When it comes to conducting meetings, conferences, workshops and other events at sea, all cruise ships are not created equal. In fact, many can be incredibly difficult to work with. Some are simply not designed to be conducive to a productive business environment for your event.
Selecting the right ship that meets the specific needs of your group is critical to the success of your event. Let our experience help you make sure your choice is the right choice!
While we book all major cruise lines, we recommend the following cruise lines by category based on our personal experiences in conducting meetings,conferences and workshops on their ships and feedback we regularly receive from our customers. We believe these cruise lines consistently deliver exceptional quality and value and are a solid investment of your event budget. Please don't hesitate to call us to discuss your meeting plans further or if you have questions about specific cruise lines.
Criteria for our Recommendations:
*Please note: Everyones taste and preferences are different so it is important to choose what is right for you. Other cruise lines offer good things too, but these are ones we have a lot of confidence in and consistently exceed expectations.
Royal Caribbean has the most innovative, interesting and exciting cruise ships in the industry. They are, in our opinion the best choice for meetings, conferences and workshops at sea out there. The Voyager Class and above ships have fully designated conference centers that provide a variety of breakout rooms, board rooms, media room and are configuarable for large groups and small trade shows. They have well maintained AV equipment and knowledgable technicians to ensure propery setup and operation. The onboard coordinators on Royal Caribbean are extremely helpful and do a great job. The Vison class ships are great for smaller groups doing shorter itineraries. The range of activities onboard for your participants has something for everyone regardless of age. The Ice shows on the Voyager class and above are the best entertainment in the cruise industry. The design of the ships is done in good taste with a roomy, spacious feel and the atmoshpere onboard is a clean, family friendly environment that you can count on consistently.
*Royal Caribbean ships are technically classified in the Traditional Mass Market Category but the service, food, amenities and experience certainly puts it in the Premium Plus Category in our opinion.
Celebrity is a great choice for premium cruising and a little more upscale events. They are priced very competively and have excellent meeting facilities and equipment.Their service stands out for the premium category. The wide range of itineraries and ship sizes give you plenty of choices.
MSC is somewhat limited on dedicated meeting space but is an outstanding choice if you can do a buy out of the 69 suites (138 guests) that are part of the private MSC Yacht Club. You will have private dining and a lounge that is positioned on the front of the ship. You will have complimentary premium alcohol and wine and mini bar service with private pool, pool bar and butler service. When looking at the full list of inclusions, it is a great value and one you could not replicate in a land venue. It is exclusive, private and elegant. It is the VIP experience top performers and best customers so richly deserve and a yacht-like experience with large ship entertainment and amenities.
If you are looking for a destination with some of the tax advantages of a land resort (refer to our tax issues section), consider the Norwegian Pride of America doing a 7 day Hawaii intinerary. The Pride had an outstanding Conference Center which was one of the best in the industry but was recently removed due to underutilization. Other NCL ships in other destinations have meeting facilities but are generally not comparable to RCCL. The Norwegian Pearl is another great option.
Carnival is not our first choice nor do we think it is necessarily the best choice. That being said, we book a fair number of meetings on Carnival though. Why? Carnival offers the most 3 and 4 day itineraries which is the length many businesses prefer and their prices are generally lower than others. For meetings, Carnival has one of the worst group departments. Often, they want full deposit on the cabins before they will commit on meeting space. That is impractical and counterproductive. Most of their ships do not have designated formal meeting facilities so most often you are scheduling meetings in lounges and other public venues that are not in use at that particular time. Interruptions from passengers who just walk in can be annoying and disruptive. Carnival enjoys high name recommendation and for all the non-meeting activities, people enjoy the atmosphere on board.
The luxury category is a little more challenging because the smaller ships make meeting space very limited. We try to match your group, your meeting objectives and requirements to the right luxury vendor so you achieve your meeting objective with an outstanding experience from 5 and 6 star accomodations and service.
CEALS - Meetings on Ships
a division of Corporate Events and Leisure Services LLC
We specialize in conferences, workshops and business meetings at sea on cruise ships.
WA State Seller of Travel Lic # 603-078-647
Washington State Seller of Travel 603-078-647