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  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 26th, 2008, 04:24 AM
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Default Organizing a group cruise. Help!

Howdy everyone,

Myself and a group of friends have recently decided to do a 7-day Caribbean cruise in June of 2009. None of us have ever taken a cruise, and I have taken the reigns for organizing the whole thing. I was hoping for some general tips organizing the cruise, and suggestions on the best cruiselines/ships/ports for our purposes.

Generally, we are a group of 10-20 (have to iron out the final number just yet), mid-20's college graduates and/or professionals who do not drink or gamble much (not your typical party crowd). We're also looking for the most economical route (some of us will do the four-to-a-room thing).

Right now, I'm debating between Royal Caribbean and Carnival, and we'll be taking a ship out of a Southern port (Galveston, TX or Florida).

Also, I was curious if the newer/bigger ships are worth the extra expense for a group such as ours.

We'll want good food, lots of stuff to do, and a classy, fairly relaxed, atmosphere.

I've spoken with a couple travel agents, but I hope you can offer some suggestions.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 06:45 AM
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I agree, that either Carnival or Royal Caribbean would be best for your group. As long as you find a good cruise travel agent, they can direct you in the right direction. Look through our CM group cruises, that t/a is good at organizing group pricing, etc.
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Old July 5th, 2008, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Organizing a group cruise. Help!

Be sure to check for SWA flights if y'all are budget folks. While I would not recommend flying on stolen SWA vouchers like our disgraceful Bexar County, Texas District Attorney, Susan Reed, you might keep a close eye out on SWA bargain flights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicari
Howdy everyone,

Myself and a group of friends have recently decided to do a 7-day Caribbean cruise in June of 2009. None of us have ever taken a cruise, and I have taken the reigns for organizing the whole thing. I was hoping for some general tips organizing the cruise, and suggestions on the best cruiselines/ships/ports for our purposes.

Generally, we are a group of 10-20 (have to iron out the final number just yet), mid-20's college graduates and/or professionals who do not drink or gamble much (not your typical party crowd). We're also looking for the most economical route (some of us will do the four-to-a-room thing).

Right now, I'm debating between Royal Caribbean and Carnival, and we'll be taking a ship out of a Southern port (Galveston, TX or Florida).

Also, I was curious if the newer/bigger ships are worth the extra expense for a group such as ours.

We'll want good food, lots of stuff to do, and a classy, fairly relaxed, atmosphere.

I've spoken with a couple travel agents, but I hope you can offer some suggestions.
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Old August 21st, 2008, 01:55 AM
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The word Carnival and Classy do not really belong together. Just my opinion of course. Then again if you think beer bellies, Keg parties, nascar and blinding Christmas lights are classy then you'll be fine. The RCI Voyager is well worth any extra money but usually the price difference is not that significant. Unfortunately if you want to go in June out of Galveston then Carnival is your only choice as Voyager goes to Europe in the summer. June is a time when lots of families and college kids go so be prepared for high prices and LOTS of kids. Florida would be the best option for you if you want to avoid the party hearty crowd. You will have 2 RCI 7 day choices in Florida: Freedom of the Seas from Port Canaveral (45 min from Orlando) or Liberty out of Miami. As of now they are tied with their sister the Independence for largest ship in the world. I've been on this class of ship three times and it is really a great option for groups. The bad thing is that it will not be cheap. Unlike the winter when there is an abundance of ships in the Caribbean, summer is very limited. There is a nice option out of LA. The Mariner ( same class as Voyager) will be sailing 7 day Mexican Riviera and prices will be lower than the Florida ships. Mariner is one of my favorite ships from RCI.
No matter what line or what ship you take, be prepared for lots of kids and high prices in June. I sent you a private message with some of the amenities and deals that both Carnival and RCI offer for groups.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Then again if you think beer bellies, Keg parties, nascar and blinding Christmas lights are classy then you'll be fine.
This sounds like a quote from someone who may not have sailed on Carnival since the early 1990s

Today's Carnival offers an excellent product, and imho better food and service departments than RCI.

RCI builds really beautiful ships, but I do think their onboard delivery has slipped substantially over the last several years. It seems they've chosen to let the ship and tricks (like flowrider and rock climbing walls) draw the crowds, and not pay as much attention as required to delver the goods once you're on the ship.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 11:58 PM
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When was the last time you took a Carnival ship from Galveston or Mobile? Probably never. I just interviewed several passengers who recently took those ships and well, quite frankly, my comment was rather on the mild side. I am not condemning ALL Carnival cruises or ships. The problem I have with them is that the level of service and quality have no consistency what so ever across the line. The ships that do exotic and 7 day trips from big ports like Miami are usually ok. Most of the older ships out of smaller ports are really a nightmare for many customers. I have sailed on them within the last 5 years and I have seen the inconsistency myself. I will never take another one even though I can go for basically free. I see it as a waste of time where there are better companies and better ships. You either like them or you don't. Simple fact. From the description the girl gave, I felt that it would not be the best fit for her group and they would be disappointed.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 01:11 AM
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If you don't party alot, go with Royal Caribbean, in either a Voyager class or Freedom class ship. These are the activities ships. The main difference between the two classes is the Freedom class has a Flowrider wave machine available. You will also want to try and book enough staterooms to get the free berth(bed), which means you can save by paying for 1 less person, but yet everyone pays for a berth, basically amounting to a group rate. Generally it is either 8 cabins(16 people in doubles) or 16 cabins(32 people in doubles) before the free berth, but if it is 8 for 16 cabins you'd get a free stateroom. Also, groups get group points to spend on different options(usually enough for 2 or 3 items) for your group. You should call Royal Caribbean about this, though I know it is 8 on Carnival but they tend to be party ships without alot to do but drink, dance, eat, and lounge by the pool. I am learning the travel industry now(My specialty will be cruises and group travel), but if there is anything further I can do to help, free of charge of course, please e-mail me at bolinger81380@yahoo.com
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Old September 14th, 2008, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
When was the last time you took a Carnival ship from Galveston or Mobile? Probably
I haven't sailed from either, but the OP poster also mentioned Florida. Your original post didn't differentiate between old ships, new ships or ports, it simply stated "facts" about Carnival that are simply not true.

Im 58 and rarely drink, so certainly not what you would describe as a "Carnival passengers" yet I've had an excellent time on all I've done.

I'm platinum in Carnival's repeaters club, and Diamond in RCI's so I have sailed quite a few of the ships from each line. Nothing wrong with RCI, but I find stereotypical descriptions of either not to be that helpful.

Certainly voice all the personal opinions you like, but why use stereotypes, and third, fourth, fifth and twelfth person validations.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 01:49 AM
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As far as my input went, it is from knowledge if ship amenities and being in my late 20s. Gives me the age perspective that a 20something may have. Everyone does have their preferences, which I recognize.
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