With all the news of airport delays, canceled and overbooked flights, and winter "storms of the century," you would think that travelers would be more cautious when they make airline connections to cruises. Nevertheless, all too often this is not the case.
Most passengers miss their cruise departures because flights are delayed or canceled. In most cases, this can easily be prevented.
Images above: Cruising through the Suez Canal at sunrise. Do not miss experiences like this by poor trip planning.
Missing your cruise creates two very significant problems.
First, there is the matter of the last-minute airfare to reach the ship’s first port of call. That will be high. At peak times seats may not be available.
You may protect yourself somewhat by booking your flights with the cruise line. Cruise companies may delay a departure for a large group that they have booked from a major airport, but are not likely to delay a departure that you have reserved yourself.
Second, when is that first port of call? Often it’s on the third day because many cruise ships have a full day at sea on the second day.
That means a delayed passenger will miss at least one evening and then one full day and another evening of her or his cruise.
Especially for winter travel and even more so if you depart from or connect through a city that has a harsh winter climate, spend a night in a hotel at your departure port prior to your cruise. I always do. Think of this extra expense as a cruise insurance policy. Start your vacation relaxing in the sun by the hotel’s pool.
Consider making that hotel stay more than one night if taking a cruise that will not dock for several days or longer.
If at all possible, book an overnight stay even for summer travel. At least allow lots of extra time to reach your ship from the airport.
Avoid this cruise booking mistake and enjoy every moment of your cruise!
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