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cbros July 20th, 2005 09:25 PM

Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
Many apologies in advance about this post, I'll understand if no one is willing to reply because the subject is only peripherally related to cruising. But this board has provided such great input/advice on our upcoming Glory cruise on 8/20 and I cannot find anywhere else to post this question and it is a bone of contention between my husband and I. And the question illustrates how EASY it is to take along a childs friend on a cruise versus a regular beach vacation. So maybe some of you will be willng to just provide an opinion on the matter.I THANK YOU. I really don't know if I am being overly miserly or overly generous.

I am ready to book next summers vacation, unfortunately it has to cost substantially less than our 05 cruise, so I am renting an ocean front condo for a week instead. My oldest son will be into his first year of medical school and cannot join us. So for the first time it is just me, husband, son and daughter. I was considering having each kid bring along a friend for the week.

If each takes a friend, I will be need a 3 BR unit instead of a 2 BR unit at a larger expense. No sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags. Also I will be providing the transportation ( 8 hour drive) for all of us. I will provide all breakfasts, lunches, snacks and drinks for the entire party for the 7 days while we are in the condo.

However, I do not cook dinner when I am on vacation, whether a cruise, hotel or condo. This is where I draw the line for MY VACATION as a stay at home mom. I expect dinner out every night to run at about $30 per teen friend (they enjoy good food). Is it rude or unreasonable to invite my kids friends but to ask them to pay for their dinner expenses over the week in addition to their entertainment expenses? My husband thinks we will appear rude/cheap by inviting our kids friends and telling the parents they will have to send money for dinner.I completely disagree.

If we were talking about a cruise and inviting a 3rd/4th person in the cabin, the additional charge would be paid by the friend and cover meals and I think thats about it. It would be much easier to tell the parent, the 3/4th person in the cabin cost $X. Obviously shore excursions would be extra as well.

PLEASE I would really appreciate your opinion on this matter. My sister told me that it is nice to invite one of my childs friends but they should not expect to get a totally expense free vacation. If they do, then I should just invite someone else who would appreciate the opportunity to enjoy a weeks vacation at a very minimal cost.

PLEAE give me your advice. I think my husband is totally off the wall. But I just dont know for sure. THANKS

belgique July 20th, 2005 10:38 PM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
You asked for advice, so here's mine: in my mind, "family" means just that - mom, dad, kids. Since there are already 2 kids going (a brother and sister), there's already company for each of them.

I understand kids have a need to have friends with them, but vacation does not need to include friends - especially at additional expense to you. I also understand your need to not cook during a vacation.

In my mind, the elimination of 2 friends might just bring the cost of a cruise into your range. Have you investigated a cruise for the 4 of you vs. a land vacation with 6 people (all whom enjoy good food)? Teenagers always seem to find friends on cruises, so even if your son and daughter are in that "we hate each other" stage, they will find other friends to hang out with.

Don't mean to sound mean-spirited, but I think asking parents (you) to pay for 2 additional people (teens, nearly adults), is a bit unreasonable. Since you are on a budget, your budget should provide the family you are raising with a memorable time. It's up to the other parents to entertain their kids.

I think if you sit down and seriously look at the cost of the condo, a huge amount of food for 4 teens, the near proximity of people who are not your family and the possible unease associated with that, you might find that a cruise would work for you.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Good luck with this situation. I realize you want to please everyone, but your husband and kids are who you really want to please.

skymaster July 20th, 2005 11:52 PM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
Hello Cbros;
Belique is exactly correct, IMO. If you figure it all out, I'd be willing to bet you will be money ahead to take your family on the cruise, and forget the extra children. Young people, (as well as us old timers) will always find new friends on a cruise ship, and probably have a much better time too. Sit down and push the pencil, and be realistic about the cost of the food. (You don't need lots of shore excursions either to have a great time on a cruise)
That's my opinion!
See you aboard,

steph_texas July 21st, 2005 12:35 AM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
I think IF you do invite the other kids then by all means, their parents shold contribute toward their expenses. It may boil down that the parents cant afford it, therefore not allowing the friends to tag along.

I dont think its rude to ask at all !

Have a great time either way !!


Cruise Cynic July 21st, 2005 03:16 AM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
Anybody want to take MY kids on a nice cruise?

How come I don't know any such generous people???

Or even better, how come I never knew anybody so generous when I was a teenager?
I might have gotten into cruising a lot sooner..... July 21st, 2005 07:09 AM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
Take my son on a cruise, I'll pay his fare as a 3rd person and his tips and give him spending money. He gets along with everyone!

He's free the last 3 weeks of August next summer, where should I tell him he's going?

Seriously, it is ABSOLULELY within your right to ask and even EXPECT the friends to pony up some cash.

cbros July 21st, 2005 07:26 AM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
Thanks for all the comments. In fact, I didnt consider that with only two of my kids we could get by with only one cabin. So I'm going to go back and look at that option. Thanks for the reality check on the extra expenses.

