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Old 01-07-2013, 08:52 AM   #1
renae3
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Please help me decide what to do!

Okay, my family is considering a last minute disney cruise. We are a family of 5, myself, hubby, and 3 kids ages 4, 7, and 10. I priced out the Kids free promotion from Galveston and got a rate of 2195.00 for a deluxe room with verandah. It is a 4 night cruise. I thought this sounded like a great rate! I have looked in the past and the cheapest I ever found was 3000.00, so I was very excited!

We live in NJ, and once I checked fares, we fly in April, I found high rates...anywhere from 1666.00 to well over 2000.00. So, now I am kinda bummed, because I was hoping to get cheaper airfare. If only we didn't have to fly! Oh, and I am pregnant, will be 22 weeks at this sailing. I am so torn, we really wanted to get in a vacation before I was huge, but was hoping for a little more economical! What would you guys do? Oh, and I checked Florida cruises too and they were 3700.00, so I know this is a good deal! Any help is beyond greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:00 AM   #2
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Airfare is what kills us on vacation planning as well so I feel your pain. If your April dates are anywhere near Easter, it may be hard to find lower rates. Most of New England has a week vacation in mid- to late-April and fares are always higher. That said...check out some alternative airports. Both departing (not sure where in NJ you live but have you looked at Trenton-Mercer?) and arrival airports. Sometimes you can get lower fares at "off the beaten path." Also, consider adjusting your travel dates by a day or two - sometimes that can make a big difference even with an extra hotel night and meals.

With 3 kids, KSF is likely be to your best discount. I believe they have KSF out of Galveston and Miami right now, though I'm not sure if both locations include your dates.

Good luck and enjoy your cruise!
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:04 AM   #3
kcashner
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If you are looking at Galveston, I trust you have checked flights into both airports and multiple airlines. Southwest flies into Hobby, so that might help on luggage costs, etc. Also, have you checked departures from multiple airports?

While I prefer to fly from my "home" airport, I've sometimes found huge savings available by driving--I have 3 airports available if I'm willing to drive 2 hours.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:08 AM   #4
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I feel your pain! We were trying to book the four of us to hobby but it was coming out to around $1400. However, united to Houston came to a great deal of $616!! We are flying from Chicago.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renae3 View Post
Okay, my family is considering a last minute disney cruise. We are a family of 5, myself, hubby, and 3 kids ages 4, 7, and 10. I priced out the Kids free promotion from Galveston and got a rate of 2195.00 for a deluxe room with verandah. It is a 4 night cruise. I thought this sounded like a great rate! I have looked in the past and the cheapest I ever found was 3000.00, so I was very excited!

We live in NJ, and once I checked fares, we fly in April, I found high rates...anywhere from 1666.00 to well over 2000.00. So, now I am kinda bummed, because I was hoping to get cheaper airfare. If only we didn't have to fly! Oh, and I am pregnant, will be 22 weeks at this sailing. I am so torn, we really wanted to get in a vacation before I was huge, but was hoping for a little more economical! What would you guys do? Oh, and I checked Florida cruises too and they were 3700.00, so I know this is a good deal! Any help is beyond greatly appreciated!
Airfare killed us on this trip too. We are booked for the 4/16 sailing out of Galveston. I had already paid in full and was booked in a suite so we are not eligible for the KSF (we have 4 kids anyway, so only 2 would be free so not worth it for us to switch to two connecting rooms and loose my deposit). Anyway, we booked airfare a few months ago when it was the lowest I had seen. That was on Delta (who I really do not like) and it was PWM (Maine) to detroit to IAH one way and then HOU, to Atlanta, to PWM back. Two different airports. In total I paid $2400 for all 6 of us. (400 pp). It has only gone up since I booked. For whatever reason TX is expensive to fly in to! I would look into Miami although it seems just as expensive to fly into there. I think spring break has a lot to do with it. They know us east coast people with kids are flying in April! I would suggest you do something to take advantage of having a party of 5 for the last time!! Trust me, once you have 4 kids getting a hotel room becomes SOOO much more complicated. Nothing sleeps six...ever. Of course, you will have an infant for a while and Disney doesn't count them in the room but some hotels do! Congratulations and good luck finding the airfare/ sailing you want!
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:37 AM   #6
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Try pricing Allegiant Airlines, they fly out of the smaller airports.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:17 AM   #7
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If only we didn't have to fly!
You don't!

