I have yet to take a repositioning cruise though I would love to do this.
Its one of the best deals when you look at total cost and days on board ship (great measure of a cruise price is the per day cost).
Unfortunately my office does not like us out more than 1 week at a time, so including weekends the most time I have is 12 days. And if you count the sea days, plus flite time as you need to fly 1 way usually, its more time than I have.
I was also concerned about what it would be like crossing an ocean, as most of my cruises are along a shoreline, or in a sea (Caribbean, Med, Baltic, etc), so I have talked to alot of people that have done repositioning cruises. For the most part folks love them, and once they do one they tend to repeat. Also, I am told that the chances of rough water are no higher on the repositioning cruise, than any other cruise.
One thing to consider though is whether you like to spend a lot of time relaxing or participating in ship board activities or whether you prefer lots of ports. When I first started cruising I use to pick cruises with lots of ports, but quickly discovered I needed a vacation from my vacation, and that I spent alot more money on tours, unless it was a port I had been to before. There are some cruises that combine both, but they are generally 21 days and up.
I always try to select a marriott in my port city (ies) to leave and return to. If you are careful in selection, depending on the city, it is possible to find properties that have airport transportation, include breakfast, and have a shuttle to the port. This is a huge time and cost saver, when you find properties like this to use especially when you consider that there is often more luggage for a cruise.
We have done few:
Each had is unique itinerary ports of calls from their usual routes; for example the Barcelona to Venice was 15 nights and included great ports along the way with also couple of stops in Greece, couple of stops in Turkey including an overnight in Istanbul.
Check out websites that specialize in repositioning cruises
Thank you, blava007.
Those sound really interesting. The sites are informative, too.
Have you also used the brokerage houses in Europe for last minute flights?
One summer we traveled across the U.S. via Amtrak when they had a special to get off the train 3 times within a trip for as long as you wanted as long as you completed the entire trip in 2 months. There was a teaching couple from CA who were taking a trip with their grandchildren since children were 1/2 price, and they said there were brokerage houses in Europe where you can get good prices as long as you're prepared to fly last minute. That was quite a few years ago when the Mississippi River flooded about 1993 or 1994.
I always use VacationsToGo as a starting point for any cruise, as they have the easiest to use listings.
Once I locate the cruise I want, I check several other wholesalers, and the cruiseline directly to see who has the best combination of fare and perks.
Some of the sites are
Most of my cruises have been bought from VTG, cruise.com or directly with the cruiseline
All things being equal I do book direct with the cruiseline, as there is more flexibility with post-payment changes. As a frequent cruiser, if I have booked with them, I get different opportunities like
p.s. have always bought the air separately, as it has always been cheaper. I do ask the cruise line and wholesalers to quote both ways, but usually buying air independently is cheapest. There is one advantage to cruise air thought. If your flite is delayed, and bought it through the cruiseline,, they guarantee you will get to the ship at no cost to you. So when I buy independent air, I always fly at least 1 day early in case of flite delays.