Looking to travel with a few of your favorite couples? Plan an vacation with all of your extended family? Bachelorette party or trip with 10 of your closest girlfriends?
Growing up, we went on cruises with my parents, grandparents and uncle. My grandparents loved it because they could play cards all day and have dinner with us at night. My parents loved it because it was easy. And my sister and I loved it because we had so much freedom on the ship and there were fun activities to meet other kids our age.
If you're trying to plan a group vacation, a cruise is perfect for you. And here's why.
1 - Cost Per Day
Cruises, when broken down, are one of the most affordable ways to vacation around, unless you're only taking busses from one location to another and sleeping in hostels (which is absolutely NOT a vacation). If your dates are flexible, there's a lot of money to be saved. We recently booked a 5 night cruise for 2 for right around $700. That breaks down to $350 per person, or $70 per day for all of our food & lodging, not to mention our "transportation" from one port to another. We're eating lobster. We're having dessert. I'm not looking at the prices - because there aren't any.
Even if you spent $5 on breakfast, $10 on lunch, and $15 on dinner, that only leaves you $40 for your hotel that night. An $80 hotel for 2 people might not be that bad, but you definitely won't be eating surf & turf.
2 - Time Together & Time Apart
Ah, vacation with the family. There comes a point in the trip where everyone will need their own space or want to branch out and do something different. That's the beauty of cruises. If the guys want to hang in the casino while the girls lay by the pool, awesome. If the kids want to dominate the put put course while the adults do karaoke, even better! There's a little something for everyone on the ship.... but you'll always have a place to eat a beautiful meal together and talk about your day.
3 - Maximize Your Travel (with minimal effort)
On a 4-5 day cruise, you'll hit up 1-2 different ports. On a 6-9 day cruise, you'll visit 4-5 ports. Mexico, Caribbean, Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica, Honduras, DR, Haiti.... these are just a few of the different places I've been on cruises before. The best part is, all you have to do is go to sleep in your cabin, and you'll wake up in a new tropical paradise.
Additionally, on-island activities are a great time to split up by interest. In the past we've cruised with people who are/aren't certified in SCUBA. Some folks did some diving, the others took a catamaran out for the day. Or, maybe part of your group wants to explore Mayan ruins while the rest want to swim with the dolphins or go shopping. The possibilities are endless, and there's no reason everyone can't find something they'd like to do.
4 - It's Easy to Make Everyone Happy
Have a picky eater or someone who "doesn't care where you eat dinner" but veto's every single option you throw out there? Cruises eliminate the need for excessive decision making. Your options are: formal dining or buffet. Some cruises offer additional dining options (like sushi restaurants or steakhouses) for an up charge, but I'm here to tell you the formal dining room is your friend. Having a hard time deciding between chicken and steak? Order both. Decide you want soup AND salad? Ok! Each night there are so many new, different items to choose from, everyone in your party will find something delicious to try. Eliminate arguments that start with mexican vs. italian, and enjoy the peaceful dining experience!
5 - You Make 1 Decision and Your Trip is Planned
The hardest part of booking a trip with a group is picking a date. With a cruise, that's practically your only decision. What's not to like about low-stress travel?
Seriously - try the group cruise. There's a little something for everyone and it's a great way to get your crew together.
Have you ever taken a cruise with a group?
PS - More cruise tips!
10 Things You Should Know About Your Cruise
Cruise Packing List for Men
Cruise Packing List for Women
Mix & Match On Your Cruise (How to Pack Carry on Only!)