The Dangers of Booking a Cruise…What Can Go Wrong!

Perspectives of Dylan DeClerck, Event Consultant

Post 5 of 5 in this series.   Dylan DeClerck

Booking a group on a cruise, or for that fact any trip for a larger group, can be very exciting, especially when you’ve worked with a cruise expert to help you with the daunting research to locate the perfect location, received the best concessions and amenities, and created the best experiences for all of the attendees.  However, right after the trip gets booked, the overwhelming pressure of putting on an event just as well as you envisioned starts to feel heavy on your shoulders.  Let’s explore a couple of the things you need to address when planning a cruise and provide you with a way to alleviate some of the stress.

Picking a Ship – One of the challenges in picking a ship is finding the company and vessel with everything you need for your group.  Unlike choosing a hotel and destination, a cruise ship has no room to add additional meeting space or any flexibility in set up, so everything that you need for the length of your group’s stay on board must be part of the contract or on the ship from the start.  This also raises the question of, “How do I know the ship has the right accommodations for my needs?”  Realistically you’d like to have prior experience with the ship, but secondarily there are event planner experts who can help with group planning.

Miscommunication – While it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to construct a plan that avoids miscommunication, there are certain steps every event planner can take to make communication as clear as possible.  The first thing to do is establish a relationship with someone from the cruise company that you know will take good care of your special circumstances and needs.  Many groups complain that the cruise lines fail to address their concerns.  Working with a cruise can be completely different than working with a hotel.  A cruise expert can help align you with the right person to be your point person and vice versa, meaning that you almost exclusively communicate with each other when it comes to your group and the cruise.  Now these two steps may seem like an easy task, but unfortunately it takes time and investment from both parties to establish this clear line of communication.

Challenges and Obstacles – As with all group trips there are going to be challenges and obstacles for the event planners to manage.  Most event planners know the best way to solve problems is to anticipate them and plan for them even before they occur.  If your group has never done a cruise before this can be incredibly difficult, but a good place to start is by talking with someone who has cruised with a group before.

Fortunately for your group, a good way to alleviate some of this stress when planning a cruise is to work with a partner that knows your group and the cruise options available.  Conference Event Management can help you pick a ship because our cruise President and her cruise team have been on almost every ship that can accommodate a group.  In addition, we have established relationships and a single point of contact at all major cruise lines and won’t hesitate to reach out to them immediately as a problem arises.  Conference Event Management has the experience to make your group’s trip a smooth sailing!

Seafood – The Best Way to Eat on a Cruise

Perspectives of Dylan DeClerck, Event Consultant

dylans-ship-photo

Post 3 of 5 in the series

While a healthy diet is good for us most of the time, there are certain places where a deviation makes sense. One of those places is during a cruise get away!

This last week, I had the opportunity to cruise from Vancouver to Los Angeles on an educational site inspection and had the chance to enjoy some cuisine delights, in addition to some of my favorite guilty pleasures. This blog explores some of the most interesting ways I witnessed guests enjoy their food on an all-inclusive cruise.

 

The Plus One
This technique is relevant for any sit down meal at an all-inclusive restaurant. First everyone orders their own entrée and in addition to everyone’s own meal, the table receives another entrée together. Usually this extra entrée is something exotic or new that they normally wouldn’t try individually, or maybe it’s just an entrée to compensate for the small portions they often serve.

The Triple Double
If one appetizer, one entrée, and one desert aren’t enough for your large appetite then this technique could be the go-to for you. This dining strategy involves ordering two of every course on the menu, and it’s one way to ensure that you’re more than full at the end of a meal. Your server may secretly be hoping your gratuity is a bit larger for their generous favors they’ve provided.

The Delicious Dozen
On most cruises there will be informal dining, such as a buffet, formal, and anytime dining options. This featured eating strategy is specifically for the anytime dining option and requires a ginormous appetite. After dinner you go to the anytime dining option and order a dozen of your favorite deserts to chow on for the rest of the evening. While your chance of stomachache increases exponentially, there’s no doubt that this dining plan will make sure you get the most out of your all-inclusive investment.

The Sampler
The options for food in an all-inclusive situation are numerous, and this plan is designed to take advantage of the amount of food available. In this plan diners get the chance to try a little of every restaurant, every food, and every desert available on the ship. Be careful, make sure that you’re eating small amounts of everything, otherwise this plan can go wrong very quickly, as I’ve personally experienced.

Once you book an all-inclusive trip, one of the most important things to think about is your plan to conquer all of the dining options. The most important things to remember is to find a plan that works for you and remember that everything is healthy when traveling!