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My friend and I have cruised together for 10 years and will be on Equinox next week for the second time. We are cruising with two other friends, not extremely close friends) who have not cruised in years. They are a bit nervous about the whole thing. We do not want to be "tour guides " and yet want them to have fun. Any suggestions about how to manage this? 

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When traveling with others we set the expectations up front.  In our case we agree that we will have dinner together and that's the only commitment we make.  If other activities line up great, if not we meet up for dinner and are able to share our day.

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I have not cruised with friends but I have done a lot of traveling with friends and family. I always set the expectation that everyone is responsible for their own fun. Just because you are traveling together, doesn't mean you have to do everything together. If you want to do something, share it with the group but be prepared to do it on your own if no one else is interested. If you don't want to do something, feel free to take a pass. I can't say this has completely eliminated the occasion hurt feelings or discontent, but it allows me to not feel responsible for other people's good time (or lack thereof).

 

That said, I generally end up acting as tour guide since I am the one who does all of the research about where we are going. I don't mind it, I just lay out different options and let people choose. I find that saves a lot of time so we don't spend our vacation sitting around trying to figure out what is available in the area.

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I agree, set the expectations before you get on the ship.  It's important to know that everyone is on the same page or feelings might get hurt if some people expect to do everything together and others don't.  Set it up so that you'll have dinner together each night, and during dinner talk about all of the options for things to do the next day, and let everyone decide what they want to do whether its separately or together.  Also don't be afraid to tell them that you want to do things together, but don't want to be joined at the hip since it's your vacation too.  If you're planning excursions, get together before the cruise and go over the excursion booklet together.  Encourage your friends to pick the ones they're interested in and pre-book.  Encourage them to book with the cruise line this trip so that they won't have to worry about anything from start to finish. Then you can go ahead and do whatever you want to do, whether it's with them or not.

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25 minutes ago, wrk2cruise said:

When traveling with others we set the expectations up front.  In our case we agree that we will have dinner together and that's the only commitment we make.  If other activities line up great, if not we meet up for dinner and are able to share our day.

 

We have also done it this way when cruising with friends or relatives we are not super close with. Meeting up for dinner is a reasonable expectation, but we found we had to stick to our guns, as the others kept trying to draw us in. When they pushed us on shore excursions, for instance, we had to repeat several times that everyone has different likes and they needed to read the descriptions, not depend on us to pick for them or bring them along. It took several repetitions but they did get the message, and they ended up managing just fine.

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Great suggestions. Thank you. We have booked excursions that we all agreed to and in some cases nothing. They know to plan what they want in Grand cayman, for example, because we are staying on the ship. Been there, done that. We also said we would always have dinner and happy hour together. We will reiterate that since we have been on this ship before, we want them to do what they want and not worry about us.  Repeat LOL

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We did it once and that was enough.  Just the two of us cruise now.

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Why not suggest to your friends that they quickly join the roll call for your cruise? Although a bit late they may make some additional  contacts...

 

Agree with ‘setting expectations’...I suggest you maybe pre cruise agree to one speciality meal together, one excursion and maybe first and second night of the cruise agree to meet for pre dinner drinks at a set location.  Committing to meeting for pre dinner drinks is less intensive than a  dining commitment....

 

Don’t be apprehensive of using phrases like ‘We don’t like to commit ourselves too much, we like to see how we feel on the day’ or ‘We may go shopping in port but we will decide how we feel on the day, you go ahead and ring us early evening and we can meet up for a drink before or after dinner’...

 

If you are not particularly close to these friends you are doing them no favours by letting them just ‘tag on’ to what you are doing as they may not enjoy...Encourage them to look at the  ‘Today’ and simply join up together as and when appropriate...There could be occasions where you encourage them to go to a show or event you have done and enjoyed but see as a ‘once’ experience...

 

Sometimes meeting up with friends and acquaintances is a real enrichment to your cruise but it can also misfire and take away that feeling of being away from everyone and everything and the freedom of doing just what you want when you want...

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, wrk2cruise said:

When traveling with others we set the expectations up front.  In our case we agree that we will have dinner together and that's the only commitment we make.  If other activities line up great, if not we meet up for dinner and are able to share our day.

