10 Tips For Planning Group Cruises

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. 


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 #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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Here’s what people are saying about the CruiseTipsTV Unplugged Podcast

  • Love this podcast - so many tips!
    November 8, 2023 by Berrmic from United States

    I’ve listened to many cruise related podcasts and this is the best by far. So many wonderful tips! I’ve become a carry-on only traveler because of CTTV and love being able to avoid the long walk to retrieve my luggage. I took the cruise line personality quiz on the CTTV website and we absolutely loved our first Holland America cruise. Much better fit than our previous cruises. I am always going back to previous episodes to pick up tips and advice I may have missed. Thank you CTTV!

  • Great podcast!
    October 25, 2023 by Soiffey72 from United States

    This is a great and fun podcast with such practical and useful information.

  • Best podcast ever!!
    September 2, 2023 by Orla H. from United States

    I started listening to the podcast about a month ago. They are so helpful for anyone who is taking a cruise, first or 50th. I’m going on my second cruise soon and just from listening I booked another! Thanks so much for giving me so many tips for my next cruise.