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San Juan Port - Figuring out Flights


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My husband and I are debating the 7 day out of San Juan for spring break (I know, I know - teacher problems + farmer problems; fall is never an option). My biggest concern is the flight situation. I've researched multiple possibilities, but does anyone have any flight booking tips for a decent price? Right now we're looking at adding on $1K JUST for flights, which is seriously impeding my decision to book the cruise. We live in TN; can easily get to STL/BNA/MEM; not so easily but still doable to get to ATL.

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1 minute ago, coevan said:

we start at Expedia, look for flights and then book directly with the airline. If it's $500 pp, sounds about right to SJU

Ouch, thanks. Hate to spend that much! I flew to China last year for $400 lol.

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THIS Spring Break? Like in 30 days?

 

FYI, a 'good' price to SJU from Chicago is usually about $325 RT on SWA, not during peak weeks however.  But Spring Break is ALWAYS going to be tough because of capacity issues.

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1 minute ago, jsglow said:

THIS Spring Break? Like in 30 days?

 

FYI, a 'good' price to SJU from Chicago is usually about $325 RT on SWA, not during peak weeks however.  But Spring Break is ALWAYS going to be tough because of capacity issues.

yep. I was supposed to be on a trip to Thailand that was grounded due to coronavirus fears. So we are last minute looking around for something else. And yeah, I know spring break is always going to be tough. Unfortunately it's usually the only option we have.

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2 minutes ago, teknoge3k said:

When we were getting our flights, it would have been $800 for my family of 4 to fly roundtrip from RDU to SJU on Southwest. We used points though and ended up paying $42. 

Thanks, good to know. Maybe multi-leg to RDU from MEM/etc. then SJU.

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We flew from RDU to San Juan in 2011 for $350 each. The cruise was $350 for interior rooms then so I felt like we got a major deal. We've done 5 cruises and that is our favorite Carribean one. You'll love it!

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54 minutes ago, mbarker10 said:

yep. I was supposed to be on a trip to Thailand that was grounded due to coronavirus fears. So we are last minute looking around for something else. And yeah, I know spring break is always going to be tough. Unfortunately it's usually the only option we have.

I'm gonna suggest you delay San Juan unless something opens up from an airfare perspective.  $500+ R/T from BNA sounds nasty.  That said, it is a WONDERFUL place to cruise from (actually, my very favorite) especially now that Carnival has some alternate routes.  From where you guys are perhaps a short flight to MSY, MCO or FLL this time?  Not quite as exotic a cruise but still super fun.  

 

DO try to do SJU when you can get a good deal on flights.  The cruise price is pretty fixed.  I just played around for the first week of May and did a mock air for $379 out of BNA.  Let a cheap airfare down there be your determinant.  They do exist if you can be flexible.  A Saturday to Sunday during Spring break peak ain't one of those times.  Good luck with your vacation plans! 

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14 minutes ago, jsglow said:

I'm gonna suggest you delay San Juan unless something opens up from an airfare perspective.  $500+ R/T from BNA sounds nasty.  That said, it is a WONDERFUL place to cruise from (actually, my very favorite) especially now that Carnival has some alternate routes.  From where you guys are perhaps a short flight to MSY, MCO or FLL this time?  Not quite as exotic a cruise but still super fun.  

 

DO try to do SJU when you can get a good deal on flights.  The cruise price is pretty fixed.  I just played around for the first week of May and did a mock air for $379 out of BNA.  Let a cheap airfare down there be your determinant.  They do exist if you can be flexible.  A Saturday to Sunday during Spring break peak ain't one of those times.  Good luck with your vacation plans! 

I really appreciate that advice! We don’t have a ton of flexibility but we might be able to squeeze in a third week of May cruise (I get out of school around the 15th). That might be a better opportunity, flight wise. 
 

the flight from BNA is awful - it’s a red eye that gets in at 1:30 am. And still pricey. Definitely worth delaying IMO for better flight prices and timing. Thanks for your perspective!