 

Having dinner together is important however just a warning, make sure you are eating in the same dining room.  I don't know how many times we see posts from people who are booked as an example in Aqua Class and don't realize their friends can't eat  with them because they are in the MDR.   

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In a few weeks there will be 13 of us going on X...

 

Since I was the 'instigator' (LOL), I set five (5) nights of dinner for us all and two (2) nights free in-between to dine where we will...

 

We have all met several times and everyone knows that there are only two (2) ports where I will get off the ship and the others get to do what they want...

 

We shall see how it will work, I think well, overall, as we have been friends for over 20+ years in many cases.

 

bon voyage

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We are all Aqua so that makes it easier. My friend and I plan to purchase the specialty package once onboard so they can decide then if they want that. Since we have been on equinox before, we are going to repeat that we want them to do whatever they want on the ship and not be concerned with us because we have done many of the things and many are one time activities, which someone else wisly pointed out. I think I am overthinking LOL

 

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Decades ago we cruised with my in-laws and a friend. We had traditional seating... so we met for dinner every night... during the day we did our own thing... occasionally doing an excursion together. It worked out well. There is enough to do that appeals to different people. I do think the idea of setting expectations up front is a wise move. My sister traveled with friends on a cruise and it was a terrible experience. Her friend insisted on being the cruise director and had every day all planned out.... They were ultimately turned off to cruising, in part, because of this controlling friend who got ticked off when people got off schedule.

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We have traveled with both friends and family and have had a great time. My advice is to not stress about it and go with the flow. We ate dinner every night and did activities and excursions that interested us both. We had fun with pre planning together and ended up becoming better friends. It was fun seeing their excitement in things we had become accustomed to.  Enjoy your trip and the new experiences it will bring. 

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When we travel with friends we always set things up before going on the ship by telling them we are totally fine with them going their own way whenever they want to and suggest that we and they have different wake up ad sleep times and likes and dislikes. We also express that we understand if they just want some alone time as well. We've found that to be a nice way of saying we don't need to be joined at the hip. Usually we have dinner together (and most meals) but if they want to do specialty dining and we don't (or vice versa) we're okay with it. We've also booked Aqua and when our friends decided not to we just ate at the different venues and met before or after for shows or drinks.  We've found that sends a message in a nice way that our feelings won't be hurt if we're left and hope that they will feel the same.

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Like others have said, we travel with our best friends and the only thing set is dinner, however we went on many tours together and shows. Worked out great.

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We have cruised once with my parents, 2 times with my inlaws, and 2 times with our neighbors. I think one key thing for us is to NOT have adjoining cabins with the people we are cruising with.  We did have adjoining cabins with my parents and my neighbors once each and we kind of felt like we were being stalked.  They could look around the balcony divide and see if we were in, which kind of removed any privacy and we felt we had to keep the drape drawn.

My parents weren't too bad with letting us do our own thing, but on the one cruise with the neighbors when we were only cruising with them and not their kids as well, we didn't set expectations up front and did feel like they expected us to be their cruise directors.  We are going with them again in Feb, this time on the Panorama in havana cabins, but we made it clear we didn't want adjoining cabins.  They were understanding and actually booked an aft baclony a floor up (still havana).  I felt a little bad at being blunt with them, but since they still want to go with us i figure it was ok ;-).

 

The funny thing is now my parents may want to come with us too, so i will have to have that conversation with them as well ;-).  We are going to stick to the plan outlined by others in this thread, if we want to do the same thing, great, but otherwise we will meet them for dinner.

 

good luck!

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5 hours ago, chemmo said:

Why not suggest to your friends that they quickly join the roll call for your cruise? Although a bit late they may make some additional  contacts...

 

Agree with ‘setting expectations’...I suggest you maybe pre cruise agree to one speciality meal together, one excursion and maybe first and second night of the cruise agree to meet for pre dinner drinks at a set location.  Committing to meeting for pre dinner drinks is less intensive than a  dining commitment....

 

Don’t be apprehensive of using phrases like ‘We don’t like to commit ourselves too much, we like to see how we feel on the day’ or ‘We may go shopping in port but we will decide how we feel on the day, you go ahead and ring us early evening and we can meet up for a drink before or after dinner’...

