Monday, May 7, 2012

The Aggravation of Planning Group Trips

Rachel's Graduation Celebration is the trip currently in the works.

And this trip has been in the works since... well, since I graduated from high school.

Rachel loves to vacation, especially cruise.  And she has a group of steady girlfriends.  So, her image of the ideal graduation celebration was to go on a cruise with her five best friends.

The original idea was a mother/daughter cruise.  They had been talking about this for over a year, I'd say.  They even had a meeting near the beginning of the school year with a few of the moms, picked out the cruise with her best friend, then everyone agreed on the cruise.  It was a 7-night eastern Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas.  We knew we needed to book it soon.  So, while we were on the Adventure over winter break, my parents decided to go ahead and book onboard to get the extra cruise credits.

We came back and told them we booked it... and I guess that's when sticker shock set in (they had already seen the prices and hadn't blinked).  Or maybe just conflicting ideas on what this graduation cruise should be.  Whatever the objection, it would've been great to hear this before we went ahead and booked the cruise.

One girl found a compromise - a 4-night Bahamian cruise on the Monarch of the Seas.  This way, everyone's entire family could go (apparently mother/daughter didn't fly with some dads) because it was less expensive.  Then the objecting family suggested that we spend the day we get off the ship at one of the Disney parks.

Now, if you haven't picked up on it already, my family knows Disney.  We are one of those families that vacations there at least once a year.  That never grows tired of the magic.  And I, in particular, am very knowledgeable about Walt Disney World.

So we rolled our eyes at this, and Rachel wants so bad to point out that the price of everyone going on this cruise and to Walt Disney World is going to be about the same as the original 7-night cruise on the Freedom.  Just on a smaller ship, going to less exciting ports, for a shorter period of time.  PARTY!!!!

No, really, party - a short 3/4-night cruise to the Bahamas on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, or Norwegian is essentially a party cruise.

After the initial chaos and frustration, we've actually grown more excited for the cruise.  It will be an experience, for sure.  And it looks like everyone is just going to be doing their own thing (which kind of makes you wonder why we even bothered to plan a big group trip - if it weren't for the children).  Which is good because clearly everyone has a different picture of the ideal vacation.  But the thing that really annoys me is that it seems like we've all forgotten the reason we're cruising - to celebrate our daughters' (err... my sister's) graduation.