1. Invite Family and Friends

A group cruise isn’t a group cruise without the group! This step can come at any point in your planning before booking the cruise. After inviting family and friends, establish a group text message, Facebook message or email chain to keep everyone informed.

  1. Appoint a Leader

Your group needs a single person to organize and communicate important details among the group. Some groups choose this leader after deciding they want to go on a cruise together. Others rely on the person who originally decided on a destination before inviting the group.

  1. Set a Budget

Booking a group cruise means catering to each individual’s budget. Everyone should agree on a number before researching and booking a cruise so there are no last-minute cancellations later on.

  1. Find a Travel Agent

This step can come at any point before booking your cruise. However, once you have a good estimate on how many people will be in your group, a travel agent can be helpful. Use their expertise to find group cruise packages and deals you may not find on your own.

  1. Choose a Cruise Destination

Caribbean ports are incredibly popular and the large number of cruise lines offering Caribbean cruises can help you find amenities that appeal to your entire group. You can also consider Alaska, Mexico, the Mediterranean and river cruises.

  1. Research Cruise Lines and Ships

Once you choose a destination, look at which companies and ships travel there. Choose your specific ship based on amenities, on- and off-board activities and dining options. Consider departure and return dates when doing research as well.

  1. Book Your Cruise

With a final list of group members, your destination, cruise line and preferred dates in hand, book your cruise. The more specific your group’s wants and needs, the earlier you should book your trip.

  1. Communicate with Your Group

Whether you used a travel agent or booked online, the group leader should let fellow travelers know the important details of the booked cruise. Confirmation numbers, departure times and important dates should all be communicated.

  1. Book Other Pieces of the Trip

The cruise isn’t the only itinerary item to book. Flights into the port, hotels for the night before your ship departs and excursions all need to be reserved. This can be done as a group, or each group member can take care of these details on their own. Either way can work, as long as group members know what is expected of them.

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