Groups looking to get away together would do well to consider a cruise for their next outing!
Many cruise lines are currently courting this sector by offering a wide selection of amenities and accommodations geared specifically to this market. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), since the early 1990s, cruise lines have been actively soliciting the group market, specifically for meetings and incentives. Cruise lines have custom-built ships to accommodate virtually any size meeting, convention or incentives group, according to CLIA.
Corporate America seems to be catching on. The idea of mixing business and pleasure has resulted in more companies planning meetings and incentive trips aboard cruise ships. The reason: the inclusive nature of cruising makes it more valuable than a land-based meeting or incentive because of the all-inclusive extras onboard a ship. Where else but on a cruise can you find Broadway-style shows, spas, fitness facilities, endless dining options, and access to exotic ports of call all in the same place?
Often times, a cruise line will offer group amenities such as onboard cocktail parties or custom-tailored group shore excursions. Whatever the group’s needs, customization is the key. Seasoned staff is always on hand to create themed events, personalize activities or assist with a meeting or convention. But you are best served by working with an experienced travel agent who can make sure all of your group's needs are clearly communicated to the cruise ship's staff, well in advance.
New ships are designed with full business capabilities ranging from spacious conference and meeting rooms to state-of-the-art multimedia facilities. They feature comfortable meeting rooms and multi-purpose lounges to accommodate groups from 10 to several hundred. Imagine holding your awards ceremony in a multi-tiered show lounge or hosting a company banquet in a restaurant featuring acclaimed chefs.
The same advantages enjoyed by the corporate market are available to other types of groups considering a cruise. Your special interest group could listen to guest experts on various topics while at sea and enjoy specialized tours ashore.
Another burgeoning source of group business is the family reunion market. You could select a package that includes special features, like a welcome letter from the Captain, a deluxe photo package, door decorations, personalized cake, souvenirs, VIP in-room amenities, and other special extras. Plus, if you’re celebrating something special like an anniversary or wedding, the staff is on hand to help you plan and celebrate in style.
When it comes to accommodations, newer ships have groups foremost in mind. Choose a suite that can fit your entire family, or at least a good portion of them! These days, suites can feature multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, super-sized deck areas with private hot tubs, high-tech entertainment centers and ample commonareas where you can all come together and relax. They can even be multi-leveled.
So, no matter the size or interest of the group, rest assured there’s something out there for everyone. Your Cruise Holidays expert is ready and waiting to help you find the ship to meet your needs and provide your group with an unforgettable cruise experience!