The following checklist was
compiled with the assistance of Josephine Kling, co-founder of
Coral Gables, Fla.-based Landry & Kling Meetings at Sea, www.landrykling.com.
What kind of meeting space does the
event require? Consider the number of rooms, approximate room
sizes, their configurations and seating capacities.
How much time will be needed in the
meeting rooms? How much setup time is required (in the event some
meeting rooms are used for other purposes at different times of
day, i.e., as a show lounge or bar)?
What is the desired level of
amenities and service for VIPs or incentive winners?
Would a full-ship charter be
desirable and feasible for the group size and budget?
Do any participants have special
dietary or health needs?
Will passengers with disabilities be
fully accommodated both on-board and while at ports of call?
Will any services (e.g., production
and audiovisual) have to be outsourced?
Consider factors such as budget,
cruise length, sailing dates and destinations.
What level of luxury are attendees
accustomed to for their land-based meetings and incentives?
Consider cruise lines/ships of the same caliber.
What ports of call will appeal to the
group? Where have they been for other recent meetings or
Determine if a site inspection will
be necessary and feasible. Arrange with the cruise line (either
directly or with a cruise meeting specialist) to inspect in port or
Will the ship’s public areas be
available for special events on specified dates and times?
What standard A/V equipment and
technical support staff will be available? Do additional charges
Discuss amenities and promotional
materials that may be purchased from the cruise line. What extras
(including gifts, event and vehicle signage, document wallets,
badge tags, agenda booklets, name badges, invitations and table
tent cards) do you need to order in advance from outside vendors?
How will these items get to the ship?
How will pillow gifts be distributed
to attendees’ state rooms?
How many years of experience do
cruise staff members have? How long have they been with the cruise
Working With the Cruise
Confirm the following in writing:
dates, rates, amenities, sleeping rooms, meeting space and room
setups, dining arrangements, liquor policies and prices, and
distribution of room gifts.
Determine what will be billed to the
master account and who is authorized to approve charges to
Confirm refund, attrition and
contingency policies in the event of cancellation.
Determine hospitality desk hours and
location to expedite special requests.
Can custom shore excursions be
arranged? If not, planners might prefer to work with their own
network of ground operators.
Verify all contract terminology with
a marine attorney.
Confirm all passenger names by cruise
line deadline (up to 60 days prior to trip departure).
Arrange pre- and post-cruise
accommodations and transportation for group members and staff, as
Allow extra time for customs and tax
issues when shipping any room gifts, supplies and equipment out of
the United States.