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How to Cruise

March 14, 2018
Trips aboard cruise ships are some of our most popular non-profit fundraising travel packages. The carefree time aboard, with meals, drinks, and a pool deck just steps away from the stateroom, can give the impression that anything goes out on the open seas. But being aboard a ship with thousands of others, sometimes in small quarters and long lines, creates a certain type of etiquette in order to make the experience a fun one for everybody.

Here are some rules for your donors to follow after they win a cruise at your fundraising auction or raffle:

Pack Your Patience: There can be lines to board the ship, lines to debark for off-ship activities, and lines at the buffet. The pool chairs could have a waiting list. Even on the open seas, patience is a virtue. Your donors should know this in advance and be ready to face delays with a smile – it will help everyone around them.

Adults Only Means Adults Only: Whether it’s a “quiet” pool, a cocktail hour or something else, many ships will have a select number of “adults only” options over the course of the trip. For some parents, this might be their big chance to be away with the kids for one evening during the journey, so your supporters shouldn’t try to force your own children into the space. Instead, they should check in advance of the vacation as to whether the ship will have on-board babysitters, and make sure to book them as soon as they know they’ll be taking advantage of a grown-ups only outing.

Respect Differences: Unlike many other modes of travel, a cruise ship brings people together from many different cultures. It’s likely that your donors will run into fellow cruisers from around the globe, so a healthy respect for their customs and traditions can guarantee that everyone on board is comfortable.

Dress for the Room:
No one wants to wear a proper coat and tails or a long, flowing dress every day aboard a ship. But wearing cargo shorts to a nice meal or show, while everyone else went through the effort of packing the additional nicer clothes required, can really hamper the atmosphere. Donors should check before packing for the trip to see the general dress code – and the specific one for some of the restaurants they’d like to try – and allocate suitcase room accordingly.

Watch Your Space: Whether it’s swinging luggage down a tight hallway, attempting to monopolize a deck chair for a whole day (though you’ll only be there for a part of the time) or “saving” seats at a show, travelers should understand the space restrictions that come with a ship. Doing one’s level-headed best to not inconvenience other passengers goes a long way, and basic spatial awareness is one of the easiest ways of doing that.