My Groople

Pre-Cruise Group Lodging


Getting the Best Deal

Who says the vacation starts at embarkation? More and more groups are turning their pre-cruise stay into a pre-vacation! Before Barcelona or the Bahamas, you can experience the best of your port of call. And for many groups, selecting the right pre-cruise hotel can also mean getting the best deal on their vacation.

If anyone in your group is driving to the port city, they’ll be working out a park and cruise plan. Parking your car in a port can sound like the obvious choice, but do the math first and you will likely find that going the route of a pre-cruise stay at a hotel that allows you to park for free, will pay for itself. Ft. Lauderdale and Miami cruise ports charge $15 and $20 daily. Suddenly, that 7-night cruise to Nassau or Puerto Rico just went up in cost by more than $100. That is $100 that you could have applied to a hotel stay, allowing you to feel rested and ready for departure!


Purchasing a hotel stay from your cruise provider is convenient and saves you on time, but may not be the best group deal as you’ll also want to look for the benefits that mean the most to your group. If your group is driving in, then the complimentary parking is a huge perk; but for those flying in, an airport transfer is the greater value. And you’ll all need a transport to and from the cruise port, as well. Some or all of these features and services may be included when booking through your cruise provider, so be sure to know what to ask for.


When budget, schedule and keeping the group together is key, enjoying a free breakfast buffet at the hotel will save on the time, money and energy that would have been spent wrangling the troops for role call before heading to the ship…. because that ship will leave without you and your group. Arriving even one night prior to embarkation can really take the stress out of preparing for a cruise. Or staying one night after is not a bad idea either if time allows.


Here’s our list of what to look for in your pre-cruise group lodging:

  • An excellent group rate – of course!
  • Complimentary park-and-cruise and/or roundtrip airport transfers
  • A free shuttle to and from the cruise port
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • A great location near the cruise port
  • If this is a pre/post-cruise vacation, then a great location for things your group likes to do
  • Look out for ‘resort fees’ that might mask the charges for things like Internet and parking
  • A hotel employee assigned as your group coordinator – it’s like having your very our ringmaster and concierge rolled into one!


And when you have finally found the hotel with the best price, location and perks, take it one more step further by checking the online guest reviews. The photos and description on the hotel website are a place to start, but what you really need to know is the candid feedback from fellow travelers – preferably fellow cruisers who have stayed here on the route to their cruise vacation. You’ve done your research, but it never hurts to do a reality check and see what other guests have experienced, as well as, what your travel agent recommends.


But more than a valued recommendation resource, your travel/cruise agent and hotel group coordinator can help guide your group’s itinerary. Putting the pros to work for you, ensures the delivery of a vacation in what could easily have turned into a lot of work, preparation and stress for a group leader.


Snooze before you cruise and you’ll experience a more restful Bon Voyage! But perhaps more importantly in the context of a group cruise, you’ll keep your whole group together versus climbing on board then trying to find everyone as the ship is setting sail. The group that stays together pre-cruise, embarks together too!

And if you just don’t have the time to do all those things above that we recommended, because you have other things that keeping you busy for the cruise (like making sure you have all the right outfits), just come to the group booking experts at, select the hotels that you would like to stay in, submit them to us and let groople do the rest for you!.


This entry was posted in blog. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.