You don't say where in New Jersey you live, but if airfare is prohibitively expensive so that you wouldn't be able to take the cruise, have you considered driving? It's about 1500 miles from Trenton to Houston - you could do that in two days of 12 hours of driving.

It's actually over 1000 miles from Trenton to Port Canaveral, so either way you're probably looking at a two-day drive.

And if you don't want to put the miles on your car, consider renting a car for the trip - we've taken 7-day trips before with rented SUVs that were only about $300 or so. Add in the gas, and your travel costs will still come in under $1000.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:28 AM   #8
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We found the airfare for 5 to be too much as well in Feb., even checking SW out of Chicago. By the time we have to park the car at the airport too, it's just cheaper to drive from MI to TX. We will leave when my son is done with school at noon on Wed and sail on Fri. We should be into Galveston Thur. late afternoon or evening but we have enough cushion that we shouldn't have any issues. We'll keep an eye on the weather and change our route if necessary to avoid snow.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:51 AM   #9
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Airfare into Houston is ridiculous right now. We considered cruises in both early March and late May this year, but airfare is currently double what we paid for flights this past December. We can't find decent rates for either IAH or Hobby.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:55 AM   #10
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As a Houstonian, I can tell you that the rates in to IAH and HOU will be very similiar. Southwest and United keep up with the others rates in and out of Houston. I'm not sure where you live in NJ, but have you looked into flying out of Philly? I've frequently found that flying through Philly is much less expensive out of Houston than the NY/NJ area airports. Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:12 PM   #11
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OP here again. Thanks so much for all your help. I have checked all nearby airports and it does seem philadelphia to houston is still the cheapest at about 1600 for the 5 of us. Driving is 25 hours, so that is definitely out of the question. We have drove the 18 hours to disney 3 times, so we don't hate driving, but that is our limit!

Of course I know have looked at any cruises right out of NY, which would mean no airfare, and of course no disney:-( I found Carnival Slendor for 8 days and the price is about 3750.00, no airfare needed. The 4 day Disney cruise is about 3800.00 with the airfare. So, they are pretty close, but one is double the time and has no travel involved. I am so torn, I have always wanted to do a disney cruise, but maybe I should wait till after the baby and plan for next year? Will, I regret it if I don't do the disney cruise and go with Carnival?
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:48 PM   #12
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Have you priced any of the GTY rates for cruise out of Florida?
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renae3 View Post
Okay, my family is considering a last minute disney cruise. We are a family of 5, myself, hubby, and 3 kids ages 4, 7, and 10. I priced out the Kids free promotion from Galveston and got a rate of 2195.00 for a deluxe room with verandah. It is a 4 night cruise. I thought this sounded like a great rate! I have looked in the past and the cheapest I ever found was 3000.00, so I was very excited!

We live in NJ, and once I checked fares, we fly in April, I found high rates...anywhere from 1666.00 to well over 2000.00. So, now I am kinda bummed, because I was hoping to get cheaper airfare. If only we didn't have to fly! Oh, and I am pregnant, will be 22 weeks at this sailing. I am so torn, we really wanted to get in a vacation before I was huge, but was hoping for a little more economical! What would you guys do? Oh, and I checked Florida cruises too and they were 3700.00, so I know this is a good deal! Any help is beyond greatly appreciated!
Keep checking fares and different airports. We cannot pass up the kids sail free cost. We found a decent rate flying into Ft. Lauderdale from Philly. Just keep looking, just keep looking...........
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:44 PM   #14
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As a Houstonian, I can tell you that the rates in to IAH and HOU will be very similiar. Southwest and United keep up with the others rates in and out of Houston. I'm not sure where you live in NJ, but have you looked into flying out of Philly? I've frequently found that flying through Philly is much less expensive out of Houston than the NY/NJ area airports. Good luck!
We were able to shave $200 per person off by booking SW to Hobby vs. Delta to IAH. Maybe we were just lucky.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:53 PM   #15
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You have to be resourceful and check different airports. If going out of Galveston, try San Antonio, Austin, Waco and Dallas. Those are all within 5 hours of Galveston and you might be able to save 100s of dollars per person. I'm willing to drive a few hours to save. At Chris,as, we were cruising out of FLL but the flight to MCO was $300 pp cheaper (with a return from PBi). With 11 people that was $3300 cheaper and we rented a 15 pax van to drive done for just $150. It was a 3.5 hour drive but well worth the savings.

Spirit has a cheap flight from ORD to IAH. At about $150 rt pp. if you're creative in packing you won't pay a ton for luggage fees.
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