There are few things in life that are more amazing than being together with your besties and getting away from it all by taking a girls trip! Whether you are college roommates, singles out for a good time, or busy moms just needing a break, nothing beats a cruise for the ultimate girls trip!
The key to a great girls trip is what I like to call “flexible planning.” This means taking into consideration the budget you and your friends have to work with. The last thing you want to do is make anyone feel uncomfortable. This is one of the biggest advantages of planning a cruise getaway. Unlike traveling to a land-based destination, a cruise gives you a definite budget – you know you have certain things covered – like food, lodging, and entertainment. From there, you can customize your add-ons,, e.g., excursions, drink packages and casino budgets.
A girls trip is more than just the actual trip. When my girls get together for our annual trip, we begin to plan months in advance. We like to have theme nights for planning – like making your favorite cruise cocktail. During these times, not only are we planning our trip, but we’re re-establishing the very bonds that bring and keep us together. With each of these sessions, we hammer out details while our excitement grows!
I’m a big believer in arriving at the port city at least a day before. That means figuring out lodging. I highly recommend Airbnb as an alternative to traditional hotels. Before booking online, READ REVIEWS. For a large group, an Airbnb can be a real saving, and give you additional bonding time before your actual trip begins!
On cruise day, we begin the morning with mimosas. That is our tradition! There is nothing like sharing breakfast with your besties and a glass of bubbly orange juice. I will caution this – if you happen to go to bed early – make sure your besties take the wine they are trying to quickly chill, OUT of the freezer. Cleaning up exploded bottles of Moscato out of your Airbnb’s freezer is not how you want to start cruise day! Not that we have any experience with that! Hopefully, your wine or champagne will survive long enough to make it on the ship – remember, each person gets to bring a bottle. Check your ship’s rules as to what you can and cannot bring.
We believe in making an entrance onto the ship. Embarkation is the perfect opportunity to set the tone for your trip. For us, it’s all about cute, themed shirts! We like to have a local shop design a shirt with our ship and itinerary on the back, and our names on the front. As we make our way through the lines at the port, we smile at the other groups and take in the smiles that come our way. It’s almost like you become “cruise famous.” It’s a great way to get free drinks. Just saying. . . . Cruising is perfect for a girls trip. We always get rooms next to each other – even better when we splurge on balconies. Remember, if you are next to each other, most ships can remove the barrier between balconies, giving you one extra-long space. We also like to decorate our doors. Most cruise ships allow for this, as long as you don’t use tape and everything is nonflammable. Since most of the doors are metal, magnet hooks are a perfect solution. They are excellent inside the cabin, as well. Use them to hang clothes or shoe bags that are great for additional storage.
As much we love to hang out together, we all are different, and don’t always want to do the same thing. Cruising is perfect for this! While I am all about the casino, others like to lie and bake in the sun, and still others like to sleep in and dance all night. Being on a girls trip does not mean you all have to do the same thing, all of the time. We all appreciate being able to have our own time. Our non-negotiable is dinner together. We love to dress up and head to the main dining room for dinner each evening. We also like to have at least one dinner at a specialty restaurant. These dinners are the perfect time to decompress and plan the rest of the evening.
Port days! I am a big fan of all-inclusive resorts. In Cozumel, I highly recommend Mr. Sanchos ($55 person, and $17 each way cab fare for up to four people – reserve online for a discount at ShoreExcursioneer.com). Mr. Sanchos has incredible drinks, two pools (with swim-up bars), great food (try the coconut shrimp and tamarind margarita), and a variety of add-on activities like massages on the beach, parasailing, and snorkeling. By pre-planning your port day, budget issues are all but eliminated.
My other fave thing is port shopping. Make sure you hit up your cruise “port talk.” You will get awesome coupons for freebies. The charms you can get from various stores are my favorite. These charms are port-specific. We all love a bargain – and there is nothing quite like the excitement of haggling and getting a great deal.
Most cruise ports are very safe, but common sense is still important. We stick together when we are off the ship. Not only does this help prevent any unfortunate events like drunken tattooing, but also ensures that everyone is safe. After all – no woman shall be left behind! And cruise ships don’t wait!
Cruising offers something for everyone. Right now, cruise lines are offering deals that are insane! Take advantage of the low prices and extra perks by calling your girls and booking your trip through URComped today. After all, where else but a cruise can you and your besties wake up to room service, work on your tans while enjoying a cocktail in the middle of the ocean, win big at the casino, dine at a four-star restaurant, see a world-class show, go shopping, and witness grown men belly-flop all in the span of a day? And since it’s a girls trip, you don’t have to worry about bringing too many shoes!