HOW DO YOU MAKE
FAMILY REUNION EASIER?
By Nadia Jastrjembskaia, Ph.D., CLIA certified Elite Cruise Counselor
Do you like the idea of a family reunion? Sure, most people do! To be surrounded by loved ones – that is priceless!
Ever thought to organize one yourself? Probably not. Yes, this a great idea but … There a lot of reasons to say ‘no.’ It is a lot of work!
But is it? I am giving you a step-by-step suggestion below, which you can even can download and print.
As a bonus, you may get the chance to cruise for free (taxes and fees are applied.) All you need is a minimum cabin count to enjoy this benefit.
Step 1: Answer the Main Question
The main question: Do I wish to see my family members? If you can’t answer this question easily, it may become a big problem in a future.
Start small. Create a list of people you wish to include. Two to three families are ok to start with. Don’t try to make it big for your first family reunion.
Think about your first family reunion as a test run. Just simply test the idea. Nothing else. If this works, it works, if not – at least you tried!
Step 2: Communication
This is the most important step in the whole process. You should ‘sell’ the idea to your family. So, take this step very seriously. It is not as simple as a quick email: Hey Guys, let’s go on cruise.
Guess what? Everyone will answer that this is great idea but commitments will be an issue down the road.
I suggest to call families of your choice and suggest to have a conference call. – You have a great idea to share. Create a free account at freeconferencecall.com (keep in mind that I am not associated with this business and not promoting it!)
You will receive a phone number and code. Share this phone number and code and set up appointment time. For example, everyone will call at 10 am and put in the code – that’s it! You are connected!
Share your idea: talk about destination and time. Caribbean cruise is a winner during winter time. If no one in school, it is easier to agree upon time. If there are families with kids, ask about school calendars. To find your school calendar just go to the school district’s website and download it.
Play around winter break or a week prior Christmas, just after school is closed for the Christmas break.
Also, planning a family reunion around milestone is a great idea. I had one family reunion for a 60th anniversary! Daughter invited everyone who attended her parent’s wedding and all their family members. She paid for mom’s new dress that was a replica of her wedding gown. It was a great experience for everyone!
Step 3: Budgeting
Be sensitive to other families: know their financial situation before you propose the most expensive ship in the cruise industry. There are a lot of different options: 7 -nights cruises may start as low as $399 per person plus tax, some cruise lines have kids sail free options on some sailings.
Make a consensus with families about budget range for each family. Don’t press to pick up particular cruise line before everyone gives you their budget range.
Please pay attention: not exact budget but minimum and maximum that they are comfortable with.
Step 4: Contacting Nadia
First, you are reading this blog and you trust my knowledge of this topic already. You know that I know what I am talking about.
Second, organizing a family reunion you take moral responsibility for this event. If this doesn’t work as planned, people will blame you for picking up the wrong organizer.
Third, no family reunion is without its hiccups. There is not somebodies’ fault, simply changes in life of your family members: somebody may be expecting, somebody lost a job, somebody split with family, you name it. So, you should be ready to make a lot of changes. Communication with your cruise adviser is critical.
From this point of view, I am the most reliable candidate.
After we confirm a group, you simply share my number to everyone in your family and ask to make a booking. It is that easy!
Step 5: Booking
I will help you to review a few options from the different cruise lines. Every line has its own group policy: some benefits and limitations. You should make the informed decision about cruise line, ship and staterooms.
Keep in mind that I can move your group members from one stateroom to another. Most cruise lines ask one original guest should stay in it to protect price.
You don’t have to make all bookings at the same time. Family members can join your group at any time. Believe me, the closer to departure, more requests to join your group you will receive.
Step 6: Events Planning
When your group is set up, we can start planning events. It may be a reception (additional fees may apply), excursions or events ashore.
There are a lot of options: from family bus tour, up to family rum testing.
Step 7: Enjoy Your Cruise
You can do pre-cruise welcome reception in the hotel of your choice. You will have well=planned family reunion that everyone will thank you for this event.
Questions? Give me or Donna call at 772 335-7017
From the Desk of Nadia Jastrjembskaia
My clients sail on Harmony of the Seas now. They do Transatlantic voyage from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale and share with me their photos.
I am very excited about being on Harmony of the Seas by myself on November 10, 2016. I will share a lot of videos and pictures. Be tuned!