Sierra Madre, California Travel Agent
Take a Cruise
Why Taking a Cruise for a Family Holiday Celebration Can Be the Best Family Trip
I recently had a multi-generational family of 14 come to me with an idea for a destination holiday celebration. Instead of having the usual big family gathering at one of the members’ homes, they wanted to go somewhere. They had all been to the usual places for holiday travel in the United States like Hawaii, New York and Florida. So, they were looking for fresh and unique ideas. Most of them had experience with resorts and they absolutely loved the thought of an all-inclusive trip. They asked me about a vacation that would offer a new adventure yet be uncomplicated, given the fact that they’d have to consider more than a dozen individual’s wants and needs.
“Why not take a cruise?” I queried.
My question about whether or not they’d ever thought about a family ocean cruise for the holidays was met with frowns, at first. But, after thinking about it for just a few minutes, the entire family was in agreement that I had planned great trips for them in the past and that they were willing to trust me this time.
I have many multi-generational groups, or those in charge of the groups and in communication with me, look with skepticism when I suggest cruising as a family. That is, until I tell them about how much fun sailing on a big ship with several stops throughout the journey can be. Yes, with family members. Those same family members who you may have had disagreements with in the past or that you get impatient with at times. Cruising with extended family is a fantastic way to be together as much or as little as you like.
For a family holiday celebration in particular, no one has to decorate, set a table, make food, clean dishes or plan entertainment throughout the gathering while cruising. There’s actually much sanity to be saved when you take a cruise with the family for the holidays, as opposed to going the traditional route.
My clients who have never cruised before can be especially leery and - at the opposite of the spectrum quite interested - in family holiday cruising. Many family members tell me things like, “We don’t want to be stuck together the whole time” or “we don’t want to just eat all day.” Those preconceived notions couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to what a family trip at sea really is.
Cruising together as a family for a holiday celebration is a solution that meets everyone’s needs and fulfils everyone’s desires. It’s an experience that usually appeals to all ages, abilities, budgets, dietary restrictions and accommodation preferences. Cruising is really about coming to a consensus on just 3 things – dates, destination and cruise line. Even with the most hard-to-please family members and within the most “unique” family dynamics, I’ve noticed that these 3 key factors to cruising together can be made mutually beneficial.
Some of the main benefits of taking a cruise as a family for the holidays include:
- See many destinations and please many family members on one vacation. Visit small towns, big seaside metropolises, pristine beaches, critter-filled coves, historic monuments and more on a single family journey.
- Everyone can relax in their own way. Swimming, scuba diving, learning to cook, playing cards, dancing, shopping, rock climbing and even go-cart riding are just some of the ways to enjoy a holiday break on a cruise ship.
- Food to please everyone and no one has to make it. Most of the major cruise lines offer vegetarian, kosher, allergy-free and other types of food that will satisfy cousin James, uncle Matt, grandma Irene and everyone else. You can pick and choose what you want, and not get stuck eating your mom’s surprise stuffing or auntie’s gluten-free apple pie (unless you want to or have to eat gluten free, and that’s usually available on a cruise ship).
- Cruise ships are perfect for older family members who are less mobile. They’re wheelchair accessible and equipped with elevators in most instances, and medical care is typically on board throughout the length of a cruise.
- Cruising offers independence or togetherness on holiday, as you desire. Individual family units can occupy their own staterooms, stay side-by-side, bunk together in a suite or arrange to be as far or as close as they wish. There’s plenty to do as a group or on your own, and you can always plan to meet up somewhere on the ship a few times a day or just once daily.
After explaining all of this to my multi-generational family client, they went on their holiday cruise and had an absolutely incredible time. They told me that cruising together was one of the best decisions they had ever made because everyone was able to enjoy the gathering in their own way. They could still celebrate the holiday as a family though, and they appreciated my suggestion for taking a holiday family cruise.
I felt joy and happiness knowing that I helped make this family’s vacation one to remember for a lifetime.