Affinity Group Cruise Conference - TMGA

The Texas Master Gardeners wanted to plan an affinity group cruise for their association, but had a few challenges when they tried to book directly with the cruise line. That’s when they turned to Landry & Kling for “elegant solutions”.

Association Background

The Texas Master Gardener (TMGA) program is an educational volunteer program conducted by the Texas A&M University System. What really sets Master Gardeners apart from other home gardeners is their special training in horticulture.  Persons who become Master Gardeners contribute time as volunteers to provide horticultural-related information to their communities.

Program Challenges

Affinity Group Group Cruise -Meeting on Carnival ValorThe organizers wanted an inexpensive 4-night special interest cruise from Texas, so they contacted Carnival Cruise line directly. But they faced some issues: the cruise line wouldn’t confirm meeting space until close to sailing when they knew the final number of persons in the group.

They wanted Carnival to handle reservations the way a hotel conference does (i.e. collect only an advance deposit, with final payment onsite), but a cruise typically has multiple payments with final payment well in advance of departure. TMGA wanted to use their own PayPal system, which cruise lines can’t do.

Landry & Kling Elegant Solutions

Affinity Group Cruise Conference - members and staffAs a frequent group cruise producer, Landry & Kling can advocate for our clients and negotiate advance confirmation of the necessary meeting space in our contracts. We can also handle the reservations on our cruise-oriented reservation system that can easily accept payments thru our client’s PayPal system.

TMGA’s requested allotment of lower-priced inside cabins caused problems because so many members wanted balcony cabins, and we were able to trade the inside cabins for balcony staterooms as needed so all could enjoy the view from their private balcony.

Affinity Group Cruise Results

  • 503 members and guests sailed April 27, 2017 on Carnival Liberty from Galveston
  • Our client contact received so much positive feedback from the cruise she’s asking about another special interest cruise for 2019

Watch the video below for highlights of the TMGA Affinity Group Cruise: