Organizing a Group Cruise Trip – Edwin’s Corner

As you probably already know, BWJ Travel was born out of Jacob and I’s experience at SVH Travel, a retail travel agency founded by our father 30+ years ago. On top of being the Chief of Operations of BWJ, I am also the Chief of Operations of SVH Travel. I help run the day-to-day business and, every now and then, I organize and lead group travel experiences.

The last group trip I organized and led was a 6-day cruise to Cabo and Ensenada onboard the Carnival Panorama just last week. It was a group of about 80 travelers, and I had two team members come along with me for assistance. 

As you can imagine, it can be challenging to lead a group that large and keep track of everyone. It can be especially challenging considering that the majority of the group consisted of older individuals; many of them had a language barrier that we had to help work around and some of them had walkers or required wheelchair assistance. 

When working with clients who need extra accommodations, it is essential to provide extra care and attention to them. That is your job as a travel agent. Sometimes, that requires being creative. For instance, a few of our guests did not have phones or did not have international data to maintain communication. Considering that we were going to get off the ship to explore Cabo, it would be extremely problematic if one of them accidentally wandered off and got lost with no way for us to contact them. The solution? Air tags. 

All of our guests already had lanyards with card holders that we’d prepared for them. In the cardholders, we had placed little 4×5 cards with their name and our group itinerary at the front, and emergency contact information on the back. For the few guests that didn’t have phone access, we placed air tags in their card holders just in case. 

Aside from these sorts of logistics, as the organizer of this trip I also wanted to make sure that our guests simply had the best time that they possibly could. Upon getting on the ship, my team and I got internet access and downloaded the Carnival HUB app to see all the available activities and entertainment on the ship that week. We put together a list of the events that we thought our guests would particularly enjoy and we shared that list with them during our introductory information session. At some point during the cruise, we even held our own private cocktail party with finger foods, drinks, and music!

There is a lot of work that goes into putting together these kinds of trips, and that’s why it’s incredibly rewarding as well. Are you thinking about specializing in group travel and need some help? Reach out to our support team to schedule a 1-on-1 with me! Contact (818) 450-8085 or support@bwjagents.com.