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Cruising in a group

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My husband and I usually cruise with another couple.  We are considering a cruise as one of 5 couples.  Ten people sounds like it could be difficult.

 

I am looking for hints to create a smooth experience.  Any thoughts appreciated.

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Treat it as five couples who coincidentally all happen to be on the same cruise. 

If the plan is to have one person (or couple) in charge of all the arrangements, pass.

If the other four are asking you to be the person in charge---don't for one second thinks that puts you at the advantage. Run away as fast as you can.

This is how lifelong friendships or family ties sink to the bottom, never to be recovered.

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We took a Baltic cruise once with the group being four couples (only one couple knew everyone)....We agreed ahead of time to have traditional dining (late) with a table of 8 for all of us.   For the excursions during the day we all did our own thing.  One day we were all just going ashore to walk/sight see without tours and we started off together and then mid-way of the day broke off on our own.  We did do a private tour together for two days in St. Petersburg.  It seemed to work as we all did what we wanted during the day but then caught up at night to talk about what we saw.   I think it really just depends upon everyone's expectations.  

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A few years back, several couples and friends from church (19 people) decided to go on a MR Princess cruise over Halloween.  The arrangement was: We will see you at dinner.  We had 2 large tables and you have to rotate every night so you aren't sitting with mostly the same people.  If we see you around the ship, we may have a libation or two.  Most of the groups followed my bride and I in PV to our favorite bars and restaurants but there was no plan.  It worked out well.

 

I have a friend who just returned from a large family cruise where they tried to do everything together.  He told me, "Never again!"

 

Cheers

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We often cruise with 5 other couples.  Everyone (or couple) do their own thing during the day, sometimes we might meet up for tours, breakfast/lunch with some or all but basically no one feels the need to stick together. We reserve 2 six top tables next to each other for dinner in the MDR and mix who sits where every night. This works well for us..

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37 minutes ago, fishywood said:

Treat it as five couples who coincidentally all happen to be on the same cruise. 

If the plan is to have one person (or couple) in charge of all the arrangements, pass.

If the other four are asking you to be the person in charge---don't for one second thinks that puts you at the advantage. Run away as fast as you can.

This is how lifelong friendships or family ties sink to the bottom, never to be recovered.

 

Brilliant advice. No matter where, land or sea. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

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You have to all be in agreement that 2 things are acceptable...you either cruise as a group, or you do your own thing mostly, and hang out together when the mood is right. That way there is no pressure to do anything you don't want to do.  The larger the group, the more preferences and personalities. Not saying there's anything wrong with it, but it can be more complicated.

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I have cruised with family groups of nine, thirteen, and eight. Dinner was the one time we were all together. On one of the cruises, we also organized a few private shore excursions.

 

I recommend traditional dining - either early or late depending on the preferences of the group. This does require that everyone agree on the same time. Also, make sure that Princess or your travel agent links your reservations so that you are at the same table.

 

Other than dinner (and a few private excursions on one of the cruises), we did not try to do a lot of things with the entire group. However we often did things with other people in the group - not staying together as couples. When DW and I cruise as a couple, we almost always take the same chore excursions. When we cruise as part of the larger family group, we may be on different excursions, but neither of us is alone - we are on excursions with other members of our group.

 

We used traditional dining for two of the group cruises. For the group of nine, we had a private table - a table for ten with only nine of us. For the group of thirteen, we had two tables - a table for eight and a table for six - next to each other with the same waiter; in that case, we switched between the two tables each night depending on who arrived when.

 

For the group of eight, we were all in Club Class, so we did not have an assigned table. However, we were the only group of eight in Club Class. They set up one table for eight in Club Class, and it was always available for us whenever we arrived. In that group, we did not always agree in advance when we would eat. Whoever showed up first sat at that table and others joined them if they arrived before the first ones left. That works great if the entire group is in Club Class.

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We travel annually with a group.  We plan assigned dining and plan a time to do a group photo, otherwise everyone does their own thing.  Don't Herd Cats! is my favorite group saying.

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Thanks to everyone for your hints and tips.  I'm sure you steared us away from some serious pitfalls.

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