Thomas July 21st, 2005 07:34 AM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
I really don't understand how a beach vacation with all dinners eaten out can be cheaper than a cruise. I think if you really crank out the numbers a cruise will be cheaper. However, in my opinion, I would not think it's proper protocol to invite someone as a guest of your son and then ask them to fork over some money too. It should be your treat.


Darcy July 21st, 2005 07:45 AM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy

If you decide to invite friends I don't think its rude to ask for help with expenses. I'm taking my daughter's friend on our upcoming cruise. Since I got a great deal on the 3rd & 4th person in the cabin I''m paying for the cruise, but her parents have paid for her airfare and are providing her with her own spending money - and were happy to do so.


LisaK July 21st, 2005 08:00 AM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
It is totally unreasonable for the parents of the friends to think that you will pay for everything for their children. The parents should offer to foot the bill for either the entire cost or part of the cost for the kids room and definately contribute money towards food, and send the kids with spending money, then its up to you to say, thank- you very much, or....
If the parents don't offer up any money, then you need to ask them for it. Not an easy thing to do, but it needs to be done.
It wouldn't even cross my mind not to offer to pay my childs portion if he was invited to spend a vacation with another family, its just not right to expect the parents to pay (unless you offer)

rodnarf July 21st, 2005 08:12 AM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
i also think its fine to ask for a contribution towards expenses from non family members..i think the key is to be up front about it..
identify the costs accurately and then approach your kids with the offer to let them bring companions along with the understanding that the companions will contribute $$..its always easier to ask for something up front than to retroactively bring the subject up..i am taking my kids on a cruise in a few weeks and we were going to drive 1200 miles to save the cost of the i have figured out what the additional costs will be to fly instead of drive and im going to my kids with an offer to cut household expenses for the next 2 see if they want to order to fund the additional cost...i dont mind driving and im paying for everything if they want the benefit of flying then they can help pay..(they are 21 and 19)

Dorothy July 21st, 2005 09:03 AM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
I'm with the posters that say re-investigate the cost of a cruise for 4 vs. land vacation for 6.

However, I have to say I partially agree with your dh on the dinner issue. I would tell the parents what you told us - that you eat out every night. Hopefully they will send enough money for that expense.

But if you invited them already without in the beginning asking for money, then it's too late to go back. My family started letting me take a friend on our 3 week vacation to
Florida every year and that person was treated as a guest - but not a paying guest.


okiemom July 21st, 2005 09:04 AM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
My kids are available anytime!!! Grant 6 and Riley 2. Just let me know how much money I need to send with them and when they leave. I do want them back but a week or so without kids would be nice! Just kidding... Yes if the kids friends go then by all means tell the other parents that they will have to contribute to the cause! Have a great time either way!!!

Happy Camper July 21st, 2005 09:21 AM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
This tends to be a new trend - at least to me - to have the kids bring friends on vacation. My rich boss does this. BUT I will need to ask the details - I'm pretty sure the extra kid picks up all expenses for their portion of the trip - And if you haven't already asked the friends parents I would ask them straight out that look this is what we do (eat out at nice places every night) and we would need that portion covered for your kid.

I remember having family vacations where it was just family. You got family time - how much time would you have on vacation if all their attention is around the friend? By the way - what if they get in a fight? What do you do? If you rent a condo on the beach there will be other kids there with their parents and I'm sure they would meet new kids and make new friends without having to bring a friend. I know it is "the thing" now but back 20 years ago we got to take friends with us on day trips but not on vacation.

If I can vote - I will vote for CRUISE and let kids find new friends... :) :) Or how about renting an RV and let hubby cook and clean each night for you??? :) :) I have been deprived of my camping lately with all the rain so I have that on my mind... :) :) Debbie

sailing gal July 21st, 2005 10:05 AM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
Your very kind to bring someone elses children even if they pay for their own expenses. Shouldn't the parents be treating you a couple nights of dinner for taking on that responsibility? <G> I wouln't want someone else to pay for my own or have to bring my childrens friends on vacation. It sounds like more work.

Jim Bragg July 21st, 2005 01:24 PM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
I think you will find that after you add all the costs a cruise is still probably cheaper as food is included as well as all the other little expenses. You should not have to provide all the extras for any people you invite to go on vacation with you and if they are near adults or adults they should pay their fair share of all expenses. Check out the options of a cruise including two cabins with 3/4 person sharing if you take friends and also if you all share a cabin or even get a suite.

Emptynesters July 21st, 2005 09:54 PM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
My brother & his wife have a son that is now in the 2nd grade. He has been on several cruises with them & he never has taken a friend. There has been plenty for him to do & he loves it. My sis & her DH have 2 girls that are now Soph & Sr - they never take friends & they have been also on several & have a great time, they are looking forward to AK cruise next summer. Plenty to do w/o taking extras with. Food/activities - a much better bargain on a cruise I think.

LisaK July 22nd, 2005 09:29 AM

Re: Vacation Etiquette Advice/Cruise Easy
as the others have said, if you crunch the numbers - include everything - you must include air fare between ports(huge expense), meals, rental car, etc. You could probably do the cost of a mini-suite for 4 cheaper than a condo for 6. Or if you wanted to figure in the friends - 2 cabins over a condo for 6.

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