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Old September 7th, 2002, 12:30 AM
mlbcruiser
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Default Re: Re: Re: spring break cruise

Wow, l00 girls? Plus parents? Quite a group! (sorry, but this is going to be long!) It doesn't matter if you try to bow out or not, if something goes wrong, you will get blamed - at least for helping out with such a "bad idea"! Also, w/a group that size, you had sure better plan WELL in advance for spring break. Already many quad cabins are taken for 2003. We are involved in a spring break trip that started out w/6 girls and 2 sets of parents. I was the main planner and price seeker, having been on quite a few cruises already. A lot of the kids at our high school kept saying they were going to Cancun, had rooms booked there, etc., but we and our neighbors and h.s. seniors just went ahead w/our own plans. Within a couple of weeks our number began to swell. 2 more girls. 2 more parents. Some siblings. More wks. passed. More backing out of Cancun & realizations that the "good deal" they were supposed to get on pricing wasn't quite as promised. Some parents began changing their minds regarding even letting their kids go to Cancun. (Not that we couldn't see that coming!) So, the next thing we knew, another 6 kids (guys and girls this time) and another set of parents were going. At least we decided to simply start passing on the name of the ship, info. regarding whom we booked w/and the good pricing we rec'd. This was decided when we realized the group was going to start growing. Therefore we aren't considered in any way "responsible" for any of the kids not in a cabin under our name and don't feel overloaded. (It's enough to be responsible for 3 or 4 teens.) Now ANOTHER family has decided to come along and bring the little brother. One mom might come and bring the older sister! You are brave to deal w/so many people, even though I realize you will not be responsible for all of them. In our case, just planning was rather a pain. Though we were only considering 2 or 3 ships, it was quite hard getting the girls to actually choose one. Not to mention deciding who would room w/whom without someone getting annoyed over those choices! Then we come to dining: Our T/A said he has all of us cross referenced (wonder how that will pan out?). Then, of course, there was the matter of airfare. In some cases I booked for others (with MY charge card, at their requests) over the net which meant I had to deal w/getting reimbursement from everyone. Some of the girls and parents are going down to FL a couple of days in advance to spend time at the beach. Some arent. Again, I paid for the hotel rooms in advance to save a bundle and get a higher quality hotel. Still haven't asked for pymt. on that yet. Getting everyone's cruise deposit was "fun". (Lots of gentle reminders!) Meanwhile, one cruiser had to back out, and this is affecting the total cost to all of the "original" girls. There has been transportation to and from the ship and hotel to arrange. Since it's hard to get a handle on exaclty how many passengers will need this, it can't be arranged yet. If you go ahead and take action, SOMEONE will be annoyed. I had to change cabin locations for the girls twice and STILL got questions and complaints from some parents. I'm telling you all this in hopes that you find "smoother sailing" when you really get into planning this trip for l00 students, because all in all, our's is actually going pretty well, and there has STILL been some aggravations, to put it mildly! One more thing, to get group discounts, the people have to book within 30 days of each other. At least that is what I was told. As a result, we are not getting any additional group discounts, any free cabins, nothing "extra" like that though our orig. pricing was good. So, this is when a good T/A can really come in handy. In my case, I am not one but enjoy messing w/this stuff. Had I known this group would grow from our original l0 people, I would probably have handed them all over to a T/A from the start. Bon Voyage, whatever you decide!
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