Updated: Jul 25
Normally, I'd say it was too early to worry about flights for a trip 10 months away. There's really no savings to be had this far out, and the chances of your schedule being changed by the time the cruise happens is pretty large.
This cruise ends just before Thanksgiving, and that means seats are going to be in short supply once we get closer to the trip. My advice is: book something now.
And I recommend you book through the cruise line's Air2Sea program. Why? For the following reasons:
You'll often find a cheaper price, even for business/first class if that's how you roll.
You won't have to pay for flights until you pay for your cruise, in August.
You cancel and change without penalty.
Your flights are tied in with your cruise, so it's the cruise line's responsibility to get you to the ship.
If you're going to insure your trip, this rolls everything into a nice package.
Are there disadvantages? Yes, there are a limited number of airlines that Royal Caribbean uses. So far they seem to favor American and United, with a few Delta flights thrown in there. Southwest? Nope. (Southwest only allows bookings six months in advance, so you can't book on Southwest right now anyway.) And you're putting a middle man into the mix, though I've had no problem dealing directly with the airlines for these flights.
There's one other odd thing: because we're in a group, they're disallowing use of the website to book flights. Why? Who knows... You can use the site to look at flights, but to book, you'll need to call. On the site at https://www.royalcaribbean.com/flights/bookFlights, click on Just Browsing. The phone number to book air is 844-278-9745, and then press 2.
Tips for booking flights: Land in MIA no later than Noon, Nov 7. I strongly recommend coming down a day earlier. Book flights for leaving the LA area on the 21st no earlier than Noon. We should be off the ship by 8AM, but things can happen. LAX is 1-2 hours away from the port, depending on traffic. Long Beach airport is much closer, but has far fewer flights.
I've decided that this idea isn't going to work. :( La Brea is too far away, and the traffic is too heavy. Stay tuned for other ideas. There are transfers from the ship to the airports, but they're almost always not worth it. They tend to cost more than a taxi, and you end up sitting for a long time waiting. They make more sense for a solo traveler than a couple.
Questions? Let me know! Jeff 802-734-0662