Save or Splurge: Ship accommodations have tremendous
choice for all budgets within the group.
Family groups unite: Kids of all ages are well taken
care of onboard ships.
Cruising is perfect for meetings and incentive groups,
with group coordinator and dedicated meeting space.
Don't forget special occasions & reunions - here I
am with our family during our anniversary cruise.
At a cruise training session earlier this year, a
statistic was mentioned that the most successful agencies book 50-80% of their
cruise business in groups. How much group business currently makes up your
Simply put, cruising is completely conducive to group
travel. I cannot think of another form of vacation where groups can travel
together, unpack once, visit exotic locales and have their every whim be
catered to. Unlike a resort where one size fits all, cruise ships have so much
more to offer to each traveller's unique needs.
Ships have a myriad of accommodation categories to cater
to the entire group - luxury suites, roomy balconies, budget-friendly
ocean views and insides. Some ships also have solo cabins to accommodate
singles. The wide range in price presents an equal chance for everyone to save
Cruise cuisine is guaranteed to satisfy not only the
pickiest eaters but also those with dietary needs or allergies. Between
buffets, dining rooms, specialty restaurants, poolside grills and room service
offering all types of cuisine, every member of the group will be sufficiently
Those with children can take advantage of the
complimentary programs catering to all age groups from toddlers to teens.
Parents can enjoy as much family or private time as they wish, knowing that
their children will be well cared for by professional nannies, youth and teen
The best part of the cruise environment in my opinion, is
that everyone can partake in his or her favourite activities without
sacrificing to someone else. Those who want to lay by the pool and sip pina
coladas all day can do so without having to compromise those who want to spend
their entire time in the gym, spa, casino, etc. And everyone can share amazing
stories of their day when they reconvene at dinner.
Going ashore also allows plenty of freedom. A variety of
excursions cater to all interests; customized tour itineraries and private
group transportation can be easily arranged. Or again, everyone can do their
own thing and regroup at the end of the day.
On the backend, all cruise lines offer incentives for
groups in the form of group amenities. Bonuses such as shipboard credits,
cocktail parties, upgrades and more are great extras for your clients; while
bonus commission and tour conductor credits add to your bottom line in addition
to regular commissions of at least 10%. Although not openly advertised, most
cruise lines protect client amenities back to cabin 1 even if you fall short of
the standard group size, so you really have nothing to lose.
Cruise lines will work with you throughout the life of
your group. Shoreside group co-ordinators can help you tailor each group's
needs, whether it is booking function space, assigning dining reservations or arranging
cabin gift deliveries. While onboard, each ship has a designated group
co-ordinator who will personally welcome the group and be available to answer
questions, fulfill requests or resolve issues.
Doesn't this all make sense? When you consider how easy
it is to block and manage group space and how quickly a group can fill - people
love to travel with others they know - cruising is a most logical choice. Group
clients are everywhere - family reunions, special occasions, clubs and
associations, sports and hobbies, meetings and incentives. Put them on ships!
They will enjoy a wonderful vacation that and you will enjoy repeat and
referral business, and a spike to your earnings.
Ming Tappin is a cruise veteran with over 20 years’
experience in the industry and has sailed on 36 cruises and counting. Based in
Vancouver, Ming is Owner of
Cruise Coach Consulting