Why Choose a Cruise Ship for a Corporate Meeting, Event or Conference?

Jul 14, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Kim Estep

cruise ship venue for next conference
More and more companies are choosing cruise ships as venues for many different types of events - corporate retreats, employee incentive trips, conferences, conventions and more. What’s driving this trend? Cruise ships offer a number of advantages for meeting and event planners – here are some of the key benefits to consider:

  • Better Budget Control. Meals, meeting space, audio-visual equipment, recreational activities, and evening entertainment are typically all included. This means better budget control and also less out-of-pocket expense for attendees.

  • More Bang For Your Buck. All-inclusive cruise ship events save 20 to 30% on cost vs. land-based venues, according to cruise event services company Landry & Kling. And companies have access to amenities on cruise ships they might not otherwise be able to afford. Theaters and lounges feature state-of-the-art sound, light and projection systems and built-in décor. High-quality nightly entertainment, happy hours, floral arrangements, and personally chosen meals are some of the other standard amenities. This all saves event planners considerable time and money.

  • Superior Service.  Cruise ship staff-to-guest ratio is generally three times that of most resorts, so all of your attendees receive more attentive and personalized service. And you may not need as many on-site company staff to run the event.

  • Self-Contained Environment. You have a captive audience on a cruise ship. Attendees won’t skip sessions to go play golf instead. Nor will participants go their own way for dinner or entertainment as often happens when the site is a hotel or conference center. The self-contained environment of a ship fosters relationship-building and encourages greater meeting attendance and participation.

  • A Unique Experience.  Only 24% of the U.S. adult population has ever taken a cruise, according to the most recent report from the Cruise Lines International Association. Taking people to an environment they don’t go often or have never been allows them to share new experiences with colleagues, enhances camaraderie and helps generate fresh thinking. The unique nature of a cruise ship venue makes your company event significantly more memorable for attendees. This helps build company/brand identity loyalty and lasting relationships, delivering a solid return on investment.   

These are just some of the reasons you may want to consider a cruise ship in your future event planning. Whatever your event needs, it’s highly likely there are cruise options for you. Cruise ships can accommodate meetings, conferences and other group events of all sizes. The ships typically have conference rooms in several sizes, dining venues that can be used as conference rooms during the day, lounges in multiple sizes, and often very large theaters as well. For example, Carnival Cruise Lines can accommodate groups ranging in size from 16 to 3,500 guests. Royal Caribbean has a fleet of 22 ships that were purposely built with large conference centers. Companies can book just a small part of a ship or arrange a full, private charter. And there are many options when it comes to trip duration and itinerary. You may find that a cruise ship is a perfect venue for your next event – easier to plan, less expensive, and offering greater value to your company than the usual venues on land.

Have you attended a conference on a cruise? Let us know what you thought in the comments area below.

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