What is a cruise roll call? Should you join one? What are the pros and cons?
After booking a cruise, one of the first things to do is join a roll call. Especially if this is your first cruise, cruise roll calls can be extremely helpful, making cruise planning easier and more fun.
What is a cruise roll call?
Cruise roll calls are online groups where cruisers can connect before their trip. They offer a great way to meet other cruisers from the same sailing, get information and insider tips about the cruise, and even arrange activities together as a group.
We almost always join a roll call, depending on the cruise line, cruise ship, and the kind of cruise vacation we are looking to have. Because I’m an introvert, I tend to keep to myself.
However, my most memorable cruises have been the ones with full roll call participation. There are more pros than cons to joining a cruise roll call.
Should you join a cruise roll call?
If this is your first cruise, or if you’re looking to meet other cruisers and make new friends, we recommend joining a cruise roll call. It is also a place to share in the excitement of an upcoming cruise and get pumped about vacation with other like-minded individuals.
What to expect with cruise roll calls?
Cruise roll calls are filled with various cruisers, from first-time cruisers to cruise veterans. Sometimes they are filled with a wealth of knowledge and cruise tips not only on the ship you’re planning to sail on but also on ports and cruise activities.
Active cruise roll calls will have a lot of activity leading up to the cruise as members introduce themselves and get to know one another. One or two people will take the lead in a cruise roll call to help facilitate group meet-ups and activities.
Where can you find and join a cruise roll call?
Cruise Critic is the most popular forum with a dedicated section for cruise roll calls for all cruise lines and upcoming sailings. Usually, when we join a roll call, it is always on Cruise Critic. There is also the option of searching Facebook groups for your specific cruise ship and sailing date. Reddit also has cruise roll calls that you can join.
You can join more than one roll call. Sometimes members of all the groups will unite to arrange Cruise Critic’s meet and greet that most major cruise lines offer to host on one of the first days of the cruise.
If you do not find a roll call, you can always start your own on one of the platforms.
What is a Cruise Critic meet and greet?
The Cruise Critic meet and greet is an event arranged by someone who takes the lead from the sailing roll call and the cruise line. It is a time that is scheduled usually on the first sea day of the cruise for cruise critic members to meet each other in person. The cruise line will provide free drinks like coffee, juice, and water with some pastries and other small eats; every cruise line and cruise ship may handle it differently.
Tip: If someone has not taken the lead in arranging a Cruise Critic Meet & Greet with the Cruise Line, consider taking the responsibility. Sometimes you are rewarded with perks from the cruise line that may not be included with your cruise fare, like daily breakfast at one of the specialty restaurants. You must be organized and ready to take on this responsibility, though.
In this article, we will go over the pros and cons of cruise roll calls so that you can decide if it’s something you want to do for your next cruise.
Pros and Cons of Cruise Roll Calls
The Pros of Cruise Roll Calls
Get Helpful Cruise Planning Tips
One of the best things about cruise roll calls is that you can get a ton of helpful information about your cruise. If you have any questions about the cruise, chances are that someone in the group will have an answer for you.
You can also find out insider tips about the ship and ports from people who have sailed on your cruise before. Usually, they share cruise tips that you wouldn’t be able to find in a cruise brochure or on the cruise line’s website.
Make New Friends
Another great thing about cruise roll calls is that they offer a great way to meet other cruisers from the same sailing. If you’re looking to make new friends on your cruise, joining a cruise roll call is a great way to do it.
You can also use the cruise roll call to connect with people with similar interests. For example, if you’re looking for someone to go on shore excursions with, joining a cruise roll call is a great way to find someone.
Group Activities Can Be Fun
Cruise roll calls can be a lot of fun if you enjoy group activities. Once you’re on the cruise, you can join up with other members of the cruise roll call for group activities. The group activities can range from pub crawls, gift exchanges, slot pulls, and even group shore excursions.
If you’re interested in taking part in any of these activities, cruise roll calls offer an easy way to do it.
Usually, there is someone in the group who takes charge of organizing these activities.
Cruise Critic Meet-Ups Are Helpful
As we mentioned earlier, cruise roll calls often lead to Cruise Critic meet-ups. At these events, not only do you get to meet a large group of cruisers from your roll-call, but it’s a great way to meet officers from the ship.
At these meetings, you sometimes learn cool future tidbits about what’s to come and cruise tips that you wouldn’t have otherwise known.
Officers almost always hand out their extension numbers so you can contact them directly in case you have any concerns during your cruise. This has been helpful in the past.
You May Be Invited Follow-up Meeting
These are rare, but sometimes at the official meet-up event, you may be invited back by a cruise ship officer for a follow-up meeting at the end of your cruise. This may be led by the cruise ship’s Hotel Director or another officer. At this meeting, they are expecting to hear feedback on your time on the ship and if there are any suggestions.
This is a great opportunity to voice your concerns and give feedback on the cruise, which can be helpful for future cruisers.
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The Cons of Cruise Roll Calls
Sometimes the Roll Calls are Quiet
Sometimes cruise roll calls can be very quiet and not active. They fall flat without participation and they fail to do what they’re meant to do.
If you find that the cruise roll call for your sailing is inactive, you may not get much out of it.
You Might Feel Pressure to Participate in Group Activities
Sometimes you may feel pressured to join in on the group activities. If you’re not the type who likes joining in, skip them. Don’t feel pressured to join in.
Group Meet-Ups Are Not Your Thing
If you’re not a fan of group meet-ups or social gatherings, cruise roll calls may not be for you. Speaking as an introvert, sometimes these group meet-ups exhaust me. It’s not that I don’t like to meet new people, I just prefer small intimate settings to get to know others.
That said, you can join a roll call to introduce yourself and get help planning your cruise. But you are not obligated to attend the meet-up.
You Have to Dedicate Time Out of Your Cruise Vacation
Speaking of the Cruise Critic Meet & Greet, this event normally takes place during the first sea day of the cruise. It lasts as long as thirty minutes to an hour between breakfast and lunch. Sometimes it’s on the only sea day of the cruise itinerary, which can be inconvenient if you’re looking to relax.
We hope these pros and cons help you decide whether you should join your sailings roll call. It doesn’t hurt to pop in and check out how active it is, whether you’d like to join in on the fun or not. If you’re not feeling it, no big deal. You can always choose not to participate or introduce yourself.
Have you attended cruise roll calls? Did you find them helpful? Let us know in the comments below!
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