pros and cons of cruising when large group on ship

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Ask a Cruise Question
Post your general cruise questions here.
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 08:21 AM.
#1
Seattle
194 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
I just booked a cruise on RC out of Galvenston texas in February and now I noticed on roll call there are two large groups
one a car club and one a band through a travel agency

Wondering if I should change my cruise dates
Thanks
#2
85,246 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
It can vary by group. Since the people in the group know each other they don't always mix so readily with others not in the group but this does vary by person and by group.

Keith
#3
Pepsicola FL
9,901 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Possible cons:

public venues being 'closed' to the rest of the ship for private events
Large groups of people 'taking over' public areas.. pool side, a lounge, etc.
a general feeling that you cannot escape these groups even when they are just out and about on their own.

with the band you can assume a private concert which means the theater may not hold the usual show one night. I know when I looked at doing the Carnival High Kings Cruise there were many little things like Q&A sessions with the members, a lunch with them in the MDR, etc and so on.

it could depend on how LARGE these groups are in relation to total pax on board too. you may find they are avery small percentage and will have minimal to no impact at all.
#4
81,389 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Call each of the groups, as though you were thinking of booking, and find out how large these groups are. If combined they make up 30-40% of the total guest count, you may want to rethink being on that cruise.

There are very good reasons cruise lines guard that information so closely and do not disclose if they have a large group even if asked. All the reasons are negative for the cruiser who is not a part of the group.

Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
<img src=http://www.hollandamerica.com/images/5starMariner.gif border=0 alt= />

sail7seas7 At yahoo .com
Please put CruiseCritic in Subject Line
#5
Connecticut
11,065 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by sail7seas
Call each of the groups, as though you were thinking of booking, and find out how large these groups are. If combined they make up 30-40% of the total guest count, you may want to rethink being on that cruise.

There are very good reasons cruise lines guard that information so closely and do not disclose if they have a large group even if asked. All the reasons are negative for the cruiser who is not a part of the group.

Good point -- there is a real feeling of being an outsider when more than a quarter of the passengers are doing their own things in spaces which are ordinarily available to the general mix of passengers --- and lines in my experience specifically avoid letting you know in advance.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Six US Navy ships,
20+ cruises: Orient (1), Holland America (11), Norwegian (6), Carnival (1), Princess (1), Celebrity (3), Cunard (2), Royal Caribbean (1) - (1996-2017).
#7
Church Point AKA Cajun Country
10,759 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
We have cruised with the band before and you will find that we are polite and love talking to people about our little area of the United States. While some do love to drink you will find that they are not what I call rowdy drunks who party all night in the hallways, fight and makes scenes around the pool or other public areas. The travel agency they will be traveling us will expect them to represent our area with pride.

If they have another Mardi Gras theme day, and they always have had them in the past, everyone on the ship will be able to enjoy this. The music and Madri Gras parade should not be missed and is opened to everyone on the ship. At least it has always been in the past. As far as the closed meetings we have had them at Sudio B when it isn't being used for ice shows or opened to the rest of the ship for public ice skating. So they shouldn't be taking over key public areas that everyone else would like to enjoy.

This is the way it has been the last three times we cruised with them and I wish we were sailing this year with them but atlas we had other plans. I can suggest that if you feel that some members of this group is getting out of hand and ruining your cruise just mention it to one of the travel agents onboard. While we are all adults if members of this group is giving a bad name to this agency the agents will have a talk with them. The agency usually has a table setup on Deck 6 or 7 overlooking the Promeande so they are easily found.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Rosemarie
#8
Moon Township, Pa
23,139 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
We were booked on a cruise when we found out there was a partial charter of over 1000. We cancelled immediately and went with another cruise line. Large groups, from my experience, definitely can have a very negative impact on a cruise, from taking over an entire seating in the MDR, to using the public areas at all times making it impossible for those not with the group to use those venues.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Darcie
#9
Fredericksburg, va. USA
81,549 Posts
Joined May 2001
You won't have any problems with either of those "groups"....most of those people won't know each other, either! It will be the same as any other cruise.

Now, there are some groups that do take over the ship, but your groups sound neither offensive or pushy! No worries!

You'll find there are groups on EVERY single sailing....most people would never know there are "groups" aboard.
#10
105,594 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Years before we were able to find out about groups on ships, we got caught a couple of times with large groups on the ships.

One time was really bad -- they had the main show lounge closed for the group all morning and afternoon. Bingo and a couple of other activities that were usually held there had to be moved into cramp quarters.

