The "big day" is quickly approaching, and either you or one of your besties is getting married. As is customary, a group of the bride's or groom's closest friends will be planning one last hurrah -- before single life comes to an end. If a destination fiesta is in the works, bucks party cruises or hens party cruises can be a great way to get everyone together in one place at one time for a reasonable price that includes just about everything you'll need. Below, we offer several reasons why celebrating the end of singledom at sea could be a great fit for your group.
1. It's affordable.
If you're planning to venture far from home, the cost can add up quickly for things like flights, accommodation, meals, alcohol and entertainment. For less than the cost of all of that individually, your group could organise a cruise hens party or cruise bucks party that includes accommodations, food and entertainment in one price. Additionally, if you can cruise from a port that's within driving distance, you'll save on airfare. Not anticipating spending much time in your cabin? You can book a less expensive interior cabin and put the extra money toward something else. Plus, many cruise lines offer discounts for booking a certain number of rooms, meaning further savings can be had if your group is large enough.
2. It's flexible.
Cruises provide flexibility with room, dining and activity options at different price points, allowing just about anyone to attend, regardless of budget or interests. If you'd rather spend a day lounging by the pool and working on your tan for free while others in your group pay for massages and manicures, it's totally possible. Want to attend afternoon tea with a couple members of the wedding party while others opt for a burger on the lido deck? Not a problem. Extras -- spa treatments, onboard shopping, shore excursions, dining at alternative restaurants -- are available if you want them, but they aren't crucial to the success of the celebration. Plus, cruises are ideal for joint bachelor cruises and bachelorette cruises. Groomsmen and bridesmaids from the same wedding party can sail on the same cruise but still completely avoid one another if desired, choosing to meet up only for select activities ... or not.
3. Food is included.
All cruise lines offer complimentary meals in the main dining room, which often hosts at least one formal night that will give you a chance to dress up. Additional free dining is available in the buffet, which is more casual if all you want to do is grab something quick without dressing to the nines. Most ships do offer nicer for-fee options, as well, but if your goal is to keep costs low, you won't go hungry while doing so. You won't be starved for variety, either, as most major lines feature everything from steak and seafood to sushi and pizza.
4. Entertainment is free.
Magic shows, comedic performances, Broadway-style musicals, aerial acrobatics, movies, games and trivia, gyms, ropes courses, mini-golf, pools and water slides: There's so much to keep you busy onboard, and since nearly all of it is free, there's no need to quibble over choosing just one or two activities or worry about how much each event will cost you.
5. You can buy alcohol packages.
One set price for unlimited alcohol? It's a comforting concept when you're worried about your bottom line. Most cruise lines offer these packages for a per-person, per-day fee that gives you access to all but the most expensive liquors, so you can get your drink on without fear of racking up a huge tab.
6. You don't need a designated driver.
Your ship is your transportation during hens and bucks party cruises, so there's no need to fret about calling an Uber or drawing straws to figure out who will have to abstain from the fun. Have a great time, and simply wobble back to your cabin at the end of the night without fear of getting home safely.
7. The scenery changes.
On a cruise, the fun isn't limited to onboard pursuits. Half of the adventure is exploring new places, whether you book a shore excursion or simply leave the ship for a few hours to chat with some of the residents or try some of the local cuisine. The options are limitless -- beaches, jungles, mountains -- and you only have to unpack once. Some itineraries even include overnights in port so you can sample the nightlife ashore.
8. You're likely to be recognised.
Because cruises are like floating cities, you might find that you run into the same people over and over. If word gets out that you're part of a hens or bucks party, it's possible that you'll be treated like a bit of a celebrity -- especially if you're the bride- or groom-to-be -- with fellow passengers asking you to dance, offering to buy you drinks or chatting you up to see if you're enjoying your trip. If you time your sailing close to "wedding season" (generally summer) and opt for a short cruise (three to five nights), it's also possible you'll run into other groups who are celebrating an upcoming marriage.
--By Ashley Kosciolek, Editor
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