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2 minutes ago, mbarker10 said:

I really appreciate that advice! We don’t have a ton of flexibility but we might be able to squeeze in a third week of May cruise (I get out of school around the 15th). That might be a better opportunity, flight wise. 
 

the flight from BNA is awful - it’s a red eye that gets in at 1:30 am. And still pricey. Definitely worth delaying IMO for better flight prices and timing. Thanks for your perspective!

 

San Juan is a zig when others are zagging.  But absolutely do it sometime.

 

100% true story.  In 2014 we put together a trip on the Valor out of SJU less than 48 hours before we sailed.  We had an unexpected winter gap in our schedules and the last second flights were surprisingly cheap and perfect.  Literally booked on Friday, flew Saturday, sailed Sunday.... all from a cold Chicago. We got to our cabin and our steward mistakenly had the names of the folks that had just cancelled!  

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7 minutes ago, jsglow said:

 

San Juan is a zig when others are zagging.  But absolutely do it sometime.

 

100% true story.  In 2014 we put together a trip on the Valor out of SJU less than 48 hours before we sailed.  We had an unexpected winter gap in our schedules and the last second flights were surprisingly cheap and perfect.  Literally booked on Friday, flew Saturday, sailed Sunday.... all from a cold Chicago. We got to our cabin and our steward mistakenly had the names of the folks that had just cancelled!  

Wow! What fortuitous timing. We’re always last minute cruisers. I usually get pegged to tutor failing students during spring break, but I had Thailand planned and it fell through. So now I can’t help but eyeball other trips 😂

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1 minute ago, mbarker10 said:

Wow! What fortuitous timing. We’re always last minute cruisers. I usually get pegged to tutor failing students during spring break, but I had Thailand planned and it fell through. So now I can’t help but eyeball other trips 😂

 

Last minute rocks when you can pull something off.  We're retiring this year and plan to take advantage.  Feels like something unethical when you know everyone around you paid MULTIPLES of what you paid for the same thing.  We did that for Alaska in '18 and had a helluva time.  (Actually, think about that for right after school gets out.  Mid May can be a wonderful early season time to cruise up there. Again, the flight becomes the issue.  (PS. Do Princess or HAL for that one.  They both own the market.)) 

 

Sorry about Thailand.  That certainly isn't a last minute type thing.

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4 minutes ago, jsglow said:

 

Last minute rocks when you can pull something off.  We're retiring this year and plan to take advantage.  Feels like something unethical when you know everyone around you paid MULTIPLES of what you paid for the same thing.  We did that for Alaska in '18 and had a helluva time.  (Actually, think about that for right after school gets out.  Mid May can be a wonderful early season time to cruise up there. Again, the flight becomes the issue.  (PS. Do Princess or HAL for that one.  They both own the market.)) 

 

Sorry about Thailand.  That certainly isn't a last minute type thing.

Yep pretty crappy! Out of all the things to happen, a dang epidemic!

 

thanks for all your advice. 

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19 minutes ago, soonernstlouis said:

In my opinion you waited too long to book the flight.  You should look a minimum 6 months out.  I booked STL-SJU for $304/pp about 8 months out last Feb for last Fall. Just buck it up or book for 2021.


Another vote for booking it in 2021.  I transferred a Cuba cruise when they were cancelled for the Fascination in May 2020 and had plenty of time to get a Southwest credit card with a 40,000 point bonus once you spend $1,000.  We had the points available and booked MCO-SJU for two people for 46,000 points (or $709) on the day the flights were released.  The same flights now are 58,000 points.  It pays to plan ahead.

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1 hour ago, soonernstlouis said:

In my opinion you waited too long to book the flight.  You should look a minimum 6 months out.  I booked STL-SJU for $304/pp about 8 months out last Feb for last Fall. Just buck it up or book for 2021.

