Money Saving Alternatives for the “Travel Weary”


Some other Ways of Getting from Here to There!!!

Anything Here Sound Interesting or Familiar?

Often time people ask me why don’t the airlines or cruiselines understand more about what it takes (financially and emotionally) from us in just getting to their cruise ships, while they (cruise lines) keep reducing their prices and still are wondering why more active adults are not arriving on their ships.

Here are some fundamental basics that need to be understood before we can go deeper into the subject matter

  • Cruise lines (mostly) are reactive rather than proactive to problem solving (and slow at that).
  • Cruise lines often discount, credit and amenity, rather than really fix/resolve issues.
  • Cruise lines continually come up with new ways of “nickling and diming” the customers, while attempting to persuade passengers that it is for better, service enhancements.
  • Cruise lines have reduced the aging generation in their marketing efforts.
  • Generally Airlines don’t care what, or how inconvenient they are to understand YOUR problem(s).

So if we can at least understand the above, we can then begin to move forward with finding alternative methods of working around their Achilles heal!

Lets begin by discussion on just some of the “Real Life Issues” active adults (non exclusive) are facing when trying to get to that Bargain Discounted Cruise Ship Fare. Let us assume that you have been convinced of the need for you to fly to the cruise ship by the cruiseline or a travel agent. Here are just some of details that YOU (not THEY) are going to have to contend with.

  1. Finding a Good Deal, or the lowest airfare.
  2. Getting yourself to the airport, or Getting your car parked at/near the airport
  3. Dealing with rude, emotionless bag/airline employee personnel (and paying them to do it)
  4. All of the anxiety and emotions of getting through the Security Screening Procedure
  5. Fear or Risk at being knocked down or injured while standing on a moving walkway
  6. Getting to the actual gate your flight will leave from and get the boarding process begun
  7. Boarding the aircraft (cramped leg , seat, and storage room)
  8. What happened to the friendly skies? Can we just not be rushed or rude people?????
  9. Only to hear the Cabin crew telling us why we wont get off the gate on time
  10. Then once we do only to find ourselves #30 in line to take off
  11. Your next flight had a 45 minute connection, which leaves it’s gate before you now land
  12. Your an East Coast Port City, & the first flight out is 9:30am (can’t make ship by 5pm)
  13. You now need to fly out a day early and incur hotel, meals, and added expenses
  14. Plus you still have to deal with actually getting from hotel to pier

All of a sudden a special $599pp cruise fare special has turned out to cost you $2800(for you and the Mrs.) and that doesn’t include the costs of Trip Insurance and your shipboard spending account (which unless you are really very frugal, for most people on the average that is maybe another $500-$1000 (tips, photos, special dining, alcohol, excursions, etc.) and insurance expense can be pricey as it’s based on age and trip costs. I can show you better ways of dealing with these things before you go, and I can definitely offer an alternative to all of the above, which normally always saves money and aggravation, and makes for a much greater journey and memories.

Due to the recent Federally mandated airline disclosure requirements, I am such a small agency that I can NOT afford to violate the disclosure laws and since I would be at the mercy of some “third party” to maintain compliance, I have chosen to no longer book air fare for customers. However, that being said: I can offer you my solution for finding and booking my own personal air flights. First, finding the best deal takes just a little effort. There are several booking engine resources out their for finding the lowest cost. Now Be Careful here! as some do/may not include airport fees and government taxes in the prices they show you. So be sure your are seeing the total cost. You can use Kayak(my personal fav as they do quote total fare costs in their pricing), Orbitz, Travelocity, and others. BUT I NEVER buy through any of these services. Once I am armed with the knowledge of who is the best deal, Then…I simply go directly to that airlines website and book directly with them, and make my seat selection. BECAUSE, until you make a seat selection, you only have a confirmed reservation (which is NOT a seat) for a certain flight.

