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How to Plan a Family Reunion Cruise

Over the years, families tend to spread out further and further away — which is why it’s important to put effort into planning fun family gatherings each year!

Family cruises are a great way to ensure that you get to see your loved ones and that you all can take a little time together to enjoy a fun-filled vacation. Whether getting together with immediate family or having a big reunion with extended relatives, a cruise ensures there will be great food, fun for all, and beautiful scenery.

If you’re planning a family reunion cruise, it’s smart to have a family meeting to figure out your travel plans and get everyone onboard. Here are some key points to consider:

a family standing on a pier with two carnival ships docked in the background

1. Length

How long do you want to be on a cruise? Cruises range from quick two-day getaways to longer trips of over a week. Everyone should weigh in on how much time they can take off. It’s best to start planning early in order to get everybody on the same page. Short trips are are generally easier to plan for, but if you have a big group that doesn’t get to see each other often, you may want to travel as long as possible.

2. Embarkation Point

Your family should decide on where you would like your cruise to depart from. Do you want to be able to drive to the embarkation point or are you planning to fly? There are many options, so check out some of the places that might be close to you or easily accessible. Your whole family can vote on the best embarkation point.

3. Vacation Style

Everyone likes to vacation their own way. Some people like mellow beach vacations, and others like busy, bustling cities. When your family is together, decide on what kind of trip you’ll have.

Do you want more beach time or more options for cultural sightseeing? You’ll also have to decide which ship you’d like to go on. Your embarkation point will play a role too. Many families love the Caribbean, Mexico, The Bahamas, Bermuda and Hawaii¬†since they provide a blend of relaxing beach time and stimulating sightseeing.

a family walking out of the water after snorkeling at a beach

4. Cabin Sizes

When you’re choosing a cruise, keep in mind that you’ll want to choose staterooms that are comfortable for all family members. Consider the size of the cabin, they come in different sizes and with different amenities as well. Carnival makes booking multiple staterooms at the same time very easy so you can manage a trip for a big group. You can book the entire group’s vacation all at once instead of separately, that way you can ensure you have rooms close to each other.

5. Room Types

There are a variety of room types to choose from too. Some rooms offer a view of the ocean or a private balcony. Every stateroom is very convenient and offers a full private bathroom. Decide if you want a standard room or to splurge on a suite!

6. Packing

Depending on where you are going, you’ll want to consider the items you’ll need to bring. You will want to make sure you bring necessary clothing, swimsuits, sandals, toiletries, etc. so that you are ready for the beach and¬†for all the cruise activities you’ll find onboard.

7. Shore Excursions

When you’re booking your cruise, consider booking fun shore excursions. These are hand-selected adventures you can enjoy at different destinations, including ziplining, cave tubing, coral garden tours, exploring Atlantis, touring Mayan ruins in Tulum and more!

Shore excursions are a great way to break up your time on the boat with some on-shore adventures. You can pair your shore excursions with the activities available onboard, such as delicious dinners, concerts, shows, games for kids and more.

a group cave tubing in belize

Planning a family reunion doesn’t need to be stressful. Just start by getting everyone together in advance to make decisions about your dream family vacation. You’ll be embarking on the cruise of your dreams with all your loved ones in no time!