I have our cruise all ready booked for my 50th birthday. My husbands family heard about our trip and has decided they want to go with us. I love his family dearly, but would like to spend my birthday only with my husband. Feeling guilty that I am being selfish, so thought I would write and ask what the pros and cons are from people who have traveled with their spouses family.
Caribbean Princes, Southern 12/08
Golden Princess, Alaska 5/07
RCCL Mariner of the Seas, Western 2/07
RCCL Brilliance of the Seas, Panama 12/05
Carnival Valor, Western 1/05
Married on Carnival Destiny, Southern 12/2000
Carnival Fantasy, Bahamas 11/97
We have cruised with our children, and that is as far as I would go.
Delicate situation and you don't want to be the bad guy in the "family". If it were me, I would tell them that is a great idea, but not this cruise. Let's make some plans for a future "family" cruise.
SS Norway (12 times) '85 - '97; Radiance OS 06/01; Island Princess 11/04, Grand Princess 11/04/05, Golden Princess 7/21/06, Golden Princess 2/24/07, Explorer of the Seas 12/23/07, Island Princess 11/15/08
My DH and I usually only get one vaca a year. It's as long as we like it as he is a captian of a fishing vessel, but because of the industry in the winter we can only take so much time off in between fisheries. Summers we enjoy in our own resort town.
Anyways, with the fact that we both love our parents and they were friends before we were, we can't help but ask them to go. Our first cruise was just the two of us, and after that the inlaws came. It's kind of that, understood thing, that they can go if they want to and truth is we want them too. However!!! We go out of our way to remind our famlies that WE WANT THEM WITH US, however, this is our personal vacation also .
So...since the cruise ship has so much to offer for everyone...do your own thing and we will meet for dinner, and for what excursions we choose to do together.
HONESTY, honesty, honesty, is how this works the best. No one could (or should) fault you for wanting your own space, however it is nice to be with family for some great times together.
My forthrightness, has worked with both our inlaws for the last two cruises.
We've been on a cruise with my parents and a couple we consider family (6 of us) after they invited themselves to join us. This was our first family cruise. My husband decided for the 6 of us to meet in a lounge and decide what excursions to take together. Big mistake!!! It upset everyone as we each had different ideas of what was fun. It took over 4 hours to finally book one excursion. Everyone left the lounge stressed and upset.
For our next family cruise was with his parents and his side of the famiy (13 of us), we decided that everyone does their own thing and if we happen to book the same excursion then great we'll hang out together during the excursion. We kept telling everyone that we'll be doing our own thing. This worked out the best. We did wind up doing a few excursions together (not planned that way). Everyone had a blast and at dinner we all sat together and described our day. If we wanted to be alone we could and if we wanted their company we could. We'd just say "before dinner we'll be at ...." or "after the show we're going to...." It was up to them if they wanted to join us or not. Or for us to join them or not.
Lesson learned: don't force anyone into anything. If your friends & family want to go, hey it's a big world & ship. Who's to say they didn't just happen to book the same cruise at the same time? Don't sweat it. Let them go too. If it turns out bad, next time don't share where you're going until the date is around the corner.
"Doing your own thing" is important to tell people you travel with. Until we were good at that my MIL would pop in through the conected balconies, (princess). One day hubby and I decided to close the shade and turn out the lights Before it got to hot, she not only just came in, she looked at us in bed and said, "Well what are you two doing in bed in the middle of the day?"
I couldn't believe DH hadn't locked the door,and that MIL would actually do that! So...this time I booked a GS as a surprise to my DH and everyone else has a JS. I was careful to make sure we are not together.
Of course later I told her what she did and asked that she doesn't do it again. She laughed and said she was sorry.
For some reason, everytime I cruise one of my family members finds out and they want to go and at least once a year I take my mom who is in her 80's; but is also time for me and my significant other to get away together. We always book our own room and my family members have to get their own room etc. What I started doing was taking the daily cruise planner they give you and I circle the things that I want to do and where I will be at given times and I give them a copy of it and they are invited to join me if they want and it also makes my mom comfortable because she knows she could find me based on the my outlined daily itenieary. But when my family cruises with us; I request that we always eat dinner together every night. It has worked great. Re: shore excursions. I don't give them much of a choice I seemed to be the one that takes the initative and I ask them what they like months before we leave so I have a pretty good idea what to book when we get on the cruise; thankfully no one has complained yet.
Carnival Victory March 9, 2013
*carnival dream *
Glory 2/28/2010: Dina & Marty
Valor Feb 2009: Dina & Marty - again
Grandeur Feb 2008: DTW, Dina & Marty
Inspiration May 26, 2007
Fascination: Feb 2007
Enchantment of Seas: Sept 2006
Radiance of the Seas
Majesty of the Seas
The Big Red Boat
We have booked our third cruise and this will be our third cruise with my husband's family. I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. It has worked out great! My husband likes to sit by the pool in the sun - I have very fair skin so I can't. With a large group including kids, there's always someone he can sit with at the pool. Then I don't feel guilty if I want to find a shady spot to read a book or go off with someone else to play Bingo. I get seasick so the catamaran excursions he loves to go on can be done with his family, freeing me to go do the land excursions my stomach and I enjoy. If we want to do something just the two of us, we've never had a problem with that either. And I've never had an issue with his family barging in our room! At the end of the day, it's great listening to the stories from everyone's day. Since our group gets larger every cruise, there are usually several excursions to hear about.
The ship is so large that you can have alone time if you want it but it's still easy enough to find someone from your group to hang around with. Of course whether this works for you or not completely depends on your family and how independent they are. If my husband and I weren't able to have alone time, there never would have been a second cruise with our group.
A couple years ago we booked our first cruise on EoS.
The wife told her people and things snowballed very fast and I blew a gasket about the same concerns you have mentioned. I later came around with the condition that we would eat on our own (whoever we were randomely seated with) and everyone do there own thing.
The list of folks were FIL, MIL, Sis and Bro inlaw w/ two kids, Bro inlaw Wife and two kids and his Bro in law, 2nd bro inlaw, and Unc in Law.
The bottom line is it was completely pain free with everyone doing there own thing. Hell it was like 3 days into the cruise before I even seen my one bro inlaw for the first time.
Bottom line establish way ahead of time that everybody do whatever they want and dont get hung up doing stuff together. The ships are big enough that you could get "lost" if need be.
Id do it again.
CCL Inspiration 09
RCCL Explorer of the Seas Eastern 09
CCL Miracle Southern '08
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas Western '07
PCL Caribbean Princess Eastern '05
RCCL Explorer of the Seas Western '05
RCCL Explorer of the Seas Eastern '04
CCL Destiny Southern '01
CCL Sensation Eastern '94
CCL Ecstacy Western '92
CCL Jubilee Eastern '90