ROYAL CARIBBEAN'S MARINER OF THE SEAS CRUISE TO NASSAU AND COCO CAY
What our client asked for:
This client had used my agency years ago on a cruise and, this time, wanted to discuss a family reunion. They’d done one “reunion vacation” a few years ago at a resort. They wanted a four-day cruise over the July 4 holiday on a ship that would offer a lot of activities for a group with ages from 10 to 85 and easily accessible for people arriving from all over the United States. We also needed to be cognizant of varying budgets and had different expectations. “The biggest common denominator is we want to do this.” They felt confident that they had five or six families with hope that at least 10-15 would join. The biggest obstacle is that we had only five months to plan, book and prepare for this. Final payment would only be a couple of months away.
What we booked for them:
This reunion was made of siblings and cousins that represented the grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren of a couple who had emigrated from Europe. Everything about this group pushed me to do anything we could to be successful. However, the only time I’ve seen a family reunion pull together this quickly, there was one person who was paying all or most of the cruise package costs. What we had going in our favor was that these family members have a strong sense of family history and keep in touch on a private family group on Facebook.
All cruise ships sailing short itineraries from the U.S. in the summer use older ships. I expressed various concerns to Barry over the ship they were suggesting. Instead, I felt that Royal Caribbean International’s Mariner of the Seas sailing from Miami which would have just gone through a multi-million dollar renovation with many exciting activities and public areas would be the best option. Trusting me, the group agreed with my plan. I handled all group and individual level planning. This included bookings, addressing individual concerns, round-robin dining, an official cocktail party as well as how to handle a couple of somewhat impromptu unofficial celebrations. I also worked with Barry to provide some shipboard surprises for everyone including the image they created for their t-shirts. These door signs, notebooks and lanyard badges also serve as souvenirs. Lastly, I arranged special gifts for those I considered to be the VIP generation-- “grandchildren” of the origin couple.
The reunion sailed with 38 participants in 17 cabins, larger than the hoped for goal.
Our family sailed on a reunion cruise. I had used Connie's agency on a prior trip but for only a few cabins. Her crew did such a great job on our first cruise, asking her for help on this was a no brainer.
I gave Connie just over 5 months to help me pick a ship, pick a date, get everything together, and answer a million questions from me and all our family. In just 5 short months Connie helped us get 38 cousins to commit and book the trip. We had 17 rooms on that ship. Without Connie to field everyone's questions, calm their nerves, help them pick the correct cabin, we would not have been able to accomplish what we did.
We are planning on doing another one and knowing that Connie will be there for us allows us all to sleep better knowing it will all be handled professionally and with a smile. If anyone wants more info, feel free to ask Connie for my contact info. She's the BEST.