Cruise-themed Anniversary Party Special Edition: The Primer

As I’ve written about in previous posts, priming your attendees before your event can be an important part of setting expectations and creating anticipation for the big day. There are many ways to do this – the save-the-date, the invite, the “rules”  or even through a pre-event gift or activity.

As we were selecting the location of our event, we were presented with a conundrum. Based on space size, geographical location and a few other factors (like kids and pets), we decided that the best place to host the gathering is at the home of our guests-of-honor. But, we knew we’d need time for food prep, setting the space and getting ready, which means getting them out of the house.

So, one of my brilliant sisters (yes, they are both brilliant) came up with the idea of extending our cruise theme by sending them on an “excursion” to get them out of the house before “the main event”. This would give us time to get everything ready and then they could return home, get ready in their “stateroom” and join us for the evening activities.

Now, under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t be all that difficult – we could have sent them to have a drink somewhere or to do some sort of activity. But, in the midst of a global pandemic where being in public isn’t really something anyone wants to do, our options were severely limited.

Not one to let limitations stop us, we came up with the idea of sending them on a drive. Since we need to somewhat control how long they’re gone and didn’t want to say “just go drive around,” we’re putting together an excursion packet like you’d receive on a real cruise.

When we arrive at their home on April 10, we’ll hand them an envelope with their Seapass cards, a Starbucks gift card and information on their drive. We’re using some cute information to direct them through the journey, as you can read below.

To begin your adventure, you must fuel up. Use the enclosed card to give you a boost for the task ahead. (Starbucks) Then, hit (road name) and head toward the place where your youngest granddaughter entered the world and your oldest granddaughter now delivers other babies into the world (specific hospital) On your way, reflect on how delightful your grandchildren are and what you love most about each of them. Don’t get too lost in thought and miss your Right turn onto (road name). Head down the hill and enjoy the scenic view another Right onto (road name) will afford you. As you follow this winding road, think back on the winding roads of your lives that brought you here, to this milestone, together. This route is all about what’s right, which is your next turn on the road named after America’s Roller Coast. Head up the hill and find your way on a road that leads toward home… Well, your waiting cruise ship… And your wonderful hosts. Spend this last leg of your driving thinking about how amazing, fabulous, thoughtful, attractive, intelligent, giving, talented, awesome and perfect they all are. Have your SeaPass card ready when you arrive. Entry to the ship will be denied without it. 

When they arrive home, we’ll be waiting to greet them as you’d expect when you return to a cruise ship… in our coordinated uniforms, by checking their IDs,  encouraging hand sanitizing and with a cocktail. Then, while they get ready, we’ll put the final touches on dinner, get ready ourselves and be ready for their assigned “dining time” in the “Main Dining Room”.

For more about the activities we have planned for the rest of the evening, stay tuned to the next post, releasing on Monday!

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