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How to Plan a Cruise with Friends

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A cruise with friends provides a fun and easy way to travel with girlfriends, fellow couples, guy pals, or family friends. Cruises simplify a lot of decisions that must be made when planning a joint vacation. Plus, a cruise offers a ton of activities for all ages and interests. There are also lots of opportunities to do things both together and apart. As with any form of travel, cruising with a friend comes with challenges, too. To maximize fun, minimize stress, and make sure you depart the ship as better friends than when you boarded, follow these 15 tips for a cruise vacation with your besties.

Wonder of the Seas docked beside sister ship, Freedom of the Seas, at Royal Caribbean's private island, CocoCay in The Bahamas
Wonder of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas docked at Royal Caribbean's private island, CocoCay in The Bahamas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

This story is brought to you in partnership with Royal Caribbean.

1. Choose travel dates and stick to them.

The hardest part of planning a vacation with friends is typically picking dates. With busy schedules, family demands, and often far-flung home locations — it's important to nail down definitive cruise dates first thing.

Then everyone must truly commit. That means putting the dates on the calendar, asking for time off from work, getting approval from spouses or partners (whether they'll be joining or not), and promising not to cancel unless there is an emergency, like an illness or death in the family.

Friends on Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas, Galveston, TX
Departing Galveston, TX aboard Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas with my friend, Debbie (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

2. Buy trip cancellation insurance.

Especially when cruising with friends, it makes good sense to buy travel insurance, just in case. This provides protection if you must cancel your cruise due to unexpected illness, injury, family member sickness, and even jury duty. 

Trip cancellation insurance reimburses you 100% for the money you lose in pre-paid, non-refundable deposits if you have to cancel for a reason listed in the policy.

Upper decks Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas
Upper decks on Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

3. Select the right cruise line for your friend group.

Now comes the fun part…choosing a cruise! Start with deciding which cruise line works best for your group.

Adults-only Solarium aboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas
Adults-only Solarium aboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Royal Caribbean International

As the world's largest cruise line, Royal Caribbean offers an abundance of itineraries. Plus, according to a 2023 survey by CruiseCompete, Royal Caribbean is the most popular premium cruise line, ranking #1 among their 1.4 million users.

DSB Journey cover band on Allure of the Seas
DSB, Journey cover band on Allure of the Seas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Whether your friends love the nightlife or you're seeking a relaxing vacation with lots of pool and spa time, Royal Caribbean has got you covered. Amazing offerings appeal to adult cruisers of all sorts. Enjoy pubs and nightclubs, Broadway-style shows, rock concerts, comedy shows, casinos, the Solarium adults-only pool area, incredible specialty restaurants, and much more.

Wonder of the Seas miniature golf cours
Wonder of the Seas miniature golf course (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Royal Caribbean makes a great option for parents wishing to sail with other families, too. Onboard cruise activities for kids vary from ship to ship, but there are plenty of entertaining things for children to enjoy. Picture splash areas, miniature golf courses, ice rinks, arcades, rock climbing walls, waterslides, and even bumper cars. Plus, group babysitting for kids starts at 36 months on board many ships, and there are expansive teen clubs for those aged 13 to 17.

Since I have had an incredible time sailing on multiple Royal Caribbean ships with a variety of different friends and family members, these tips for cruising with friends will focus primarily on sailing with Royal Caribbean.

H20 Zone splash pad on Allure of the Seas
H20 Zone splash pad on Allure of the Seas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Different Cruise Lines

If your friend group has deep pockets, then Oceania ranked most popular among luxury lines with CruiseCompete. Meanwhile, Viking River was voted #1 for river cruises. Disney Cruise Line also consistently ranks well among families, especially those cruising with babies and young children. And for those on a tight budget, Carnival Cruise offers some very affordable short cruises.

Odyssey of the Seas Oceanview balcony stateroom
Odyssey of the Seas Oceanview balcony stateroom (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

4. Determine stateroom assignments.

Before asking a buddy to bunk with you, consider if you'll make good stateroom partners. Just because you're pals with someone, it doesn't mean it's a good idea to be ship roommates. Some friendships are best in small doses.

Meanwhile, some friends simply have different lifestyles and vacation preferences. Talk over the questions below to make sure everyone is on the same page prior to booking a stateroom together.