Alternatives include driving yourself (to “closer to home” regional cruise ports), providing an opportunity of seeing some of the things you have always wanted to see, and taking part in doing some of those things you have always wondered about doing (Like National Parks, Scenic Drives and Parkways, Preserves and Reserves. Or things like Canyons, Georges, Capes, Mountains, Prairies, Painted Deserts, the list goes on and on. Stop over’s can be fun, especially when planned at places like Sante Fe, Branson, Memphis, Nashville where you not only get a good nights rest to complete your journey, but can take in evening of entertainment, and catch some sights in the Morning before you take back to the open road! Once you arrive at the port city, there are some pretty amazing bargain alternatives to paying the absorbadent port parking fees as well. Most every tourism bureau will have participating member hotels/motels that offer special “park and Sail” or “Snooze and Sail” package deals that include one nights lodging, free parking of your car at their parking facilities (much safer alternative) and free transportation to/from the pier and hotel/motel. Why some of them even throw in a continental or hot breakfast with the deal. Parking Fees at the port can run (depending on cruise and location from $15-$35per day(just to park) while these cruise special deals can normally be obtained for (the lower range) for these packages is say $159-$169. So easily for the price you would pay to just park your car you can get that, as well as all the extras for around the same price. Pretty neat idea huh?

Since we active adults are retired (for the most part), we can even enhance our trips by going with like- minded groups, that do all of this by motorcoach, to Memphis or Nashville, and then take a river boat down the Missisippi to catch our cruise ship in New Orleans, or we do something similar headed to the west coast and make our overnight stay on the Queen Mary Hotel. Ever been on the Queen Mary? That is an experience all of its own. Not to mention that you and your partner are able to arrive at the cruise ship, refreshed, energized, and in the proper frame of mind to embark on a cruise adventure of a lifetime.

For many Active Adults, Traveling isn’t always about the money, but the experience and getting there in a less hassle, frazzled, and peaceful state of mind. But, I must tell you that our alternative folks generally save money over the conventional travel crowd. While managing to eliminate the crowded airport hubub. I realize that for some, this idea of alternative travelling just isn’t their cup of tea. They want to fly to their destinations, or in the case of international there isn’t really much different you can do unless you are a really good swimmer (only kidding), or really able to endure a transatlantic crossing on a freight/container ship. Had people do that too! We can arrange any form of travel you have a desire to take. We just believe there are potential alternatives in most every form of transportation.

I would love to hear your comments, suggestions, and recommendations. Maybe you have been thinking of embarking on a journey and need some like-minded individuals who would like to set out with you. We could arrange that kind of an offering. But be sure to join our travel club, and get involved the meetings if you are local to phoenix, or attend the web-meetups, read the enewletters, and take advantage of the free newspaper subscriptions etc. It doesn’t cost you a thing, and you can learn a lot, and if you join us on an outing you can even experience a lot. You can visit us at for more information about our Travel Group Activities.

For more information on Alternative Travel Methods that are available,  you can contact Mike via email  . You can tweet (or follow) Mike at  . You can “Join” our Travel Club at  Mikes web site can be found at .  You can follow this blog (or subscribe to it) at  (or merely click on the subscribe button above to have daily delivery to your email). View all of Mikes uploaded Flickr Photo Galleries at . Mike also is editor of his own twice daily e-newspaper called “The Compass Headings” you can see (or subscribe to) it free! at

Please feel free to leave a comment below on this articles’ contents. We are always looking for ideas or suggestions to expand and improve on our content! If you found the information helpful why not include (a tweet to followers) or (share a like) with your facebook friends, that they might benefit from the information as well. Thanks For Visiting, and please come back often to this daily Blog. – Mike

Travel Fun, Have a great experience!

As you can see there ARE alternatives to the fast paced, squished, cramped airplane seats to get to your cruise port. Hopefully you gained a few ideas from these suggestions. Thanks!!

Cruise with Mike


About cruisewithmike

Mike is a Professional Cruise Wedding Planner, Wedding Officiant,and owner of CruisewithMike Wedding Planners. With over 20 years of experience in the Travel Industry, as an Independant Travel Consultant, Customer Service Agent, and a retired Va. Magistrate, and Clergy. Mike has a very unique perspective on Customer and Wedding Service Needs and strives to provide custom service that's "TOPS" Totally Outrageous Professional Service, with every customer he works with.
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2 Responses to Money Saving Alternatives for the “Travel Weary”

  1. WillSmith says:

    op7JMC Hi! I’m just wondering if i can get in touch with you, since you have amazing content, and i’m thinking of running a couple co- projects! email me pls

    • Absolutely you are welcome to contact me directly. My email, and my twitter links are embeded within each of the blog posts, and those are the best ways to reach me directly. Be happy to assist if I can. Thank you for the comment and feedback!

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