Group Cruises: The Best Way to Travel! by ELITE CRUISES
Cruises are very popular with individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Chances are you or someone you know has enjoyed a cruise or two. You may have taken a singles cruise hoping to meet the man or woman of your dreams or traveled with your significant other for a romantic getaway. There’s definitely a timeless appeal to cruising the seven seas while being waited on hand and foot, but there’s another option that’s becoming increasingly popular – group cruises. As they say, the more the merrier, and this holds true for cruises as well! Group cruises can be even more enjoyable when you share them with friends, family members and colleagues. Although many cruise companies require at least 16 bookings to offer a discounted group rate, some will accept as few as 5.
Here are just some of the many benefits you can enjoy if you book a group cruise:
Let’s face it – cruises can be expensive, but booking a group cruise is a great way to reduce the overall cost. Each member of your group will save money by receiving a discounted group fare. Tour companies and travel agents will often negotiate the best possible group rate, so the savings can be quite substantial.
Free Group Amenities
Most cruise companies will offer your group complimentary amenities that will add further value to your trip. The actual perks and the minimum required bookings vary according to each company so make sure to inquire before you book your next cruise. You may only require 5 bookings to enjoy some remarkable discounts and perks. Your group may receive complimentary spa services, photos, a cruise video or DVD, bottles of wine, a catered exclusive cocktail party, plush bathrobes, cabin upgrades and preferred service at the ship’s reservations-only restaurants. Charity groups may even end up with a monetary donation for each cabin they book.
Cruises already offer unsurpassed value when you consider the cost of booking hotels, paying for 3 meals a day and being charged for activities. Almost all of your costs are covered, including rooms, meals, 24-hour room service, exciting activities, a great choice of entertainment options, meeting facilities and health and fitness clubs. When you factor in the reduce group rate, everyone can enjoy amazing value on a group cruise!
Group Dining Options
Sumptuous buffets and delectable desserts are just part of the attraction of a cruise, and group dining privileges can make your experience even more memorable. Everyone in your group can enjoy great meals and drinks together. Another important benefit is the wide range of dishes available; this means that everyone in your group is guaranteed to enjoy their meal. You can choose from a wide range of meals, including vegetarian, diabetic, kosher, baby food or fat-free options.
It doesn’t matter what kind of activities, music or hobbies the individuals in your group enjoy – there is truly entertainment options for everyone on a group cruise. You can all attend a thrilling musical revue, marvel at a magic show, enjoy first-class singers or laugh your problems with a comedian. If you love dancing, almost all larger cruise ships offer many clubs and bars where you can enjoy a drink, snack and great music. Some of your group may choose to hit the liveliest disco on the ship, whereas others may prefer to relax and enjoy a glass of fine wine at the classic piano bar. Most ships also provide daily children’s activities to keep the younger members of your group out of trouble and entertained.
Complimentary Meeting Rooms & Services
Most cruise ships offer groups many different complimentary or reduced-rate meeting venues and services. You can relax in a board room to discuss the week’s plans or hash out your latest marketing ideas. Other comfortable group meeting options may include a pool deck, bar, private conference room or even a theater. Some cruise ships will even change their daily program of activities to accommodate your group. Another common perk for group cruises is the use of complimentary podiums, sounds system, flip charts, screens and projectors, as well as possible beverages or snacks. Your group will save money by not having to pay for meeting areas or these services. You’ll also enjoy your meetings much more when they are conducted on a luxury cruise liner!
Wide Range of Accommodations
Finding suitable accommodations can be a very difficult task if you’re planning a traditional trip. However, group cruises make this an easy job! Each individual, couple, family or small group can choose the type of cabin they prefer. This allows each person to choose a room they can afford and that meets their individual needs. Chances are you won’t find this level of flexibility or convenience on other types of group vacations.
Activities for Everyone
If you book a group cruise, every member of your party can choose the specific activities that interest them. Most cruise ships offer exciting daily activities, with many programs geared specifically for children, couples and seniors. You can spend your day sun tanning and relaxing in the pool, shop in ship’s boutiques, practice at the video arcade, try your luck at the casino, pamper yourself with a luxury spa treatment, enjoy your favorite book, have a drink at the sports bar or watch the latest blockbuster at the ship’s movie theater. Many cruises also offer entertaining and educational classes such as computer, cooking and yoga. Fitness enthusiasts will enjoy hitting the gym, sparring in a boxing ring, testing their endurance on a rock-climbing wall or even taking a spin on the ship’s ice rink! Be sure to ask about the particular activities available for your group cruise. Where else can you find this range of activities to suit every member of your group, regardless of their age, interests or fitness level?
Customized Shore Excursions
Last but certainly not least, you can enjoy customized excursions when you book a group cruise. Your cruise ship can arrange for your entire group to enjoy private, personalized tours or activities at the various ports of call. Better still, your entire group will normally enjoy a discounted rate.
