Another look at why your next incentive ought to be on a ship
The staterooms on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic are said to reflect those of luxury resorts
goes over their program
budgets from earlier years
line by line, pointing out
how they could save by
doing a cruise program.
Those planning inter-
national incentives would
do well to remember that
the U.S. dollar is king
onboard. “There’s no
fluctuation in exchange
rates to worry about,” says
For most planners, the desired destination
is the starting point, followed by group size.
Landry, in turn, starts by pricing out both
charter and non-charter options for clients.
To some, charters are sine qua non. “You have
privacy and complete control over the activities
on the ship,” says Landry. Charter groups can
be as small as 80 people and as large as 700.
The sweet spot is groups ranging from 220 to
500 attendees, because they can be accommodated by many different cruise lines and ships.
If chartering a ship is too far outside your
Incentive programs have been coming back, and shipboard programs are no exception. “We’ve seen an increase in
both serious inquiries and business,” says
Joyce Landry, CEO of Landry & Kling, a
facilitator of cruise meetings and events.
budget, consider booking private or semiprivate space on a large cruise ship. Many
ships allow groups to rent their spa decks for
receptions. Also, consider that a crew can
turn an ice rink into a trade show floor faster
than you’d think.
Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure
of the Seas have “neighborhoods” (large themed
sections on the ships) that can be reserved
for large events. The Epic, Norwegian Cruise
Line’s megaship, has a block of 120 solo cabins with a common area suitable for groups.
You could always book the old-fashioned
way—buying a block of rooms and leaving participants to their own devices—but
Landry cautions against this. “At the very
least, arrange a private cocktail reception
or, better yet, drinks with the captain,” she
says, before adding, “Royal Caribbean has a
behind-the-scenes tour they run, and you go
everywhere—the engine room, the bridge,
crew quarters, and galley. They don’t advertise it; you have to ask.” ■
Learn the three things first-time cruise planners need to
know at http://bit.ly/incCruiseIncentives