Cruising with a Group
Traveling as a group is a great opportunity for families, friends or business colleagues to spend relaxed time together. However, traveling with a group can involve dealing with lots of details, to say nothing of selecting a trip that will suit everyone.
Fortunately, a cruise is a perfect choice for groups that want to travel together, whether it’s for a family or class reunion, a wedding party, a convention, an incentive group, a sales meeting, a fundraising group, a club you belong to – the list goes on and on. Today’s ships are equipped with such a wide range of features and activities that everyone can find something to do, and yet still fit in time to be productive, if it is a business-oriented trip. Sailing to different ports of call also presents opportunities for new adventures each day.
If you are interested in arranging a cruise for a group, it’s important to work with a travel professional, preferably one who focuses exclusively on cruising. A Personal Cruise Expert can help you put together a completely customized Group Cruising Package. For example, it could include meeting rooms with state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment; specialty dining options; priority embarkation; cocktail parties, and more. Cruise Holidays can also coordinate the air travel needs of group members, which is especially important if they live in different areas. This type of expert can also work with the cruise line to book your group’s staterooms together and ensure that your group receives any special benefits that are available, such as stateroom category upgrades, special shore excursions and group photos.
If budget is a concern, cruising is still a very attractive solution. Most ships offer several different types of staterooms that fit a range of budgets. In addition, cruises are virtually all-inclusive. The price includes accommodations, meals, snacks, entertainment and most of the on-board activities.
When planning a group cruise, it’s best to contact your travel professional at least six months in advance. Cruise Holidays will not only help you decide on the right cruise line, ship, and itinerary, but they will attend to other details, such as coordinating special requests and helping you develop a marketing plan for promoting your group to your organization or family members. They’ll also accept and process all incoming registrations, process all departure documents, and can even escort your group to assist with any last-minute requests that need coordination.
An experienced travel professional is necessary to ensure a flawless group cruise experience.
Fabulous Group Cruises
Cruising is a fabulous travel choice not only for singles, couples and families, but for groups of all sizes and interests. Cruising makes it easy to arrange accommodations, meals and entertainment for a group – the cruise line does most of the work for you. Cruise line staff can also arrange dinners, parties or shore excursions just for your group. Your personal cruise expert can arrange transportation that gets everyone to the ship, and ensure that your group receives any available cruise incentives.
Three of most common cruise group types are family reunions, fundraising cruises and corporate meetings.
- A family reunion cruise will please everyone from the oldest to the youngest family members. The entire group can spend time together – playing games on the sports deck, taking in a show or having dinner – as well as time on their own. For the kids, most cruise lines have activity programs specially designed for various age groups and supervised by trained counselors. Many ships feature "teen-only” lounges and dance clubs. And, there are plenty of things for adults to enjoy, such as health club workouts, spa treatments, bridge tournaments and naps in a deck chair.
- A group cruise is also an exciting option for fundraising and can push a non-profit organization’s campaign to new levels of success. Your personal cruise expert can help you find a cruise package that provides donors with a great travel experience while ensuring a significant return for the organization. If your fundraising cruise features a special guest, such as a sports legend or celebrity, the cruise line can help you arrange fun "meet and greet” events or autograph sessions, too.
- Most cruise ships look like they are designed for leisure only, but many of those ships are extremely well-equipped to handle the business of group meetings. There are floating conference centers that can accommodate meetings as small as 10 or as large as 1,300 people. Some ships even have space for tradeshow-style exhibits, as well as audiovisual capabilities that rival land-based conference centers. Outside of meeting hours, the leisure amenities of the ship will make the entire experience especially fun and memorable for attendees.
With any group cruise, it’s important to start planning early! Frequent communication with all members of the group will also help things run smoothly – ask your personal cruise expert for suggestions on keeping everyone informed with the latest cruise information.