What is the definition of a “Group” cruise? The general standard for a group cruise is 8 cabins sailing on a single departure. There are some exceptions to this and your travel consultant can provide more information.
Will I get the same or better rates from you vs. going direct to a cruise line? Our rates are as good, if not better than, going directly to the cruise line. More importantly we don’t limit your choice to just one cruise line, we are able to offer any cruise that meets your wants and needs. Our goal is to put you on the cruise line and ship that is right for your group.
How many people does it take to qualify for Group cruise prices and amenities? Typically, it takes a total of 16 passengers in 8 cabins to qualify for ALL amenities. There are some cases where group amenities such as on board credits will apply to the group. Since each cruise line offers different amenities, we take the time to understand your group’s particular needs to find the right match. This is why choosing the right cruise line for the group is so important.
What are the main benefits of traveling as a group? Aside from the most important benefit of enjoying the cruise with friends and/or family, a group cruise is often priced lower (for the same cabin categories) than regular rates. In addition to the rate reduction many cruise lines offer various perks or amenities to the group such as on board spending credit, welcome parties, etc. Your Cedez Travel Consultant will work with you to maximize the value of these amenities.
How do I get a ‘free cabin’? The cruise line will usually provide a complimentary berth (not cabin) for each 16 full fare passengers traveling together. This is called the Tour Conductor program. To obtain a ‘free cabin’ the group needs to have 32 full fare passengers in 16 cabins. The third and fourth passengers in a cabin do not count towards this program since they are usually given a discounted rate. The value of the complimentary berth is returned to the group leader after the group has sailed (in order to account for any last minute cancellations). The amount of this Tour Conductor refund is based on the average cost of all staterooms booked for the group.
Does the entire group have to dine together at every meal? No, the group may choose to dine together all the time or just at some meals (usually dinner). If the group elects to dine together and they are travelling on a ship that offers early or late dining, then all group members must elect the same time. Group dinners can also be held in the optional restaurants (at an extra cost per attendee). There are many group dining options and your travel consultant can help arrange these for you.
How are payments processed? Once your group space is blocked, it is a fairly simple process. Each participant will make a deposit and a final payment. Deposits vary based on cruise line offers and policies. Generally, final payments must be made 90 days PRIOR to the sailing date. All payments are processed via a credit card and accessed on the special web page that we will create exclusively for each group. Our goal is to create a group program that does not obligate the group leader with any of the accounting or administration processes.
Can the group get a discount on shore excursions? Yes, we offer packages through a highly reputable Shore Excursions provider. We can arrange one or more group excursions during the cruise or the group members can go online through our website and book individual excursions with savings up to 25% from prices for the same or similr tour purchased on the ship.
What about holding special parties or meetings on board? Definitely! We can arrange most group events in advance. Meeting rooms are generally free of charge. There are some costs associated with cocktail parties and coffee breaks which vary by cruise line. Most of the medium to larger cruise lines have at least one Group Coordinator on board who will assist you once you board.
Do all group members have to be from the same city? No, group travelers can come from throughout the U.S. and even internationally and meet on board the ship.
Who handles the paperwork and the booking details? Your experienced travel consultant handles all the paperwork and booking details. You round up the group members and we take care the rest. It is important that all of the travelers go through the travel consultant or their customized site since attendees not booked through the group may not have access to the group amenities.
Do you provide tools like web sites, flyers and email templates to promote the trip? Yes, we have a very complete set of tools that will make your group departure flow smoothly.
The tools include:
A web page personalized exclusively to your group
Customized flyers Email templates Online payment processing for all group members
Automated trip insurance processing
Online shore excursions
Pre-cruise Q & A via Cruise Night! At your location (optional)
Will our group departure have its own website and can members book online? Yes, each potential group traveler will have access to a web page customized with your group’s details. From this page, they can make deposits and final payments which will be invoiced to each individual member. You (the tour leader) do not have to hold money or account for payments.
If some members of the group need to fly to the embarkation port, can you arrange this? Yes; however, our experience has shown that many group members prefer to make their own travel arrangements using our online booking service due to the rapidly changing availability of flights. There is also cruise line arranged air available and this can be added as an option. Rates change frequently and since cruise line prices are published in advance, typically, the online rates are lower than cruise line published rates. Even if group members choose to arrange their own flights, we can still purchase transfers from the airport to the cruise terminal.
Is travel insurance available to group members? It is available and strongly recommended. We automatically add third party trip insurance to all group bookings. Group members who wish to arrange their own can remove this from the invoice but travelling on any cruise without insurance is strongly discouraged.
What happens if our group falls below the number required to get discounts and amenities? Each cruise line has different policies regarding this and your travel consultant can advise the program offered by your specific line. Generally, the cruise line will honor the group rate but some of the amenities offered such as cocktail parties or onboard credits may be reduced or eliminated depending on the final group count.
Do all group members have to choose the same stateroom type? No, a variety of stateroom types ranging from interior to suites can be held for your group (subject to availability).
Will our group rate be lower than any advertised rate? Not necessarily. Occasionally a cruise line may advertise a limited amount of staterooms on the same sailing as your group that is lower than your ‘group rate’. The rates are often limited to a few cabins and carry no amenities or other bonuses that apply to your group.
Contact us today if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org