Stateroom towel sculpture
Wonder of the Seas Stateroom towel sculpture

Considerations for Booking a Stateroom with a Friend

  • Is your friend messy or neat?
  • Who is an early bird and who is a late owl?
  • Does your friend want to party, or take it easy?
  • How much primping time does each friend need?
  • How much closet and drawer space does everyone need?
  • Is your friend an introvert or an extrovert?
  • Does anyone snore? Is anyone a light sleeper?
  • Does anyone sleep with a nightlight or ambient noise?

If traveling with a large group of friends, then pair those in the group together who most closely align in terms of lifestyle.

Royal Caribbean twin beds in stateroom decorated for Christmas
Separate beds on Voyager of the Seas in our stateroom with holiday decorations from home (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

5. Plan for sleep success on a cruise with friends.

Everyone will have more fun and get along better throughout the trip when well-rested. Therefore, it's best to take some steps to ensure a restful sleep while cruising with friends.

An eye mask can help cruisers who want to go to bed or wake up at a different time than their roommate.

Pack earplugs to drown out snoring and any ship noise. This is especially helpful for light sleepers (like me)!

A white noise app played on your smartphone also helps. Of course, you'll need to get your stateroom buddy's okay before blasting the sounds of a booming thunderstorm all night.

Headphones make good sense, too. Noise-canceling earbuds work better for comfortable sleep than large headphones.

Friends need not share a bed while cruising, either. If you'd rather have your own space to sleep, then ask your stateroom attendant to separate king-sized beds into two twins.

Bionic Bar cocktails
Royal Caribbean Bionic Bar cocktails (Photo credit: Royal Caribbean)

6. Consider buying a beverage package.

For friends who like to party hardy, a Royal Caribbean Deluxe Beverage Package may be in order. Keep in mind, when one person buys it, all adults of legal drinking age sharing a stateroom must purchase the same beverage package. If the roommate does not drink alcohol, then the less expensive Refreshment Package must be purchased instead.

Deluxe Beverage Package

  • Fountain sodas (including Coca-Cola Freestyle Beverage stations)
  • Coca-Cola souvenir cup
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails (mocktails)
  • Still and sparkling bottled waters
  • Premium coffees and teas
  • Fresh-squeezed juices
  • Cocktails, spirits, and liquors
  • Beers
  • Wine by the glass
  • 40% discount on bottles of wine priced up to $100
  • 20% discount on bottles of wine priced above $100

Read my detailed descriptions of Royal Caribbean's mocktails and drink packages.

When cruising with a large group of friends, put partiers together and have the teetotalers pair up in other staterooms.

Strawberry Limeade Royal Caribbean mocktail
Royal Caribbean Strawberry Limeade mocktail (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

7. Link your cruises together.

Once everyone has booked, you'll want to link your friends' cruises together online. This will make the rest of your cruise planning easier, including booking dining reservations, shore excursions, and joint spa treatments.

To link Royal Caribbean Cruises, you will need your fellow cruisers' reservation numbers, registered last names, and dates of birth. You can find the reservation number when you log into your account at RoyalCaribbean.com. It can also be found on your cruise receipt.

There are three ways to link cruises with Royal Caribbean. You can do it online by clicking the blue “Add a cruise” button below your reservation information online. Alternatively, you can call Royal Caribbean and ask them to do it for you. Or, if you booked with a cruise travel agent, then ask them to do it for you.

Voyager of the Seas Main Dining Room
Voyager of the Seas Main Dining Room dressed up for the holidays (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

8. Choose your dining time.

Booking restaurants, especially for large groups, can be difficult when traveling with friends. Simplified dining is one of the benefits of embarking on a cruise with friends.

Royal Caribbean offers Traditional Dining and My Time Dining. Both are included with your regular cruise fare. To ensure getting your preferred dining option, make this selection beforehand online, over the phone, or with your travel agent.

Roast chicken served in Royal Caribbean's Main Dining Room
Roast chicken served in Royal Caribbean's Main Dining Room (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

My Time Dining

My Time Dining is all about convenience. When you select this option, you can choose to dine in the Main Dining Room anytime during dinner hours. These vary from ship to ship but typically range from 6 to 9:30 pm. You will not have an assigned table.

If sailing with just one to three friends, and you like to keep your options open, then this makes a great choice. Make daily reservations in advance at Main Dining or Guest Services, or from the Royal Caribbean app.

You can also show up and wait for a table (up to 45 minutes during peak times). Beware that wait times for large groups may be quite long.