Unfortunately I was booked to be in Thailand and the trip was cancelled due to the coronavirus, so it wasn’t intentional. I was going to be gone for our anniversary, and now I’m not. So I was just eyeing things and seeing what was possible. 

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1 hour ago, ZoeyVictoria said:


Another vote for booking it in 2021.  I transferred a Cuba cruise when they were cancelled for the Fascination in May 2020 and had plenty of time to get a Southwest credit card with a 40,000 point bonus once you spend $1,000.  We had the points available and booked MCO-SJU for two people for 46,000 points (or $709) on the day the flights were released.  The same flights now are 58,000 points.  It pays to plan ahead.

Sometimes, it does! Luckily I had travel insurance for my Thailand trip and got full refunds, so the money was just sitting and trying to decide how best to use it. I get it. We’re not intentionally planning last minute. It’s just the way it worked out. 

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16 hours ago, mbarker10 said:

yep. I was supposed to be on a trip to Thailand that was grounded due to coronavirus fears. So we are last minute looking around for something else. And yeah, I know spring break is always going to be tough. Unfortunately it's usually the only option we have.

 

Unfortunately if you're looking for spring break this year to SJU, you are looking at both peak time AND booking pretty late, all things considered, both of which mean higher prices. 

But consider this:  Even if you got, say, a $325 price per ticket like someone mentioned, you're talking $650 for both of you, vs. the $1000 you're seeing for your preferred routing.  Do you want to skip the trip over a difference of $350, or just pay the money so you can enjoy the cruise you're looking at?   For me, with the last minute change to the Thailand trip and the disappointment that goes with that, I'd just pay the few hundred extra, book the tickets I want for the San Juan cruise, and be done with it!

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17 minutes ago, waterbug123 said:

 

Unfortunately if you're looking for spring break this year to SJU, you are looking at both peak time AND booking pretty late, all things considered, both of which mean higher prices. 

But consider this:  Even if you got, say, a $325 price per ticket like someone mentioned, you're talking $650 for both of you, vs. the $1000 you're seeing for your preferred routing.  Do you want to skip the trip over a difference of $350, or just pay the money so you can enjoy the cruise you're looking at?   For me, with the last minute change to the Thailand trip and the disappointment that goes with that, I'd just pay the few hundred extra, book the tickets I want for the San Juan cruise, and be done with it!

Totally get that! I'm still today playing with legs involving RDU to see if I can make something work out 🙂  Fingers crossed!

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On 2/19/2020 at 2:08 PM, teknoge3k said:

When we were getting our flights, it would have been $800 for my family of 4 to fly roundtrip from RDU to SJU on Southwest. We used points though and ended up paying $42. 

 

Just remember....your ticket didn't cost you $42.  It cost that in cash PLUS the value of the points that you redeemed, which are just an alternative currency.  And by redeeming them now, you can no longer use them in the future.

 

Much more to this than just the immediate cash outlays.

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Not sure where you are located in Tennessee (we are northeast area) but our roundtrip flights to San Juan out of Atlanta were less than $800 total.  I looked at all surrounding airports and ATL was the cheapest, (though I see you've said it is harder to get to for you guys), but you may want to also check Asheville's prices.  We are flying out of there this weekend and prices were much, much better.

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  • 2 weeks later...
My husband and I are debating the 7 day out of San Juan for spring break (I know, I know - teacher problems + farmer problems; fall is never an option). My biggest concern is the flight situation. I've researched multiple possibilities, but does anyone have any flight booking tips for a decent price? Right now we're looking at adding on $1K JUST for flights, which is seriously impeding my decision to book the cruise. We live in TN; can easily get to STL/BNA/MEM; not so easily but still doable to get to ATL.

I’ll be leaving in 12 days from MI to San Juan for the 3rd time in three years. I book through Travelocity and buy the extra “Price Match Promise.” For an additional $27 per flight, my price has already come down over $375 on each flight. Kind of a hassle to check every day, but we’ll worth the savings I’m getting! Airfares change all day long.


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