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8 reasons to celebrate your special occasion on a cruise

Cruise Advice

Do you have a special birthday coming up, or a milestone wedding anniversary? Or perhaps you just want to gather all of your family or friends together for an unforgettable group holiday? Either way, there's no better place to celebrate your special occasion than on board a luxury cruise...

1. Cruise lines love milestones

From special dinners to onboard gifts, the cruise lines love any excuse to help you celebrate a birthday or anniversary. Some even offer a discount for those cruising on their birthday.

If the thought of being presented with a birthday cake at dinner or being invited to dine with the captain fills you with dread, then don't worry, there will always be the option to have a more private, special experience. You could organise a private dinner, where you can brief the chef on the construction of the menu and have wines picked out by the sommelier to complement your meal.

Or perhaps you might prefer to experience a bespoke shore excursion, on which your private car and driver will take you and your party to somewhere extraordinary. The options are many; but just remember, cruise lines love making special occasions even more special.

2. Activites for all

If you are marking a special occasion by inviting the whole family of several generations then it is important that there is plenty to keep everyone occupied, so that toddlers, teenagers, careworn parents, happy-go-lucky empty nesters and octogenarians all have a great time.

If you select the right ship then crèches and kids' clubs keep the children occupied; well equipped gyms and exercise classes give active young adults something to do during days at sea; sundecks and swimming pools enable sun worshippers to get their fix; and lecture programmes, matinee movies and ballroom dancing can be enjoyed by everyone.

3. Accommodation for all

Cruise ships can have a huge variety of accommodation, meaning it is possible to select a ship that is suitable for everyone's tastes and budget. And that matters, because on a multi-generational celebration, what is suitable for Grandpa and Grandma may not necessarily suitable for the grandkids.

But it's possible to cater for everyone's individual needs; ships offer spacious suites, inside cabins, interconnecting accommodation and even areas such as garden villas which are practically self contained, allowing for a private holiday experience with use of the wider facilities onboard.

4. Prepare to be pampered

We all know how stressful it can be to have the whole family appear in your home - great for one day, but any longer than that and the housework begins to outweigh the pleasure! The same can of course be true of renting a villa; what starts off as a great holiday for all can often turn into a hard-working one for an unlucky few. So what better than to have someone else take the strain, freeing you up to enjoy every moment of your family time (and holiday).

5. Create your own voyage

Why not design your own cruise itinerary? If you have enough friends then chartering a ship can be a more realistic option than you might think. This gives you the freedom to visit, say, your favourite destination; overnight in places you wish to explore for longer; and ultimately it can actually make the holiday even better value for money.

You don't have to pay for the whole cruise yourself, simply let people know what you are planning to do, and to invite them to join you at their own expense. Great charter options range from the luxurious SeaDream (just over 100 passengers) to Crystal Esprit (62 passengers) or Le Ponant (64 passengers); and then all the way to some more unusual options, such as catamarans in the Galapagos Islands.

6. You don't need a huge group of friends to charter

European Waterways, plying the rivers and canals of Europe, have vessels starting from just 8 passengers. These luxury barges represent the ultimate in comfort, with pampering along the way by a highly attentive crew. Every vessel features a master chef, a multilingual crew, comfortable accommodation, gourmet meals, a wide selection of fine wines, an open bar and excursions to some of the countryside's most cultural and historical sites.

7. Cruise lines love groups

Would a hotel give you a range of benefits for booking rooms for you and your closest friends? The answer more often than not is no. If you choose to cruise, on the other hand, then you and your party will be privy to a host of added extras.

For instance, Crystal Cruises offers a free place for the 11th person in any group, money to spend on board, a group photo, and private shore excursion options. In addition, you might want to arrange a private dinner in the Vintage Room or arrange a very special cocktail party - the crew on the Crystal ships are always delighted to assist with plans to create unique and memorable events to make your experience really special.

And it's not just Crystal who are so accommodating to groups: there are some very special offers out there, so it's a shame to not explore them further.

8. You don't have to live in each other's pockets

We have all been in the situation where, after a few days, as much as you love your parents and children, having everyone in the same place at the same time can get a little fraught. Because you can get off of the ship in a new destination, and because ships can offer so much choice on board, it is perfectly feasible that you could meet simply for drinks and dinner if you so wish!

The process of organising any group can be daunting, but that's where we come in! If you're interested in celebrating your special occasion on a cruise then give Mundy Cruising a call today on 020 7399 7670.

Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

More about Edwina
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