Twenty-one Linn County residents are leaving for the first ever Brookfield community cruise Oct. 26.

After going through the process of booking a cruise for themselves, Shane and Pam Hutson believed they could do the same for local residents.

Fourteen Linn County residents gathered at Tequila Jalisco Mexican restaurant in Brookfield Sept. 5. The people are attending the first ever Brookfield community cruise this October.

Hutson and his wife Pam decided earlier this year that they would schedule a cruise for the community after going on three cruises previously. They wanted to help community members by simplifying the process and give people a truly memorable experience.

In late 2017, Shane Hutson made a Facebook post to the Linn County Information page seeing who would be interested in going on a cruise to Mexico. Over time, Hutson received many responses and began planning the trip.

In total, 21 Linn County residents are leaving Oct. 26 for a five-day Mexican cruise. They’re driving from Brookfield to New Orleans for a trip they’ll likely never forget.

Linn County resident Margie Lentz says she is excited to share the experience.

“I saw that my best friend was going and then I got to thinking ‘I’d like to ask my father if he would want to come to,’” Lentz said.

After some convincing Margie’s father Larry Lentz will be joining the group on the trip. Previously Larry had been on a cruise to the Philippines and Hawaii.

Mike St. Lawrence is also going on the trip with a loved one.

“I just thought this would be cool experience for us and I’m really excited to take my mom on this cruise,” St. Lawrence said.

The group has met three times prior to Wednesday night to plan the trip. The first meeting allowed the attendees to see who they would going on the cruise with.

According to Hutson, he wants everyone to have a good experience.

“The more you put yourself out there, the more fun you’re going to have,” Hutson said. “This is just as much my vacation as it yours and I want all of us to have a really great time.”

Hutson planned the trip and made it more affordable than some other travel agents would. The average price for the all-inclusive cruise is $440, transportation for the ride there and back is $80 and a one night stay in New Orleans works out to $140. In total, the trip costs about $660 per person. A Carnival Cruise to Mexico from New Orleans for just the cruise with no transportation costs, or extra stays, starts at $661.

Hutson says he wants to bring the community together.

“I want to restore our community spirit,” Hutson said. “In today’s world, we don’t necessarily have that type of community environment we used to have anymore.”

The members of the first annual Brookfield community cruise will come back home Nov. 2. Even before setting sail, they’ve started planning their next trip. According to Hutson, he hopes to have a community cruise every two years.