We think of cruises as solo endeavours, family voyages and ways for couples to connect, but they’re one of the most versatile ways to holiday out there. As part of that, there’s a growing trend in cruise group bookings, which could include anything from a troupe of friends to a family and their extended relations wanting to set sail.

From affordability to the experiences on offer, group cruising offers a fantastic way to guarantee an enriching and rewarding experience onboard some of the most incredible ships ever to cross the world’s oceans. Here are a few pointers if you’re considering any group cruise deals.

Why group cruises work

Instead of you and your nearest and dearest comparing stories of your time abroad on various holidays you’ve taken throughout the year, it’s far more fun to all go together. Cruising offers unrivalled variety in both the activities onboard your ship and the destinations you can experience. Royal Caribbean cruise group bookings see people gathering to check out the biggest and most advanced cruise ships afloat, while studies show that young adults are flocking to smaller and more intimate ships too.

However, as with any big group meetup, some decent planning can work wonders in keeping your group cruise on track.

Planning in advance

It’s likely there’s already some advanced planning going on if you and your friends are debating the merits of a group cruise. The bare-bones details, like which cruise line to go with and which destinations to try, are a natural starting point for those conversations.

However, keep that spirit of open dialogue and planning alive, especially if you’re all cruising together but live in very different places. Coordinate which shore excursions you want to take together, which can be seen in advance on the cruise information pages when you look online. Think about any special dietary requirements or other specialist needs that any of your group has, and how your chosen cruise line meets those needs. Consider if you’ll be chipping in together for a drinks package that’ll let you all enjoy discount and complimentary beverages during your voyage.

But most of all, enjoy the process. It’ll make for quite literally smoother sailing in the long run. You’ll be able to book the best cabins and suites that suit the needs of each member of your group, and even book restaurant tables, spa activities and other events in advance.

Remain individuals too

As we all know, any group is only as brilliant as the people within it. Think about the places you’ll be visiting and the knowledge of those people you’re voyaging beside. If one of your group is gifted with languages for the destinations you’ll share together, have them step up to the plate for translating and communicating. If one of your group is passionate about photography, put them in charge of the holiday snaps. Let the active ones among you lead the bicycle tours of Tuscany.

At the same time though, understand that you won’t want to always do what everyone else is doing, and vice-versa. Cruises offer so much to see and do that sometimes opinions on how best to spend that limited time might not align. That’s OK, and actually very healthy, as with good communication you can each see all the highlights you want to and have plenty to share with one another over dinner.

As with anything, it’s all about making sure you’re being open with each other and looking into what cruising activities and destinations are the best fit for everyone. The great news there is that the number of places that cruise ships visit has never been higher, so you’ve all got plenty of reasons to feel excited.

* Terms & Conditions apply

We are acting as an agent on behalf of travel suppliers and your booking will be subject to the supplier’s terms and conditions. Prices may be subject to very limited availability and are correct as at the date and time of writing. Prices may go up or down from time to time. Prices quoted are for the dates, accommodation, board basis, departure points and number of persons sharing specified only and cannot be combined with any other offer. We reserve the right to amend any quotes given if there is a genuine error as soon as we become aware of it. We reserve the right to withdraw any offers without notice.