Post # 1
So I’m a regular poster but I created another username to stay semi-anonymous.
Next year I will be going on a 8 day cruise to the Caribbean. We are going as a surprise for my FI’s best friend’s birthday (he has no idea… he won’t know until we show up at his house that morning to leave). His wife is planning the entire thing, and she booked it a couple months ago.
Here’s the problem: Their 2 year old daughter will be going. Now, I love their daughter to pieces, but I’m not sure I want to go on an 8 day cruise with her. I have been on a few cruises before, and unless it’s a Disney cruise, I don’t really find them very kid friendly. FI’s best friend and wife have both never been on a cruise, and she’s under the assumption that when we go out at night, she can have her kid go to a babysitting service so we can go out. I don’t understand why she would want to bring her 2 year old (childcare is not an issue, her parents had offered to watch her, but she declined).
The biggest issue is that I want to be able to do different excursions, and lay by the pool and relax. Unfortunately, FI’s best friend’s wife is the type who is controlling, and has already not so subtly hinted that we will all hang out in the room when their daughter is napping. She is a very bossy type of person, and expects everyone to go along with her plans.
I know it’s not my place to really say anything to her, so I guess this is more of a vent than anything. I have already talked to Fiance and let him know that I am NOT going to be a babysitter during the trip (this seems to happen a lot when we hang out with them, because I’m not the big drinker of the group).
Does anyone else see this as a disaster waiting to happen?! Ugh. I should be excited about going on vacation, but I have to admit I’m dreading it a little :/
Post # 3
Honestly if you are spending on the money on the cruise, do what you want to do. Don’t let your friends ruin it for you or make you do things you don’t want to. If they bring their daughter that is fine but make sure you go your seperate ways when necessary so that everyone can enjoy themselves. Do NOT be afraid to speak your mind about the situation.
Post # 4
Make your own schedule. When she brings up “family” activities or things that revolve around the child the them “Sorry, but we assumed that you wanted some family time so we went ahead and planned some things of our own. We didn’t want to interfer in that time, we know how important it is to you.” Then stand your ground with the NO BABYSITTING, I have friends like that and I just say flat out NO. No, I am not comfortable with that, No, I am afraid I can’t do that, No, I am afraid I have other plans.
Post # 5
Agh I would just not go on the cruise. Sorry as you said unless a Disney cruise no way would I go or take a child on a cruise. If she takes her child I would make plans for when she is wanting to stay in the room.
Post # 6
i LOVE going on cruises. but she sounds totally selfish.
i would let her know, before i ever stepped foot on the ship, that sitting in a stateroom watching a toddler nap is not an option. why travel to the carribean? you could do that at home.
i personally would never take a child kindergarten age or younger on a cruise, but i do know that other people have done it successfully. but they were veteran cruisers and knew what to expect. considering she has never cruised before, i dont think she has any idea how challenging it could be.
Post # 7
im 24 and have been on 3 cruises, with 3 more booked this year in 2012. my fiance and i talk a lot about cruising with children when we have them. i think that there is a certain age we will, and a certain age we wouldnt. yes there is childcare onboard most ships, and child programs – but thats not always so convienant either. a toddler can be very well behaved, a joy to have along – or it can be a tedious toddler whos demanding, attention needy and throws a lot of tantrums. though we talk about it a lot – we havent really made a decision yet. and when the time does come, we’ll be veteran cruisers without a doubt. we’ve chatted a lot about bringing our parents a long so we can have some alone time or go to the adult comedy shows at night if our parents were okay with watching them. unfortunately thats not the case for you 🙁 shoot i might even be a bad mom and let my kid sleep in the room alone for an hour! thats assuming id know their nap schedules or something. haha forget i said that.
anyways, definitely look forward to the cruise and caribbean. let them know ahead of time that youd like to also enjoy it as YOUR vacation. it may be a birthday surprise for the Fiance of hers, but youre still paying. let her know that you guys would like to do some excursions. she should be happy to spend some alone time with her family as well! lay it out there now so you can enjoy it when its your turn!
Post # 8
Well my advice would be when the toddler naps for you nd your fiance to do your own thing. That part really is a non issue. You don’t owe any explanations. Just, ” Ok well while lil one sleeps we’ll be poolside/at the bar, etc”.
I don’t see what your big deal is with her bringing her toddler. I’m assuming you guys will be stopping at ports and such. I have a 2 year old, and we just took him to Jamaica, and he absolutely loved it. I am assuming there will be a pool, and the mother will bring toys and other fun things for her little one. I totally see why she would take her toddler on a cruise and not just a disney one. Not everyone who hs children want to be around Mickey Mouse. And I know I would ever want to go on a trip without him.
Post # 9
Talk to your Fiance beforehand and decide together how much time you want to spend as a couple and how much time you want to spend as a group with his friends and their daughter. Book all the excursions you want to do by yourselves right away so the mother can’t try and coerce you into only doing ones her daughter can go on. As for time spent on the ship, if you want to go out in and bask in the sun, then go out and bask in the sun. Just be assertive and use statements, like, “Well, I’ve spent far too much time indoors today. Time to hit the pool!” instead of asking if the others want to go for a swim.
Post # 10
To me, the casino and the nightly shows are among the most fun things about a cruise. Neither are particularly child-oriented. It seems to me that a beach vacation would be better for a child.
Post # 11
Eh…I’m torn on this one. We have 3 kids (one’s a 2 year old) and I would love to be able to take him/them with us if we went on a trip…BUT…I would think that if her parents offered to watch the toddler that she would have accepted so she could do adult activities while on the cruise. I would never turn down 8 days alone with my hubby being able to do what we wanted without worrying about the kiddos, especially if we had friends with us. I also wouldn’t expect my friend’s to wait with us while our kids nap.
I agree with PP that said to be assertive, otherwise the vacation might be bogged down for you two.
Post # 12
Let them be miserable while they’re chained to their cabin and you guys go out and do what you want to do. His wife is ridiculous to think that you would sit around in their cabin while their kid is napping. You’ll miss some of the best stuff if you have to follow the schedule of a toddler. I agree that cruising with a small child is not ideal if it’s not your kid (and even sometimes if it is) but your trip doesn’t have to suffer. Think of it as a trip for you and Fiance with the occasional group outing.
Post # 13
@UpstateCait: <<<What she said. That’s what I was wanting to say, but it came out jumbled and she said it perfectly. lol
Post # 14
There is no way in sam hill that I would go on that cruise.
Post # 15
@Cash000: I think it’s one thing when it’s a family trip but it’s another when it’s with childfree friends. I wouldn’t be thrilled to go on a cruise with a small child either. Darling Husband and I just cruised for our Honeymoon and the experience would have been totally different if we had to work around a kids schedule. Part of the fun is the spontaneity. It’s kind of hard to do that with a kid in tow. Now obviously the OP and her Fiance don’t have to follow the parents schedule but when you go on vacation with friends, you kind of expect to spend a lot of time together. I imagine the party’s not really hoppin’ at the kiddie pool.
Post # 16
I agree with you, and I’m sure lots of people bring children on cruises successfully all the time. But based on the best friend’s wife’s description below, she doesnt strike me as someone who is well equipped to go on their first cruise ever with a toddler.
Unfortunately, FI’s best friend’s wife is the type who is controlling, and has already not so subtly hinted that we will all hang out in the room when their daughter is napping. She is a very bossy type of person, and expects everyone to go along with her plans.
I cant imagine someone expecting their friends to do this.