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Old May 3rd, 2009, 09:54 AM
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Default Should I cruise with family?

Mom is turning 80 in December. God bless her, especially after having 9 children (no twins). I would like to do something nice for her and thought of a cruise. She has never done one and was looking for some advice from the experts.

The issue is my family/siblings. Some want to go and can afford it; others can't afford it; others usually say they want to go, but don't; someone likes to take charge and attain glory points with mom; and yet another is going through a divorce and has no money and hates the idea.

How does anyone ever plan a "family" cruise and try to keep everyone happy? I am looking to take a short 3 or 4 day cruise to make it affordable to everyone and have even opened my house so no hotel would be involved before the trip ( I live near Orlando so Port Canavral would be ideal).

Any advice on where to go and how to deal with my 5 brothers and 3 sisters?

I appreciate the input. Maybe I'll just take her and leave everyone else to fend for themselves to get her a gift.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 10:55 AM
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Take your mom and let your siblings fend for themselves. A three day cruise is too short. I would not do less than a five day cruise.

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Old May 3rd, 2009, 11:36 AM
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Yes, it can be done. Start checking itinaries and ships and go from there. I tend to agree, go for a longer one, you may find some good deals. Even a 7 day cruise may work. Once you find something that you like, run it by the others and see if they want to go and anyone that wants to can. Its always great fun to cruise with family/friends, etc.

Best of luck and bet you all have a great time.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 02:01 PM
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Years ago, I took my parents on 2 cruises. In both cases, I booked what worked for them and for me, then told the rest of the family that they were welcome to join us if they chose to. You can't please the entire family, or at least I've never heard of anyone who could , so don't try to make it fit everyone's wishes and needs. This is for your mother, not for them.
In my case, siblings ranted and raved, etc., but ended up not coming. That suited me fine...and, turned out, my folks preferred not having to deal with everyone's baggage either. We planned our days for us and had a blast. One of the best things I ever did.
Oh, and our neighbors recently went on a 9 day cruise planned and paid for by their parents. One sister got furious that mom and dad got a balcony and she had to "settle" for an inside cabin....which she had to herself. Wonders why she can't find a guy.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 02:19 PM
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I see you've discovered the ugly side of planning a "family" trip. I know all to weel about the control freak who wants to do everything THEIR way.

Your best bet is to take your mother yourself a week before or after her birthday so you do NOT upset the rest of the siblings.

You and your siblings are better off just planning a nice birthday party for your mother and making it so everyone is included and happy. A BBQ with siblings bringing side dishes or everyone going to a retaurant that fit in everyones budget. All of you will have to come to a happy inbetween.

Tell your mom what her present will be and let her choose where she would like to go. Now, should a sibling or two want to go with you, then it is completely up to them and it wasn't solicited by you, so the others can't get angry at you.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 02:32 PM
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Just take your mom on the cruise you think she will like best. The heck with the rest of the family. Trust me; you can't make everyone happy, but they can and will make you unhappy. They will treat you like thier personal Travel Agent, then when something goes wrong they will blame you.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 05:42 PM
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My wife and two kids and I have gone on two cruises with my wifes sister, her husband and four kids. We had a wonderful time. My wife's other sisters wanted to go the second time but for one reason or another could not, sometimes money somtimes other commitments. In my not so humble opinion, that's there loss. I go with who wants to and everyone else can stay ashore, no guilt for me. Take your mom and tell everyuone else they can make there own arrangements and then see who shows on sail away day.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 07:02 PM
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Take your mom by all means!!!! Let the others know of your plans and tell them to come along. It's what YOU want to do for her and don't let anyone make you feel guilty about doing it. Enjoy your time with her, I wish I could still do the same with my mom.

Been trying to get my dad to go for awhile, but he says no. I said it was my treat, but he told me not to book any for him. He seen enough water during his Navy days. I told him it would be better than the Navy, but no luck. I will keep trying and maybe wear him down.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 11:40 AM
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How nice of you!

You didn't say where mom lives but if she has to fly to Orlando, then a 3 night cruise isn't worth the hassle. Definitely try for at least a 5 night.
If she is close by then a 4 night, while short, can be a great bargain.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 03:27 PM
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Jimmy,
Keep talking to your dad about it. Took forever for mine to cave in, but he got hooked just as fast as any of us. That's why I took them twice! Now that both of them are gone, I look back at those trips as the best way I could have come up with to say "thank you". SO glad I did it.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 05:16 PM
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Marty,

Thanks so much for your reply. Yes I will keep working on him, but since my mom died he really doesn't want to go anywhere. While she was alive they traveled all over the U.S. together. Did Vegas twice a year. Since she has gone, he only has been on 3 real trips in 4 years. My brother and I took him to Vegas and he was so lost. I want him to go with me as you said, to say thank you for everything, and to just have a good time. He'll be 77 this year and in great health, so going on a ship won't be a problem. I will keep my fingers crossed and keep pecking away.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:07 PM
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Thanks for all of the input. I am currently looking for an inexpensive 5-7 day cruise to take mom on. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again for your honesty.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 03:34 PM
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Plan and do what is right for you and your Mom, tell the others what is happening and make it totally their call if they want to take part in it.

