Family reunion cruises are the ideal setting for any size, multi-generational family reunion. It brings the entire family together to celebrate a special anniversary or event.
If your family reunion is being planned around a special celebration like an anniversary, birthday, veteran homecoming or any other family event, family reunion cruises are the way to go. Cruise lines love to cater to special events - they will provide private party rooms, private cocktail parties, take group photos and more. Virtually everything is included in the cruise rate
A wonderful value for the money.
Contact a travel agent, who specializes in Family Cruises. Agents have access to cruise-line approved discounts - they may even have access to additional onboard credits upgraded cabins, discounts for group leaders or other perks. In some cases, if a requisite number of bookings are made, the group leader (you) may even get free booking.
Most agents can even provide services to send individual invoices to your guests to remind them of deadlines and collect payments.
Agents can save a lot of frustration from happening.
Determine your sailing date, well in advance, send announcements to your guests, provide them with various rates to choose from. For those who will attend, provide their name, email, etc. to the Agent for future contact.
Groups traveling together on family reunion cruises qualify for special discounts and rates. Many cruise lines offer "special deals", like on-board credits for shopping and spa use.
Their staff knows how to handle any size group. They can provide for individuals with special diets and also for those with special needs, a number of handicap rooms are available on board.
Booking early also gives your guests a better choice of accommodations - some may want adjoining staterooms, or at least rooms in close proximity to each other - ships can be VERY big - you will want your group fairly close.
Departure ports are something to consider when planning family reunion cruises. Is the port convenient to get to for all your guests? Which destinations are serviced by the various ports?
Cruise Direct is a wonderful site for all this information. They list the most popular departure ports as: Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York and Cape Canaveral - but, of course, there are MANY more to choose from.
I live in Southern California and San Diego is a wonderful port, especially for "quickie" 3-day trips down the Mexican coast. Or, from Northern California, San Francisco is an exciting port to depart from, especially at night when you sail under the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge - AWESOME!
Did you know you can take a 2-night cruise to Nowhere (yes, I said "nowhere") out of the port of New York? And. . .the fares start at only $249.00 - WHAT A DEAL - since almost all on board expenses are included in the fare.
Check Family Cruises for Cruise Calendars, listing all cruise lines, destinations and dates, as well as, fantastic DEALS!
A wide variety of accommodations, which can fit almost any budget are offered -anything from luxurious suites to staterooms that sleep 3, 4 or 5. So, whatever your guests want to pay, there is something for every budget.
Note: Since family reunion cruises should be booked 6 to 12 months in advance, after a minimum deposit payment, remaining payments may be made in installments, and, cruise lines, and/or cruise agents, accept most major credit cards.
Dining is one area in which the cruise industry has made big changes. Dining schedules are virtually gone! Traditional dining can still be found with designated seatings, i.e., Early Seating between 6 pm and 6:30 and Late Seating begins around 8:15 pm. But the great thing about today's cruises is that it's not the only option anymore. There are additional venues called "alternative" or "choice" dining.
Ships with alternative dining have anywhere from four to 10 different restaurants! Just about any type of food you like is offered: Italian, Asian, sushi, deli, pizza, vegetarian, steaks and, of course, hamburgers, hotdogs and more. Separate kids menus are offered on all family-friendly cruise lines. Almost every cruise line now lets you eat where you want, when you want and with whom you want.
Several of these alternative dining areas are very casual and even offer dining on deck; such as around the pool or aft deck.
Some alternative dining options require an extra charge. These are "reservations only", small bistro-type restaurants that cater to a limited number of guests every evening. Reservations should be made as soon as you board ship, since they book up very quickly.
Don't forget the favorite of every cruiser - the buffets, served breakfast, lunch and dinner - a second, late buffet can also be found on most ships.
Special Diet - most ships can acommodate salt-free, low-carb, kosher, or other diet preferences. However, these requests must be made in advance, when the cruise is booked.
Note: Alcoholic beverages and some non-alcoholic beverages are NOT included in the cruise price. Since soft drinks come over the bar, there is a charge for them and specialty coffees, in most cases, are not included.
Cruise lines have added a wide range of activities and entertainment for the modern day travelers and their families; from rock climbing walls, to computer classes, libraries, arcades and so much more, there is something for EVERYONE. There are all sorts of kids programs and activities on family reunion cruises to keep them busy. Even Grandma and Grandpa can find a quiet spot to be by themselves or join the fun with everyone else.
There are many on shore excursions and activities offered that will be an extra cost for those wish to participate.
There are presently GREAT rates being offered by the cruise lines. Scan through the various lines below to find what they offer, such as:
This will give you some EXCELLENT ideas for your planning and may even answer many of your questions, or at least make you somewhat knowledgeable when you talk to a cruise agent.