed. When we first started cruising, we booked 4 day cruises (I know silly us), until it dawned on us the air fare was more than the cruise and therefore not very cost effective. Now we often check the air fare before we book the cruise. Now and again we book the cruise so far in advance that isn't possible.

Sadly, I agree that air prices have increased.

Air fare is super high currently. Another web site said the fly-to drive efficiency cap is 6-hours. A drive of less than six hours is smart. More than six hours you should fly. Our next couple cruises I believe we will be driving throwing that advice out the passenger side window.

An approximate 20-drive, overnight at my Mom's in Florida (thanks Mom!!) and then drive to the port in the morning, with off-site/port parking. Looking like $250-300 plus time vs $900 airfare for the two of us.

We always fly in the day/night before so add a hotel to the flying cost.

Very true. From my area, SF Bay, it's about the same amount of time and costs less to drive to the LA Area. 5hr drive vs approx. 3 to 4+ hrs total time for the "wonderful" airport/airline experience. I've met people on cruises out of Long Beach and San Pedro that drove down from the SF Bay Area. I don't do it because I hate driving that far.

For our last cruise, I got a great deal on airfare, then booked the cruise /port that fit time frame.

I found an RCCL cruise to Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao from San Juan, so I'm trying to patch together flights to see if we can afford it this fall.

Our airfare has always cost more than our cruises, but next spring we are finally able to travel using the airlines' points/miles so it's costing us very little to get to the port and home again. Hotel prices seem to have risen a lot too.

If that isn't the truth. Glomarrone mentioned sometime ago on this forum that "air fares rival the price of the cruise". Since my wife has a tough time getting from here to there in these crowded terminals due arthritis we have taken to trying to book business class whenever possible. Unfortunately those tariffs have really escalated as well. As of the last cruise, which we embarked on in Venice, we have decided not to do flights (or cruises) where we have to transfer from one flight to another at any of the major terminals, and that includes flights with the same carrier. We have no problem originating or terminating at one of those airports, but too much grief too many times, enough is enough. As an example, for our current booking we were L.A. to Sydney, after spending hours trying to find something reasonable in order to get back from Sydney I gave up; but then we extended the cruise on to Dubai. We were finding some tariffs in business class back to LAX higher than 10K p.p., other flights had undesirable multiple stops and layovers across the Pacific. Economy fares were very high as well. Finally, I booked Princess EZ Air coach only to learn I had to pay for the entire cruise a year in advance in order to get tickets necessary for seat selection. I canceled. Finally, I used our Alaska Airlines mileage and their interline partner agreements, we did get business class on Emirates to LA, but had to buy mileage in order to get those tickets, which alone cost way over 2K. As far as driving, I don't know about that, we can get to any west coast port pretty easy on Alaska Airlines using our perks, but if we drove to L.A. from home and back that would be a 7424 mile round trip, LOL.

Yes, I think that there are fewer flights now and the cost is going up plus extras charged for everything.

The only ports I can drive to in 6 hours would be L.A, Long Beach, S.F. and San Diego. Not a lot of choices to go to out of those ports so I end up having to fly to Florida or Europe.

I have taken the train to S.D.a couple times that drops you 2 blocks from the ship. For L.A. or Long Beach I tend to take a limo so I don't have to bother with parking. It is also so much nicer when you get home to have a driver waiting for you with a luggage cart.

Yes we have noticed.


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