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10 minutes ago, marymcpherson said:

When do you usually book your transatlantic flights for Europe cruises? Are there any advantages to waiting a bit? (obviously theres risk). What's the average price from the East Coast that people have paid?

This was discussed a while ago, here's the thread.  @tiny260 had some really good info starting on pg2 of the thread.

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/4750-next-level-traveling/&page=2

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21 minutes ago, Sabrinaklai said:

This was discussed a while ago, here's the thread.  @tiny260 had some really good info starting on pg2 of the thread.

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/4750-next-level-traveling/&page=2

@Sabrinaklai Thank you for that!! I definitely checked that out, but there was really only the one post talking about flights to Europe, and unfortunately doesn't really apply to me since I'm already inside that booking window (we're looking at a cruise this summer). I guess what i was looking for was feedback from other people about what they paid and when, since i'm not sure if flight prices right now are on the low end/average/above average etc. so any insight anyone has would be wonderful! 

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2 minutes ago, marymcpherson said:

@Sabrinaklai Thank you for that!! I definitely checked that out, but there was really only the one post talking about flights to Europe, and unfortunately doesn't really apply to me since I'm already inside that booking window (we're looking at a cruise this summer). I guess what i was looking for was feedback from other people about what they paid and when, since i'm not sure if flight prices right now are on the low end/average/above average etc. so any insight anyone has would be wonderful! 

Sorry that didn't help.  I have zero insight on flights to Europe since the last time I went was 2005!  But there are many knowledgeable people here so I'm sure someone knows ?

By the way, welcome to the message boards!

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I only travel to Europe every few years  -  the last time was 2 and a half years ago. I paid somewhere in the realm of $600 (NYC to London Virgin Atlantic), I don't remember exact amount. We booked our tour first then watched hotels 6 months out and bought tickets about 3-4 months out. I do this for every trip - I look up initially and monitor until it seems it's good and then I buy. I seem to have a three month threshold - anything more than that makes me anxious but some on this site have had more luck. I'm a crappy gambler.

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@Sabrinaklai no worries!! thank you anyways :) In any case it gave me insight into another way to watch flights! 

@ellcee Thanks for that!! That's around where it's sitting now. We'd be flying end of July and returning beginning of August; right now its about $700 CAD for Toronto-Athens and $600 CAD for Barcelona-Toronto, I doubt we'll let it get under 3-4 months before we book! but i will probably book sooner if prices start to rise!

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Don't forget to check ChoiceAir (or whatever it's called these days).  Often the overseas prices are quite good.  I never use them for domestic flights but they often have very competitive pricing for overseas travel (particularly in conjunction with one way flights such as a Transatlantic).

It never hurts to check and there are advantages to using them in conjunction with a cruise.

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Guest toodle68

Virgin Atlantic website is pretty awesome for looking at prices. You can view 5 weeks on one screen and then page back to see every price for the entire 330 days. I have found that some of the best prices where within the first month of the flight becoming available (330 days). I saw one premium economy flight drop from $1,200 to $890.  You have to check the website 2-3 times a day.  I tried all those monitoring websites but they never picked up those quick price drops that were done and over in less than a day.

Some of VA best prices appear to come in 3 month windows.. ie, they were having a sale in Dec for Jan to Mar flights.  However, since I do a lot of planning for my trips, I can't leave booking that late, but for something like a cruise, you might be ok doing so.

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@toodle68 they dont fly to where we're going :( but thanks for that tip!! i'll keep it in mind for future!! 

 

I don't really have any idea on what a "good" price is. I think right now they're pretty good prices.. Toronto-Athens and Barcelona-Toronto for $438 USD ($570CAD) each way. Will probably end up booking them sooner rather than later so they don't go up... that being said i've got Skyscanner and hopper price drop alerts set so we'll see!

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2 minutes ago, marymcpherson said:

that being said i've got Skyscanner and hopper price drop alerts set so we'll see!