TYPES OF GROUP CRUISES
If you’re tired of trying to find meals and activities that your entire family can enjoy while on vacation, try booking a family cruise! Many cruise lines such as Carnival, Celebrity and Disney are family-friendly and specialize in unique programs for children and teens. Everyone can enjoy entertainment options suited to their particular age and interests, and parents don’t have to worry about their children wandering off or getting lost. In fact, most cruise lines offer an extensive daily program of supervised children’s activities that may include pizza parties, talent shows, video games, face painting or movie nights. Many cruise lines also offer babysitting services so parents can enjoy a little quiet time or a romantic evening together while their children are safely entertained.
You can also relax and forget about calculating bills for dinner, having enough cash for taxis or paying for costly entertainment to amuse the kids. Almost everything is already paid for when you book a family cruise which makes it a very inviting option for tired or stressed parents. This can be a great way for your entire family to relax, unwind and enjoy the activities and offshore excursions. Family cruises offer a hassle-free way to spend more quality time together.
More people are also choosing to book their family reunions with a group cruise. This is an affordable, convenient and exciting way to enjoy each other’s company. You can spend time reminiscing, participating in the daily activities or arranging private group excursions to the various ports of call.
Group cruises aren’t strictly for pleasure – you can combine pleasure and business by booking a group business cruise. You’ll enjoy better value than booking an expensive resort, and every member of your group will experience a much greater range of accommodation, dining, entertainment and activity options than a hotel. Most cruise ships offer state-of-the-art business facilities that cost less than hotels or resorts. Therefore, you’ll have no problem running a successful meeting for large or small groups. You can also reward valued long-term employees or outstanding individuals in your company with a group cruise. Make sure you ask your cruise company about booking a group cruise for your next corporate function. A Monday morning meeting will be much more bearable when they’re conducted on a luxury cruise ship heading towards an exotic destination!
There is absolutely no need to avoid booking a cruise just because you don’t have a traveling companion. If you’re searching for Mr. or Mrs. Right, why not book a group cruise for your singles club and do it together! Many cruise lines offer exciting singles cruises for men and women of all ages. You’ll meet a lot of great new people and enjoy a discounted rate in a safer environment. There are many others around and you won’t have to worry about taking a cab home after dancing the night away or being bored if you don’t happen to hit if off right away. You can enjoy a wide range of activities such as wine-tasting, special cocktail parties and group shore excursions. This increases your odds of finding someone special. Besides, if you don’t meet the man or woman of your dreams, you will still enjoy a terrific vacation.
Charity/Volunteer Organization Cruises
Booking a group cruise for your charity or volunteer organization is a great way to reward volunteers, boost team spirit and re-energize. Everyone on the ship shares a commitment to helping people or society so you will have common interests. You can share ideas, provide valuable support to each other and discuss topics of interest. Who knows, you may even find some new friends during your group cruise. Everyone in your organization will also feel more refreshed at the end of the trip. This will prepare them for continuing to commit their time and energy to worthwhile causes. Make sure to ask about any specials or possible monetary contributions available to your non-profit, charity or volunteer organization. Some cruise companies will donate money to your charity for every booking within your group.
Special Interest/Church/Hobby/Social/Sports Groups
If you belong to a sports club or special interest, church or hobby group, you should consider booking a group cruise. Everyone on the ship will enjoy a discounted rate, as well as a wide choice of entertainment options suited to your organization or interests. You’ll also find it easier to meet new people, knowing everyone else on the ship shares similar interests and passions. Some cruise companies will also arrange for personalized lessons, special guest speakers or custom group activities.
If you belong to a Latin dancing group, you may be able to arrange for a festive Latin welcome party and group Salsa dancing lessons. If you’re a member of a cooking club, you can ask about possible cooking classes for everyone in your group. Fitness groups may also enjoy special yoga classes or personalized gym sessions. If your baseball or soccer team has just won the league championship, why not celebrate in style by booking a special group cruise? You may not realize, but some cruise companies even offer special nude group cruises, adventure cruises, disabled cruises, senior cruises, gay/lesbian cruises, adventure cruises and even plus size cruises! As you can see, the options are endless so be sure to ask your cruise company about booking a special group cruise for your club or organization.
What could be more fun than enjoying your wedding on a luxury cruise ship? Everyone in your wedding party, as well as your friends and family can relax and be pampered. Many cruise companies offer exclusive wedding packages to make your wedding day even more special. You can arrange to have all the necessary details taken care of so you can spend your time enjoying time with loved ones and visiting the exciting ports of call with your new spouse! Most packages include wedding flowers, facilities, a wedding coordinator, music, flowers, champagne, photographer, cake, wedding album and a delicious dinner. Some will even include tuxedo rentals or hair or spa appointments for the entire bridal party. Some couples choose to get married on the ship, whereas others prefer to book their wedding reception or honeymoon on a group cruise. You can all enjoy a group discount by booking a wedding cruise. Best of all, you can combine your wedding ceremony, reception and honeymoon in one convenient and exciting trip!