Category Archives: Info & FAQs

  • -
passport

Passport Information

Q: Do I need a passport?

A: It depends! We do recommend that you have a Passport any time you are traveling to a foreign country. It is your best form of identification and may be needed in case of an emergency. We also recommend that you apply for your passport as soon as you start planning an international trip or cruise in case there is a delay in processing it.

  • If you are flying into a foreign country, you must have a passport.
  • If you are cruising, you may need a passport – requirements vary based on cruise ports. Some closed-loop cruises (starting and ending in the same US port without any stops to another US port), generally do not require a passport, but they are still highly recommended. Cruises beginning or ending in a foreign country or those visiting multiple US ports as well as foreign countries, require a passport.

Find more passport information as well as forms and requirements here.

Here’s a great tool for creating an appropriate passport photo – no need to get one professionally taken if you follow these steps.


  • -
Your Next Cruise

Fundraising

Category : Group Cruises , Info & FAQs

Balcony View

Have you been looking for a unique way to fundraise?

 Are you looking for a big ticket fundraiser that people will WANT to get involved with and tell their friends about?

 What about a fundraiser that didn’t require much effort on your part? 

 And what if that same fundraiser gave you an opportunity to go on a free* vacation too…in addition to everything above?

We have THE fundraiser for you…

YOUR FUNDRAISING CRUISE

Our #1 goal is to raise funds for your organization.  A fundraising cruise not only creates an event that people want to be involved with, but there is a large fundraising potential…with very little effort on your part. Here is an example of what you can earn on a 7-night Caribbean cruise.

  • We’ll suggest a cruise with points that can be converted to fundraising dollars ($25 – $75 per cabin).
  • We can add a mark-up of up to $100 per passenger to increase your revenue.
  • For every 10 cabins, your organization will earn a Cruise With A Group fundraising credit.  Amount varies based on cruise price.

Example for 40 people sailing (20 cabins) on a fundraising cruise:

Points worth $50 per cabin 20 x $50 $1,000
Markup of $100 per passenger 40 x $100 $4,000
20 cabins booked = 2 Cruise With A Group fundraising credits 2 x $500 $1,000
Total Earned $6,000

Run the numbers, this could add up quickly. Using the example above:

  • 30 cabins= $9,000
  • 50 cabins= $15,000
  • …and more. The more cabins sold, the more money for your organization.

Bonus: For every 16 cabins sold, you will earn a complementary cabin for 2 (*excluding taxes, fees and gratuities). You may sell this, raffle it off or use as a contest giveaway. You may also use this space for your group leader/coordinator.  This is generally worth more than $1,000!

BENEFITS

  • Easy way to raise money for your non-profit organization.  Much easier than an auction, bazaar, dinner dance, golf outing, etc.  No meetings, no phone calls, no set-up or clean-up!
  • An opportunity to build camaraderie and network while cruising.
  • Full support and materials, including flyers and a webpage to help you get your group going.
  • Add group extras like tote bags and t-shirts and you’ll have a walking advertisement for your organization for years to come (and we’ll build these extras into the cruise cost so it’s at no additional cost to you).
  • A Cruise Night for your group to create buzz, promote the cruise and register participants.
  • The program we create will ensure that your guests want to travel each year – providing you with a revenue stream that will continue to grow.
  • We will take care of everything from beginning to end.  We will negotiate contracts with the cruise line, answer questions of potential cruisers and process bookings and payments – including setting up affordable payment plans at no additional cost.

BOTTOM LINE

This program is not only a great way to raise funds for your organization, but also an opportunity to create awareness for your cause.  In addition to your members enjoying a great vacation experience with friends and family, they will have the satisfaction of contributing to your worthwhile cause which is the most important thing.

What do people do after they’ve booked a great vacation? They tell their friends! And those friends then want to book their own cabin and go along.

We will create a customized shipboard experience for your group – we can arrange exclusive private parties, private access to shipboard activities and private shore excursions.  In addition to the exclusive events we arrange, everyone can enjoy all that the ship has to offer including nightly shows (musicals, dance, comedy, and more), on-deck activities, sports courts, cultural events, on-board casino, and so much more.