Using these services is your best bet, I did read an article lately about a new airline that is supposed to be reasonably priced "Norwegian Air" just not really sure where they fly to and from.

I think $438 sounds reasonable.

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5 hours ago, marymcpherson said:

When do you usually book your transatlantic flights for Europe cruises? Are there any advantages to waiting a bit? (obviously theres risk). What's the average price from the East Coast that people have paid?

I am very intrigued by the budget airlines such as Norwgian, WOW, etc...the no frills economy fares are ridiculously low...some in the $179 one way to Gatwick...about $250 one way to Barcelona. I signed up for regular flight updates from Norwegian, for example and signed up for their loyalty program, and I get daily emails that make me want to book some thing now. You have to travel on days they offer like Sundays or Thursdays for the low fares, but I don't see that as too big of a deal. They fly out of Boston, JFK, Orlando, Ft Lauderdale among others. Before I started seeing these fares, I would have put a $900 RT fare under the bargain category. No more these days.

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I start watching 12 months in advance.  When I see it go on sale then I grab it.  We try to fly business so I grab the first sale that comes along.  I booked last August for our trip this coming May and am very happy I did because business class is sold out.  We got our flights for about $2700/person from DFW nonstop to Amsterdam and the premium economy was about 1600/person with economy at about 1300/person at that time.

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Have done RCI Air2Sea several times. It is the reason we are able to do the transatlantic sailings.

A couple months ago, New Orleans to London.....$313 PP

                                       Venice to NO......$500 PP

                                        Barcelona to NO......$340 PP

                                       New Orleans to Amsterdam.....$340 PP

One exception was a flight on Iceland Air that was about $300PP Boston to Copenhagen, just had to get a cheap SW flight to Boston.

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17 minutes ago, marymcpherson said:

@melski94 @L454S i checked out Air2Sea and im not sure if its because we're coming from Toronto or what, but its actually about $400 USD more per person than what i've been able to find elsewhere!

Wow that is a huge difference!  According to the website and fine print is is good for US and Canada residents...with a lowest price guarantee or 110% difference credited back. Too bad they are off by so much!

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@marymcpherson...have you considered flying out of Buffalo?  I find flying out of Canada to anywhere (even within Canada) is ridiculous.  I know that @Gears has had some good experiences flying out of there.  And my sister, who use to live in the GTA, flew out of there on occasion when travelling to Europe.

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I agree with @Sabrinaklai that extra drive (when I lived in Hamilton actually was around the same if the border was clear) was well worth the savings. The cheapest I ever found out of Toronto was Westjet everything else was so high. I would recommend buffalo or if closer to London check Detroit as well. Also wow flies pretty cheap from Toronto (been checking to visit family before Europe trip)

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1 minute ago, marymcpherson said:

@Sabrinaklai Definitely considered it, we've done it before since we're on the west side of the GTA. Again, not sure if it's because we're only a few months away from when im looking but its about $300-400CAD more to fly out of buffalo and we lose the luxury of a direct flight!

?bummer...

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1 minute ago, marymcpherson said:

@LetsTryThisTech yea we love flying out of buffalo when possible! We're in Oakville, so only like 20-25 min from pearson, and right now, air canada is actually the cheapest i can find! $1140 CAD per person round trip ($570 each way), which surprised me as theyre notorious for being expensive

That's actually not too bad considering its Air Canada. From Cayman to Pearson on a sale I can get Westjet around $400 US round trip but on sale, Air Canada is around $1000 US :51_scream: Plane tickets are unlike cruise bookings in that it's more luck of the draw and can't really ask for a discount later. So good luck hunting.

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@LetsTryThisTech yea i was pleasantly surprised! The only one cheaper was a mixed airline flight with like 2 stops each way, and thats not worth it for like $100 in savings! We'll probably end up booking the air canada flights and probably in the next few weeks before it goes up, at it inevitably will! 

