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Flying to river cruise


babs135
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DH and I are giving serious consideration to a river cruise and he fancies a steamboat cruise in America :D Would we have to book it complete with flights or can you just book the cruise? We have friends who live in Florida and I'm just wondering if we could combine it somehow with a visit to them (Orlando - just got to visit the Mouse!) and perhaps get them to book it for us.

 

Lots of homework to be done as to sheer logistics of the trip, ie cheaper to take the whole package, or fly in and out of Orlando and take an internal flight to the boat.

 

Good job I quite enjoy doing research. I reckon I might have my hands full with this one and that's why I'm hoping someone here can give me a 'head's start'.

 

Thanks in advance.

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First pick a cruise ... :)

 

The answers mostly depend on the company you decide to use and what they choose to offer.

 

As a general rule even where flights are included you can usually get a price excluding flights and then make your own arrangements. Just have to work out if that is good value or not ...

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DH and I are giving serious consideration to a river cruise and he fancies a steamboat cruise in America :D Would we have to book it complete with flights or can you just book the cruise? We have friends who live in Florida and I'm just wondering if we could combine it somehow with a visit to them (Orlando - just got to visit the Mouse!) and perhaps get them to book it for us.

 

Lots of homework to be done as to sheer logistics of the trip, ie cheaper to take the whole package, or fly in and out of Orlando and take an internal flight to the boat.

 

Good job I quite enjoy doing research. I reckon I might have my hands full with this one and that's why I'm hoping someone here can give me a 'head's start'.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

You can definitely book air on your own. Only benefit to letting cruise line do it would be transfers from the airport to the ship, but it sounds like you plan to visit other places while here so that shouldn't enter into your decision. The Mouse will be delighted to see you and as a frequent visitor to WDW (daughter worked there) I'm happy to give you some tips or information, if you like. Plan to spend a few days unless all you want to see is the mouse because there are now 5 Disney Parks as well as Universal and Sea World! It also sounds like you're planning a Mississippi River Cruise. There are two lines that cover this route, one which I have taken and would NOT take again, and the other one which is a little more expensive, but apparently much nicer. If you want additional info, e-mail me directly @ chydro564@yahoo.com. I lived in London many years ago, in Bayswater, and would be delighted to return some of the help I received as an expat!!!

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The other issue to consider is that domestic flights in the US aren't cheap like you can get inter-Europe. You can fly to FL pretty cheaply for an international flight (lots of capacity into the land the mouse built;)) But even though your river cruise may start in a city that looks close by, air fares are wildly inconsistent, and have no relation the the "distance" flown.

 

Additionally, if the city you need to disembark from is a smallish regional airport (I recall looking at a brochure for those cruises once, they often are) you'll probably need to make some connections - say Chicago or St Louis to the city along the Mississippi where it embarks. Then you'll need to fly back to Britain form another city (probably NO?) that adds up in a hurry. Check out the cruise you want and "mock price" it to see what it would cost, I'm guessing you will be approaching the price of the whole cruise just for the air.

 

ETA: just did a quick check, most of the cruises start and end in pretty major cities,,but it's still pricey to fly in and out of different cities in the US...btw- if it were me, I'd do a cruise that disembarks in NO, besides being a gray city, you could visit your friends in FL afterwards; NO to FL flights are pretty do- able!

Edited by Familygoboston
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Family goboston has given me a new idea for you to research....good thing you like to do it, like most of us CCers! Both American Queen (good) and American Cruise Lines (not so much) have Mississippi trips that begin in St. Louis and end in New Orleans. You could probably get a direct flight (or at least only one change) from London to St. Louis....plan a full day in STL because it is a nice city and you'll want to ride up the arch at the very least...you'll begin your cruise in STL and end it in NO. The cruise line will probably transfer you to the airport in NO and you'll probably be able to fly non-stop to Orlando..spend time with the mouse...and then you'll be able to get a direct flight from Orlando to London. I know Southwest flies from NO and Orlando and they are usually (not always) cheaper than the 3 major lines...biggest reason to fly SW is bags fly free and it's jet service all the time. You won't get anything but soft drinks and pretzels on board, but it's a short flight! As for your friends in Fla., it depends where they live as to whether or not you would visit them before WDW or if they would join you in WDW. Florida is a BIG state!!!

