When to Book? Air with cruise or NOT?



Hey Everybody,

I know this topic has been discussed before, but I hope you will give me some specific advice:

1) My wife and I want to cruise with our 2 kids on Caribbean Princess December 17, 2005 (returning on 12/24 – so technically NOT a holiday cruise). We’re looking for 1 outside balcony and 1 inside across the hall or nearby. Kids will be 18 and 16 when we cruise. I’m trying to decide whether or not to book now or wait until later. What do you think?

2) Because Port Everglades is so close to FLL airport, I’m thinking about NOT booking air with the cruise. It looks like I will save much more by booking myself than with the cruise. I’ll have more flexibility with the flights, but I understand I will give up the added insurance of missed flights / lost luggage. I’m thinking travel insurance and a cab to the port will be much cheaper than cruise line airfare. What do you think?

Thanks in advance!


Don't wait on booking the cruise. I think you'll find that even now that week will be pretty full -- could even be sold out already. Even if you book it now, if the fare goes down, you can ride it down right up until you make final payment.

Don't take Princess air, book your own, you have much more flexibility; but make sure you take trip cancellation insurance that will cover your cruise fare if a flight delay causes you to miss the ship. Also, if you live where there is snow, go out at least a full day early.

Don't wait on the air reservations either - flying out of FLL on 12/24 could fill up fast.

Cruise cutie

=yeah..I agree on every single point..good luck, Happy planning..and enjoy!!..:)..Joanne


You can book air with the cruiseline and then keep watching and try to get a better price. You will be able to cancel your air before final payment. Usually there is no problem getting a better price, but traveling on the 24th might be more expensive.


Book the cruise now if you want to go. Final payment won't be due until the middle/end of August. You can always cancel if you change your mind and until then you will only tie up a deposit. DJA is correct on the pricing game but don't leave it up to your travel agent or whomever you have book it with to keep checking. You shold check the pricing anytime you have the time to do it. I check ours at least every three or four days until final payment just ot keep the travel agent honest.

As for the air, we always book on our own because we find it less expensive that way. Ft Lauderdale to the cruise terminal is 10 minutes max, about $10 + tip for everyone to go in a taxi so the transfers aren't worth the price. Geejay's post above has a good points to consider. Traveling on the 24th might not be that expensive. Many people are traveling "to" these type of destinations on the 24th, not "away" from. Many of the American Airline flights out FFL on the 24th don't have more than a few seats booked at this point so I wouldn't panic. I would assume this condition exists on other airlines too. My guess is the best pricing for air will come sometime this fall. We need to fly home to the west coast from San Juan on the 24th so I have been watching this situation like a hawk since last December. I am not going to start to panic until the filghts are at least 65% to 70% full if the pricing hasn't gone down. Good luck with you trip.


Thanks for the advice and opinions! We're booked! Now the only problem is the wait until Dec 17th!!

Thanks again, Cruise-addicts forums are GREAT!


Lady Jag

1. Definitely book now.

2. Definitely DON'T book cruise line air. Cruising out of Pt. Everglades and flying into FLL is the easiest thing around. We learned the hard way on our family's first FLL cruise 5 years ago. Also, don't book the cruise line's hotel either. Priceline will get you a great hotel at a low price, but also book it now.

3. Be prepared for delays on the 24th. We're cruising on the Grand on the same dates as you and expect a lot of traffic, possible plane delays and possible over-crowded flights (i.e. - we just may give up our seats for a free flight this time!).