Have you ever sailed as part of a group cruise? I know how much I have enjoyed being a part of our Cruisemates cruises ,and, if you ever have a chance to book one, I know you woud enjoy the comeraderie of our diverse members, At least for us, it makes a big difference in the added enjoyment of our cruise.
Have you ever sailed on a cruise that had a group, that as Kuki mentioned about the canceled Eclipse cruise, took over the cruise, in certain aspects, and because of that, effected your enjoyement on the cruise?
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I have never had it happen to me but I have certainly heard stories.
Ironically, I interviewed the people running the American Girl cruise a few months ago, but I had no idea at the time they were booked on the same cruise as one of our groups.
I don't know anything about the group. but I can't imagine they would have been as bad as some other groups I have heard about. However, we had to cancel it anyway solely because some 'would-be guests' seemed to think it would be a problem.
I love CM cruises. I'm not saying that because I'm hosting the Carnival Breeze cruise.
I've been on a number of them and I have always had a great time and met many new friends and some "old friends" for the first time and reconnected with others who I have met before.
CM cruises and other group cruises offer amenities you would not get on other cruises and often have a theme that interests people such as music, games, activities and other interests. This means there will plenty of like minded folks on board.
I do have to say there are some groups that can really bug those who are not part of the group. I was on a Princess cruise where there was a large group of "Barbershop Quartets". I thought I was in hell some of the time. There were groups practicing in the community areas, the pool area and in the halls. Barbershop is nice for about two or three songs after that it is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Had I known they'd be on board I would have cancelled. I can't say they ruined the cruise but I found myself trying hard to get away from them and sitting in places and doing things I reaaly didn't want to.
The American Girl group really did shut down booking for the Eclipse, Thanksgiving cruise. Once the word got out there were cancellations and people who were on the fence "Just said no". They were afraid of the extent that 500 8-12 year old girls plus parents would take over venues. I could have cared less but it others did.
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We have not cruised with a group, but have often seen other large groups. None so large as to dominate the cruise. Once we sailed with a large group of pax with MS - many in wheelchairs or using walkers of some sort. This cause some congestion in the Lido buffet but it made me smile that they were able to travel.
Our last cruise there was a large group of 100+ that was essentially virtual. They had banded together to get a group rate. I forget they name of the group, something like Happy Rovers, but they have apparently been around a while and travel once a year.
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We were part of a group once. Our TA had the group and added us. It waas not a large group, about 50 people total. There is a not so funny thing that happenned. The cruise was over Easter and the name of the group was Cohen. Well the ship set up the champagne party for first Sunday, it was held at the same time as Mass, well for the first 30 minutes it was only my husband and myself then one other gentleman came in, it was then that we all (including the staff) found that the rest of the group was attending mass. guess whoever was in charge on the part of cruise line figured that would be a good time for the party with the group name of Cohen. Of course not a single member of the group was Jewish but they were all Catholic.
Cohen was just the family name of the person who put together the group. And it turned out the my husband and I turned out to be the token white couple as the rest were black. It did not bother any of us and we all had a great time.
Hubby and I have never looked at taking a cruise because of there being a group and I have found that the cost is usually more than I can get the same cruise for and the "special things" given to the group really does not make up for the extra cost, at least for us.
Star Princess 2005, Sun Princess 2005
Caribbean Princess 2006, MSC Lirica 2006 , NCL Pearl 2007, Majesty of the Seas 2008, Carnival Destiny 2008, MSC Lirica 2009, Carnival Valor 2009,Carnival Legend 2010, Carnival Liberty 2010,Carnival Fantsay 2011,Carnival Valor Feb 2012, MSC Poesia Dec 2012, MSC Poesia April 2013, Carnival Legend Nov 2013, MSC DIVINA Jan 2014
The only time a group impacted my cruise was when a wedding party seemed to have reserved the same spot every night. I can't even remember the ship we were on, but I really, really, really wanted to go to the piano bar. We tried on three separate nights, and each night, a large wedding group had the piano bar reserved. With my luck, the piano bar was probably empty on the 4 nights I DIDN'T try to go there. Oh well, not a huge deal, and certainly didn't ruin the cruise.
I've never taken a group cruise, though I would not be adverse to one.
On one HAL cruise about 300 people had booked through one TA, and one evening they closed off the entire Lido pool area from 5 to 8 p.m. so that they could have a cocktail party. That was annoying.
On my transatlanic last year, a passenger had asked that a needleworker's get-together be posted in the daily program, and about 30 people showed up; the cruise director noticed, and every following morning until we reached Lisbon there was a coffee service and pastries or cookies of some type waiting for us. Nice!
On this last one there were a group of about 14 who signed up with Craft Cruises, for the cruise and knitting lessons each day. I was not with them but spent some time with them in the area of the ship that had the best lighting; and may very well take a future cruise with one of them.
My last ten cruises (and 11 of last 14) have been groups arranged by my TA. We have had as few as a dozen and as many as 115 (on a 700 person ship). My next cruise Montreal to Ft Lauderdale has a group of over 100 on a ship that holds just 490.
Groups are FANTASTIC!
We do arrange some dinners in advance (we all keep a dance card) but it is great to meet for cocktails each evening and decide with whom to eat and decide on a restaurant. The 115 was for a one week cruise so there were not enough meals to eat with everyone but we did try.
On our most recent 25 night cruise there were just 33 of us (out of around 425 onboard). We were able to arrange multiple meals with everyone.
We have our favorite card game and get together for cards or scrabble whenever we can. We will organize our own whisky tastings and teams for trivia and other games. I heartily recommend sailing with a group.
We almost went on one CruiseMates cruise but had to cancel when I was transferred to Tokyo. I would love to try again to go on a CM cruise; if not Regent (there was one CM cruise already on Regent) then on Azamara or Oceania.
"The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."
F Scott Fitzgerald
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