Don’t take on the responsibility for others and their decision making,,,its a no win for all sorts of reasons, but I think you know that already
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Old May 14th, 2009, 09:36 PM
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A lot of posters on this thread including the one above me, Dayvid, hit the nail on the head. Make your plans. If the others want to come, let them make their own.

The other alternative is just you take Mom yourself.

These two choices depends upon what type of siblings you have. In my case I'd gladly take them all, then tie em up with an anchor chain and...........

Todd
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Old May 16th, 2009, 06:40 AM
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Well, it's settled then. I booked a short 5 day cruise with mom. The thinking is because she has a little bit of a hard time walking so much and with a big ship and excursions, I didn't want her to be stuck on a longer cruise if she didn't enjoy it.
I emailed the rest of my brothers and sisters and told them that this was a gift from me and that if they would like to join us, they are more than welcome. So far I've gotten 1 email from the teacher with 2 kids who really can't afford it right now (that's cool) and 2 phone calls from bro and sis telling me they want to go.

Ahhhhh, to be from a large family!!!!!
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Old May 16th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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You're handling this right, and done the right thing. As for being in a large family, well I find that only extends the problem. Why, because you can’t suit all of them all the time. Bet they dont live their lives or actions trying to suit you?

Responsibilty or direction for the "family" is diluted in that scenario, with all having so many ideas as what to do,,,,but nothing seems to happen as there is no forum on agreement! But in this case you are setting the rule and its not up for discussion, nice one

No, you are doing it right, you and Mom, you've made your plan and kept all involved. Now go and talk about it just the two of you, what you want to see, and what you want to do when on there.

Oh and make Mom aware that you extended the invite and it is up to them if they will be there, she will know her own kids and their circumstances. SO remove potential expectation from her part.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 06:09 PM
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Good luck! We did a family cruise this past April. It was great fun. Everyone was on board with the planning and suggestions that we made. We have cruised 14 times so the families who had never been on a ship before trusted our suggestions.

My suggestion for you:
Plan early
Take everyone's needs into consideration
Use a travel agent who will take care of everyone's payments, etc. (I'd like to suggest Your Cruise Vacation out of Fla). They created a family cruise website for our family. It was filled with extremely useful information for the first time cruiser. Also had a link if people wanted to make periodic payments. Also, I was able to upload pictures and he posted them to the site.

Traveling with family can be trying. Let everyone do their own thing and catch up at dinner. Don't try to do EVERYTHING together! It won't work if you try to!

Have fun! It will be a vacation that you'll never forget and your Mom will appreciate it. Just think, it may be one of your last vacations with her. That is what we were thinking when we planned the trip (my inlaws are getting up there in age).
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Old August 14th, 2009, 06:23 PM
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vacaqn: you got it right on the head when you said "Just think, it may be one of your last vacations with her " She has the spirit, but not the body to do it anymore. I know that she will enjoy it and speak of it to everyone in the family of what a wonderful time she had.

She flys in this coming Tuesday afternoon (looks like I'll be doing some cleaning the weekend) and we leave Thursday. I'm so happy she's coming and know she will want to do another cruise after she finds out how much fun they really are!
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Old August 14th, 2009, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfguyxxx1
vacaqn: you got it right on the head when you said "Just think, it may be one of your last vacations with her " She has the spirit, but not the body to do it anymore. I know that she will enjoy it and speak of it to everyone in the family of what a wonderful time she had.

She flys in this coming Tuesday afternoon (looks like I'll be doing some cleaning the weekend) and we leave Thursday. I'm so happy she's coming and know she will want to do another cruise after she finds out how much fun they really are!
Have a great family cruise and let us know how it works out. I hope your mom has a great time.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 01:45 PM
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Happy cruising to you and your mom!
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Old August 25th, 2009, 05:58 PM
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Real quick as we are off to dinner for her last night here and I wanted to tell you of our adventure. She had a blast!!!!!!!!

She loved sitting on the balcony in the morning with her coffee brought by room service and watching the sunrise. She loves crossword puzzles and reading (she brought 4 books and read 3 of them) and boy did she do alot of that.

She didn't like the buffet lines for breakfast so everymorning we did the dining room breakfasts, go off the ship and did some shopping, back onboard was nap time, cocktails at 5:30 for a Bombay martini on the rocks with olives, dinner at 6, shows afterwards and shopping aboard.

She even would like to do a longer cruise next year!!!! Ahhhh another convert! Thank you everyone for your advice and encouragement.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 07:16 PM
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HI Surfguy,
So glad everything worked out good, nothing like a balcony to really enjoy a cruise!
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Old August 26th, 2009, 10:05 AM
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Surfguy thanks for the update, I'm glad to hear she is having a great time. That is the nice thing about cruising you can go at your own pace. You made a good decision to go on this cruise with her. I hope the rest of the family behaved themselves.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 01:28 PM
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I am so happy that it worked out for you and your mom. Did any of your other family members go along?
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Old August 26th, 2009, 04:40 PM
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Only my sister.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 05:43 PM
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For family members who cant swing the price on their own pitch them a junior suite that has a convertable sofa and split the cost 4 ways or whatever. 3rd and 4th person rates bring the overall price down quite a bit when split among the group.

The inlaws, uncle inlaw, and bro inlaw did that with us.

R
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