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Flight Back to US after Transatlantic Cruise

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Dec 27th, 2014, 03:31 PM
  #1
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Flight Back to US after Transatlantic Cruise

I'm thinking of taking my first transatlantic cruise next year. As expected, flights back home are expensive. I think I heard years ago, that it was possible to get one way bulk fares but how/where? Royal Caribbean doesn't have anything that I can find on their web site. How or where do most people find lower cost flights (Y or J)?
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Dec 27th, 2014, 04:24 PM
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When we go on a transatlantic cruise, I check several air websites and see which might offer the better flights. When are you going on your cruise? Spring or Fall? If you are going in the fall, it may be too early to get decent prices and you should keep checking to see what comes along. We have booked our flights through Choice Air for several cruises and gotten really good prices. You have to remember that even though you are booking these flights through the cruise line they are not the same as booking flights directly with the particular airline. We have not had any problems w/ Choice Air but others have reported having problems. You should do your homework before you book.

I also compare flights on Choice Air 2 ways: 1) round trip open jaw for both flights and 2) a one way to your destination port (Europe). I then price the return flight home either on Choice Air or on my own thru the airline. Sometimes you will get better prices doing it this way rather than booking both flights together. Our last transatlantic we booked one way flights to London as that is where our cruise was originating. I booked our flights home from FLL to Boston separately and got better flights doing this.

Royal Caribbean will use Choice Air for flights booked thru them in conjunction w/ the cruise you are booking.

http://www.royalcaribbean.com/conten...ravel_programs

Flights have been expensive to/from Europe but you need to keep checking and see when anything decent for price comes along. Don't wait if you get good prices as they can go up next time you check.
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Dec 27th, 2014, 05:26 PM
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One thing depends on where home is and where your cruise ends. Try some charter lines like XLFrance. They fly from Paris to New York and San Fran. The planes are cramped, but I think they do one ways. Reviews are bad for the most part, but I've flown on them and had fine trips. Condor flies from Frankfurt to Baltimore, and I know they do one ways cheap. Haven't used them, but know a lot of people who have with no complaints.

Sometimes, if you have time and have travel plans for another trip a few months later, you can be creative. We did a med cruise and knew we were going to Ireland a few months later. The cruise ended in Rome, but we got off a day early in Naples. We did a short flight to Milan. We booked a RT from Milan to the states and back to Milan four months later, cheap one way, Milan to Ireland. After the visit in Ireland, we did a one way from Ireland back to the states. The whole creative plan was about the cost of a one way from Rome at the time.

Post the cruise and dates and perhaps someone will have more specific advice based on their experience.
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Dec 28th, 2014, 09:37 AM
  #4
 
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We are doing a transatlantic this spring and although we haven't yet purchased a one way flight back to the States, we are considering Icelandic air and also Norwegian Air.
Norwegian seems to have very good prices (not sure i want to fly on a 787 after seeing documentary on how they are being made by Boeing in South Carolina).
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Dec 29th, 2014, 07:31 AM
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We cruised on Disney transatlantic this past May. My family chose Icelandair to return. It was lovely. Great seat pitch and service. We did the free layover in Reykjavik for two nights. Allow plenty of time for checking if you do stay in Reykjavik.

One way in early June was less than $600 into Boston from London. We booked JetBlue from Boston down to our home. It was much less expensive that way. We booked at the end of February.

Others in our group used Virgin, Turkish Airlines, and Norwegian. No complaints in general. Just depends on where and when.

BTW, Transatlantic was awesome. Would do it again in a heartbeat.
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Dec 29th, 2014, 07:34 AM
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Our cruise ended in Barcelona. We flew Vueling for less than $100 from Barcelona to Cardiff, Wales. Then made our way to London. Could have done the same from Barcelona to London for $100 but had business in Cardiff.

Used skyscanner.com to scout prices both within Europe and home.

If you haven't done the transatlantic and have any questions, feel free to ask. We traveled with a group of 13 college age students and two families with preteen/teen children.
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Dec 29th, 2014, 10:48 AM
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Luv2travel15, I have no idea why I missed that Choice Air page on the RC site. THAT is one place with the reasonable fares I had been looking for (like J for ~$1600 instead of approaching $4000!), with plenty of options to choose from. AA, UA, LH, BA, and AC look promising at this point and I'm in a position where I don't have to be concerned with frequent flyer program benefits either.

And subsequently I have found at least one other consolidator with similar prices. For the record, the key is to look for "cruise" fares rather than regular bulk fares.

Sassafrass, my goal wasn't explicitly stated but it's not to chase a few hundred dollars but rather decent four figures. So those LCCs and (worse) charters are out of the question.

Now my friend just has to decide on which of two possible TATLs he prefers (I'm ambivalent on that issue).
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Dec 29th, 2014, 03:52 PM
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NoFlyZone,
No problem. I am glad you are finding what works for you. Lots of the advice is good and might work for me too, sometime. The planning, search and learning is fun.
We loved our TA cruise. Hope you do also.
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Dec 30th, 2014, 11:53 AM
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NoFly, glad that you found some good prices! That's what it's all about.

