Cruises can be great platforms for getting together with family. While I have yet to do a Christmas or New Year’s cruise, I have sailed over a few Thanksgiving holidays and random vacation weeks with family. I have also hosted a group of 26 including family, friends, and few folks I didn’t know too! While my focus on this conversation is cruising with family, my suggestions could apply to you whether your cruising with your family or a group of good friends. As the email I received with a question on this was family-focused, I’ll write based on that.

First, plan to do some things with your family. We always link our reservations so we receive the same table assignment for dinner in the main dining room. It’s an opportunity to visit, talk about your day, and be together. We also plan at least one or two shore excursions with family. It’s nice to do something fun and unique together. If all that sounds like a little too much family time, don’t fret. You are on a ship at sea the size of a small city. It is possible to be on a ship with family members and not see any of them all day. There’s so much to do and enjoy!

Second, plan to do some things on your own. Pick a shore excursion for just the two of you and go enjoy yourselves. Better yet, make a reservation at a specialty restaurant and enjoy a great dinner with just you and your spouse or significant other. Your family will probably appreciate the opportunity for some alone time as well. It’s a family vacation but its your vacation too. You can do it all and enjoy yourselves, and make great memories you’ll be talking about at family events for years to come.

Most of all, enjoy your cruise!

-MJ, April 30, 2013