How a cruise retreat or conference differs from a land based event
Even the most experienced planner may find that when it comes to planning an event aboard ship, it's quite different from a land–based trip. Below are some things to consider before you choose a cruise.
1.) What kind of ship is best for my needs?
Be careful to choose a ship whose image appeals to the people in your group. If a conservative bunch looking for quiet and relaxation gets booked on a ship full of disco-type party people, your guests will be unhappy. Also consider the nationality of your passengers and how they will fit with the nationality of the passengers and crew of the ship you are considering. The average age, economic status, prior travel experience, etc. of your guests should all play a role in the final ship choice.
2.) Booking passage
In general, cruise bookings require more lead-time than resort bookings on land. Some destinations--such as the Caribbean—have so many sailings that late bookings may not be an issue. But, any group over 500 people should be committed at least a year in advance. Charters may require more lead-time because ships must be removed from inventory before vacation passengers begin booking.
3.) To charter or not to charter? That is the question…
Basically there are two options: you can book your group on one ship with other passengers, or charter a ship just for your group. A number of factors will enter into your decision such as how many people, how large of a budget you have, and where to sail. Both options offer distinct advantages.
4.) What's included?
Cruising is an outstanding value when you consider all of the amenities that are included in a cruise price versus a hotel.