Family reunion cruises offer convenience, value and high seas adventures that will be remembered for years to come.
About Family Reunion Cruises
When it comes to group sailings it doesn't get more exciting than cruising with the entire clan. Decades ago cruise companies introduced the concept of family reunion voyages as a way for multi-generations to experience a vacation of a lifetime minus the hassles of cooking, cleaning and coordinating hotel rooms, rental cars and community hall rentals. Whether the high seas gathering is to mark a milestone birthday, anniversary or to simply add some spice to an annual get-together, family reunion sailings offer the perfect setting for families looking to make memories to last a lifetime.
Benefits of Family Reunion Sailings
Convenience is one of the top incentives for families to set sail on a reunion cruise. Today's state-of-the-art cruise ships have something for everyone, regardless of age or gender. By hosting a reunion of loved ones on a cruise ship, you have access to luxurious amenities and a host of family-friendly activities, such as:
- Rock climbing
- Roller blading
In addition, many ships offer kids programs, seminars, guest lecturers, and cooking classes to keep family members entertained on reunion cruises. Exciting amenities aside, family reunion cruises also offer a litany of other benefits, including:
Cruises are famous for allowing travelers to get the most bang for their buck. High seas sailings are all-inclusive, which means one price covers accommodations, meals, on board activities and entertainment. What's more, several popular cruise lines offer special group discounts and rates for extended clans. For example, Carnival Cruise Lines offers a family reunion vacation package for groups who reserve at least eight staterooms on a single voyage. The package includes deep discounts on rack rates and VIP in-room amenities. Likewise, Royal Caribbean's family reunion deal includes on-board family scavenger hunts, personalized cakes and a group discount. Not to be outdone by its competitors, Disney Cruise Line also offers a spectacular family reunion voyage complete with special t-shirts, group shore excursions and a commemorative family reunion certificate.
You will likely see a spike in attendance, if you hold your next family reunion on a cruise ship rather than at the local Lions Club. One of the main reasons for this is variety. Multi-generation reunion cruises cater to family members with varying tastes and budgets. This is especially noteworthy when deciding on sleeping arrangements. Cruise ships offer an array of different staterooms from suites and balcony staterooms to oceanview and interior cabins. While you may prefer to stick with a budget-friendly interior stateroom, Aunt May and Uncle Gordon may want to treat themselves to a luxurious suite with fabulous ocean views.
With so many cruise lines offering family reunion voyages, it is not hard to find a convenient departure point. Cruise ships set sail from more than two-dozen ports in the United States and Canada, most of which are located in or within driving distance of major cities, including
- San Diego
- Los Angeles
- New York City
- New Orleans
Tips for Taking Family Reunion Cruises
Before you send out the save-the-date cards for your next family reunion sailing, consider the following helpful tips:
- Start Early: Cruise lines recommend that you begin planning a family reunion voyage at least six months in advance. Doing so allows you to lock into group rates and secure staterooms and preferred dining times for the entire clan.
- Consider Special Dates: If your family includes a boatload of kids, then you will want to book a summer or holiday reunion cruise. The downside to doing so is that ships will be crowded and you may have to pay more given that you will be sailing during the high season.
- Length is Key: Not everyone in the clan can commit to a 14-day trans-Atlantic reunion cruise. Some people have less flexibility with their vacation and work schedules, so you may want to select a shorter sailing if you are accommodating a huge crowd.
Finally, while it's tempting to do so, don't over plan a family reunion cruise. Many reunion coordinators fall into the trap of planning out every single minute of a multi-generation cruise. It's best to allow family members a little flexibility with their itineraries so they can explore the ship on their own and take part in activities they enjoy the most.