Plan a family reunion cruise
Take your family reunion to the high seas.
If you are tired of the same old picnics and barbecues for your family reunions, why not plan a family reunion cruise instead? It is all-inclusive and easy to do if you follow the following tips.
Do some research. It used to be that cruising was for the grownups and those who could afford it, but things have definitely changed. Many ships now provide a guide to family cruising that gives you helpful ideas on how to make the cruise fun for all of the kids in your group. Many cruise lines provide computer labs so the techno geeks among you will not feel out of touch while on vacation, and some cruise lines even provide babysitting services so the adults can go dancing or hit the casino one night. Spend some time going through the brochures and make sure your cruise is family-friendly and will easily accommodate your entire group. It should be no problem since cruises want to fill up their ships each time they leave the home port. It helps their bottom line to accommodate you.
Pick a date. As anyone who has planned an event knows there is no way to please everyone and that especially goes for family. Put the word out that you are planning a family reunion cruise and choose a couple of dates. You may go the route of choosing a summer cruise because the rates may be a little better. Spring cruises are making waves too. Make sure to look for a time of year that might work for everyone in your group, but donít stress over it.
When you have come up with two or three dates, send a letter or an email to your group spelling out the dates, the cruise line and the itinerary. Ask your group members to respond with their chosen dates, but make sure you add a deadline. Like weddings, people sometimes wait until the last minute to respond, so you have to follow up. If some members do not respond on time, give them a quick call. If they do not respond, consider them off the list of attendees and move on with your plans. So many group plans stall because they are waiting for the procrastinators. In this case, you snooze you lose. A group can usually get a group discount due to all of the people involved. Waiting for even one family can lead to your losing your chosen date.
Book the cruise and send in the deposits. This sounds easier than it is. Some travel agents and cruise lines require a deposit in order to reserve space for a large group. They will hold the cabins until a certain date by which time they need their deposits or the reservation will be canceled. Cruise lines and cruise specialists do their best to block off an area of cabins so they can keep the group together. They also have to think about that member of the group who wants a balcony room, a cabin near the middle of the ship, or the family member who wants to attend, but is looking to save a little money. All of these factors have to be taken into consideration when they create the reservation for your group. The good thing is that none of these details are your concern. The cruise line and the travel agent are the ones who get to work out the details. Just do your best to gather the requests remind your group members to send in their deposits by the deadline given to you by the travel agent or cruise line.
Purchase travel insurance. Like flight insurance, cruisers can purchase cruise insurance. This type of insurance assures you will get your deposit and payments back should you become to sick to take the cruise or if any other event arises that would prevent you from taking your cruise vacation. Be sure, however, to purchase cruise insurance as soon as you book your cruise. Many cruise lines and travel insurance companies require you to purchase insurance in advance or incur penalties. The good part is that cruise insurance is relatively inexpensive and will also cover you should you get sick and need to seek care while in a foreign country.
Pack your bags and have fun! Create a packing checklist for your next trip to make sure you do not forget anything important such as a passport or even your tickets. With all of your priorities in order, a family reunion cruise can be a lot of fun for everyone involved. Make sure to take a lot of pictures for your after cruise scrapbooking.
Not only does a cruise allow you to catch up with family members you have not seen in a while, but you also get to see great ports and participate in on board activities such as informative lectures and demonstrations. You can even arrange special events that only your group can attend. Ask your travel agent or cruise line agent for the details on how you can make your family reunion cruise special for all who attend. You will not only have fun, but you will create memories that will last a lifetime.