I planned a successful cruise for a my wife's mother's 75th birthday (i.e., got us there and back, picked good excursions, etc. hardly a difficult task but now everyone seems to think that I am an expert) and now the oldest teenager, a senior, thinks her high school senior trip should be a cruise. She attends an all-girl Catholic high school so a cruise is probably an economic possibility for many of them (only 100 or so in the class). We are in Missouri - we drove to Galveston, so I suppose that is a possibility - plus New Orleans departures - otherwise, it would be flying. Obviously, there would be plenty of parents along too - any thoughts as to cruise lines which would be appropriate for this age group and would even consider such a group. My TA was OK but basically I did all my own investigation and then just booked through the TA (and did get a better rate and did get the reduced price as the cabin price had gone down a little by the time the "pay in full" date came around). Any suggestions as to cruise lines, a travel agent that handles groups (I don't think I want to deal with an internet company for this - and frankly want to give some information then quickly get out of the loop!)
Don't know how far you are from St. Louis but it's 11 hour drive to New Orleans from there (I've been planning a family reunion cruise and many relatives live in St. Louis) and the Carnival Holiday and RCI Grandeur of the Seas sails from there. The Holiday does 4 and 5 night cruises and the GOS does 7 days. Either one of these ships would be great for your group. And New Orleans offers it's own entertainment for pre- or post- cruise vacation. At the size of your group you might get a couple of cabins for free.
But for me............spring break on a Carnival or RCI ship is scary. Ooooooh, that might actually be something to see if you're not the responsible party ! !<vbg>
Yes there will be one 25 year old per cabin - I've already told my niece that (now what happens when they get on the ship I suppose is a different story). This summer the three teenage girls and mom were assigned to one cabin and the teenage boy and dad to another cabin - but needless to say, the four teenagers did all stay in the same cabin and mom moved in with dad. (The kids, curiously, got a "form" letter one morning advising that a 25 year old was required in each cabin - but the parents got nothing - and nothing more was ever said). So the four teenagers were in a quad inside on Rhapsody - and they had friends who were staying the Category A suites - who would come and sleep on the floor! (I guess to get away from their parents!) I can only imagine what spring break would be like on one of these ships (not time to take grandma that's for sure - though in my case, she'd have the casino to herself - though RCCL now lets 18 year olds gamble, and drink beer and wine - certainly good for the economic bottom line but I wonder if that changes for spring break time cruises - almost all these girls would be 18 by then!) Sadly, there are no more mean nuns - the parents will have to take all responsibility. Thanks for the suggestions.
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!