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Transatlantic..what is the best way to get back?!

Transatlantic..what is the best way to get back?!

Dec 15th, 2003, 12:38 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 261
Transatlantic..what is the best way to get back?!

I've got several questions..all making sense I hope!
We want to get to Genoa Italy for about a month or so next year(all my husbands family are there..brother, sister, nieces, nephews, cousins, well, you get the picture. We have always flown round-trip but would love to cruise one-way, going or coming doesn't matter. We're not adverse to arriving somewhere else, for instance Barcelona or Rome and making our way to Genoa. We thought about doing this last year and when I called several airlines for a one-way fare, I had to be revived with smelling salts!! Well, almost.

To those of you who have done this before, how did you go about it? The one-way fare I was quoted was more than double the highest round-trip fare we've ever purchased. If the airline handles it for you, can you stay several weeks and fly back from a place other than the cruise destination? CAN you buy a round-trip ticket (if worse came to worse) and use only the return portion should we go in the spring? I am very confused..and we are also retired and on a budget! Thanks for all your ideas and your experiences! Ciao.
esd is offline  
Dec 15th, 2003, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 70

I am a travel agent/cruise specialist and I am very happy to help!

You might look into buying your airfare from the cruise line. It would include your airport transportation, all of your taxes and fees. The prices will probably be MUCH better than buying directly from the airlines. You can purchase an air deviation for a modest charge (around $50) and go a few days early, return a few days later.

The airlines have very strict rules about their airfares. In many cases, they will cancel the remainder of your ticket if you don't use all of the segments that you've purchased.

Another idea is to purchase a Europe vacation package and to check and see if you can add just the return flight to a hotel package, train tickets, etc. etc. The wholesalers offer consolidator tickets, which are more restrictive than a regular ticket purchased directly from the airline, but can also have much better prices. I am not sure if this option is available, but it is worth asking.

Good luck! Have a great day!
Julia Elzie
juliae is offline  
Dec 15th, 2003, 02:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 757

We were planning to see more of Europe than Italy, but purchase a package trip to Ireland or London or Paris, use the airfare and hotels,etc, then go with ground trans., to Germany and end up in Spain or Rome (see the sights) get on a LAST cruise of the Med., stay on the ship for the trans.-Atlantic to our home port.

We did this with the last cruise to Alaska (HAL ship), stayed on the ship to repo. to FLL. It was great.

So I think the best way is cruise home then you don't have to worry about any cancellation of any return portion.

Let us know what you decide.
maryann is offline  
Dec 15th, 2003, 05:03 PM
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Posts: 261
Thanks for your replies.
Yes, I meant if the CRUISELINE handles the one way air fare, not 'airline'. And, yes, I was afraid they might object to us getting off the ship in, say, Barcelona and then us wanting them to arrange a flight back..not only from a different place but a month later!!

And I see what you mean about flying over on a round-trip ticket and then cruising back here so no questions arise about the first half of our ticket. I just don't understand why they can't sell a one-way ticket for a little more than what half of a round-trip ticket costs and make life simple.
If I remember right, RT was something like $900 (I just picked a date out of the blue when I called last year for a comparison) and OW was, like, $1200! We've usually flown when we see a good RT rate advertised and have flown for as little as $390.
I just thought a long cruise that stopped at some new, never before seen ports would be fun. I'm thinking of picking a cruise, say for next fall, and then around the final booking date (2 months prior?) searching for a fare.
esd is offline  
Dec 15th, 2003, 05:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We flew one way to London for a cruise and the cruise ship cruised back to Boston... the air fare, transportation, etc. was about as expensive as he cruise.. I'm sure they can do a deviation for a round trip..I would probably fly there and cruise home...and have them send y ou back to your home airport. There is a site "THEY" say that has good one one way air fare, but I havent checked it out..
ParrotMom is offline  
Dec 16th, 2003, 03:24 AM
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Posts: 329
Just buy the cheapest RT ticket you can get, just make sure the first leg is the one you actually want to fly on, as was pointed out if you don't fly the first flight, the airline will probably cancel the 2nd flight.

I had the same problem with flights when I moved to Europe and looking at flights again for moving back to the US sometime next year. Yeah-they CLAIM that they are within their rights to back charge for a one-way if you use only one leg of a RT but it's highly unlikely (anyone actually hear of the airlines doing this?).

There is no sensible reason that I've heard for the airlines to price one-way tickets so much. Ever wonder why they overbook? Seems like this would solve a lot of the "no-shows".
Nidwaldner_Chris is offline  
Dec 16th, 2003, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 182
I've done this several times in recent years, always sailing to Europe in the spring and returning by air. Yes, standard one-way fares tend to be very high, but there are quite a few places you can go for discounted one-way fares: airdeals.com, justfares.com, flights.com.

I've always paid less than the cheapest round-trip I could find, and always a lot less than the cruise line's air. One key to getting home for a reasonable price is to be willing and able to get yourself to a city with cheap airfares. I always stay in Europe for at least a couple of weeks, giving me plenty of time to get from Lisbon or Barcelona or Rome to Frankfurt or Paris.
JP is offline  
Dec 16th, 2003, 03:48 PM
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Thanks JP. I will check those sites. The spring would be great if we can find a fairly reasonable one-way fare back. Maybe with one of the earliest crossing we can fly back this way before the 'season' starts.
I'm off to the cruise sites to check the spring crossing prices again!!
esd is offline  
Dec 20th, 2003, 03:57 AM
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Posts: 261
To you folks who took the time to reply and pass along your ideas..thanks! After careful consideration of the whole idea..no thanks!

After compiling info from my favorite site (icruise.com) I called my TA and her rates were almost identical to theirs...I had narrowed it down to the Galaxy and Brilliance of the Seas. Her one-way airfare (from a consolidator?) sounded about what I think we'd have to pay for a RT ticket. All toll, I just don't think it is worth it. We'd have to get to the departure port with some cost involved there, plus some cost at the other end, etc. The clincher was when I painted the whole picture for my husband and he looked at me like I'd completely lost it!

So, we will check/watch for a good RT airfare starting this spring and leave cruising for another time altogether.

Thanks again. Just thought I'd pass on the results of all this investigating!
esd is offline  
Dec 20th, 2003, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We did the crossing of the Brilliance, did a pre-cruise in London and found it was worthwhile for us to get the package from RCI..The cost of the air fare almost equaled the cruise, but since we don't travel light and were bringing gifts for UK friends we thought we'd bite the bullet. The big hangup was once we got to Harwich by RCI bus (over two horus from London) there was in my judgment complete chaos, so if you can figure a way to get there by private livery service EARLY. BTW I am NOT a fan of the BOS., except for it being a beautiful ship.
ParrotMom is offline  

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