By: Joel Dash Special to the Boca/Delray newspapers
One of the hottest trends in travel right now is taking the entire family to sea.
I’m talking about the multi-generational, extended family reunion, with grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles, adult children, college students on breaks, teens, pre-teens, toddlers and even in-laws.
Far found relations from different states or countries, running different tastes, interested and physical capabilities, are finding that vacations at sea are just the ticket for a great reunion. Unlink the classic out-of-town reunion, no single person is responsible for keeping everyone happy and entertained. The list of possibilities for fun and excitement is far greater on a cruise than anywhere else and is usually stress-free.
If a floating family reunion is on your horizon, here are some of the things to keep in mind.
First, if you need eight or more cabins, you may qualify for a group discount, which is typically lower than the early-bird savings offered to individuals. Most cruise lines require at least eight double-occupancy cabins for this rate, but occasionally the requirement drops to as low as five cabins, especially on the luxury lines.
Second, you will need to book early in order to be sure there is space for the entire party. Most cruise lines offer group rates a year or more prior to sailing and will withdraw them five to six months in advance of sailing.
Third, cruise groups often qualify for special perks or freebies. These can include a cocktail party, bon voyage gifts or shipboard credit, which can be used for anything on board from souvenirs to speciality dinners to spa treatments and shore excursions. Families can reserve on-board space for private gatherings.
Finally, if you group books at least eight double-occupancy cabins, one member of your group will cruise for free. This does not include air or port charges. Or, you can reduce everyone’s discounted fare by a prorated amount. Sometimes the organizer of the trip takes the freebie, but frequently it is shared among all guests.
The cruise lines catering to family reunions are Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, MSC and Disney. Disney also has a river boat program on AMA Waterways.
Remember that you travel agent is always there to help you with coordinating everything related to your cruise including airfare, transfers, shore excursions, dining reservations, to name just a few of the things to make your reunion cruise a most memorable event.
Dash Travel “has been there since 1959”. We’ve been on all 7 continents, to over 100 countries, all 50 states and on over 100 cruise ships. We are uniquely qualified as an experienced, concierge travel agency. Visit www.DashTravel4Charity.com. Call 561.498.8439 or drop by at 504 East Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach.