Are Cruise Packages a Good Option for You?

30 September 2014 | By admin in Cruising Tips, Package Deals

In the process of looking for Caribbean cruise deals, I’m sure you have wondered whether cruise packages are the right choice. Basically, it depends on what is important to you. Here is some information to help you make your decision.

First of all, let me define what cruise packages are. Cruises are package deals on their own, because many things are included in the cruise price. But since almost every cruise is designed that way, it’s not really a cruise package. A true cruise package would include some other part of the vacation experience in the cost, such as airfare or excursions. The most common package offered is cruise with airfare.

Most cruise lines will offer to include airfare when you reserve your cruise. They do this as a service and a convenience for you. There are good things and bad things about these cruise packages they offer:

Pros

1. Less hassle – OK, so there is some work involved in coordinating all the segments of your vacation. A cruise line will book your flight and have someone meet you at the airport. This will save you some time and effort.

2. Sense of security – If the cruise line reserves your flight, they will make sure you make it to the ship. If a flight is delayed, you will be flown to the first available port to meet up with the ship.

Cons

1. Price – When a cruise line books your flight, chances are the fare will be higher than what you can find yourself. In some cases, it can be quite a bit higher. I picked a random city and random cruise line to do an experiment. In my experiment, the combined airfare for 2 people ended up being $400 more using the cruise line’s package.

2. Lack of choice – Most cruise lines don’t provide you with choices. They reserve a flight for the morning of your cruise with one of their partner airlines. And, that’s what you get.

Recommendation
If convenience is more important to you than cost, then perhaps cruise packages are something you’ll like. On the other hand, if you are trying to save money, you may want to book everything separately. If you plan to get cruise insurance, then you can make sure the insurance covers trip delays. That will solve the issue with regard to flight delays causing you to miss the cruise. Another option is to fly in the day before cruise departure. In many cases, you will pay less for your flight plus hotel than if you pay the package airfare price.

There are other cruise packages that I didn’t discuss here, because they are specialty packages. One example of a specialty package is a wedding cruise package. Those packages will be covered elsewhere on the site. Until next time…happy travels.

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4 Comments on “Are Cruise Packages a Good Option for You?”

  1. Rather interesting. Has few times re-read for this purpose to remember. Thanks for interesting article. Waiting for trackback

     

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  3. If you can analyze the package and separate the individual pieces, like airfare and cruise, then there is no reason to pay more than the components should be. If the airfare is $400 dollars more than it should be, don’t book it for convenience; go to a qualified travel agent, who will book the individual pieces for you so you don’t have to do the work, but you won’t have to pay the price either.

     

  4. You are correct that one shouldn’t book in that case, but some people don’t bother to check if there are lower fares when purchased separately. I disagree about using a travel agent, however. Travel agents will charge fees for something you can do easily online.