The Family Cruise

anchored when we should be at the dock

Westerdam in Juneau

For years my husband and I have tried to talk my parents into taking a cruise with us.  They always said no.  Finally my younger sister said I should just give it up as they would never go on a cruise.  Figuring she was right, I hadn’t asked them in awhile.

photographing Marjorie Glacier

Hanging out on our stateroom balcony in Glacier Bay

Imagine my shock upon receiving an email from my mother saying they had booked a cruise to Alaska on the Holland America Westerdam……..with other relatives.  Yup, all booked and done and I wasn’t invited.  I did notice my older sister and a single aunt among the people she listed.  Correctly assuming the two of them would room together, and assuming this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity due to the extremely slim odds of my parents ever taking a cruise again, I promptly began the attempt to invite myself to room with them.

Why not just book my own room with my husband?  While that would have worked well as we could have just booked a room on our own for the same cruise, it did not work this time as he had already made other plans for the week of the family cruise.

Westerdam spa thermal suite

trying out the ceramic tile chairs in the thermal suite on the spa tour

Adding yourself onto someone else’s booking is not as easy as it sounds.  Apparently the cruise line can’t interfere with a booking done elsewhere, and they had gone through a travel agency.  They also had no past cruisers among the original group, and so missed out on the discounts offered to former passengers.

Since none of my usual cruise-booking routes through discount websites or the cruise line would pan out for this trip I called the travel agent the family had used.  She set me up as a third in the room, which came at a price break for being an extra person.  When the cruise ended, I was pleasantly surprised not to find port fees and taxes on my end-of-the cruise statement.  It turned out that those were included in the travel agency price rather than added on at the end as they often are with discount cruises.  Definitely something to think about when doing price comparisons in the future.

about to set sail

checking out the balcony

Our total group included 9 people in 4 staterooms, the most I have ever traveled with.  I was very glad they allowed me to come, as I got to meet a cousin I hadn’t seen since we were babies, get acquainted with an uncle I didn’t see much growing up, and to visit with another aunt and uncle we rarely see.  Of course I was quite happy to finally have the chance to cruise with my parents, and I had a great time with my sister and the aunt we roomed with.

What do families do when they get together at dinner....take photos!

What do families do when they get together at dinner….take photos!

With that many people we didn’t manage to get everyone in the same place at the same time other than sometimes at dinner, but we did see different people randomly throughout the voyage as well as including as many as wanted to come on some of the shore excursions we took.

visiting Glacier Gardens in Juneau

visiting Glacier Gardens in Juneau

I am very grateful that I got this chance to spend time with my extended family, and that we spent that time having a wonderful  Alaskan vacation on a very nice cruise ship.

About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
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13 Responses to The Family Cruise

  1. Ok, so I know the sister and the Aunt, and obviously Grandma and Grandpa, but who else went? They should have invited you though, knowing how much you like cruising and all.

    • I don’t think they thought of inviting me. I think it started out with just your grandparents’ generation. Aunt Esther and Uncle Marvin were there, you may not remember them. Uncle Art and my cousin Margie you never would have met.

  2. evelynkerr says:

    Wow you didn’t tell us this when you said you were going on a cruise with your sister.Glad you had fun.

  3. My sister took a cruise to Alaska last year. She didn’t invite me, but she froze a piece of salmon my niece caught there that she grilled for me when I visited several months later. That worked for me. But I’m glad that you shared some high seas bonding time with your family. I have the impression that a slice of frozen fish five months later might have been a downbeat for you.

  4. Ruth Roberts says:

    We are glad Lois came on the cruise. It was fun to have so many family members there.

  5. Our Adventure in Croatia says:

    sounds like you had a great time. Special time with family. Did you tell them you would tell the story in the Blog? 🙂

  6. Chris says:

    If I could of afforded it and it wasn’t during that Shell job I did I would have considered inviting my wife and I along too. I guess if we came we would probalbly bring Justin as well. I was working though and we didn’t have the money for cruises so we missed our chance to cruise with everyone. I would say maybe next time but as you have already said it’s unlikely everyone will do it again.

  7. Arthur Downing says:

    I would also like to say how nice it was that so many of us were able to get together and how much we all enjoyed it. I would definitely be interested in doing again if the opportunity comes up..

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