Flying to catch your next Royal Caribbean or Celebrity cruise may cost less than you think. Both lines' air programmes in the U.K. (and Ireland) have been expanded to include easyJet, Europe's well-known, low-cost carrier -- good news for Brits who are setting sail from cities outside of the U.K. and hoping to find affordable flights. A Royal Caribbean spokeswoman in the U.K. tells us that the addition of easyJet to the programmes "reflects the choice in airline that guests expect when booking a cruise holiday."
The news -- which TTG Live reports was revealed during a just-completed series of regional meetings with travel agents -- comes right on the heels of a February deal between Costa Cruises and another popular low-cost carrier, Ryanair. During the three-year partnership, Ryanair will feature a tab on its U.K. and European Web sites for passengers interested in booking Costa voyages.
So, as parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. expands its base of partner airlines to include discount flight options, is Ryanair next? Not likely. RCCL told TTG Live that Ryanair is not in the picture, due to service issues associated with the carrier.
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity will continue to offer flights from Jet2, Aer Lingus, Monarch, Flybe, British Airways, KLM, Iberia, Air France, Lufthansa, Virgin, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, US Airways, Air Canada, Qantas, Emirates, Etihad and Cathay Pacific, in addition to easyJet. But, no matter the carrier, the major benefit of booking flights directly through cruise lines is the same: If your flight is canceled or delayed, the ship will be more likely to wait for you -- or the line will foot the bill to get you to the ship at the next port of call.
Which low-cost carrier do you prefer? Make sure you vote in today's Daily Poll on CruiseCritic.co.uk!
--by Melissa Baldwin Paloti, Managing Editor
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Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Team Up With easyJet
March 26, 2009