Cruising With Your Family…
We’ve all had those moments around the holidays. The wine is flowing, bellies are full, and everyone is getting along. A light bulb moment happens for someone. “You know what, we should all take a trip together AS A FAMILY.” “Yeah let’s do it!” It’s kind of one of those moments you brush off and think oh we weren’t serious… were we? A few months go by and I see an alert for half off deposits on a cruise I’ve been eyeing. I send my husband a text to let him know it’s booking time and he responds, “so are you going to tell your Dad?” I send a group text to my dad and stepmom thinking they’ll say no, but to my surprise they both respond with excitement. Did we just book a cruise with my parents? Yep. I’m here to tell you though, this is hands down the absolute best way to do a family vacay! Here’s a few tips and reasons why this should be your next option when that conversation happens again at Christmas this year.
- Use a travel agent: I’m not talking about calling up the cruise line and using their booking agent. I’m talking about your local travel agency. I’ve been using Kathy Cardott, Travel With Kathy, for years. The good thing is that even though my family is 6 hours away from me. She spoke with them and handled them like they lived down the street. She’s so good that my family will continue to use her despite the fact that they are in Texas and she is in Oklahoma. When my dad brought up having side-by-side rooms, Kathy emailed me and said “no, no, no… you need at least two rooms as a buffer.” Close but not too close.
- Pictures: While it’s sometimes annoying to have the cruise line’s camera crew in every area of the ship, you do tend to see a few nice family shots. The last family photo I have with my dad is from my wedding.
- There’s something for everyone: There was literally a night where all four of us were doing something different on the ship. I wanted to go watch the movie on the top deck, my Dad wanted to go to the comedy show, my husband wanted to go play blackjack, and my stepmom wanted to have some quiet time listening to the waves and read her book. Everyone did something different and everyone was happy.
- You still get alone time: My husband and I both work crazy hours so were thinking we wouldn’t get to have any time to just relax alone together since we were on the cruise with my parents. There were three sea days on our cruise and for two of them my husband and I did our own thing on the ship then met up with family for lunch and dinner. The third sea day we had quite a bit of rain so we spent the day together playing bingo, playing slots, and just hung out. It was great!
- Dining: If you go hungry on a cruise it’s your own fault. There are so many options between the buffet deck and all the options in your dining room that you won’t have to worry about the “well I’m hungry for this” argument.
- Bathroom breaks: Nothing makes me more upset then getting in the car and twenty minutes into a trip I hear “I need to go to the bathroom.” Enough said.
When the trip ended, I started to feel a bit bummed. Not because we were leaving the ship and all the tropical paradises’ we had just visited, but because I genuinely had a great time with my dad, stepmom, and husband. My dad is 70 and I got to see a whole different side of him compared to the family trips we took as kids. I also go to see a side of my stepmom that I’ve never really given her a chance to show.