Regardless of dining time selection, all guests are seated on a first-come, first-serve basis during breakfast and lunch in the Main Dining Room.

My favorite Royal Caribbean Main Dining Room dessert, Apple Blossom à la Mode
My favorite Royal Caribbean Main Dining Room dessert, apple blossom à la mode (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Traditional Dining

With Traditional Dining, cruisers choose Early Dining (usually 5:30 or 6 pm) or Late Dining (typically 8 or 8:30 pm). You will check in with the Main Dining host stand at the same time each evening and then be shown to your table.

For a large group, I think it makes the most sense to have everyone select the same Traditional Dining time. That way, friends can break into pairs and groups to explore during the day and then come together over dinner in the Main Dining Room to share stories of their adventures.

Make sure everyone in your travel group selects the same specific time. It will appear under your reservation information when you log into your account on the Royal Caribbean website. Your dining time, table number, and location will also appear on your stateroom key card and in the app during your cruise.

Burger station at Royal Caribbean's Windjammer Cafe
Burger station at Royal Caribbean's Windjammer Cafe (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Other Included Dining Options

If you'd rather skip Main Dining, then you can always select what appeals to you from the buffet at Windjammer Café instead. You can also grab pizza, sandwiches, and other quick bites from Café Promenade. Some ships offer additional complimentary dining options, such as El Loco Fresh (casual Mexican fare) and Dog House (hot dogs and sausages).

Nachos from Royal Caribbean El Loco Fresh
Nachos from El Loco Fresh (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

9. Make specialty dining reservations.

I highly recommend booking a specialty dining experience onboard your cruise with friends. Most cruise lines offer at least one upscale dining option for a surcharge. The quality of food at specialty restaurants often rivals that of 5-star restaurants.

Royal Caribbean's signature restaurant, Chop's Grille aboard Allure of the Seas
Royal Caribbean's signature restaurant, Chop's Grille aboard Allure of the Seas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

These restaurants book up quickly, especially on ships with limited dining options, so make reservations before setting sail. You may nab savings when booking early, too.

With Royal Caribbean, many of their larger ships offer several themed restaurants. Friend groups who plan to eat multiple meals in specialty restaurants should purchase a bundled Dining Package for even deeper savings.

A signature roll at cruise restaurant
A signature roll at Izumi Japanese restaurant (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

You can make reservations once onboard the ship, too. Check with Guest Services to see if there is any availability. You can also book onboard the ship from the Royal Caribbean app.

Even if you couldn't book your restaurant of choice online, it's worth trying on the ship because there are cancellations. I find your best bet is to head directly to the desired restaurant. Sometimes they'll find a way to squeeze you in, even if it looks like there's no availability in the app.

An innovative dessert at Wonderland cruise ship restaurant
An innovative dessert at Wonderland (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Royal Caribbean Specialty Dining Reservation Restaurants

  • Chops Grille (signature restaurant serving American steakhouse dishes)
  • Izumi (sushi and hibachi)
  • Giovanni's (old-world Italian cuisine)
  • Wonderland (inventive cuisine with a spin on “Alice in Wonderland”)
  • Teppanyaki (Asian dishes prepared at your table)
  • Jamie's Italian (Tuscan cuisine by celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver)
  • Hooked Seafood (fresh seafood)
  • 150 Central Park (locally sourced cuisine)
  • Chef's Table (luxury dining for culinary connoisseurs)
  • Samba Grill (Brazilian steakhouse)
  • Sabor (modern Mexican cuisine)
  • Sichuan Red (bold Chinese flavors)
  • Solarium Bistro Restaurant (healthy Mediterranean fare)
  • The Mason Jar (my favorite Royal Caribbean restaurant, serving Southern comfort food)

Some Royal Caribbean ships also offer casual dining options at extra an cost like Starbucks and Johnny Rockets.

Johnny Rockets on Allure of the Seas
Johnny Rockets on Allure of the Seas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

10. Plan port activities and book excursions early.

To secure your desired ship-offered shore excursions, research options and make reservations as soon as possible. Some popular options may book up early, or excursions may be canceled if not enough interest is shown.

For some ports, you may want to explore on your own instead of booking an organized tour. Do some research by reading blog posts and reviewing the cruise line's excursion descriptions to decide.

