Just need to vent a little. Trying to coordinate a small group cruise for next year. Not enough cabins to get a group rate, so I've done a LOT of research trying to find the cheapest price for everyone for the various categories desired. It's just been one thing after another. BIggest hurdles? Which ship, which itinerary, who is rooming w/who? Who is responsible for who (there are some underage cruisers along) and getting choices & deposits in a timely manner. Someone doesn't like the cabin location or the next person wants something the first doesn't. Then you would think THEY are doing ME a favor!!! I feel I am "bothering" some of them when I have to call to update them or advise them of something. Don't know if I want to ever take this on again. One day someone indicates on thing; the next day they are changing their mind or griping behind the scenes. At least a real travel agent doesn't have to cruise WITH the clients. Who knows how that will go!? I can just see how we'll do trying to choose shore excursions! (Yeah, I know. We can all choose our own. Somehow, even with just a few friends along, it never turns out like that, though we always that's what we'll do.) I'd love to tell half of those involved off but must see them all on a regular basis, so that's out. Meanwhile I'll just grit my teeth & hope to get it all settled. Thanks for "listening"!
Having just returned from the CruiseMates Group Cruise... Pam and I can say.. WE hear U!!
There is A LOT of work that goes into making things smooth for a group cruise. Guess the final reward is seeing everyone onboard having a GREAT time! And sharing the experience!
I echo Kuki's thoughts. It's wasn't an easy task even with a good TA backing us up. We were the on-the-spot people. For a group of almost 120.
Since you're still a long way out, why not check out Bargain Finder here on CruiseMates ... you may run across a TA who has group space at a great price already blocked out. The TAs will come to you, don't worry about sacrificing privacy. You can engage or ignore at your wish.
Just nail down the ship and the itinerary (majority rules?) and go from there.
Let the TA do the heavy lifting.
If you have no or very little experience in this sort of thing, it's just too big a flopping fish to try to capture.
Truly, Gotta, this is not something to try at home.
Let us know if we can help more. But this is a thing best left to the professionals so YOU can enjoy YOUR cruise, too.
Thanks. I knew you guys would understand. Did the price shopping and got some really good quotes already, at some really good prices. So that isn't so much the problem. Even w/a T/A, you at least have to have a few details worked out. Our T/A is being very patient. Most of the people involved had an idea of what ship & itinerary. But choosing what person would go in what room (some personalities fit together better than others), what type of room to choose, -sometimes everyone wants to be in the same cabin w/the "most popular person", etc. ) was a headache. It's hard to satisfy everyone. Someone's annoyed because the itinerary THEY favored wasn't chosen by the majority, & so forth. The poor T/A would have to know all the "politics" to deal w/these types of issues. The cruisers have all cruised before so they are somewhat knowledgeable. I think it would be easier if they hadn't! Once everyone gets past the planning, I think the anticipation will override all else. Then once on the ship - ahhhhh!