Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Reunions and Group Cruises
Reunions and Group Cruises
A Disney cruise is ideal for a reunion or group event. Unlike a gathering on land, say at Walt Disney World, the Disney cruise allows groups to stay within close proximity of one another, offers a number of built-in activities and meals, and sometimes offers reunion-themed stateroom gift packages. We’ve planned a number of reunions and group cruises over the years—here are our tips for a successful gathering:
Pick the best dates. Consult with the members of your group to find the dates that work best for their schedules and wallets. While spring and summer breaks may seem best for groups with kids, those are among the priciest and may prevent some from joining you. Whenever possible, go for the less-expensive seasons, such as January, February, May, or early December.
If you’re cruising as a family or small group, it may be possible to select staterooms in close proximity to one another, which facilitates communications and meetings. But if you cannot, don’t fret—the ship isn’t that big of a place. You may also be able to switch to rooms in closer proximity around final payment time (75 days before), when other cruisers cancel.
Keep in close communication with your group both before and during your cruise. Simple notes or newsletters, via e-mail or on paper, can be very helpful for educating and notifying them of events. Once onboard, you can use your Wave Phones (see page 153) or leave voice mail and notes on stateroom doors.
Even if you make separate room reservations, let Disney know that you’re traveling as a group and ask them to link the reservations together so you can dine on the same schedule and in close proximity. The dining room tables usually hold up to eight guests—on one of our family reunion cruises, our family of 16 was seated at two tables of eight, end to end. We’ve found that having this time together at dinner is very important to the success of a group cruise. Keep in mind, however, that everyone in your party needs to be on the same dinner seating—discuss early vs. late seating with your group before making a unilateral decision.
If your group wants to dine at Palo and/or Remy, make your reservations online as early as possible! Large groups are hard to accommodate and space goes quickly. Several small tables may be a better idea. Note: If your group’s reservations are linked in Disney’s system and you book a Palo table large enough to accommodate your group, other members of your group may not be able to make their own, separate Palo reservations.
One of many group cruises we’ve hosted
Don’t expect or try to do everything together. The beauty of a Disney cruise is that you don’t have to hang together all the time to enjoy your group. You’ll inevitably do some activities together during the day, bump into one another during free moments, and then enjoy quality time together at dinner.
Note that group reservations are not offered, but an experienced travel agent can be a big help—do you really want to guide every member of your group through the room booking process?
Top Photo Slice: PassPorter Group Cruise for our 10th Birthday! (℗ 53519) Photo contributed by © Jennifer Marx
You are viewing page 562, which is section 11 of chapter 11 of PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line guidebook.
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