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  #21  
Old March 22nd, 2013, 11:31 AM
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Remember the old Ann Landers gem: No one can take advantage of you without your permission!

You need to talk to your cousin now. Start with telling her how much you love her, and how excited you are that she is joining you on your family vacation. Then explain to her that while you love doing things together, on this cruise vacation, you and your family plan on approaching things with a very relaxed and UNSCHEDULED attitude. Tell her that dinner each evening is about all you are willing to commit to in advance, but you will look forward to hearing about her days adventures. Be firm. Say no. If she threatens to come knocking on your door, tell her that you will hate to hurt her feelings, but you have no plans on giving in to her demands. This is everyones vacation, and everyone is entitled to make their own plans.

Most of all - DO NOT MAKE ANY EXCUSES for your reasons!! Once you start trying to 'explain' why you feel this way, it opens the door for her to try and change your mind.

Remember - "We will enjoy meeting you for dinner each evening, and the rest of the time our family is going to play it by ear!"

Good luck!
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  #22  
Old March 22nd, 2013, 04:48 PM
Piecukonis Piecukonis is offline
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Originally Posted by Mack2 View Post
If your cousin is a meticulous planner, and collects brochures and information months in advance, are you sure you made yourself anonymous enough on this forum to assure yourself that she wouldn't recognize the situation you describe if she should visit Cruise Critic to research things the kids can do?

This is, after all, her first cruise as well.
I actually thought about that. I would not be too upset if she came across this post. Just like one of the above posters mentioned to maybe print this out and let her read. I don't know if I would do that but if she came across this and asked me, I would definitely tell her that I was needing advice from other family cruisers who want to make sure everyone enjoys their vacation, their way.

Me and my mom were actually just talking today about planning a "Family Cruise Planning Meeting" where all of us can get together, eat snacks, talk about packing needs and excursions, and to all set our boundaries and expectations. We are all going to talk about what our plans are and what we won't accept (banging on doors, etc). I *think* she may be upset BUT it will be a group thing...so my mom is going to tell me about her needing private time as well, etc so it wil not really target her specifically.
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  #23  
Old March 22nd, 2013, 05:31 PM
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Is your cousin traveling solo or is she bringing her own family along? I am just wondering if maybe she is afraid of being alone with no one to hang out with.
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  #24  
Old March 22nd, 2013, 06:07 PM
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You need to talk to your family asap and make it known that this is your vacation and you want to "have it your way".

We travel with other people now and then. We always talk with them prior to the trip about what our and their expectations are. The rule has always been: you do what you want, we will do what we want and if they correspond, great. If not, we will see you at dinner. Dinner was always planned together. This always worked for us and them.
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  #25  
Old March 23rd, 2013, 12:51 AM
Piecukonis Piecukonis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cello56 View Post
Is your cousin traveling solo or is she bringing her own family along? I am just wondering if maybe she is afraid of being alone with no one to hang out with.
Her husband will be with her as well. So that will help as I am sure she can find things to do with him :-)
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  #26  
Old March 23rd, 2013, 12:53 AM
Piecukonis Piecukonis is offline
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Wow....LOTS of great advice here and glad to know I am not alone in the way I feel about this akward situation. Thanks so much to all of you for the replies. I know now that I just need to sit her down and set my boundaries (we will do so as a "family meeting"). I am too excited about this trip to let anything come between me and my relaxation! 7 months cannot come soon enough!
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  #27  
Old March 23rd, 2013, 01:30 AM
notentirelynormal notentirelynormal is offline
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I often travel with family and friends. We have a couple of solid rules. First, let me state, we like each other and spending time together. First thing is we always have dinner together. This is the time we talk about our day and what we want to do that night and tomorrow. That is a solid rule.

For the rest of the cruise, we are not joined at the hip but we find that while sitting there having breakfast, all of a sudden there is my niece or my brother. We are alike as family and so are our patterns. Smiles all around.

We sometimes do excursions together. As a group I write down what everyone is doing and let the others know. This way if I want to go snorkeling but someone else doesn't then they do what they want. On the other hand, if someone wants to go but their spouse doesn't, they know that they can join us while the spouse goes off on another excursion with other family members. It kind of takes the pressure off the couple as well so they don't feel they have to make their partner happy. When we were in Alaska my husband, son and son in law went deep sea fishing. Boy (ummm I mean MAN) time.

We also, as a group do at least one group party. I do expect everyone to show up since it is paid for in advance.

This can be a great bonding time for all but there MUST be rules set up in advance. Be blunt, but be kind. If your cousin loves you she will understand.

I can honestly say that our family cruises are wonderful memories.
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  #28  
Old March 23rd, 2013, 09:16 AM
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Warmer Climes Warmer Climes is offline
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As a person with a family member like your cousin, I empathize. People like her are difficult to derail. I love my own cousin but she drives me crazy with her will to micro-manage everyone's lives.

One thing I would suggest is if you are taking your kids to the ruins book ahead of time (if it's in Costa Maya, check out The Native Choice) and not mention it until you're on the ship.

The family meeting idea is great, although we are all a little scared to cross my cousin so we might sit there like rabbits.

