10 Tips For Planning Group Cruises

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Planning a group cruise - cruise ship in port a night

Overwhelmed planning your group cruise?

In this episode we take a break from our “What’s the latest?” series, to talk about 10 tips for planning a group cruise. 

BEFORE THE CRUISE

Tip #1: Mentioned by SO many of you- use a travel agent!

To quote Susie “group cruising can get complicated, and messy. It’s also a lot of work managing all the different reservations. A TA gets you amazing perks!”. 

Queet beet says that as the family travel agent, check your info repeatedly to make sure all the details are in order. AND, as MVPjamied says: START EARLY! 

THISISMARYKATE brings up a good point- the travel agent can help you to get your dinner tables aligned for your group cruise.. 

SeanQuinton mentions that there are entire group departments at the cruise ines who can give you better rates & perks than trying to go it alone. The Travel agent can work with those group reps. CruisewithJosh says “the cruise lines have a group department for a reason. Don’t hesitate to ask lots of questions!”. 

Tip #2: Choose a few tools to stay organized because as Katie’smanyadventure says “include everyone in decisions” : There are SO many ways to do this! Here are some suggestions: 

kassidyksw: Start a group chat in Slack or Facebook messenger to keep everyone organized

WGTR podcast- Excel sheets to help you track things.

RGAJEWKSI1: make a calendar of events and hand out a copy for each cabin

Jen from Girlfindspassport: be sure everyone remembers to book their AIRFARE.

Karen W says: create a facebook group for your party, and use POLLS to see what interests are. That way there’s no arguing, and the majority rules. 

Emily says inside that Facebook group, you keep all the questions and tips stored. 

Tip #3: Marsha S says “establish the expectations of the group first”. Chelwhite says “it’s like a wedding. Note everyone will be happy, find the middle ground. Everyone has different needs”. 

Tip #4: Because of #2, and managing those expectations, our third tip is to hold a pre cruise planning meeting or party.  Bechoppr & Tony @embark cruises says “get the whole group together”. Tony also suggests letting everyone “brand out” and do their own thing, but setting aside special time like dinner together each day. Tony also says “cruises are great for groups because there’s something for everyone”. Tukogirl andrea says for excursions: plan something, offer it up, and if people dont’ want to do it- list some alternate resources.

THISISMARYKATE says that you want to manage your parties expectations of how much time you want to spend together. 

Make key decisions together- shore ex together? Dine together?

Tip #5: If you want to….Jill S: Book balconies side by side, so you can have the staff remove the dividers between the rooms. 

Tip #6: Bring the spirit! Myka suggests ordering matching shirts for the first day so you can find everyone. Also, cruise planner or TA can plan gifs for every stateroom. Small things that don’t take up a lot of space would be: travel size toiletries, sunscreen, lanyards. 

Tip #7: Designate helpers.

CRISSYANDCharles say to have one person who checks to make everyone has all their pre cruise documents. 

Tip #8 – Danesha; DON’T OVERPLAN! PLAN 2X TIME FOR EVERYTHING YOU PLAN

Tip #9: fly in a day early

Tip #10: Discuss plans for how to contact the members in your group cruise once onboard.

  • Download app
  • Make a stateroom printout with numbers & how to dial between rooms
  • Get the internet package and use what’s app to text
  • Or Facebook messenter

Bonus tip:

Our LAST tips come from golf4spalding- GET READY TO BE FLEXIBLE!

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    I stumbled across your show while I prepare for my 1st cruise in 12/2024. I’m going from Mobile, Al to Belize and Cozumel on a 7 day cruise. It’s w/Carnival. It will be with my husband and our 2 children. It’s my kids’ birthday who are turning 15 and 13. Their birthdays are just a few days apart. We decided to celebrate big this year! I’m so excited! I hope to become an avid cruiser. I travel a lot anyway. I love the idea of cruising already! I have planned 3 previous cruises but had to cancel because the the 1st and 2nd time I ended up pregnant and too far along & the 3rd time I got COVID. This is the 4th time and I’m not letting anything stop me! lol I love the show. I love how funny you guys are! All the info is great. Can you do an updated podcast of what to pack for an embarking bag? Can you please give me more info on what to expect on my 1st cruise? Thank you so much for all of your great advice, information, and funny comments! Keep it up!

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