8 rooms or 800, let us take care of your group needs
Planning the Perfect Group Cruise
Are you looking to plan a group cruise? You’ve come to the right place. We can secure low group rates, special amenities, and help you manage the booking from start to finish.
If you already have a cruise in mind and have a group of 8 or more cabins, click here to get started.
Keep reading for more info about the benefits of having us plan a group cruise for you:
Cruise lines usually define a group as having a minimum of 8 double occupancy cabins. However, some cruise lines will allow a lower minimum.
These can be anything from a family reunion, church groups, speaking and workshop events, company meetings, and incentive trips, and even partial or full-ship charters for everything from conventions at sea to custom theme events.
Groups of all types find that cruise ships are the easiest and most enjoyable way to travel together. It can be anything from a luxury yacht, a river cruise, or a modern mega-ship.</p><p>Your group can dine together in a gourmet restaurant, meet in a quiet conference room, gather by the pool, or experience a Broadway show.
It is always best to have a single person as your group leader. Your group leader is responsible for promoting the group to friends and family or co-workers and employees, but they will never be alone. We will assist with all the work afterward, such as communicating booking details, processing payments, gathering documentation, booking meeting space, and coordinating dining requests.
We can help in so many ways:
- Culture Discovery Cruises will give you a single point of contact to organize everything with you.
- We will create a group website where people can get information about the cruise, book their space, pay their deposits, and much more.
- We will create a group itinerary that will be in a downloadable app for each person’s smartphone. In the app, all of the members of the group will be able to chat and ask questions whenever they want.
- We will provide the group leader with detailed reports and updates.
If your group is large enough that it makes sense, we will also offer:
- Cruise Hosts: We will provide cruise hosts from our company at no charge. They will be there for all of your group needs and will be the go-to people for anything you need from the cruise line.
- Custom Shore Excursions: If we have a cruise host with your group, we will also help organize incredibly unique and special shore excursions for your group. These are not typical cruise shore excursions by any means. These are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that Culture Discovery organizes through its own infrastructure.
There is no shortage of benefits in booking as a group, especially if you plan far in advance. Some of the benefits include:
- Lower Group Rates: When booked well in advance, we are able to get very favorable group rates, often significantly lower than you would pay otherwise.
- Free Rooms: Typically for every 16 cabins in your group, you will get a 17th for free. Most group agencies keep this value as added profit, but we do not. It is yours to use. Note that the free cabins do not include taxes, port fees and NCF fees. Additionally, if you will have our hosts on your cruise, they will be allocated some of those free cabins based on the number of hosts you need.
- Special group amenities: You can pick from an assortment of complimentary wine or champagne, chocolates, cocktail parties, shipboard credits, casino credits, spa services, and private gatherings. Note that with some cruise lines, this requires a small deposit guarantee when you create the group contract.
- Cabin Choice: When you put deposits on your group rooms, you can choose the location of your group’s cabins.
Steps in Planning for Your Group Cruise:
- The first thing you need to know is the purpose for your cruise group. Is this a conference? A trade event? An incentive trip? A family gathering? A special interest group?
- The next thing you need to decide is roughly how many people and rooms you will want.
- Where do you want this group cruise to be? A Caribbean cruise? Alaska? Europe? Asia?
- Considering all of the above, do you want this to be a river cruise? An ocean cruise?
- Based on the nature of your group, what special amenities will you need? For example, a corporate event may require meeting space and restaurant buy-outs. Perhaps you will need convention space. For a special family event, you may want a private party. For a theme cruise, you may want to block off an entertainment venue.
- Consider how you will find people that will join in on this cruise, and be realistic. If you are the person planning this, will you need to promote it? Or if this is an incentive trip, will you simply need to assign the people you choose? This is especially important for larger groups, as they will require contracts with restrictions and higher group deposits.
- How many people and rooms will you need to comp for this cruise, if any? Consider a general rule that you will get one room comped for every 16 rooms you book. So if you need more people comped than the ratio allows for, you may need to adjust the pricing to compensate.
- Will you need dedicated cruise hosts? This is very important for larger groups, because although the cruise lines will have event coordinators, they are there for all of the passengers, and may not be able to dedicate the level of service you need. We can send experienced hosts from our team that are dedicated to the needs of your group, and your group alone. To be on the safe side, it is good to allocate one dedicated host for every 75 guests.
- If possible, considering all of the above, you will need to decide which cruise line or ship you are looking at using. If possible, select the dates as far in advance as possible, as this helps get better availability and rates. If you need help, you can search and compare many options here. This can help you get a basic idea of what you are looking for. If you would like help researching or deciding, just contact us and we are happy to help.
- Once you have considered all of the above, we will need to block your space. This comes before all other arrangements. Consider that there will be a small deposit on up to 16 rooms with most cruise lines, and a more detailed contract involved for larger groups. We will handle all of this on your behalf.
- Depending on the size and nature of your group, we will determine the booking procedure for the guests. For example, if you will have people book on their own, we will set up a dedicated website you can point them to where they can book their rooms. You get them there, and we handle all of the rest. On the other hand, if you will be assigning rooms yourself, we will provide a way for you to convey the information to us. If you will be promoting on your own website, we will provide you with digital assets to help.
- Will you want group excursions? If so, depending on the size of your group and desires, we can plan all of your excursions. For larger groups, we will not only plan, but operate them. This can be anything from normal sightseeing to custom one-of-a-kind experiences.
- Transportation. This actually is one of the last steps to think about, but depending on the nature of your cruise group, we will help you plan any ait and transfers as needed.
How Complicated id Planning a Group Cruise?
To be honest, it is very complicated. There are lots of moving parts to stay on top of. But that is where our experience comes in. We have organized and operated over 700 groups. We take care of all of the complexities behind the scenes so you can simply focus on promoting your group to the people that will be sailing.
Reach out to us and let us show you how smooth all of this can be.
Get up to $10,000 credit or more when you book with CDV
Book cruises with CDV and you can get credit of up to $10,000 for each cruise to use toward any CDV land vacation!