She booked air travel thru Princess from Vancouver, paid 3 times what we did. However we are flying out of Seattle and flying into Long Beach, must closer to the hotel than LAX.
She booked Princess Hotel and is staying at a 3.5 star hotel close to the airport for $150 each (but this does include transfers to the hotel and pier) so total of $300. We booked a 3.5 star hotel Hyatt Long Beach for $60 total thru Priceline. Taxi to hotel is $30, or shuttle for a little less, taxi to pier $25, total $55 for transportation. Her hotel is not near anything, where as our hotel we can easily walk to restaurants, Starbucks, wine store and tourist attractions.
She booked cruise directly thru a local travel adgent and paid 100% more than we did, mind you we did book closer to the sailing date (one month prior).
Hers, air $320, hotel $300, transfers included, total $620
Mine, air $120, hotel $60, transfers $80, total $260
Now people think I am nuts, isn't it just easier to go with the cruise line, well yes, but it will cost you. So for a little work and a lot more flexibility, as cruise lines determine your flight itinerary for you, you don't have any say of the routing or times.
Hotel options are very limited and are almost always at 100% more than what you would pay if you booked directly, not to mention what you would pay thru a discount website like Priceline.com
Many people comment "well if your plane is late and you booked thru the cruiseline the cruiseline will hold the ship", that is not true, trust me no ship is going to wait and delay their sailing for a few people. But one thing they will do is provide you with transportation to the next port; however with good insurance this will also be covered by your insurance plan.
Cruiseline transfers, well I hate them! I am not going to mince words, I hate them. They always cost about the same cost for one person as they do for a shared shuttle ride. Nothing is worse that loading onto a bus and waiting for it to fill up, then to pull up to the pier and then unload all the luggage while everyone pushes to get off and get into line. Not the way I want to start my vacation. Now there are exceptions to the transfers, definitely compare prices on transfers when dealing with European ports.
In the end I always try to stay away from using a middleman, and that is what the cruise lines do, they pay for the hotel room, and then they add their fee and charge you more. Personally I would rather have that money in my pocket.