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Family goboston has given me a new idea for you to research....good thing you like to do it, like most of us CCers! Both American Queen (good) and American Cruise Lines (not so much) have Mississippi trips that begin in St. Louis and end in New Orleans. You could probably get a direct flight (or at least only one change) from London to St. Louis....plan a full day in STL because it is a nice city and you'll want to ride up the arch at the very least...you'll begin your cruise in STL and end it in NO. The cruise line will probably transfer you to the airport in NO and you'll probably be able to fly non-stop to Orlando..spend time with the mouse...and then you'll be able to get a direct flight from Orlando to London. I know Southwest flies from NO and Orlando and they are usually (not always) cheaper than the 3 major lines...biggest reason to fly SW is bags fly free and it's jet service all the time. You won't get anything but soft drinks and pretzels on board, but it's a short flight! As for your friends in Fla., it depends where they live as to whether or not you would visit them before WDW or if they would join you in WDW. Florida is a BIG state!!!

 

 

LOL! Zactly what I was thinking!! That would be the cheapest way to do it all around! I even considered that they d likely have a checked bag, and that's why domestic is pricey, you've got to pay for that bag to fly each leg in the US unless you fly SW :D Great minds think alike;)

 

Hydro kitty, off topic I know, but...when I went to American cruise lines I noticed they have a cruise from Mn/st P to St Louis, and we potentially have a kid going to college in MN, so I was looking at that as a way to leverage the airfare we need anyway to unpack/move her in, so I'd love to hear your take on the diff lines and why you don't recommend ACL (ill see if AQ has a similar itinerary.

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Thanks for the ideas. Familygoboston, what do you mean by a 'gray city'? Not heard that phrase before.

 

Our friends actually live in Orlando, just a 40 minutes car ride from Disney and its been a while since we've seen them hence the reason for trying to fit in a visit to them.

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Thanks for the ideas. Familygoboston, what do you mean by a 'gray city'? Not heard that phrase before.

 

Our friends actually live in Orlando, just a 40 minutes car ride from Disney and its been a while since we've seen them hence the reason for trying to fit in a visit to them.

 

DARN YOU AUTOCORRECT. :o I meant GREAT city, it's actually very colorful :D

 

Well, sounds like you've got a workable plan- GB to st Louis to NO on the river boat, fly NO to Orlando and then home from Orlando :D You can probably take their transfers even if you book your own airfare.

 

Just hope hydro kitty tells us the differences between the 2 operators, Im curious too!

Edited by Familygoboston
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DARN YOU AUTOCORRECT. :o I meant GREAT city, it's actually very colorful :D

 

Well, sounds like you've got a workable plan- GB to st Louis to NO on the river boat, fly NO to Orlando and then home from Orlando :D You can probably take their transfers even if you book your own airfare.

 

Just hope hydro kitty tells us the differences between the 2 operators, Im curious too!

 

LOL! As you say, got to love autocorrect:-D. Also hoping to find out why hydro kitty preferred one firm over the other.

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DARN YOU AUTOCORRECT. :o I meant GREAT city, it's actually very colorful :D

 

Well, sounds like you've got a workable plan- GB to st Louis to NO on the river boat, fly NO to Orlando and then home from Orlando :D You can probably take their transfers even if you book your own airfare.

 

Just hope hydro kitty tells us the differences between the 2 operators, Im curious too!

 

Ok, we took ACL on their Lewis & Clark itinerary. I wrote a review but it was a couple of years ago so it may be gone. Anyway, in a nutshell: there were food issues: Breakfast: things like milk, cottage cheese and yogurt were set out at 7 a.m. without any form of refrigeration, not even on ice, and left until 9 when door closed. They said you could order anything on or off the menu and you could, but it would take over an hour to get something like a hamburger . Heck, it took 45 minutes to get a bowl of cottage cheese and cup of blueberries at breakfast. Also one of the passengers fell on board but while we were in port, and cut her arm. They had no first aid kit or person on board, not even a band-aid and they wouldn't call a taxi to take her to a walk-in or ER! She walked into town (1/4 mile) to a drug store and the druggist took her in his car to a walk-in where she had 8 stitches, and then returned her to the ship. A letter I sent to ACL resulted in no response other than a coupon good for $100 off my next cruise with them! I haven't cruised with American Queen, but Ive read many good things about them on CC.

 

Not that boston or NY are the type to brag, but if your friends live in Orlando, I think we have just furnished you with an ideal itinerary!!!:D

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Not arguing re itinerary. Just wanted to add that we've been to Boston and loved it and also to New York and will be there again for Christmas. Really looking forward to that, so long as there is no polar vortex!!!!

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Not arguing re itinerary. Just wanted to add that we've been to Boston and loved it and also to New York and will be there again for Christmas. Really looking forward to that, so long as there is no polar vortex!!!!

 

I think I can speak for Boston when I say "from your mouth to God's ears!" We had enough snow and cold last year to last another 50 years! :D

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