Friends swimming in a lagoon during shore excursion
Friends swimming in a lagoon during a shore excursion in Bonaire (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Royal Caribbean often offers discounts for some shore excursions. The earlier you book the excursion, the more you can save, too. Once aboard the ship, you can always check the Royal Caribbean app or guest services to see if there is availability.

For longer cruises and cruises with lots of friends, I recommend keeping all shore activities organized in a shared Google spreadsheet. This makes access and editing easy for everyone.

Friends in Cozumel cruise port
My friend and I took a taxi to a private resort in Cozumel rather than booking a shore excursion (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

11. Schedule spa treatments in advance.

If your girlfriend's getaway would not be complete without some together time at the spa, book your treatments ahead of time. Spa and salon treatments book up quickly, especially during at-sea days. Even if going solo, you'll want to secure your treatment early.

Similar to specialty dining and shore excursions, you may be able to take advantage of spa discounts when booked early. You can try to make appointments once onboard, too.

Allure of the Sea's Vitality Spa
Royal Caribbean's Vitality Spa on Allure of the Seas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

12. Plan cruise budgets beforehand.

Cruising with friends makes budgeting for a trip easier. Everyone books their own cruise, pays their own way, and links their own credit card to their cruise account to pay for extra things while sailing.

Tipping

At the end of the week, daily tips are automatically added to your account to be provided to cruise staff. You may, however, want to tip extra to stateroom attendants, bartenders, specialty restaurant servers, and other particularly attentive staff. I find it's nice to have some cash on hand so I can provide these tips as I go, but you can add them to your bill at the end of your cruise, too.

Teppanyaki restaurant on Odyssey of the Seas
Plan to give extra tips to restaurant staff and other employees who go above and beyond during your cruise (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Discuss Finances

When cruising with one or more friends, it makes good sense to discuss finances before you book. One friend may need to stick to a strict budget by staying in a windowless interior cabin, exploring ports on their own, and avoiding extras like specialty dining meals and spa treatments. Another friend may want to go all-out, booking a stateroom with an oceanview balcony, buying the Deluxe Beverage Package, and upgrading every meal. It's best to hash out these differences on dry land.

Also, for those not purchasing beverage packages, don't assume that just because you bought the last round of drinks, your friend will get the next one. Decide in advance: are we taking turns buying rounds or will everyone pay for their own drinks as we go?

Payment is required upfront when making reservations for specialty dining, shore excursions, and spa treatments. Reconcile these payments right away rather than hoping your friends will make it up to you by paying for other costs like shared Ubers, meals on shore, or hotel rooms. The last thing you want to do is argue with friends over money during your vacation!

Playing BINGO on a Royal Caribbean Cruise
Playing BINGO on a Royal Caribbean Cruise (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

13. Enjoy ship activities together…and apart.

One of the joys of cruising with friends is enjoying the many fun ways to interact together on the ship. From BINGO and Name That Tune, to ping pong and basketball — there are games of all sorts to play. Or, maybe you can persuade each other to participate in the Biggest Bellyflop Competition at the pool? You might also sign up for a class together, like Latin dancing, Pilates, or Yoga.

Friends playing basketball together on cruise ship
Friends playing basketball together on Wonder of the Seas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

When traveling with larger groups of friends, you need not include everyone in every activity and meal. Instead, break into smaller pairs and groups to pursue the things that appeal most to each friend. A duo may want to watch a stand-up comedy performance while other friends listen to live jazz music, and a few others sip bubbly in the Champagne Bar. It's fun to just run into one another on the ship, too!

Plan some alone time, too. Even extroverted vacationers might enjoy downtime to do their own thing like exercise at the fitness center, read on the stateroom balcony, or take a nap poolside.

Cruise hot tub
Savoring some alone time on my cruise with a friend (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Meanwhile, couples traveling with other couples may want to break apart for a night or two to enjoy date night at a specialty restaurant alone. Learn more tips for romantic things to do on a cruise.

Date night during friends cruise
Date night with my husband at Teppanyaki on Odyssey of the Seas (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

14. Decide how to communicate with your friends on the ship.

Royal Caribbean boasts the fastest Internet at sea. If you can afford it, then the best way to go is by purchasing their VOOM Internet package. Everyone who buys VOOM can simply communicate via text or social media apps as usual. Again, you can score discounts when you buy this in anticipation of your cruise instead of waiting until you're on the water.

For those who want to stay connected, but don't plan to websurf much, you could split a package with your roommate to save money. Only one device is allowed at a time, so when you log in, you'll kick the other person out. Of course, this could cause conflict, so discuss how to make this arrangement work for both of you before you set sail.