 

If you are not particularly close to these friends you are doing them no favours by letting them just ‘tag on’ to what you are doing as they may not enjoy...Encourage them to look at the  ‘Today’ and simply join up together as and when appropriate...There could be occasions where you encourage them to go to a show or event you have done and enjoyed but see as a ‘once’ experience...

 

Sometimes meeting up with friends and acquaintances is a real enrichment to your cruise but it can also misfire and take away that feeling of being away from everyone and everything and the freedom of doing just what you want when you want...

 

 

 

 

 


My one caution with this approach is ONLY use it if that is truly what you are doing. If you ARE doing an excursion or ARE doing a specialty restaurant and have not told them and they find out (most excursions if ship-based will meet in the same location and if they see you, you’re setting up hurt feelings and resentments. Ditto a specialty restaurant.

 

If you don’t want to do it with the acquaintances, just be honest and tell them.

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My mom and I travel very well together.   Last month we did 10 nights on the Equinox with my sister and her boyfriend, both of whom never cruised before.

 

We set the perimeters up front,  that we would all do our own thing and meet for dinner,  or not.   I had booked 2 golf carts in Bonaire as a surprise for them, so we stuck together that day.   And in Aruba we went to the beach together in the morning, but separated after we got back to the ship.    It worked out great for us, and we ended up eating together in the MDR probably 7 nights out of 10.  Key West and Curacao we went our separate ways,  and unfortunately our stop in Grand Cayman was cancelled so we missed out on the stingray excursion I had booked for us.

 

We had the partition taken out of our balcony,  which also worked out great. 

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7 hours ago, Husky61 said:

We did it once and that was enough.  Just the two of us cruise now.


Same with us

 

We found that adjacent cabins aren’t needed and should be avoided.   We had one and found that there was no personal time or private time especially if the door is opened between the partition on the balcony,
 

You don’t need to be tied at the hip and be the CD or responsible for everything.
 

I am not patient and don’t like waiting on others when we are ready to go especially when everyone knows the designated and agreed  time to GYAITS.

 

Don't like wasting time deciding by committee what to do next and then not doing what we enjoy just to compromise and be nice.  

 

Hope it works for you 

 

Happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, micheleata said:

My mom and I travel very well together.   Last month we did 10 nights on the Equinox with my sister and her boyfriend, both of whom never cruised before.

 

We set the perimeters up front,  that we would all do our own thing and meet for dinner,  or not.   I had booked 2 golf carts in Bonaire as a surprise for them, so we stuck together that day.   And in Aruba we went to the beach together in the morning, but separated after we got back to the ship.    It worked out great for us, and we ended up eating together in the MDR probably 7 nights out of 10.  Key West and Curacao we went our separate ways,  and unfortunately our stop in Grand Cayman was cancelled so we missed out on the stingray excursion I had booked for us.

 

We had the partition taken out of our balcony,  which also worked out great. 

 

@micheleata, Off topic, but I wonder why your stop in Grand Cayman was canceled?  Bad weather, choppy oceans I suppose?  What time of year was it?  We are supposed to stop there in mid December.  And do a combined dolphin/stingray excursion.

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We plan things we might want to do together, but we agree we are not joined at the hip. New cruisers may want to tag along with others until they feel comfortable being on their own.

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14 minutes ago, zitsky said:

 

@micheleata, Off topic, but I wonder why your stop in Grand Cayman was canceled?  Bad weather, choppy oceans I suppose?  What time of year was it?  We are supposed to stop there in mid December.  And do a combined dolphin/stingray excursion.


Grand Cayman is a tender port.  Often the weather dictates that tendering wouldn’t be safe so the call is canceled.

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27 minutes ago, helen haywood said:


Grand Cayman is a tender port.  Often the weather dictates that tendering wouldn’t be safe so the call is canceled.

 

How often is often?  Then you get another sea day?

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I can’t tell you how often.  Perhaps ask on the Grand Cayman board?  Yes, generally you then have a sea day.

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40 minutes ago, helen haywood said:

I can’t tell you how often.  Perhaps ask on the Grand Cayman board?  Yes, generally you then have a sea day.

 

I know it's not the same thing, but when Viking couldn't tender at Monaco, they went down the coast and ran buses back to Monaco.  In the case of Grand Cayman, I'm not sure where they could go.

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