European Pre-cruise flight questions



My wife and I are on the Golden Princess in July and will be flying from Orlando to Dulles and then from there to Munich and then on to Barcelona. We arranged our flight through Princess cruise lines and evidently have Lufthasana and United as airlines. We have a number of questions as this will be our first trans-atlantic flight in many years. If anyone who has taken a recent european cruise and especially with Princess will post their experiences we would appreciate it.

Now to the questions:

We will be originally boarding a flight from Orlando to Dulles. Will we need to retrieve all our luggage and get it to the next flight or will the airline handle moving the checked luggage from flight to flight? I know we will have to handle the carry-on luggage.

When we get to Munich will we need to go through German customs with our luggage and then go through Spanish customs again in Barcelona?

Since we paid for Princess to arrange our flights does this mean they will provide transportation from the airport in Barcelona to the ship and then again from the ship to the airport in Venice or is that up to us to arrange? We used Holland American for a flight to San Francisco for a Panama Canal cruise and they had someone at the airport with a bus to transport us to the ship. I am hoping to find the same kind of thing in Barcelona.

Thanks in advance for any assistance anyone can give us on our trip. We are relatively experienced cruisers (6 Holland American, 1 Costa and 1 RCL) but most of these were able to drive to the cruise dock since we live in Florida.

22 dasy to go to this cruise.


Okay...I did a Princess cruise to Europe (Crown Princess to the Baltic) in 2001...But we booked our own air...We're letting Celebrity handle it this time for the Mediterranean...However, I do feel pretty comfortable in answering your questions...

First, you should be able to check your bags all the way through to Barcelona...I do not recall whether or not we checked ours right through to Copenhagen ...we flew American LAX to JFK then switched to Sabena to Brussels then on to seems that we may have had to retrieve them in JFK...BUT, my daughter flies out in a few days for a class in Greece and is flying American to London, then British Airways London to Athens...And I just called them yesterday to ask if it were possible for her to check her bags straight through to Athens and they said yes...just let them see both tickets when she checks in...

I believe on only clears customs once now when entering a European Union any event, it was completely painless...

Yes, when you purchase air through any of the crtuise lines, they also include your transfer from the plane to the ship...
BTW, it really sounds like you got the short end on the plane routing...FOUR legs? And by way of Munich only to backtrack to Barcelona???
Celebrity has us going entirely on one airline (Delta)...with only two legs in each direction: LA to NYC, NYC to Venice and Barcelona to Atlanta, Atlanta to LA...2 hour 40 minute stop in JFK on the way over , 2 hour stop in Atlanta on our way back...

How long are your layovers in each airport?


Thanks for the reply. It definitely sounds like Celebrity did a much better job with your air routing than Princess did for us.

Here are the timings for the flight over.
Leave Orlando at 1:45 PM on July 15
Get into Dulles at 3:53 PM
Board our Munich flight at 5:40 PM.
It arrives in Munich at 8 AM July 16.
Flight to Barcelona leaves at 9 AM and arrives in Barcelona at 11:10 AM and hopefully board the ship early afternoon.

The return flights go like this:
Leave Venice at 2:35 PM and get to Frankfort at 4:05 PM.
Leave Frankfort at 5:05 PM and get into Dulles at 7:55 PM (sounds like we are on the Concord doesn't it).
Leave Dulles for Orlando at 9:40 PM and get into Orlando at 11:42 PM.

None of the waits at the airports seem extreme and a couple worry me because they are so short and if there is any delay in the original flght we may be waiting for another flight.

The good news is the Golden doesn't leave Barcelona until 1 PM on 6/17 so we have a day to get there if we have to.

The other thing we aren't happy with Princess about is right now we are in two different rows, 28 d and 29 d. Unless these are the seats that face each other we aren't happy about the seating and no one, Princess, Lufthansa, United or our travel agent seem to be able to do anything about it.

Anyway good luck on your trip and thanks again for the reply.


Get to the airport early and see if the (Smile :) NICE agent) will change your seats.

Ask for seating as far as they are able to do it including your return. If the agent in Orlando can't arrange your seating on other flights, you might also call the other airlines 800 number late at night, (nicer agents) before you go and see if they can help you.


Yeah, those flights home from Europe always sound incredible...and then you realize it's that danged 7-10 hour time change...

Last time, as boarding our AA nonstop London-to-Los Angeles, I jokingly turned to my wife and said "Wow! Look at that...It took them a day and a half to get us here...but the flight home is only three hours!!"

She thought about it awhile...and then realized it was three hours PLUS the 8 hour time change!!!