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Traveling with several families - is Cruise best for this?

Traveling with several families - is Cruise best for this?

Old Feb 7th, 2007, 05:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 42
Traveling with several families - is Cruise best for this?

I'm trying to plan a nice trip for a large group for my parents' 60th birthday. My parents, two sisters' families, a brother and my family.

We have a 4 yr old daughter, my sister has an infant, and the other sister has a 9 yr old son.

I thought cruise might be the easiest way to plan this vacation, but do you agree? I think my parents wanted to go to Europe in August, but I'm not sure if this will work.

Any advice will be really appreciated!!! Thanks.

Overwhelmed from NYC.
NYCdreamer is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2007, 06:09 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 89
Cruises can be great for groups. They have childcare so you get some free time with the adults, you don't have to plan where you will stay each night, you can party at night and not worry about who has to get up to drive the next morning, you can eat what you want when you want - no need to agree on where you will stop for lunch. So many advantages. I, however, have no experience on Europe.
eileyann is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2007, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 276
When you say your parents want to go to Europe in August, are you talking about your entire group going? In that case, I would think a cruise would certainly be more manageable than a land trip, especially with the wide age range of the children. (I don't think there are daytime activities for an infant on any cruiseline, but the 4- and 9-year olds will be occupied.

I've seen many large family groups cruising together, and they all say that it's a wonderful experience.

Just remember, however, that if you're thinking about cruising in Europe, and as stated in a recent post, you don't really get a lot of time in any port. It's not at all like a land vacation.
Arizona07 is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2007, 06:21 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3
I have to say it is expected that family and friends group will do fine on a cruise but you have to make sure whatever happens you will not be the one to take a blame
malina is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2007, 07:11 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,553
I would support elleyann comments. I think cruises are ideal for large family gatherings. Remember part of the reason you are doing this is for the social aspect of the family gathering. However, too much togetherness can also be a problem. Cruises allow people to separate for periods of time without having to worry about decisions for dinner, transportation, etc. Also makes it easy for babies to take their naps. Crusies provide options that are easy to use.
fmpden is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2007, 02:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
Child programs start at age 3 or older and the kids must be potty trained. Some lines do a better job with kids than others. IMO, RCI is the best at this and has ships that are very nice for family groups.

Just realize that the infant will not be allowed in any pools by CDC regs, swim diapers not withstanding.

In cabin babysitting is offered by some ships on an if available basis.

Basically, the infant will be with you at all times.

Unless you book private tours, you may also encounter issues with minimum ages for excursions.

Lots to consider, overall.
kfusto is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2007, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 661
I think it would be great, for all the reasons others have mentioned. No one has the responsibility of planning, cooking, entertaining, etc.

We took our kids and grandkids on a cruise, and it was a blast. Everyone could go their separate ways if and when they wanted, but we had dinner together every night.

It was nice, too, to be able to order room service for the grandkiddies when they needed to rest. I think it's a great way for families to travel together, and so stress-free!
chicgeek is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2007, 10:56 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,287
NYCdreamer - I just answered your other post about Oceania. As for this question, yes cruises are great for families. My sister, her husband, her three kids and I all did a cruise with NCL that had plenty of kid activities and they loved it!
patandhank is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2007, 07:30 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 77
Not sure how old the infant will be when you travel, but I believe some cruise lines have minimum ages (like must be 1yr old at time of travel) for European and other exotic itineraries.
Crowsie is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2007, 05:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 80
NYCdreamer, if getting half-way to Europe would do, you could try a cruise to Bermuda. Several Bermuda cruises depart from NYC (and Boston). Bermuda is a beautiful destination, and its Britishness gives a flavour of England.

I arranged a Bermuda cruise a few years ago for 30 people from 7 different families, and everyone had a blast.
Ginto is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2007, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 13
Definitely a cruise is a great trip for multigenerational families. Have done 3 myself with a ages of 7-81. The only thing we did ahead of time was agree that because we wnated to spend SOME time together everyday,we had our dinners together. But during the rest of the time, each family did their own thing...sometimes everyone toured things together. Other times the young adults would head off to some "active" activity. I think you really have to decide ahead of time what the trip "will look like" to each person. If you have some that expect every minute you'll be touring together, they may be disappointed when the obvious disagreements on what to do come up. So...plan and talk a lot ahead of time. Also if you're traveling together DO look at renting a van or two to tour. It will save a TON of money compared to individual prices on cruise excursions. Use cruisecritic.com message boards. You'll get lots of ideas of saving money. Have fun. It will be memorable. DON'T travel on cruise lines that are more adult oriented. The kids will have a terrible time. They need to be cruising with kids of their own age. RCL or Celebrity would make everyone happy.
eandj is offline  
Old May 17th, 2007, 07:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8
You have the right idea. Cruises for families are perfect. I never considered Europe to be "exotic" as the one reply said. Europeans love children and most cruise lines hace babysitting now with the upsurge of family travel. We travel withour 11 grandchildren alot. I would recommend a Transatlantic cruise. The fall offers great prices. You can into Italy (most TAs depart from that area) spend a few days hitting the sights by rail and then pick up your cruise back to the states Holland America has a PERFECT one in Nov. on the Prisendam. We will be doing this one with children from 3-17. You stop in approximately 8 countries. Talk to your children's school about them doing their schoolwork on the internet. Since this would be an EDUCATIONAL trip you should have no problems. And if you can time your purchase right you will get a great deal.
Grammaonthego is offline  
Old May 20th, 2007, 08:40 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
we plan every cruise we do with as many friends or family as possible! we've found it the absolutly the best way to travel. everyone has there own cabin, no meals to plan, activities r planned etc. check out the new disney cruise in europe. disney does family vacations very very well. they also have all adult clubs,resturants, pools etc and they provide infant care (under 3y) we had a family reunion on disney wonder. then we did celebrity w/ 9 other couples. both cruises were the BEST. it would never have been the same event if we had to plan all this on our own, hotels, meals, transportation. yuk! i wouldnt want to be the one to plan it. the cruise is my very favorite way to enjoy myself and my favorite people! do the cruise and have a blast!
bondie is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2007, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 28
I agree, a cruise is the best way for a large group. We have done several mediterranean cruises with 12 people. Remember to book your own private tours as a group with an indiependent company. It works out better than the large busload tours offered by the ship. Often it is cheaper, and you have more flexibility to change the route, stop, go back to the ship early etc. We have done this in every port from Venice to Turkey, the Greek isles, Athens, the Amalfi coast, Rome, Florence, Monaco and Barcelona. Can't recommend it enough. Also, take a cruise that has some days at sea for relaxation. Good luck.
susana49 is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2007, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 150
We just returned from a Med cruise and met a family of about 10-15 from Ireland. They seemed to have a blast! We saw lots of families on this cruise. With regard to excursions, I don't know what they did, if they all went on the same or split up. The cruise we were on, we were told there were 700 children on board. From infants to teens. We were surprised. We love kids, but not 700 of them in the same place, and it was quite noisy at the buffets with kids running everywhere.
msdotliz is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2007, 10:42 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,122
Disney does a European cruise now
Wednesday is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2007, 07:39 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 651
CruiseCompete now has a group section you might want to check out. Try:

triathlete is offline  
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