GET STARTED

Just follow these easy steps and you are on your way!

  1. Fill out the form below
  2. We’ll help you select a cruise itinerary and departure date with fundraising amenity points. We want to create the ultimate cruise experience and will match the perfect cruise line to your audience and fundraising goals.
  3. Provide Cruise With A Group with proof of 501(c)(3) status
  4. Review and accept written proposal
  5. Advertise and promote the cruise in your bulletin/newsletter, via email, events you attend, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. (We’ll provide you with graphics, links and suggested text)
  6. Set a time and location for a Cruise Information Night & attend
  7. Continue promoting the cruise as months go by to keep momentum up

Are you ready? Let’s get started:

[gravityform id=”1″ name=”Fundraising Cruise” title=”false” description=”false”]

 


  • -

Before You Leave

Here are some items to take care of before you start your trip.

  • Make sure that someone knows your travel plans, and can deal with emergencies (do they have a key?) in your absence.

  • Hold your mail. You can fill out a form here: https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/

  • Hold your newspaper delivery – newspapers sitting in your driveway or doorstep are a sure sign that no one is home.

  • Inform your credit card and bank card issuers of your travel dates & locations; strange charges from locations out of your normal pattern are a trigger to their fraud department and they may block your card from being used.

  • Check the dates on your passport and ATM card to make sure they don’t expire while you are away. We suggest your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your trip ends.

  • Make arrangements for your pets.

  • Adjust your thermostat settings – you don’t want to air condition or heat space you aren’t using. But you don’t want to come back to frozen pipes or a hot, humid house. We suggest setting 50-60 degrees in the Winter or 80-85 degrees in the Summer.

  • Clean your toilets and anything else prone to “growing” stuff when you’re not around. We like to leave a little bleach in the bowl after cleaning to keep it fresh while we’re gone.

  • Check your refrigerator & other storage locations for food that could spoil.

  • Run a lemon, lime or some dishwasher detergent through your garbage disposal to clean and freshen it before you go.

  • Empty all trash cans, spray some Lysol in the cans, and put trash bags out at the curb for pickup. Do not put your cans out as no one will be there to bring them back up.

  • Turn off taps, on washing machines and anything else that could leak or freeze while unattended.

    * If you can, shut off the water coming into the house (and turn off the power to the hot water heater, water softener, iron filter, etc.). A bust pipe or water heater while you’re gone could be devastating.

  • Schedule the payment of any bills that might come due during your trip. If you have a pre-paid cell phone, be sure it is paid up and you have minutes available.

  • Confirm accommodation reservations, especially any with smaller B&Bs, etc. 

  • Inspect all your doors and windows to ensure that they are secure; garage doors can be “locked” by inserting a large bolt through one of the tracks in which the door rides (there are usually holes for this; if not, drill one). If you use an alarm service, notify them of your plans, and let them know who to contact for emergencies.

  • If you live in a snowy area, consider how untouched snow makes it obvious that you’re not home! Make arrangements with a neighbor to create tire and footprints into the house or shovel/plow.

  • Unplug things (don’t just turn them off); your gadgets will be safer and more rested, and why pay for electricity to keep remote controls functional while you’re away? That said, leaving a couple of lights on when you’re away gives your house an “occupied” look; use energy-saving bulbs, ideally on a timer.

  • Water your plants.

  • Clean the gutters – a vacation is never a good time for a leak.

And finally…

Don’t tell the world you’re going to be away, with your house unattended — even if you’ll just be out for the afternoon — on answering machines, voicemail, e-mail auto-responders, or social media status updates (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare).


  • -

Packing Tips

Ditch the dryer

Double check that the ship or hotel you’ll be staying at has a blowdryer and leave yours at home. It takes up valuable real estate in your bag.

Reduce your load and the wrinkles

Leave your iron at home. Most ships and hotels have an iron and ironing board in the room. Double-check then leave yours at home.  

Pack for the weather

You do not need to bring clothes out of season for your destination. You can check average temperatures and extended forecasts here, then pack accordingly. Wear your heaviest/bulkiest items on the airplane to save room in your luggage.

