Cruises are famous for being all-inclusive. Meaning the price often includes most dining options, accommodations, port fees, onboard cruise activities, and entertainment.
Yet, many travelers choose to customize cruise packages. That way, they can add airfare and hotel stays to the cost.
Luckily, there are several cruise packages that you can customize depending on your travel needs. Thus, you can add airfare and extended port stay during the cruise.
That said, we have listed everything you need to know when booking an all-inclusive cruise for an unforgettable expedition at sea:
Airfare packages are the most purchased type of cruise package. This is common among passengers who are not lucky enough to live within the driving distance of a cruise departure port.
When purchasing airfare through the cruise line, the line usually includes roundtrip transfers between the airport and the cruise port. This allows passengers to relax rather than stress over taxi fees and shuttle buses.
Another bonus of airfare packages is that you do not have to worry about flight delays. That’s because the cruise line will work with the airline to get the passengers to their cruise on time.
Sure, you can arrange your air travel. But it poses a high risk and can make your vacation disastrous.
Pre and Post-Cruise Packages
Pre- and post-cruise packages often involve the hotel stays in or near the departure city. Your hotel stay can take several days before or after your cruise date.
Depending on the cruise line, you can opt to add attractions and other guided regional sight-seeing.
For example, the Disney Cruise Line has exceptional packages that include resort stays at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This is in coordination with the nearby Port Canaveral.
Thus, guests may even choose a cruise package based on the length of stay. Doing so can help you create the best getaway.
Meanwhile, Alaskan Cruises are another type of cruise vacation that offers many pre- and post-cruise packages.
Since most Alaskan Cruises are usually one-way voyages, guests can add land tours to visit astonishing sights. This includes national parks and monuments, allowing them to visit places far from what can only be seen from their decks.
The Holland America Cruise Line has the most variety of cruise package options. They even offer Alaskan cruises with options to suit any voyage and any budget.
There are also European cruises that offer pre- and post-cruise packages. The package includes an inland city tour, giving cruise passengers enriching experiences both on and off the shore.
Since many European cruises are once-in-a-lifetime vacations, you can extend your journey for a few days to a week while visiting different locations.
Alaskan Cruise Packages
Alaska is a popular destination, and it’s one that is often explored via a cruise. Since many cruise lines offer to compete for Alaskan cruise packages, including airfare is one way to set cruise lines apart.
All-inclusive Alaskan Luxury Cruise Package
AlaskaCruises.com has all-inclusive Alaska cruise packages that include air, hotel, cruise, and more.
Cruise line like the Regent Seven Seas Cruises starts with a price of $4,799 per person, and for that price, you can expect the following:
- Airfare, a night at the Hilton Anchorage, and transfers/baggage handling
- Fine wine and premium spirits, Wi-Fi, pre-paid gratuities and specialty dining
- Unlimited shore excursions
- $300 shipboard credit per suite, American Express gift card
- Reduction in deposit
You’ll get more benefits like pre or post-cruise land programs on select voyages if you book for a Concierge Suites or higher. Also, Penthouse Suites enjoy Concierge-level amenities. This includes iPad and iPhone docking stations, butler service, and L’Occitane or Hermes soaps, shampoos, and lotions.
Some examples of the Alaska cruises that fall under the special package include:
- Luxury on the Frontier 8 Nights/9 Days: Starts in Vancouver and ends in Anchorage. Prices for suites start at $4,799.
- In the Wake of Humpbacks 11 Nights/12 Days: Starts in Anchorage and ends in Vancouver. Rates for suites from $7,469.
- Season of the Brown Bear 12 Nights/13 Days: Departs from Vancouver and ends in Anchorage. Rates for suites from $8,299.
Booking Airfare via Cruise Lines
Some cruise lines offer the ability to book your airfare in tie-up with your cruise. This is often at a discounted rate, which you can bundle in one payment straight with the cruise line.
But keep in mind that most cruise lines require you to call an 800 number to book your airfare. But cruise lines like Princess Cruises lets you compare airfare online when you’re deciding on specific cruises.
Buying a Cruise Package
It is easy to buy cruise packages through cruise travel agents or the cruise line itself.
Sure, it can be expensive, but it offers the convenience of having every detail well-taken care of. This includes several guarantees about availability and compensation for unplanned adjustments.
Cruise package prices depend on the number of passengers, the length of the add-on packages, and the level of service associated with the cabin’s grade.
Pros and Cons of Cruise Packages
There are several benefits of cruise packages. This includes the convenience and the luxury of extending a vacation beyond your itinerary.
Unlike separate arrangements that you should pay either on the day of the reservation or during the trip, you can include add-on packages to your cruise fare. This allows for one secure payment to cover all the items in your itinerary.
Since cruise packages are arranged in affiliation with the cruise line itself, it will be easy to coordinate land-based tours. This can depend on your preferred sight-seeing attractions and themes. Thus, it gives your entire getaway a close-knit, comprehensive presentation.
Furthermore, passengers may only need to deal with paperwork. This includes check-in forms or customs declarations.
Yet, cruise packages are not perfect. There are extensive guided cruise expeditions. There’s also the unstructured tours that allow you to explore whatever piques your interest. The downside, though, is that available destinations may be limited.
Another limitation is children-friendly packages. While cruise ships often have commendable children programs, those activities do not always extend to land-based packages.
Another downside is that you do not get to choose your airline or hotel accommodation. You do not get to choose your flight time, either.
This explains why there are many discussions on sites like Cruise Critic about the pros and cons of booking air/sea packages.
Benefits and customer service can be minimal if you don’t fly with significant carriers in some cases. But that means giving up the flexibility as the cruise line/airline chooses the route.
As a result, you will need two to three connecting flights rather than a direct flight or a single layover.
The other risk is you may not have an actual assigned seat. You may even find yourself bumped off the plane in favor of a paying customer who booked earlier. That is if you are booking close to the departure time of the cruise.