(Story by Bryce Sanders)
One of the easiest ways to end a friendship is to travel with friends, Yet most of us, myself included, think this is a good idea, Choosing a cruise vacation will give you the greatest chance of maintaining that friendship when you return to the real world.
Why Friends Travelling Together Often Ends in Disaster
You know your friends in a certain context. It might be work. They might be neighbors or gym buddies. You go out for drinks. One day you say: “Let’s all fly to Europe.” You book flights and leave.
1. The bossy friend. You are telling people where to be and when. This grates on people.
2. The tour guide. It was your idea, so you end up taking the group from place to place. It gets on your nerves.
3. Too much togetherness. Back home, you see each other for shorter periods, not 24/7. Being together constantly puts people on edge.
4. Paying up. You are constantly splitting checks and making change. The person who ate less complains about paying an equal share.
5. Speed of shopping. The group shops at the speed of the slowest shopper. If you are a New Yorker used to a fast-paced lifestyle. this drives you nuts.
6. Lots of luggage. Someone brings many. many suitcases. They are a world class shopper too. All their stuff must be lugged around and fit into rental cars.
Here’s Why Cruising Together is the Solution
Now, imagine you’ve booked a cruise leaving and returning to your own city or someplace nearby, Here’s where the advantages kick in.
1. The organizer. You may have put the trip together. but your responsibilities end when everyone boards the ship. Your friends know your cabin number if they need your help.
2. The tour guide. That’s not you. You might say, “Today my wife and I are going to the gym. cooking class and the lecture. You are welcome to join us if you like.”
3. Not too much togetherness. This is the real benefit. You might suggest everyone has dinner together and talks about the day’s activities. If people want to go their own way during the day, that’s fine. If people want to pair off, that’s fine. The folks wanting to sip a drink in the pool might leave a phone message for everyone else. Or not.
4. Paying by ship ID card. The ship is a cashless society. Drink bills are handled individually when you order from your server. Bills that might be split (bottles of wine at dinner) are handled when two people hand their cards to the wine steward.
5. Shop on your own. The fast shopper and the slow shopper visit onboard stores whenever they like.
6. Luggage isn’t an issue. Someone takes it from you curbside. A steward collects it the night before departure. It isn’t being hauled from hotel to hotel or squeezed into a rental car.
More Reasons Why Cruise Vacations with Friends Works
There are many more reasons why cruising with friends is a good idea.
1. Meals are included. No settling up of restaurant checks three times a day.
2. Connecting balcony doors. If you have adjoining cabins, it’s likely the balconies have a door your steward can lock into the open position. You can party on the combined balcony or move from one cabin to the other without going into the hallway.
3. Cabin parties. Different friends can host a party on different nights. The ship can supply drinks and munchies (at a cost) or you can buy a bottle of champagne in port.
4. Getting lost. If you want some alone time, you can find a corner of the ship that’s quiet.
5. Meaningful conversations. You have friends you haven’t seen for ages. You are together again. Stretch out on deck chairs in the shade. Catch up.
6. Birthdays and anniversaries. Ships are set up for this kind of celebration. They can do cakes and flowers. You can even get married at sea.
7. Clubbing. There are lots of lounges open all hours. Each draws its own crowd. Pick the music you like. Party hearty. No one is driving home. Just get back to your cabin.
8. Exploring ports. In case you think time at sea might get boring. On most cruises you have ports to explore every few days.
If you are thinking about vacationing with friends and want to remain friends afterwards, taking a cruise together is an excellent option.
Story courtesy of Bryce Sanders.