Keeping your sanity at sea!

You’ve been waiting months or longer for your cruise vacation.

The day has finally arrived and you, your spouse and even maybe your kids are about to board your home away from home for the next several days.

How do you stay sane?

Interesting question isn’t it?

My wife and I have been cruising for years. We sail primarily on Holland America Line, but we have also sailed frequently on the Carnival Fascination which is home ported only 15 minutes from our home in Jacksonville, Florida. Marty and I are currently sailing on the incredible Carnival Dream.

We’ve also sailed on Royal Caribbean, NCL and on Celebrity Solstice.

The fact of the matter is that for the most part, dad is working 40 plus hours a week. Mom is probably working either in or outside of the home. Little Timmy and Brittany probably are going to school most of the year.

When you take 2, 4 or more people and suddenly put them in the same cabin, or even in two or more cabins, the family dynamic changes and I hope my super secret tips help you during your next cruise vacation.

1. Have a family meeting and set expectations.
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Let the kids know they can have LOTS of free time, but that you expect them to join you for a family dinner at least once during the cruise. Yeah, I know “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Brady Bunch” are from the days gone by, but moms LOVE it when “the family” can all eat together, look into each other’s eyes, pick up the forks at the same time, ensure the kids eat their broccoli and cauliflower etc.

2. For the husband and wife.
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Here’s the deal. Men spend more time at work than with their wives. When we men are suddenly thrust into 24/7 with the Mrs, this is a recipe for disaster.

I’ve been married for 30 years and I’ve found when I’m on a cruise with my wife that she wants ALL my attention! Guys, under no circumstances try to steal a glance at the girl on the pool deck who is wearing a skimpy bikini and looks like Jennifer Aniston. You will regret it for years to come!

Wives. Please understand that Mr. Man wants to go to the casino, have a rum and coke at the bar and wants to RELAX. Trust me. He doesn’t want to hear you talk 24/7.

One of my favorite movies is “Vegas Vacation”. Do you remember the scene when Chevy Chase and his family were sitting in the casino restaurant and he said that everyone could have their own day! Granted, Ellen Griswald spent the day at Wayne Newton’s estate, but you get the point! Too much together time isn’t good.

3. Dealing with other passengers on the ship
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You’re way ahead of me on this aren’t you? You sit near Grandma Moses and she introduces herself. Next thing you know she’s pulling out her 100 page photo album with pictures of her 13 kids, 27 grandchildren and 323 great grand children. All of them are either doctors, lawyers or astronauts. They all graduated with honors, drive Porsche’s and have flawless skin. The best way to deal with Grandma is to smile and say excuse me, I’m recovering from being quarantined with the norovirus. That should do the trick, but don’t say that too loud. Someone may overhear you!

Ok, there ya go! I wrote this off the top of my head sitting on the balcony of cabin 9215 on the Carnival Dream. Agree or disagree with me? Please leave your comments. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @scottlara1961 and stayed tuned to Cruise Radio as Doug will be interviewing me soon about my experience on the amazing Carnival Dream.

PEACE!
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