The Best Reunion Venue: Cruise Ship or All-Inclusive Resort?
Planning a reunion is nothing like planning a vacation where you only have your own needs to meet. With a reunion, you’ve got large variables to consider like the number of people attending, the age group, the activities your guests enjoy and most importantly, a budget that fits most of the needs of the group!
We’re taking the stress out of planning your next reunion by breaking down the two best options for reunion venues: a cruise ship and an all-inclusive resort. Both venues can comfortably hold and entertain large reunion groups – but offer slightly different atmospheres. Which one is right for your reunion? We’ve laid out the pros and cons of each to help make your decision easy.
Looking to breathe new life into the group get-togethers? As the reunion planner, you and your group will board a luxury cruise ship where you can spend 3 days, 5 days, or longer together as you relax on board and explore various adventures on land.
- Multiple destinations – Expect to dock in multiple ports around the world – exploring together or joining in on the cruise line’s organized events like swimming with dolphins or snorkeling.
- Variety of activities – If your reunion party varies in age, a cruise line will have an activity for everyone! Expect Broadway shows, wine tastings, casinos, ziplines, waterslides, and more. And cruise lines even have babysitting and children’s programs so moms and dads can enjoy time alone. Special personnel can be assigned to assist in planning group dinners or special meetings.
- Year-Round opportunity: No matter the season, you can find a cruise to suit your reunion’s size and budget. Escape to the Caribbean in the winter or get away from a sweltering hot summer as you cruise the waters of a destination such as Alaska.
- Cost – Though cruise lines tout being “all-inclusive,” it really means the price of your cruise ticket covers the basics, such as accommodations and select meals. Not all activities or beverages are included, however recently Norwegian Cruise Lines is offering an all-inclusive cruise that includes alcoholic beverages. You’ll still need to budget for perks such as premium wines or liquors, gratuities and tours while in port.
Choosing Your Cruise
In order to maximize your experience, know your group’s interests! If beaches are what your group is interested in, cruises on the eastern Caribbean are best. For reunions with family and young children, check out Disney Cruise Line. Though pricey, it can provide an awesome experience for adult and children Mouseketeers. However, the top major cruise lines such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean have extensive programs from babies as young as 6 months to teens. Budget will help determine your group’s cruise line. For example, a three-night Bahamas cruise out of Miami aboard Carnival Cruises was just $123 per person as of January 2023.
For experienced travelers seeking greater adventure, more upscale lines can transport you to destinations in Europe, Asia or South America.
There are, however, people who prefer to keep their feet solidly on the ground and want the allure of a luxurious resort with unlimited access to meals, alcohol, and amenities – all for one fixed rate.
- No additional costs – All fees and costs are paid up front!
- Freedom of movement –You can create an itinerary or keep things simple with just a few organized activities per day, allowing guests to spend their days pool or beachside or simply come and go as they please.
- More space, larger rooms – Hotel rooms at a resort would generally be larger than any cruise cabin.
- Travel Time – The majority of the all-inclusive resorts are located outside of the United States and Canada and members may be tired of destinations such as the Caribbean. All members of the group must be willing to fly to a destination which can be rather cost prohibitive for some, thereby decreasing your numbers.
Choosing Your Resort
Location. Location. Location. It’s the most important thing to consider when selecting your all-inclusive resort. Want beautiful scenery and an eco-friendly environment? The Melia Bali in Indonesia would be ideal for an adult-only group! Hosting a family reunion with a lot of kids? Try a campground with a pool and planned activities such as hiking and horseback riding. Check out state and national parks for facilities and activities. Ski resorts can provide a nice change for smaller groups, and many have lots of activities in summer as well. Isla Mujeres, Mexico, has numerous resorts with water parks and adventure activities specifically tailored for kids aged below 13 years old! Browse through a site such as Intrepid Travel to find the best deals.
All in all, the trick for a successful group getaway or reunion is to carefully consider the needs of your group. Provide a few options and let the majority decide.
For more information regarding booking a reunion cruise contact Tours@pathfinderstravel.com.