Student Group Cruises: Tips On How To Plan Your Cruise
Cruising with students is a great way to experience the world beyond the classroom. However, planning a student cruise can be a BIG job! We have a few tips on how to plan your cruise that might make it a little more manageable.
Work with an experienced student trip planner
The best way to successfully plan a student cruise happen is to work with an experienced partner. Choose a company that knows the student travel industry and can customize your trip to meet your needs.
Look for a company that’s fully insured and holds memberships in professional associations like SYTA. Your student trip planner’s role is to ensure that you have the very best travel experience possible so choose one who knows the ropes.
Once you’ve found a reliable partner, it’s time to plan. Call a meeting of your booster or parent organization at least a year in advance. Planning early means access to lower rates, better room choices and the best ships. The longer you wait, the lower your chances of getting exactly what you want.
Research your cruise line
EVERYBODY will have an opinion about which cruise line you should choose. Great Aunt Sally only sails on one ship while Bobby’s neighbors swear by another. Here’s the thing… this trip is for STUDENTS (not Aunt Sally!) Do a little comparison shopping and find out which cruise lines are best suited for your group. Your trip planner will certainly be a help with this as well.
HINT: check out this nifty blog that breaks down the best cruise lines for teens!!
Choose your ports of call and departure points
Think about the places you want your students to see and the things you want them to do. Are you looking for sunshine, clear water, and pristine beaches? Consider the Caribbean or Hawaii. Perhaps you’re hoping for an eco-based adventure in the pristine wilderness of Alaska. There are so many destinations to meet your needs!
Once you know where you want to go, think about how you’ll get there. Cruises set sail from different cities depending on where you want to go. For example, if you want to travel to the Bahamas, you can choose to depart from cities like Jacksonville, Port Canaveral, Ft. Lauderdale or Miami.
Again, your student tour company will help coordinate the logistics of getting from Point A to Point B. They’ll check airfare or motorcoach fares to find what works best for your group. Just keep these travel requirements in mind as you plan.
Book off-season if possible
Every destination has a peak season. We strongly suggest that you book your student travel during off-peak times. Avoid the big crowds that come with high-season so your group can enjoy the experience. It doesn’t hurt that prices are typically lower during the off-season as well.
Think about performances and education-based programs
Don’t forget that cruises are a great venue for performances! Bands, choirs, orchestras, dance groups and more can participate in a music or dance festival at sea. You may also be able to perform at one of the ports of call!
There are also tons of great history and STEM-based programs available on the ship and in port. Your student trip planner will help to connect you with unique learning opportunities that meet your curricular goals.
Planning a student cruise is a big job but worth the effort. It’s an incredible learning experience and a great time with friends. These few tips may help “smooth the waters” as you say Bon Voyage!
Why Kaleidoscope Adventures?
As a leader in the student travel industry for 25+ years, Kaleidoscope Adventures exceeds expectations for student and performance group travel.
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