Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Groups On Your Cruise

One thing to consider when booking a cruise is that there may be some groups on board. I mentioned groups in my post on themed cruises but only touched on what happens when you are on the same cruise with a large group. Depending on group size and type, they do have an impact on the rest of the passengers on the ship. Certain venues on board (lounges and even the theatre some times) can and will be reserved by the groups but again, it depends on the size of the group and if and what type of "closed" activities they have planed.

The question is, what can you do?

Well if you are booked already or have a certain cruise in mind and are curious to what groups if any may be on your cruise, you can look on both of the two links I have on the themed cruise post (8/10) to begin. The second thing you need to do is google the cruise. Search with combinations of cruise line name, ship name, and date of cruise (try different formats 8/19 or August 19 for example). These are the best way I know, but unfortunately, some groups don't publicize and you don't find out until you are on board.

OK, so your all checked in, went through muster drill bags in your cabin and on your way around the ship. First place you pass is the lounge and there is a sign out front that states "closed for private party". What now? Is there a group on board that's going to take over everything? Not necessarily. You can go ask at the pursers desk, but be nice about it. They may acknowledge a group and maybe even its size, but don't get upset if they do not. Just like not wanting some stranger walking up and asking them about you, they may be told not to talk about the group on board. So now what? This is a time to pay close attention to the on board paper (or now ship TV but I prefer the papers). When groups are on board and take over venues, the crew will try to accommodate by offering other activities for other guests, not normally planed when a large group is on board. If there is nothing to do (hard to fathom) go to the pursers desk and let them know your disappointment, but again be polite, and better yet have your examples ready. They may have some suggestions for you. As one cruise line slogan goes, there are 1 million things to do.

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