Vacationing with extended family or even planning a destination family reunion is a great way to bring loved ones together. But finding a trip pleasing to everyone can be an insurmountable task. Enter cruises. A cruise vacation takes hotel accommodations, dining, entertainment, and multiple destinations and places them in a perfectly presented package pleasing to most everyone. Here’s what you need to know when planning a cruise with extended family.
Appoint a Group Leader
Appoint a leader for your group in order to streamline communication, field questions and act as a point of contact to the cruise specialist. Having one person acting as a liaison between the specialist and the group avoids confusion.
Decide on the Length of Your Cruise
The first thing you need to determine is the length of your cruise and embarkation point. Consider where a majority of the group is located. If most people live within driving distance of the embarkation point, a short 3-4-day cruise is an option. However, if family members will be traveling far or flying to the port, it becomes worthwhile to book a longer cruise, around 7-10 days. Sometimes getting away for a week is a challenge, in that case, a short cruise is better than nothing!
Sand or Sightseeing?
Consider the demographics of the group. If there are a lot of children, a Caribbean cruise keeps the little ones entertained while adults relax on sandy beaches. Alternatively, if there are more adults and older children traveling, Mediterranean or European cruises boast an array of art and cultural opportunities.
Ask About Group Discounts
Many cruise companies offer incentives or discounts when booking a cruise. For instance, Royal Caribbean offers a cruise credit for every eight staterooms (with a minimum of 16 guests) that sail in your group. Celebrity Cruises features group discounts and points that can earn your group onboard amenities while still offering payment flexibility. Each person can pay individually or as a group. Your assigned Celebrity Group Planner handles the details.
Customize Your Group Cruise
Celebrity does a great job of helping you customize your group cruise by arranging private shore excursions, cocktail hours or other events just for your group. Most cruise companies will offer this service, just check with your cruise agent.
Depending on the size of the cabin and price range you choose, options range from staterooms to suites. Within each category, there are different options as well. For example, some suites offer amenities such as butler service, concierge services, and fully stocked mini bars. Most cruise lines make group bookings simple. Cruise lines such as Carnival and Celebrity allow guests to book multiple staterooms at the same time easy and ensures that cabins are close together.
Many ships will accommodate dinner arrangements based on the needs of your group. Whether you prefer to dine at the same time or in different groups, cruise specialists can assist you in setting up your preferences. Royal Caribbean lets you choose table allocations 50 days prior to sailing so your group leader can assign seats in advance.
Cruises are a great way to spend quality time with extended family. With the perfect amount of group time, individual time and even alone time along with a vast range of entertainment and dining options, there is perhaps no better vacation for family reunions or multigenerational travel.