Are you looking for an alternative to your annual family reunion in the local park? Or maybe your community organization needs to shake things up for the holidays this season?
Enter the hosted cruise, a great way for groups of six or more to experience cruising – especially if they’re first-timers!
A hosted cruise may be right for you if:
- You want to offer unique experiences to your group but you don’t have time to plan them yourself.
- Your group gets around! Everyone has visited a variety of places (and isn’t afraid to share their opinions – loudly) and you need to satisfy a broad range of experiences and interests.
- You or the members of your group have been on cruises (or even a certain cruise ship) before but would like a different on-board experience.
- It’s hard enough “herding the cats” that you’re related to! You want one point of contact when you’re at sea to be able to answer basic questions about the ship, the schedule, etc. (and you’d rather that person not be you – it’s your vacation, too!)
- You’re traveling alone, but want the sort of personalized attention of a hosted cruise.
Hosted cruises go a step further than group cruises in the sense that the host actually goes on the cruise with you, having planned and coordinated individualized on-board experiences with the ship as well as excursions in selected ports - a personalized cruise director of sorts.
One of my favorite excursions on a hosted cruise took place in Rome. While planning the trip, the group had expressed interest in seeing the Vatican, so I arranged for them to get in early, ahead of other travelers. When we got there, not only did they experience the reverence of the site itself, but they had the chance to do so before other tourists and worshipers arrived for their visit that day. It was an unforgettable experience for them!
That's the sort of personalized experience a hosted cruise can provide. So ... are you ready to take the first step?
The best thing to do is contact your travel agent. If you’re getting information for your own group, he or she can help you with such things as:
- Choosing a destination
- Choosing a ship that’s right for the whole gang
- Learning about on-board activities
- Figuring out what fits your group’s budget
- Creating exactly the experience you want!
At the same time, if you’re traveling alone, your travel agent may know of groups currently working on hosted cruises and whether there is availability for one person. There are plenty of hosted cruise options out there through organizations that cater to specific interests or hobbies – just ask your travel agent, or check out social media to see what kinds of opportunities may be out there.
The details are what make hosted cruising so special!
It certainly has caught the attention of Robin Lampert, one of our most intrepid Cruise Ambassadors! Robin is heading to the Caribbean in April of 2016 with the Princess Cruise Lovers Facebook Group. She’s an experienced cruiser, having been on upwards of 30 cruises to places like the Panama Canal, Hawaii, Europe and Alaska - but this will be her first time taking a hosted cruise.
“It’s a terrific way to meet the people I’ve been communicating with online for years," she says. "I like knowing there’s someone I can go to if I need something or have a question, who knows our group and our schedules, but also that I'm going to have a different experience than other people have had. Putting names with faces will be exciting!"