Cruising with a group
How will you communicate on the ship when cruising with a group? (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

To truly unplug while cruising, go cold turkey and skip buying an Internet package. If you later decide you really need to connect, then you can buy a VOOM package or purchase one day of Internet at a time after you board.

Even if you don't buy an Internet package, you can still connect via the Royal Caribbean app. There, you can send messages to fellow cruisers while onboard the ship. You won't receive an alert when a message comes in, so it's important to check the app's messages often.

You could always go old school and leave messages for your friends via sticky notes left on stateroom doors. Or leave notes for your roommates in a shared notebook.

Allure of the Seas setting sail from Galveston, TX
Allure of the Seas setting sail from Galveston, TX (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

15. Choose the best ship and itinerary.

Those longing to sail on a specific ship should start there. For example, maybe you'd like to set sail on the world's biggest operating cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas. Then you can choose an itinerary based on offered sailings. (Psst…Wonder is sailing throughout the Caribbean in 2023!)

Central Park neighborhood on Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas
Central Park neighborhood on Wonder of the Seas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Royal Caribbean Oasis Class Ships

The five Royal Caribbean Oasis Class ships are among the largest and best ships anywhere. They include Wonder, Allure, Harmony, Symphony, and Oasis.

Choosing one of these ships means you'll have tons of unique ship activities to entertain your crew like a zip line or high-diving Aquatheater shows. You can also expect more specialty dining restaurants than other cruise lines or even other Royal Caribbean ships.

Royal Caribbean high-diving aqua show
Oasis Class high-diving aqua show (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

These extraordinary ships are broken into seven distinct neighborhoods, including the greenery-filled Central Park and the playful Boardwalk with a ride-on carousel. Wonder also offers a Suite Neighborhood, which could make a good choice for larger groups who want to splurge on spacious staterooms with concierge service, priority boarding and departure privileges, and an exclusive plunge swimming pool.

Friends on Royal Caribbean Cruise together
Riding the carousel in the Boardwalk neighborhood with my friend, Debbie (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

Itinerary First

If the itinerary trumps the ship for your group, then start with ports of call, including the most convenient departure port. For example, Royal Caribbean is one of the few cruise lines that sets sail from Galveston, Texas (aboard Allure of the Seas).

Choose from Royal Caribbean vacations in The Bahamas and Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, North America, Asia, and South Pacific.

Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas docked in St. Maartin
Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas docked in St. Maarten (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Other Royal Caribbean Ships

Although they don't boast quite as many bells and whistles as Oasis Class, smaller (yet, still impressive) Royal Caribbean ships can fit in more petite ports throughout the world.

Royal Caribbean Ship Classes

  • Oasis (226,838 to 236,857 tons)
  • Quantum (168,666 to 169,379 tons)
  • Freedom (154,407 to 156,271 tons)
  • Voyager (137,276 to 139,999 tons)
  • Radiance (90,090 tons)
  • Vision (73,817 to 82,910 tons)

Learn more about all of Royal Caribbean's ship classes.

Friends laughing on a Royal Caribbean Christmas cruise
Laughing with my friend and sister-in-law, Heidi, on a Royal Caribbean Christmas family cruise (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

Book Your Cruise with Friends

Ready to book a cruise with one friend or with a large group of friends? Find great cruise deals from our affiliate, CruiseCritic. This website provides helpful insight and reviews of cruise lines, ships, restaurants at sea, ports of call, and more. Reserve cruises around the world with Cruise Critic.

A good travel agent will make the planning process of group cruising even easier, especially for first-time cruisers. An agent can help secure group rates and onboard credits. Plus, a travel planner will help organize private tours and special requests, like celebrating a special occasion at sea.

For in-depth expert help planning your cruise with friends, reach out to our partner, Ciao Bambino. They specialize in luxury family travel planning as well as romantic getaways, multigenerational trips, cruises, international travel, and beyond. Learn more about why I recommend Ciao Bambino travel planning services or fill out this form to be contacted by them.

Obviously, I love Royal Caribbean! You can book directly for a cruise with friends or a Royal Caribbean family cruise.

Royal Promenade on Allure of the Seas cruise ship
Royal Promenade on Allure of the Seas (photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Learn More Helpful Travel Tips

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Dive into the best hotel pools for adults.

