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  1. This is almost exactly our situation. We have business class San Diego to Rome outbound and from Zurich on the return. (spending some time in Switzerland after the cruise) I spoke to a HAL Personal Cruise Consultant today and she confirmed that we have the outbound seat assignments. It's through United but operated by Lufthansa. She told me that if we were in Economy there would be a very good chance of our seats being changed by the airline. She said Business and First were handled differently and would probably not change. This is because there are fewer seats for the airlines to play with in the those classes, according to her. We were ready to pay for the air to secure the seats but were told it would make no difference. I guess this is just a quirk of Flight Ease and booking air through a cruise line. We've traveled extensively internationally, booking directly with the airline, and have always gotten the seat assigned during the ticketing process. Maybe a bit of uncertainty is the price you pay for securing the airfare without putting up any money.
  2. The benefit I see is that you can lock up the tickets for months without paying anything. Airlines would never do that. We made reservations a month ago and won’t pay a cent, on the airfare, until February. And the price was very competitive. We did pay a refundable deposit in the cruise.
  3. Thanks everyone for your help. An update...I was talking to HAL about cancellation insurance and mentioned the seat assignment question. They transferred me to another department. I think they called it the "air specialists" or something like that. This person reviewed the flights, requested Lufthansa seat assignments and got them. She didn't know why it worked and said it's just a hit and miss system. While we were on the phone I checked the Lufthansa website and our flight did indeed show those seats were now assigned. So it seems to be one of those things about travel where hard and fast rules don't apply, or they do until you double check and talk to someone else. Thanks again!
  4. Just checked....Lufthansa won't assign them for coach or business. It's always been my experience that seats are only locked in when ticketed. I was surprised that Swiss Air gave me them through Flight Ease. It just seemed weird that Flight Ease could provide seat for two of the legs but not all four. Not a big deal as we have the seats. And the pricing is really good. The tickets we reserved a month ago are 1k more today. Thanks to all for responding. I appreciate the help.
  5. Next May will be our first experience with Flight Ease. The prices were good, but we were not able to get seat assignments for a couple legs. The outbound flights are United operated by Lufthansa, San Diego to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to Rome. Flight Ease said they couldn't pull these seats. We're flying home on Swiss and United and were able to get those seats. They told me that as it gets closer they might be able to get the seats. Is this normal for them? And, of course, if we cough up the money I'm sure we'd get them. Thanks!
  6. HAL customer service is already checking with the ship. I’ll let you know what we hear. Thanks everyone for taking the time to comment.
  7. This would all be within Greece. Thanks to all for your advice.
  8. Is it possible to stay on land skipping a sailing leg and meet the ship in another port? We are considering disembarking in Athens, traveling on land through Corinth and meeting up with the ship the following night in Nafplion. This would give us a lot more time to tour instead of having to drive back to Piraeus. I have a question in to the ship to see if this is possible. I'm wondering if anyone has done something like this. HAL told me they've had people leave the ship a day early, but that returning is a new one for them. Thanks!
  9. Thanks to all! I appreciate the advice. Friends will now have 5189, the next aft cabin and we're hoping to move the divider so I think we'll stick with 5187.
  10. Anyone out there have pictures of this suite? I've heard conflicting stories about the aft suites being smaller or having weird furniture arrangements. I guess pictures of any of the other decks aft Neptune suites would also answer this question. Thanks!
  11. Are the taxi and car services able to drop passengers at the ship, not a mile away, in Civitavecchia? I'm just wondering if there's any advantage to using the cruise line's services. We're not using their hotels as there's a place in Rome we really like staying. Thanks!
  12. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I think we'll stick with the aft suite as we're not really interested in the on board entertainment or activities. This trip is more about the ports for us. The distance to the Neptune Lounge is a bit of a bummer, but I need the exercise!
  13. Thanks everyone for your insights. We took the cabin and look forward to the cruise. Kurt
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