Thursday, April 29, 2010

Princess Pre/Post Hotel - or NOT

Was chatting with a friend today who is doing a similar repositioning cruise as we are, but she is leaving the day prior. This will be her first cruise, she is sailing with friends who have sailed many times. But this is where everything they are doing differs from what we are doing.

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

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.


  1. Thank you so much, I know I will use your advice and information.

  2. Totally agree with you Vicki, much cheaper to plan yourself. You can also investigate flying out of BLI to LAX on G4/Allegiant to save money into S.California. Flown them a number of times into LAS, and they've been fine; from this part of town BLI doesn't really take much (maybe 30min) longer than getting to YVR.

    Scott&Marie (and still just off the #101)..
    Next cruise; Barcelona->San Juan

  3. thanks Scott & Marie, others have commented on Allegiant, I did check them out, but they were the same price as Seattle when you added all the extra fees. Plus we needed our car in Seattle as we sail back tothere. Have never flown out of BLI but will research more. We are in Coquitlam so the difference would be minimal

  4. I saw a post on CRuise Critic that said you had room A722 on the Island Princess or Coral. How was it? We are going to Alaska next week in this room. Sort of concerned and not sure if it will be cool and great views or noisy.
    Thanks. Kate

  5. Hi Kate, we didn't have that cabin on the Island. But I believe we have A722 on the Emerald in January. Enjoy your cruise and I am sure the cabin will be great!