Reduce and reuse

We suggest 1 shirt for every day and 1 pair of pants or shorts for every 2 days. We also suggest limiting your swimsuits to 2-3 – you can wash them in the sink and hang to dry. If you are traveling in a balcony cruise ship cabin in warm weather, you can set them outside on your chair and they’ll dry in no time. If your trip is longer than 1 week, pack for a week and have your room steward or hotel laundry service take care of your laundry. You can also bring along these handy detergent sheets and take care of smaller items (swimsuits, undergarments, lightweight tops, etc.) yourself.

Coordinate your colors

Pack around a neutral color so you can mix and match. For example, brightly colored tops can be paired with white shorts. No one will notice if you wear the same white shorts twice as your bright top will be different.

Write it down and lay it out

Calculate how many of each item you will need for your trip based on the weather and guidelines above. Then go through your closet and lay out these items. Make sure they are clean, fresh and ready for travel. If any items are “Dry Clean Only,” leave them behind. You want to pack items that are wrinkle-resistant and low-maintenance.

Cube it or lose it

Have you ever heard of packing cubes? Have you ever had the TSA or Customs agent rifle through your bag and wonder how everything was going to squeeze back in? If you had packing cubes you would almost invite them to go through your things (we said almost!).  These handy zippered soft boxes keep your clothing neat, organized and make fitting everything in your suitcase (and taking it out and putting it back in) a breeze. No more packing headaches!

Stuff it

Stuff  your socks inside your shoes – they don’t take up extra space and they help your shoes keep their shape. Then stuff your shoes into shoe bags like the one seen here. They’ll pack neatly into your luggage next to or underneath of your other packing cubes and any dirt or smells from them won’t affect your other clothes.

You don’t need a month’s worth for a week

Unless you are traveling for an extended period of time, we do not recommend bringing full-sized toiletries. Any liquids or creams over 3 ounces cannot go in your carry-on bag. Save yourself the headache and the checked luggage fees by bringing 3 ounce bottles filled with your favorite shampoos, conditioners, body wash, face wash, face cream, etc. Don’t waste money on travel sizes of your favorite (or not so favorite) items. Pick up these handy 3 ounce bottles here and reuse them for all of your trips.

Invest in the bag not the baggage fees

Treat yourself to a sturdy carry-on bag and aim to fill it…and nothing else. Use the tips above to pack smart and pack light. Then use your packing cubes to neatly fill a carry-on bag. You’ll look brilliant as you walk off of the plane with your luggage in hand and head to your ship or resort while everyone else is waiting for the baggage carousel to start moving…and realizing they have to pay baggage fees on the way HOME too! * Check your airline’s website for bag dimension limitations.

Stay hydrated!

Traveling has a tendency to throw off our schedules and routines. Between airlines sucking the moisture right out of our bodies, to baking a bit under that beautiful Caribbean sun, we need to stay hydrated even more so when we travel. Bring a water bottle with you as a convenient way to stay hydrated without multiple trips to the drink station to refill those teeny, tiny cups.

 


  • 2

  • -

Will I Get Seasick?

Category : Info & FAQs

Q: Will I get seasick?

A: Today’s modern cruise ships have motion stabilizers that minimize the motion felt onboard. If you are prone to motion sickness and this still worries you, we highly recommend Sea-Bands.

Sea-Bands are a latex-free, drug-free acupressure band. Easy concept and they REALLY WORK!

Sea-Band for Travel Sickness: Sea-Band provides effective relief from all forms of travel sickness without causing drowsiness or other side effects. The bands can be put onto your wrists before you start traveling, or after you have started your journey.
These are great for traveling in the car and morning sickness as well. For more details, see the official Sea-Bands site. You can pick up your pair here or at most drug stores and Target. They’re in a tiny box and easy to overlook, so ask the pharmacist if you can’t find them. They cost around $10 and work in about 5 minutes.

Clinically tested wristband. Re-usable. The original. For morning sickness & travel sickness. No drugs, no side effects. Used by doctors and in hospitals.