Posted March 24th, 2013, 01:38 AM
It sounds like time for some straight talking - now, before you get on the ship. It's better to have the argument now, rather than while on the cruise.
Tell your cousin that you and your husband have made some plans for yourselves, will not be joined to your cousin at the hip, and will do some things with her, but not everything.
Has this person cruised before? Are they aware how go with the flow a cruise can really be? And how easy it is to meet up with people?
It seems to me that you should be able to remind her that this is your first vacation in years, as well as your 10 year anniversary trip and you plan on some private time. Request that she not bang on your door but rather, buy some of those erasable marker boards for everyone's door. Then you can leave notes!
Ask her to please let you know the things she has planned, and tell her you will certainly let her know what you are interested in. Also, you can certainly excuse yourself from say a dinner or two...feed the kids early or through camp and have a private dinner at a specialty restaurant.
I wouldn't worry about hurting her feelings...it seems like she isn't worried about you, but only her wants. And you are clearly kind and will be able to "control" your vacation in a gentle manner.
I definitely wouldn't be all right with this kind of person. Maybe that's why my family of three have never invited any other relatives or friends to come along on a cruise with us. My hubby and I (and our teen on our last couple of cruises) will discuss ahead of time what types of sights we want to see or activities we want to do in the ports.
On sea days, we've let our teen spend time with her friends (a girl she got along with on the cruise before was going to be on our December cruise) -- and much of the time, it was a group of three girls and three boys who seem to keep busy and out of trouble. She did eat dinner with us about half the time (it was a two week cruise) and went to a show with us. Usually my hubby and I do spend much of the time together, but this last cruise, we did things apart at times (he liked playing his guitar or going to the gym on many of the sea days, and I'll be going to the hula lessons or seeing a movie by the pool) while spending the evenings together.
Someone like this we would just tell that we have other plans if it's an activity we're not interested in. Why suffer on vacation just because it's a relative. As someone said, this person obviously is selfish if they take over the planning and not bother to even ask others what they want to do. I wouldn't even tell them they can plan one of the ports -- what if it's something you don't want to do?
One thing you can do, if everyone gets along, is to suggest that people can list what they want to do in the ports (what excursions they may have booked or are interested in booking). Someone can gather up the ideas and send out an email so that if someone hasn't yet decided what they want to do, they can get ideas from others. For sea days, it's really hard to plan out the days as you won't know the various activities until you see the ship's newsletter for the day. And let this person that you don't intend to be joined at the hip with them or anyone else. It's unfair to you, and unfair to them if they're causing others to resent them.