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39 minutes ago, Barbara said:

I just booked a round trip flight to Rome  from Philadelphia in October, British Airlines, through Air2sea for $739. Direct flight to Rome one stop on the way back. Looking online the flights were over $1000. Maybe it will be less months from now, but I liked the times and thought the price was reasonable.

Good thing about BA is that there are no added on costs for standard baggage, food or drinks on transatlantic flights 

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So as much as we wanted to stay loyal to royal for this cruise since we had such an amazing time earlier this month on our first RCI cruise, we ended up booking with Princess since the price couldn't be beat, ended up booking our airfaire through their Air2Sea equivalent program for about the same price as i'd found online, with the added bonus of complete flexibility to cancel or change up to 45 days before the cruise and not having to pay for the flights until our final payment is due.

I'm sad we wont be sailing with Royal, but with the port intensive itinerary we don't plan on spending much time on the boat  :4_joy: Our next cruise will definitely be back with Royal though (and not left until the last minute!)

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18 minutes ago, marymcpherson said:

So as much as we wanted to stay loyal to royal for this cruise since we had such an amazing time earlier this month on our first RCI cruise, we ended up booking with Princess since the price couldn't be beat, ended up booking our airfaire through their Air2Sea equivalent program for about the same price as i'd found online, with the added bonus of complete flexibility to cancel or change up to 45 days before the cruise and not having to pay for the flights until our final payment is due.

I'm sad we wont be sailing with Royal, but with the port intensive itinerary we don't plan on spending much time on the boat  :4_joy: Our next cruise will definitely be back with Royal though (and not left until the last minute!)

We had a similar reason to go with MSC for our Mediterranean cruise next year. My wife picked it out and with a birthday celebration and my mother-in-law being over 55. Our room and my parents' room were upgraded to a balcony (according to current deck plan [ship isn't finished yet]), and my wife's families room was discounted. It also had a better itinerary so we had to. I love Royal but it seems like they are, as their name states, a Caribbean company. MSC based out of Europe seems more suited to the Mediterranean but I will do a full review after May 2019 lol.

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@LetsTryThisTech Thats exactly what i found! Not sure if it was because we'd left it until now to look but Royal was like $600 pp more for basically the same itinerary as MSC or Princess. We're surprising my dad for his 60th, and my and my brothers couldn't justify the extra money for basically the same thing. Figured we'd go with the cheaper option and spend an extra day in Athens and Barcelona before and after the cruise!

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9 minutes ago, marymcpherson said:

@LetsTryThisTech Thats exactly what i found! Not sure if it was because we'd left it until now to look but Royal was like $600 pp more for basically the same itinerary as MSC or Princess. We're surprising my dad for his 60th, and my and my brothers couldn't justify the extra money for basically the same thing. Figured we'd go with the cheaper option and spend an extra day in Athens and Barcelona before and after the cruise!

@marymcpherson and @LetsTryThisTech you aren't the only ones.  I'll be cheating too this summer on the MSC Seaside.  For pretty much the same reasons.  Don't get me wrong, I love RC but I am also biased to newer, mainly Oasis class ships.  So with Symphony not in NA yet, I priced out the cost of sailing Harmony again (which hubby wasn't too keen on) and also the yacht club on Seaside and the cost of the YC was considerably lower that even the cost of a JS on Harmony.  That, combined with a 10% teacher's discount, made in sort of a no-brainer.  I still have my Harmony reservation as a Plan B.  Final deposit is due in April.  Reading reviews on the Seaside like crazy right now and waiting to hoping to hear back from some others on this board (like @L454S, @jticarruthers, @ryan.aubin or anyone else that I am forgetting or not aware of) to see if it is worth it to give it a try.

