Cruises are the best way to explore the world in one week or more. The entertainment is non-stop, the on board service is over-the-top masterful, and the memories last a lifetime. Week-in and week-out, cruise passengers have high expectations for the trip they have been looking forward to for many months. It is a much needed getaway from work and from the stresses of everyday life. A group cruise is an even more exciting experience. Sharing a traveling experience with a large group of people is truly rewarding. For a group cruise to be successful, there are a handful of important points to consider. The not only pertain to the group leader, but to the entire group as a whole.
A group cruise starting and ending on a high note solely depends on group effort. How so? There is much responsibility on both the group leader’s behalf. Likewise, there is hint of responsibility on the group’s behalf. The five key points to a successful group cruise vacation are as follows:
5) The theme team: Before a group cruise can be organized, the group leader(s) must come up with the theme or occasion for the cruise. The list of themes and occasions for a group cruise is endless. The cruise could be a family reunion, someone’s retirement, a birthday, a sweet sixteen, a graduation, or an occasion pertaining to an organization. In addition, the group leader occasionally prepares special apparel for the group to wear on sailing day (See photo.). This being said, the energy and excitement on a group cruise is undoubtedly tremendous.
4) The rule of sixteen: A group cruise cannot be made possible without the magic number. In order to be considered a group, the group leader must have a minimum of sixteen (16) guests (including the group leader). For every fifteen guests booked, the sixteenth guest travels free. To ensure the a count of sixteen or more guests, the group leader must widely market the cruise to the age range and the demographic that would best fit the theme of the cruise. Sounds like a daunting task, doesn’t it?! It’s all true. Adequate marketing, proper use of social media, and continuous communication are vital to a group cruise becoming a reality. Further, they’re important keys to reaching the desired magic number.
3) Crisp communication: Once the theme has been decided on and the magic number of sixteen or more guests has been achieved, it’s crunch time for the group leader(s). From the time of booking, to the preparation phase, to sailing day, the group leader must maintain solid communication with everyone in the group. The communication must be CRISP. As time winds down towards sailing day, the group leader must relay all pertinent information to the group. Important announcements, revisions, etc. are to be immediately relayed to the group. No one in the group, for any rhyme or reason, should be left out in the cold.
2) At-ten-tive-ness: A successful group cruise doesn’t always rest solely on the shoulders of the group leader. The group MUST also be attentive. As the group leader carries out communication, everyone in the group MUST acknowledge the group leader. Whichever ways the group leader reaches out to the group, whether via telephone, email, or written letter, members of the group MUST respond. It is paramount that everyone in the whole group including the group leader communicate consistently, so that they are on the exact same page. When on the same page, the cruise will be go successfully as planned.
1) Contacting the group coordinator: Upon boarding the ship, the group leader has one more task on his/her list to accomplish. In order for a group’s sailing needs to be well-addressed, the group leader MUST search out the ship’s group coordinator. The group coordinator is the most important officers on board. If the group leader booked any special group excursions or arranged special events on board, the group coordinator is the person to be addressed. Any special requests are relayed via the group coordinator. Constant communication with the group coordinator is key. The group coordinator is the liaison between the group leader and the ship’s staff. When it comes to groups, the group coordinator is the “go-to” officer.
A group cruise is a vacation experience to be remembered for as long as the good times themselves. The memories are endless. Unlike a regular cruise with a friend, significant other, or loved one, a group cruise is an experience filled with memories shared by all. From sailing day, to the on board activities, special on board events, to unforgettable dining experiences, group cruises have it all. For any group cruise to be successful, five key points MUST be adhered to. Not only the group occasion MUST have a fun theme, but the group MUST comprise of sixteen guests or more. The communication MUST be crisp. Simultaneously, all guests in the group MUST be attentive. Lastly, reaching out to the ship’s group coordinator helps assure a grand experience for everyone. Without a doubt, it pays to understand that every group cruise requires a group effort.