If you’re planning on going on a group cruise, then good call! Group cruises are one of the best ways to enjoy the open ocean, have big fun while onboard, and explore locations when you finally arrive at the port.
But how exactly do you go about planning a group cruise? What’s involved? It’s not as simple as you might imagine. Take a look at these tips, tricks and steps you must take to organize and schedule a fantastic cruise that you and the rest of your party will love.
Designate A Group Leader
As will all things in life, you need a good leader to organize a group cruise. Group cruises struggle to get off the ground unless there’s somebody behind the curtain, managing affairs.
Choosing a great leader, however, can be a challenge. You need somebody who isn’t afraid to make sure that everybody has paid, booked their rooms, and gotten their passports up to date. It takes a particular, fearless personality to pull it off.
You also need a leader who isn’t stressed out by the last-minute stress that often accompanies booking a holiday, including those on cruise ships. The leader needs to be able to cope with last-minute changes and delays – the sort of thing that inevitably happens when large groups of people travel together.
Your leader needs to be confident to send out invitations to people in the group, handling unforeseen issues, and perhaps choosing the cruise that you all eventually go on.
Choose A Ship With A Schedule People Will Love
Cruise vacations aren’t all the same. They’re so different from one another that it can sometimes be challenging to decide on one and book finally.
Before choosing a ship, think carefully about the type of experience that people in your party would like. A trip around a Norwegian fjord is very different from a cruise through the Caribbean islands. The weather and location are different from one another.
Then there’s the cruise ship itself. Cruise ships vary quite dramatically from each other. Some cruise ships have multiple restaurants, amusements, entertainment for children, and places to relax by the pool. Others offer more esoteric options, like dance classes and oil painting. Again, think carefully about who in your group would enjoy what and then create a wishlist when selecting a ship.
Plan Shore Excursions
When the cruise ship pulls into harbor, you’ll have a few hours (and sometimes a whole day) to go exploring. It’s a good idea, therefore, to choose locations to explore near the shore. You and your party can access theses locations easily and spend more time holidaying and less time travelling deep into the interiors of countries.
Many cruise ships offer tour guides who will take you sightseeing without you having to lift a finger. Others will connect you with local guides to similar effect. Tour guides are a great shortcut that allows you to get the most out of each location you stop off at. Of course, if you’re feeling brave, you can plan shore excursions yourself.
Plan Travel Logistics Ahead Of Time
Once you’re on the cruise ship, the operator will manage all of your travel requirements. But you’ll still need to make arrangements for travelling between the cruise ship and any hotels you stay in, as well as transport if you decide to venture further afield than shore locations.
Group transport is, in general, trickier than solo transport, or transport as a couple. You may want to consider hiring a minivan or shuttle to take you from one location to another, especially if you all need to arrive for flights and transfers at the same time.
Book Your Cruise In Advance
Booking a cruise in advance is a good idea, not only because it lets you choose which cabins you stay in and where you visit, but also because it allows you to book shore excursions and other activities during the voyage.
Set Up A Facebook Page
Depending on the size of the group, you might want to set up a Facebook page. Setting up a Facebook page provides a platform through which everyone can communicate. You can upload and post instructions, pictures and even videos telling people what they need to do. You can also provide detailed information about the itinerary or respond to questions and comments.
So there you have it: how to plan a group cruise. Planning a group cruise is remarkably simple, thanks to the fact that the cruise operator takes care of the vast majority of elements for you. Do you feel more confident about planning a group cruise?
When you’re ready to start planning your group cruise, get in touch and we’ll help you select the right cruise line, ship, and destination.