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@Sabrinaklai yea the Mediterranean itinerary we were looking at with RC was on the same ship we just did the southern caribbean on, and its an older, smaller ship (Jewel of the Seas). Like i could understand the price difference if it was one of their new, bigger ships, but for what it is, it just didnt seem justifiable. That being said i'm a little nervous about the ship we're sailing on with Princess... We're sailing on Crown Princess and the reviews on cruise critic are very mixed. Not sure if its because people weren't aware of the age of the ship when they booked or what but im hoping that's whats causing the mixed reviews. Like i said above, its mainly port days so we dont plan on spending too much time on the ship, but hopefully its not too bad! i had the same apprehension about Jewel of the seas; reading reviews saying it was old and disappointing etc but we didnt find that so hopefully its a similar case!

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41 minutes ago, LetsTryThisTech said:

I love Royal but it seems like they are, as their name states, a Caribbean company. MSC based out of Europe seems more suited to the Mediterranean but I will do a full review after May 2019 lol.

 

1 hour ago, marymcpherson said:

So as much as we wanted to stay loyal to royal for this cruise since we had such an amazing time earlier this month on our first RCI cruise, we ended up booking with Princess

And here I've been looking at the offerings from HAL for a Norwegian fjords or Iceland cruise in 2020 (using the current 2019 offerings as a reference point). Funny how a company named Holland America Line would have all the really good northern European routes locked up! :29_smirk:

It is kind of nuts -- HAL's offerings for Norway and Iceland are typically 14 nights minimum (with 21 night sailings offered that are really just a B2B on a 14 and 7 night itinerary), have at least three or four sailings for any given itinerary over the late spring to early fall months, and visit a ton of ports and scenic locations, usually with at least one overnight. Meanwhile, RCI has virtually bupkis to either Norway or Iceland, and most of those are short 7-night sailings that don't in my mind justify the expense of either the cruise or the flight across the ocean. Even weirder is that X has even less on offer than Royal, and X is supposed to be the premium line with more exotic offerings!

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2 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

 

And here I've been looking at the offerings from HAL for a Norwegian fjords or Iceland cruise in 2020 (using the current 2019 offerings as a reference point). Funny how a company named Holland America Line would have all the really good northern European routes locked up! :29_smirk:

It is kind of nuts -- HAL's offerings for Norway and Iceland are typically 14 nights minimum (with 21 night sailings offered that are really just a B2B on a 14 and 7 night itinerary), have at least three or four sailings for any given itinerary over the late spring to early fall months, and visit a ton of ports and scenic locations, usually with at least one overnight. Meanwhile, RCI has virtually bupkis to either Norway or Iceland, and most of those are short 7-night sailings that don't in my mind justify the expense of either the cruise or the flight across the ocean. Even weirder is that X has even less on offer than Royal, and X is supposed to be the premium line with more exotic offerings!

Depending on your itinerary choice, it is understandable that you may need to look elsewhere.  If I ever take that south america cruise, I might have to look at another line as well.

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12 minutes ago, Sabrinaklai said:

Depending on your itinerary choice, it is understandable that you may need to look elsewhere.  If I ever take that south america cruise, I might have to look at another line as well.

Guess they can't be Royal of all things. I mean there's a lot the British Royals can't do either :10_wink: 

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Guest toodle68

We will be venturing out on our first cruise away from North America in 2020 to Northern Europe and can't say that the RC itineraries/costs are wowing me.  I would be interesting in knowing what line people end up with for those areas. 

I did see an amazing itinerary on RC for a 16 day re-positioning from Stockholm? to Boston. Calling at Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Canada.. the JS are already sold out for the 2019 cruise. 

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1 hour ago, toodle68 said:

I did see an amazing itinerary on RC for a 16 day re-positioning from Stockholm? to Boston. Calling at Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Canada.. the JS are already sold out for the 2019 cruise. 

It's from Copenhagen, Denmark. I was also looking at that itinerary, as it has two stops in Iceland with an overnight in Reykjavik. Depending on the year / ship, it will end in either Boston or Cape Liberty. Only offered once a year and sells out super-fast.

For a while there I was thinking that would be the cruise for me in 2020, but after looking at the offerings from HAL I'm seriously reconsidering. 

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