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Old 06-27-2012, 10:01 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Question Cruising with a large group
My husband and I decided we would like to take the children and go on a cruise. Turns out 31 other people in my family wanted to go on a cruise also. So now I am planning a cruise for 37 people. We will be going on the Carnival Imagination in September 2013. Of the 37 only 13 have ever cruised before.
I am trying to remember all the basic info to tell them, tipping, etc. Can anyone think of anything else they might need to know?
I am wondering about dining. I am sure they don't have a table to seat 37 so how is that gonna work? We all will have early dining. But I don't one a couple people at a table on one side of the room and a few on another side. I want everyone together.
Also does anyone recommend a motel/hotel in or around Miami? It is a 13 hour drive to Miami from where we live so we plan to drive down the day before and spend the night.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:20 AM
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Is this a group booking or several individual bookings? The dining room management will try to put the group at tables adjacent to one another and will do the same if these are individual bookings that are cross-referenced. Are you trying to do this yourself or are you using an agent? I recommend the latter given the group size.

Carnival's automatic gratuities are now $11.50 per person/per day, and of course the 15% added to drink purchases.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:42 AM
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I highly recommend you use a travel agent to book this cruise for you. In a group all cabins will be linked together. If you have enough cabins the travel agent may be able to get special amenities for the group. It varies by cruise ship and sailing date. There are many things the agent can help you with like the hotels, third party travel insurance, and air. This group can get complicated if you have minors involved, and third and fourth passengers in the cabins. The travel agent can handle all that and make recommendations.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:38 PM
 
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It is booked as a group. I am using a travel agent. I just had to call Carnival about a shore excursion and while I had them on the phone I asked about dining. The max table that the Imagination has is 10. So it will take 3 10 seaters and 1 8 seater.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:55 PM
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Welcome to cruisereviews.com!

I'm glad to see you have a set dining time--that will make things easier. If you haven't done so already, ask your travel agent to cross-reference everyone's reservations and request that your dining room seating be near each other, as Dave also suggested. I don't know if requesting 3 tables for 10 would work (if there even are that many 10-tops) as they could be in different sections of the dining room. Then, when you board, make the dining room your first stop and see the maitre d' to ensure that your tables are together, or at least nearby.

I wish I could help with hotels. (I usually stay with family.) Excellent idea to go a day early. If more of your group also needs a hotel and you'd like to stay at the same one (or nearby ones), book early.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:59 PM
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That'll be a great time for everyone. You might want to look into reserving a lounge for a private party for the group.
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:44 PM
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Depending on how many rooms will be needed for a pre-cruise; your travel agent may be able to get a group rate for a hotel room. It usually takes minimum 10 rooms at double occupancy for a group rate. It most likely will be tables of eight along the windows in the dining room that will work best for your group.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:55 AM
 
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We did the Dream in April and had two tables of ten and one table of eight all next to each other. It worked out great and the waiterstaff did not care if we were at the same table each night
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:22 PM
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We were part a group on an Alaska cruise with Royal Caribbean, although we didn't know anyone in the group. Our agent put us in it so we could get the group amenities.

Anyway, as Bill said, our tables were adjacent to one another and people changed tables every night to get to dine with their other friends and family. The staff rolled right along with no problems. And we got to meet pretty much all of them when the 7 days were over.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galandria View Post
My husband and I decided we would like to take the children and go on a cruise. Turns out 31 other people in my family wanted to go on a cruise also. So now I am planning a cruise for 37 people. We will be going on the Carnival Imagination in September 2013. Of the 37 only 13 have ever cruised before.
I am trying to remember all the basic info to tell them, tipping, etc. Can anyone think of anything else they might need to know?
I am wondering about dining. I am sure they don't have a table to seat 37 so how is that gonna work? We all will have early dining. But I don't one a couple people at a table on one side of the room and a few on another side. I want everyone together.
Also does anyone recommend a motel/hotel in or around Miami? It is a 13 hour drive to Miami from where we live so we plan to drive down the day before and spend the night.
I've sailed out of Miami several times and we always stay in Hollywood (near Ft Lauderdale). It's about 40 min to Miami cruise port and I think better priced than Miami. I think it was a Comfort Inn (airport South or something) we did both times and it was nice.
As far as dinning it seems that you should get in line early to talk with the Madre D as soon as you board and verify that what you want is what you got. Are all the Booking numbers linked so Carnival knows you are sailing together? Do that before you go, it should help a lot in keeping you all together. We do that through a Carnival Agent by phone.
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