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#1 Sheeoni

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    Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:31 AM

    Many moons ago (actually, about 3 months ago maybe) I found these boards because I was trying to decide if I wanted to be a cruise bride or not. Thanks to the help and insight of those at these boards, I decided that getting married while ON a cruise wasn't exactly what I wanted to do. However, I've decided to try and co-ordinate a post-wedding cruise. Basically, since most of our family has to travel from out of town, I am trying to give everyone an extra excuse to travel to Texas, since we can get to Galveston and cruise from there.

    Out of town and destination weddings have a different time frame than others. We will not be married until 10/10/10, We figured that should give plenty of planning time for family and friends that would like to attend. However, can anyone give me suggestions or examples of your schedules for sending STD, Invites, getting final counts, etc?
    When do deposits typically need to be made for group cruises?
    Thanks for the help!

    edit: I think what I am really looking for is what worked for the brides that have already been through this. I am petrified that I won't be giving enough time to everyone or that there are things I need to take into consideration that I haven't already. Many brides are doing OOT bags, but since most of my guests will be attending the wedding shoreside, and I'm not certain how many will go on the cruise after, should I consider making them too? I'm so confused...

    #2 Banana11

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      Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:39 AM

      Once you choose a cruiseline, ship and itinerary you'll need to have a TA reserve your group. When the group is reserved you only have so many weeks to put down deposits. I would get everything picked out and let your guests know ASAP of your plans. We gave our guests over a year's notice. They had a little over a month to decide if they were coming and contact our TA to put down a deposit. From there we set up a payment schedule with our TA as to when and what was due for each guest. It helped to spread out the payments for those that wanted to. Some paid all at once. I did not do STDs. We sent out a letter explaining our wedding and cruise, information sheet explaining the details, booking sheet from our TA, and a brochure we made up with highlights of the ship and ports. We set up a wedding website at mywedding.com and asked guests to RSVP there. We also put lots of helpful info on the website for our guests. Worked great for us! Good luck!

      #3 merocket59

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        Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:43 AM

        Send out STDs as soon as you have a date/time/place squared away to give people as much time as possible to plan and save... I made my wedding website right away and sent out an email save the date right away then sent out a real save the date about a year out, maybe less I can't quite remember. Some people send out newletters to update people will lots of info between the STD and invite. I sent out my invites about 3 months ahead of time and already had an idea of who was and wasn't coming (a few surprises were thrown in here but not too many), and I just sent out a newletter with info about the day and the cruise 1 month out.
        As for OOT bags, they aren't just for cruise brides, people make them for their normal weddings for people who come from far away to welcome them to the area so I think they are a great option to help welcome guests but are completely optional, you should feel like you have to do them if it is getting too confusing figuring out who to give them too. When I started I guessed that around 50 people would come to the wedding and started buying things that I could find later if I needed them (ie tissues and puzzles), and then once I had a final count I bought the actual bags and more specific things. And I was right about my guestimation, I have 44 coming so it worked out well. Hope this helps!

        #4 Sheeoni

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          Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:46 AM

          Thanks for the quick response Andrea. I guess my problem is that since we're still in the beginning of the planning phase, I don't know how many people are interested in attending or not, attending just the wedding, or attending the wedding AND the cruise. Do I need that information first before I contact an agent to book rooms? Thats sorta what your post seemed to say. May I ask which travel agency you used since they allowed you to spread out payments? I'm not sure if that is a common practice but would be super helpful. The prices for the cruise we're looking at seem to be truly reasonable for 5 day cruise so I think overall, it's affordable, but all this is a little overwhelming just yet. I am going to look at your planning thread and maybe if anyone else has some information regarding how they proceeded, I'd appreciate it. =)

          #5 Banana11

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            Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:00 AM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Sheeoni
            Thanks for the quick response Andrea. I guess my problem is that since we're still in the beginning of the planning phase, I don't know how many people are interested in attending or not, attending just the wedding, or attending the wedding AND the cruise. Do I need that information first before I contact an agent to book rooms? Thats sorta what your post seemed to say. May I ask which travel agency you used since they allowed you to spread out payments? I'm not sure if that is a common practice but would be super helpful. The prices for the cruise we're looking at seem to be truly reasonable for 5 day cruise so I think overall, it's affordable, but all this is a little overwhelming just yet. I am going to look at your planning thread and maybe if anyone else has some information regarding how they proceeded, I'd appreciate it. =)
            You can contact a TA and pick a cruise without needing a head count. I don't think your TA will need an exact count to temporarily hold space for your group. I wouldn't recommend my TA. You could click the banner at the top of the page and contact one of the BDW TAs?

            #6 TA Dina

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              Posted 29 July 2009 - 09:53 PM

              When it comes to blocking out and holding group space on a cruise, you will only have about a month or so before some kind of deposit is due from the guests. That is pretty much standard across the board (some cruise lines give you a little more time, but not much). Now that said, the guests don't have to be the one's paying it. I've had plenty of couples put up the whole deposit now for their group, and then collect the money back from guests later.

              While it is good that cruise pricing is usually available to lock in much earlier than land vacations...it sometimes makes it hard for guests to really decide what they want to do (for example, right now you cannot even buy airfare for 10/10, so if that is a determining factor for everyone, they probably won't deposit a cruise now without knowing air prices). So if you want to secure a group rate (which normally requires a min of 8 cabins), keep that in mind. And also remember that if you hold a group of cabins and then fall below the cruise line's minimum, there might be penalties the rest of the group has to pay.

              Every cruise line is different so if you need more details on this part of the planning process...just let me know :)

              #7 Prettyhazardous

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                Posted 02 August 2009 - 03:38 PM

                I did things way diff than most DW Cruise brides. My wedding in 11.10.09. I sent out my invites in Jan 09. I never did STDs. I also didn't use a TA. I used a Carnival Personal Vacay Planner (the Carnival agents) and we didnt book as a group we did individual bookings bc we had alotta Carnival past guests with us and the rates were cheaper if they booked separately. So we sent out invite Jan 09 and made a deposit deadline of 3.31.09 then extended it May 1, 09. Our full payments are due 8.24.09... I had no idea how many ppl were gonna go so we set up a $10,000 budget expecting and 15-20 ppl to go. But we have 39 ppl going so we extended our budget a bit... I also got us a group rate thru Airtran airways where everyone gets a 10% discount...
                Happy Planning




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