Another time a couple of the lounges were closed for private parties in the evenings.

Yes -- a large group can affect your cruise.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#12
Las Vegas
10,624 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by freberd
Great idea on calling. One group 600 and one 400 or so the posters state
That is probably 40 - 60% of the ship. I would cancel if I could.

DON
#13
Seattle
194 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Thanks all for insight

Rosie
I didn't realize it would be Mardi gras and Valentine's day
How fun

I was wondering if you think it would be more casual traveling with these two groups
We don't dress up much. I know this is always a hot topic dress attire that is
#14
81,389 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by freberd
Great idea on calling. One group 600 and one 400 or so the posters state

I am not familiar with ships that sail from Galveston.
How many guests does your ship hold?

We have been on a ship with large group and one sea day, we had to leave the pool as they were having a pool party.

The Crows Nest (top of the ship lounge), which was our favorite spot after dinner was closed to everyone not part of the group.

It was awful and we definitely did not have 'run of the ship'. They took over large areas and the rest of us were in the way.

It was after that group, I am told, that HAL limited the size of groups to a certain percentage and if the group want more space, they have to charter the ship.

Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
<img src=http://www.hollandamerica.com/images/5starMariner.gif border=0 alt= />

sail7seas7 At yahoo .com
Please put CruiseCritic in Subject Line
#15
Church Point AKA Cajun Country
10,759 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by freberd
Thanks all for insight

Rosie
I didn't realize it would be Mardi gras and Valentine's day
How fun

I was wondering if you think it would be more casual traveling with these two groups
We don't dress up much. I know this is always a hot topic dress attire that is
Dress casual and enjoy your cruise. The only way you will recognize anyone sailing with the band is by the tee shirts they will be wearing.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Rosemarie
#17
In the Valley, CA
22,934 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
As others have said, there will be groups on your cruise. It's just a matter if they get to have private parties in public areas of the ship (such as take over a pool, a major size lounge, a dining room during a meal time, etc). Sometimes you won't even know there's big groups on board with you.

When we were boarding the Sensation for my second cruise, there was a giant sign welcoming passengers to "The World Tourney of Bingo." I didn't even know that actual tournaments would be held in bingo, and after that cruise, I would want to stay far away from any. The sessions were held in a major lounge on some days, so we just avoided that area. But seriously, you wouldn't want to be between the dining room and this group when the door was opened. Same for the casino door when it opened. They always seemed to be smoking or drinking when out and about. Even someone in the same row as us on the plane ride back to the west coast was a bit reluctant to admit she had booked the cruise for the bingo. She was amazed at these people's behavior. I think those who were in this group were about a third or more of the total passengers.

On another cruise, there was some sort of cardio convention. Doctors, technicians and others involved with equipment in this field. I think I only saw one sign on some door that the room was being used for this group. Don't know how many were involved, but the passengers we came into contact with from this group seemed very nice. (and you have to wonder, maybe a good cruise to be on if your ticker was acting up) There was also a group of travel agents onboard (only knew this from seeing signs on cabin doors).

A couple of cruises ago, there was a group of French-speaking passengers. There was a white board by the chapel/classroom that listed their schedule. One of the TV channels was devoted to French language programming (we were watching "The Incredibles" on this channel -- we didn't know French, but by that time, had seen the movie so many times, we knew the plot and much of the dialogue).

On our last cruise, there was a sign for a private party in one of the dining rooms, but in the morning (wasn't the MDR used for breakfast) for some group. Again, wouldn't have known they were onboard, otherwise.

You may also see family and school reunions. Again, unless it's some group being obnoxious or taking over public areas, you may not be bothered at all.

If you do hear about a group on board, see if you can get info (someone's suggestion above about calling and pretending you're interested in booking thru them sounds great). Ask if there's private parties, entertainment just for the group. See if they have a website.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Patty the Cruisin' Chick (may all your cruises be smooth sailin')

Hoping for another trip to the land of Aloha!

Carnival Jubilee - Mex. Riv.; Sensation - W. Caribb.; Holiday (2Xs) - Baja; Paradise - E Caribb; Ecstasy - Baja; Star Princess - Mex. Riv.; Sapphire Princess - Alaska; Island Princess - Hawaii; Golden Princess - Hawaii (one of the best cruises ever!!!!); another Golden Princess -- Hawaii

Read about my most recent cruise at
http://www.sites.google.com/site/holidayalohaii/home