Things To Do May 31, 2024

10 easy steps to plan an epic family reunion cruise.

Get the whole family together and set sail for a bonding experience like no other.

Plan a Family Reunion Cruise

Family reunions can be stressful occasions. Not just because of the people – and potentially complicated and fraught relationships – involved, but because of the difficulty of satisfying the vacation needs of a dozen different personalities. A cruise has a little something for everyone, from high-quality culinary options to a thriving nightlife scene, relaxing pool deck, and onboard events designed to foster a sense of community and bonding between Sailors. Here are 10 easy planning tips for a family reunion cruise. 

Step 1. Plan a family reunion, not a kids vacation

Unlike family reunions you might have attended in the past, a Virgin Voyages family reunion won’t be defined by wrangling kids on the pool deck. You also won’t have to worry about finding activities to occupy the little cousins, or worry what mischief they might be getting into, while you’re reconnecting with your relatives. Our adult-only cruises are the perfect place to celebrate your family’s journey without any distractions, or anything taking focus away from your much-needed family time.

Step 2. Plan early as a committee, seek expert advice

Like most vacations, it’s best to start the planning process early for your family reunion. Make sure to involve everyone in the planning, especially when it comes to choosing the length of the voyage, and which ports you’ll be visiting. It also helps to delegate responsibilities. One person, for example, might be in charge of deciding who attends and sending out the invites, while another might be perfect for budgeting and figuring out how much each family member should contribute. It can also be fun to pick a family theme, complete with T-shirts and everything. Sure, it’s a little lame, but that’s part of the goofy fun of family reunions. And remember, we have group booking services to assist you in simplifying the planning and booking process.

Step 3. Create a flexible vacation budget

We know that everyone’s budget is different, and some family members may be more able to afford a cruise than others. Luckily, our current cruise deal gives up to 70% off for second Sailors, with additional discounts for group bookings. Our all-included cruises are the best value at sea, with food at our 20+ onboard eateries, activities, entertainment, and more, all included in our transparent prices. We also offer a monthly cruise payment plan to ease the financial burden.

Step 4. Find the best time of the year for a reunion

One of the toughest parts of planning a family reunion is actually picking when to do it. Set a date at least a year in advance, so your family has enough time to make the necessary arrangements, take off work, etc. It can be convenient to plan around existing holidays to make it easier for people to secure time off, and add a little extra holiday cheer to the festivities. Here are some ideas for scheduling your family reunion cruise.

Family Vacation Destination

Step 5. Find the best destinations

The “where” of it all can easily derail any family vacation plan. Some may want a beach destination. Others may prefer a cabin in the woods or mountains. Maybe your cousin wants an all inclusive resort, but your step-sister is arguing for a multi-destination road trip. Cruises are a great way to satisfy everyone. Meeting at sea means visiting multiple destinations on one cruise, with all included luxury amenities, meaning plenty of opportunity for family fun, photos, and activities.

Step 6. Book family travel accommodations early

Now that you’ve got your destinations all picked out, it’s important to make accommodation arrangements early to ensure that everyone gets the type of room they want. From our standard cabins with balcony hammocks and mood lighting to our rockstar suites for the VIPs in the family and connecting cabins for the rest of the family, we’ve got plenty of space for the whole fam on our cruise ships. Take advantage of our flexible fares, just make sure you book before a rival family does.

Step 7. Build the reunion itinerary with our mobile app

Rather than balancing six tabs of an Excel spreadsheet, why not just use our app to build your reunion itinerary? Make sure everyone in your group downloads the Virgin Voyages App, allowing them to research activities, events, entertainment, and dining options onboard, as well as shore excursions in ports of call. It’s the easiest way to stay informed and organized throughout the planning process.

Step 8. Schedule family events & entertainment

It’s a big ship, and there’s plenty of room for alone time if and when you need it. But the purpose of a family reunion is to bond with those you haven’t seen in quite awhile. That’s why we offer events and spaces designed to bring people together, like our PJ Party, Scarlet Night extravaganza, Casino, Arcade, restaurants with communal dining, and board games throughout the ship (although if you’re anything like us, board games might actually drive you apart).

Schedule Family Vacation Dinner

Step 9. Reserve family dining

As opposed to other family reunion vacations, where you might be required to find a caterer, or spend additional money on food delivery, we’ve got 20+ dining options included in our cruise fare. That means everything from Italian and Mexican to our cutting edge Korean BBQ concept, complete with drinking games. You can even reserve your meal times through our App to make the booking process as smooth as possible for the whole family.

Step 10. Book family tours and group excursions

Our Shore Things aren’t just for solo Sailors or small groups looking to explore ports around the world. We also offer larger group excursions designed for families, perfect for spending some quality time together. So whether it’s a luxury catamaran cruise around St. Lucia, or going wine tasting in France, get ready to make new family memories.

Make memories, maintain the momentum and your sea legs

The beauty of a family reunion is that it can take place literally anywhere: your backyard, a local function hall, a bowling alley, a beach – you name it. But the secret to having a memorable family reunion, rather than a stale one, is holding it in the right place. Having your family reunion on a Virgin Voyages cruise allows the whole family to bond over the shared experience that includes high-quality food, fun events and activities, and epic shore excursions. Sure, you might fight over which restaurant to eat at each night, and whether you’d rather go zip-lining or snorkeling, but in our opinion, those are pretty nice arguments to have.

Book a Family Cruise

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