Good luck deciding. We love the transatlantics, so relaxing and those sea days......
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Dec 30th, 2014, 07:01 PM
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>We loved our TA cruise. Hope you do also.

So do I. I'm a bit nervous about it because it will be the first "real" cruise I've ever taken (have done a week on each of a Hurtigruten and a Sea Dream). A lot of what I read about cruises doesn't excite me but one of these huge ships may have enough to do that I don't get bored. Hopefully.

Originally only wanted to do a week on the Oasis OTS or Allure OTS but my friend talked me into joining him on the TATL. So...crossing my fingers.
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Dec 31st, 2014, 07:08 AM
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Not sure what "next year" really means, but it's far too early to find good fares for anything after March. I'd wait. $1600 is way too much fir a one way ticket. $800 is more like it.
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Dec 31st, 2014, 07:34 AM
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No Fly - have you finalized your cruise? What ship, date and itin? We have done 3 and just love them! Our last one 2 yrs ago was our favorite, we visited Canary Islands (Tenerife) for our last port stop and then 8 days across the Atlantic to FLL. Was the smoothest sail we've ever had - 8 days and not a ripple in the water. Lovely weather. Hope you do also.

Agree w/ Doug - if you are not going until next fall, then wait and see what airfare does. Sometimes we've waited and got really good fares.
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Dec 31st, 2014, 12:04 PM
  #13
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Doug, this (see date one line above) being 2014, next year would be 2015. Talking April and bulk fares tend not to vary significantly so there's little point in holding out to save $25. And $1600 for J is a great price, trust me! (Delta's asking $3100 to $4700 !!!).

L2T15, I am waiting for my buddy to return from Thailand (next week) before we discuss and finalize. It will probably be either the Allure of the Seas or the Caribbean Princess, both out of Ft. Lauderdale and sailing to Barcelona and Southampton respectively. I prefer the Allure just because I want to try a huge ship but he has cruised with both companies and knows all the esoteric pros and cons so it's his decision.

I care not a whit about port visits (other than the final destination) because netting 4-8 hours is ridiculous. For me, an absolute minimum of two nights is necessary.
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Dec 31st, 2014, 01:28 PM
  #14
 
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Last year (2013) you could fly round-trip to Venice for $1100 in July, which is why I think you should wait. I know because I booked the flight in late January on Delta. You definitely pay the price if you fly back from London because of the crazy add-ons. It's usually cheaper to fly back from Madrid (you could take a train from Barcelona) on Iberia. I also suspect that some futures contracts for fuel will expire early in 2015, and some of the fuel surcharges may disappear, depending on the airline.

Another option would be to fly Norwegian back, which typically doesn't charge differently for one-way flights and offers flights to both London and Barcelona.

On Norwegian, for example, if you book for June NOW, a one-way flight from Gatwick to JFK costs $400. That's better than $1600, though I don't know where you might be going onward from JFK. I'm just saying there may be options you haven't considered, and I do think you will see much better fare sales if you wait. But that's just my opinion.
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Jan 1st, 2015, 12:03 AM
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It's been a while since i faced this travel challenge...so, i'm wondering: the 'book a r/t tickets and don't use the last half' gambit...has that gone by the wayside for some reason?

The whole one way ticket cost has been a game-stopper more than once.

Nonetheless, I'm an avid trans-Atlantic sailor, though unlike the OP, I consider 'boredom,' on a small ship to be the epitome of relaxation/enjoyment.
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 06:03 AM
  #16
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Doug & tucker, at $1600 for a business seat one way there's no question that's what I will do. And that's from Barcelona all the way to home, any airport in north/central Florida (TPA, MCO, DAB, GNV, JAX).

I've pretty much homed on on the Allure. If my friend decides on the Caribbean Princess I'll probably skip the trip and join the Allure it on a Caribbean trip some time. Will know in a couple of weeks.
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Jan 3rd, 2015, 03:31 PM
  #17
 
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We did a transatlantic on Emerald Princess which is similar to Caribbean Princess. We were just on Royal Princess and docked beside Allure, it's a huge ship! We talked to several people that were on Allure and they said they like it and someone was doing a 2nd cruise on it. Just a matter of preference.

Are you sure you want to go on a cruise? LOL Good luck w/ whatever you decide.
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Jan 4th, 2015, 06:11 AM
  #18
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>Are you sure you want to go on a cruise?

Actually the reason is because I want to experience the huge ship as I've enjoyed my limited time on the two small ones. Destination is quite irrelevant.
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Jan 7th, 2015, 02:25 PM
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Have you considered the Queen Mary II ? Transatlantic crossings are 7 days… and I've heard of possible 8 days. The QMII is a true ocean liner…. the only one sailing at the moment. There are enough activities on board to entertain you for two weeks. Or, if you're like me, I just like to sit and watch the ocean roll by.
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Jan 8th, 2015, 09:05 AM
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No, Grandma, because the QMII is nowhere near as big as the others (and a third the size of the Allure!).
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