Cruising for free or at a reduced price is easier than you might think– We have had the pleasure of presenting free beds and cabins to many of our neighbors here in The Villages who have participated in the role of group leader on one or more of our cruises. There are 3 main ways to increase the value and reduce the cost of your cruise. The first is to identify a group, church, business, organization, friends, family or neighbors who you want to share a cruise with. The second is in dealing with The Cruise Travel Club or Travel Depot you will always receive a lower price for your cruise than if you book it directly with the cruise line. The third way to receive added value to your cruise is by way of additional amenities associated with group cruises. Sometimes, but not always, cruise lines will provide better pricing on their group cruises than they do on the same cruise booked as an individual.

Defining a cruise group–the magic of numbers

Most of the major lines generally define a “cruise group” as 16 people occupying eight cabins (third and fourth passengers in a cabin do not count toward the total). The sixteenth person, or the person who organizes the cruise (in “cruise-speak,” the group leader or tour conductor), earns the free fare–although port charges, taxes, and airfare are additional and must be paid. With some companies, off-peak sailings or large groups earn free fare for every tenth or twelfth person. We will help you find those sailings and negotiate the best possible deal.

If you and your group want to sail during peak sailing seasons, you’ll need to book your trip one year in advance, (which is always a good idea as you can usually secure the best pricing the earlier you book). However, cruise lines, generally, need little notice (one to two months prior to embarkation) for off-season sailings. Cruise lines are best able to accommodate groups in the fall, when they are most flexible (and have the most cabins to fill). However, early bookings usually result in the best and lowest fares

Perks galore for group travelers

Not only are cruise-group rates sometimes lower, (on certain lines, substantially lower), than individual rates, but often, the free cruise fare can be applied to the group leader or can be divided evenly among the group, saving everyone money. Additionally, as noted above, many of the major lines frequently offer amenities available only to group cruisers. Examples include cabin upgrades, complimentary wine and chocolates in each stateroom, a cocktail party, on board credit, or a reduction in the number of cabins required to earn the free cruise fare. The quantity and type of amenities vary by cruise line & cruise. In addition we are able to secure lower overall rates.

We can work together

We need group leaders to help us put together group cruises for cruises around the world. We are in a unique position of being able, most of the time, to provide better pricing on our cruises or to provide larger amounts per unit to that charity or church money raising effort. We will work with you in your efforts, from providing flyer layouts, to managing the whole event. If you are interested in becoming a group leader and want to arrange a group cruise, then let us know. You may email us at or give us a call on 352 259-8906.