Have a great cruise and Happy Anniversary!
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  #29  
Old March 24th, 2013, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celle View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&Jfamily View Post
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.
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  #30  
Old March 24th, 2013, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Piecukonis View Post
Her husband will be with her as well. So that will help as I am sure she can find things to do with him :-)
Imagine her husband's life if she plans every single thing.
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  #31  
Old March 24th, 2013, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Piecukonis View Post
and since announcing she is going with us all...SURPRISE!!...LOL....she has decided to take it upon herself to totally micro-manage our vacation.
Remember .......she will mico-manage ......only if you let her......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piecukonis View Post
We are go and see what is going on kind of people, go at our own pace, party, etc.

Either way. I am super excited for my trip and don't see much getting in the way of fun anyway but want some ideas to advise her to be accepting about us all doing our own thing.
....be loving but firm in telling her ......that you and your husband are making your own plans...

We have the same situation on our future Jewel cruise. We have a family member that will plan what our family group will do .....12 of us. She will plan tours and shopping .......my wife and I will go to the beach and snorkeling ..... .....period end of discussion .....
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  #32  
Old May 15th, 2013, 10:39 AM
SeagoingMom SeagoingMom is offline
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Originally Posted by MnMomW3Boys View Post
...so maybe her enthusiasm will die down a touch prior to your departure .
Wow, is that possible?? Does ANYONE'S enthusiasm die down before, during or after a cruise??

Last edited by SeagoingMom; May 15th, 2013 at 10:43 AM.
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  #33  
Old May 15th, 2013, 10:43 AM
SeagoingMom SeagoingMom is offline
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Originally Posted by MnMomW3Boys View Post
...so maybe her enthusiasm will die down a touch prior to your departure .
Wow, is that possible?? Does ANYONES enthusiasm die down before, during or after a cruise??
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  #34  
Old May 15th, 2013, 10:58 AM
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This is your first cruise....with your hubby....that includes an anniversary.

You don't really want to compromise with her. She is not paying big bucks for your trip, you are.

If she bangs on your door you can holler back...."Go to ****" or remain silent. She will think you went to eat, walk, sunbathe, etc, without her.

If she is one who barges in...set her up....leave the door ajar....git nekkid and wait. Once will be enough.

It is not hard to hide on a ship if you really want to.

As for the shows....don't let her get into saving lots of seats. You will really pis* off other passengers.

One thing that occurred to me...."Let's let our hubbies plan what we will do!"

Having said all of that...she may actually find things that will appeal to you. If so, participate for that item. Then tell her you are going back to your cabin for some "fun".
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  #35  
Old May 15th, 2013, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Piecukonis View Post
This person not only likes to bang on doors at an ungodly hour but also just walk in. She is the sweetest person ever but can be overbearing. She does this to me at home...shows up unannounced and just walks in like she owns the place. It's just her personality. Ha. I will have to tell her that though...that if she does that she will probably disrupt others too.
  1. Find out where her cabin is,
  2. Change your cabin to another deck and far-far away from her
  3. Don't tell her what your cabin number is (and make sure she doesn't follow you)
If she does discover which cabin is yours,the first time she pounds on your cabin door, don't wait for the neighbors to call security -- call them yourself!

and as to the "walking in" - close the door after yourself and it automatically locks.
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  #36  
Old May 16th, 2013, 09:36 AM
SeagoingMom SeagoingMom is offline
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Originally Posted by Piecukonis View Post
Ok so my mom bought a cruise for her and her boyfriend, me, my hubby and kids, and my brother and his family. Well obviously we would be thrilled to be all going on this awesome family vacation and it would not something that we would not all discuss all the time. We ended up having another family member invite themselves on our trip and booked a room. Ok, I love this person with all my heart but she is a total control freak and since announcing she is going with us all...SURPRISE!!...LOL....she has decided to take it upon herself to totally micro-manage our vacation.

We are go and see what is going on kind of people, go at our own pace, party, etc.

She is one of those planners who prints out check lists, collects brochures for months, and tells everyone that we will do excursions together as a group, dine together, attend all shows together, caravan together (for the trip down), etc....I am talking down to the last hour of every single day of vacation.

I don't know how to ask her to back off without hurting her feelings. I mean, me and my mom, we can go our seperate ways and not offend each other. But my cousin on the other hand...likes to tag along or will get really upset if we chose to do something separate. I am not a comedy show kind of person and she wants me to go with her to all the shows. Stuff like that.

It is also me and my husbands 10 year anniversary trip and we will no doubt want some privacy and time to ourselves.

She has already made it known to the rest of us that we won't be sleeping in because she is going to come bang on or doors as we can't miss out on anything that she is going to want to do. Ahhhh.

This is our very first cruise and first vacation in YEARS. We all kind of want to relax and have fun and not worry about others. I can understand this may be an issue in any large group that travels together.

Anyone out there traveled in a large group and faced similar issues?? Any tips or ideas on how to handle this situation? I want to have a good trip but without ruining hers. Seeing how she joined up on her own without being asked (Can't tell her no...free country. LOL)

Either way. I am super excited for my trip and don't see much getting in the way of fun anyway but want some ideas to advise her to be accepting about us all doing our own thing.
I know -- get her to join CC, and tell her about this thread, give all of us her screen name, and we'll take care of the rest for you!
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  #37  
Old May 17th, 2013, 08:44 AM
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We travel with family all the time. And other then dinner in the MDR our days are free. At night we may or may not do a show, etc as a group. But no. One is upset or offended.
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