Get advice for planning a multigeneration family reunion vacation.

Avoid gaining weight at sea with these tips for staying fit on a cruise.

How to Plan a Cruise with Friends

Save These Tips for Cruising with Friends

Be sure to keep these hacks on how to plan a cruise with friends. Simply save the image above to Pinterest. I hope you’ll follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

Would you ever plan a cruise with friends? Share any tips or questions in the comments below!

Disclaimer: I have been hosted by Royal Caribbean aboard Wonder of the Seas, Odyssey of the Seas, and Allure of the Seas. I had such a great time, I convinced my extended family to embark on a multigeneration cruise trip together on Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas, which we paid for ourselves.

About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin, MBA, is the founder and editor-in-chief of the popular travel blog, TravelMamas.com. She is an expert in travel with kids and without. As the author of the book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents how to make the most of traveling with babies and children. Colleen loves sharing tips on hotels, cruises, spas, theme parks, and global lifestyle topics. When she is not traveling the world, she lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments
  1. Fransic verso says

    I haven’t booked a cruise with friends yet but looking to do this. These will be very helpful when we do it. Thank you for sharing!

  2. SONIA SEIVWRIGHT says

    I would like to go on a cruise trip for my 40th Birthday. This is an excellent guide.

  3. Kelly Bolen says

    Got to be honest, I have never had the urge to go on a cruise. However, you have made it look like a lot of fun!!!! I may have to try it!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Kelly – I hope you give cruising a go! I find that most people who say they don’t like cruising have never done it. It’s a great way to see a lot while unpacking just once!

  4. Princess Quinn says

    I’ve tried cruising once with my sister and it was definitely a night to remember! I appreciate the tips you’ve shared here, these would surely make our next cruising experience more meaningful and enjoyable 🙂

  5. Monidipa Dutta says

    I had been on cruise with family and alone but never been with friends. But the ideas are cool. Now I gotta convince my friends.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Monidipa – I hope you are successful in convincing your friends! Cruising really is so much fun with a group!

  6. This sounds like it would be so lovely. I haven’t been on a cruise before so am taking all this info onboard.

  7. A cruise sounds like a great way to enjoy time with friends. But, also lots of planning and things go into it as well. Something to consider!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Marysa – I know there’s a lot of planning for a cruise, but truly I feel like it’s a much easier form of travel to plan than other vacations especially when traveling with a group. I hope you give it a go!

  8. Kristy Bullard says

    Being friends and being “vacation compatible” are two completely different things! You really get to know a person while traveling together. I like to do a quick trip with friends and see how it goes before being on a boat in a small room for a week with them.

  9. Chloe Arnold says

    So many great tips! We used to do crusies for big family reunions and it made the finance planning so much easier. Great tips for doing one with friends too!

  10. Healing Oils says

    The first item is the hardest. People’s plans change so much it would be hard to not back out.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      So true. I had to miss one of my best friend’s weddings because it took place over a multigenerational family vacation dates. But I committed and had such a great time on that trip!

  11. Bryan Carey says

    I have taken several cruises, but never with friends or family. I don’t know what that would be like. It might work, but I prefer cruising and not seeing friends. It’s my time to get away and not see any of the usual people.

  12. Ntensibe Edgar says

    Nnniiccceeee…I have always thought about doing this, with a new friend I have made. Reading your guide here, I now believe it’s possible.

  13. Planning a trip let along going on a trip can be stressful sometimes, all of these are fantastic tips to help out with that!

  14. One of my goals this year is to go on a cruise and It is good to start planning the trip now. Thank you for the detailed guide. Booking a lot of things in advance has a lot of benefits.

  15. My husband and I went on a friend’s cruise right after getting married and it was such an amazing time! We had one planned with another family that would have been my kids’ first cruise but then Covid had all cruises stopped when we were supposed to go and haven’t planned one since. Now that it seems there aren’t any restrictions this is a great reminder that we should book one again.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Stephanie – Such a bummer to have to cancel your cruise! Now is the perfect time to plan another one!

  16. These are great travel tips with friends! I think the most important is being able to communicate needs and wants when traveling with other people. I also agree that enjoying different things on a cruise separately is a good way to travel. It gives the individuals a break but also something to share if that makes sense.

    Maureen

  17. Although I love traveling, I’ve never been on a cruise. It’s definitely on my bucket list and it would be great with friends. Thanks for the great suggestions.

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