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jdr1000

Is a surprise a good idea?

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Posted (edited)

I am traveling with my wife and kids to the parks in Orlando for a week... Kids have no clue about the parks or the trip.... a cruise is not even on their vocabulary...

 

However, my wife knows about the parks but has no clue I booked us all on Harmony the day she thinks we are traveling back home..

 

I thought... on the way to the airport.. just keep going.. it is a straight line to Port Canaveral anyway, and tell them we are going to see the ships on port before we drop the car off...

 

Do you think she will like the surprise or she would like to know in advance... I am telling her to pack some nice clothes for Orlando in case we want to take the kids to a restaurant, the rest of the wardrobe is similar to what you would wear at the parks anyway...

 

Any thoughts.... I may have the best of intentions but you never know.

 

 

Edited by jdr1000

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A few questions!

 

10 minutes ago, jdr1000 said:

I am traveling with my wife and kids to the parks in Orlando for a week... Kids have no clue about the parks or the trip.... a cruise is not even on their vocabulary...

1. Nice. Are your kids old enough to remember this moment? If they are, check out some videos on YouTube for some more ideas!

 

11 minutes ago, jdr1000 said:

However, my wife knows about the parks but has no clue I booked us all on Harmony the day she thinks we are traveling back home..

2. Has your wife been on a cruise before? Because, if she hasn't been, on anyone's first cruise, regardless of surprise or not, it would be a daunting task of packing!. However, if she has been, keep it a surprise! She will catch on immediately.

 

11 minutes ago, jdr1000 said:

I thought... on the way to the airport.. just keep going.. it is a straight line to Port Canaveral anyway, and tell them we are going to see the ships on port before we drop the car off...

3. Good idea, maybe even ask your kids if they know what a cruise is 😉, and if one of them know, say: "We are going to look at some ships"

12 minutes ago, jdr1000 said:

Do you think she will like the surprise or she would like to know in advance... I am telling her to pack some nice clothes for Orlando in case we want to take the kids to a restaurant, the rest of the wardrobe is similar to what you would wear at the parks anyway...

Go back to question two.

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Thank you, to answer your questions, yes she has been on other cruises before.. last one was about 5 years ago..

 

Kids are old enough, just never on a cruise before and have no clue this is a possibility.

 

Thank you again for your time.

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Well,  if she doesn't mind surprises,  you might be OK.   I hate surprises & would be annoyed that I didn't have time to book,  prepare,  & pack properly.   There's also a good chance hubs would forget passports so there's that. Would she have enough clean clothes or doesn't mind having laundry done on the ship?   I'd hate to spend the money much less the fact I can't stand others doing my laundry. So many variables.   

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1 minute ago, jdr1000 said:

Thank you, to answer your questions, yes she has been on other cruises before.. last one was about 5 years ago..

 

Kids are old enough, just never on a cruise before and have no clue this is a possibility.

 

Thank you again for your time.

Okay, then keep it a semi-surprise and ask her to pack things she would need for seven days, as if you made arrangments to do something besides the park trip, but do not mention the cruise.

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1 minute ago, VicRock said:

Well,  if she doesn't mind surprises,  you might be OK.   I hate surprises & would be annoyed that I didn't have time to book,  prepare,  & pack properly.   There's also a good chance hubs would forget passports so there's that. Would she have enough clean clothes or doesn't mind having laundry done on the ship?   I'd hate to spend the money much less the fact I can't stand others doing my laundry. So many variables.   

That is a good point! My father hates surprises, however, my mother loves surprises, so that is also an impediment. 

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If your wife is like me....she will want to know.    Keep the surprise for the kiddos...but not from your WIFE!

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11 hours ago, jdr1000 said:

I am telling her to pack some nice clothes for Orlando in case we want to take the kids to a restaurant, the rest of the wardrobe is similar to what you would wear at the parks anyway...

what we pack for land vacations is nothing like what we pack for a cruise. 

First of all, you have to pack all the meds - prescriptions and OTC, kids and adults. We literally have a whole backpack of meds and they have come in handy many times. Stomach issues, colds, cuts, bruises, lacerations, fever, you name it  - we had it all while cruising.

Second, a ton of SPF lotions and sprays.

Third, swim suits, sun hats and snorkeling gear. Sand toys take up a lot of space. Flip flops and water shoes. I forgot flip flops on our first cruise, and had to wear my very nice dress sandals to the beach and pool deck, and ruined them completely.

 

 

If you are flying to Orlando, you may need to pay for the luggage. So, you will need to know in advance how much luggage to prepay for.

 

Very importantly (mentioned above) - passports or birth certificates are a must.

 

And a personal thing - if your wife needs personal hygiene products in the middle of the ocean all of a sudden - it's gonna be a problem. If she were planning to go home on day x, and instead she is going home on day y, you just never know what's going to happen between those days.

 

So, to sum it up, I am the planner and the packer in the family, and surprises like this would NOT make me happy.  While some things could be a pleasant surprise, a cruise is not one of them, because when you find yourself in the middle of the ocean with a kid who is having fever and puking his guts out, and you don't have anything to give the kid, or you forgot the passports at home, or swim suits and SPF lotion... Not going to be a pleasant surprise.

 

We have a list permanently attached to the fridge, and everything on it must be packed on a cruise. We have a different list for a land vacation.

 

Do you think she will like the surprise or she would like to know in advance...

 

you are asking US whether your wife would like to be surprised this way?

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A longer vacation means doing laundry.  And packing for a trip where you might have to do laundry.  Will your hotel in Orlando have a guest laundry?  Would your wife use it if she thought you were going straight home?  Would she question if you suggested she might want to wash stuff?  Tell her!  She needs to prepare.  EM

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@jdr1000

On second thought, no DO NOT KEEP IT SURPRISE FROM YOUR WIFE! It is a bad idea. I don't have a wife yet, so what do I know!

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We did this exact thing with Disney, the kids had no idea we were going to WDW for a week, and then had no idea we were going on a DCL cruise, they thought we were going to the airport. They loved it (ages 4 - 11, I packed for 5 kids in secret). If my husband surprised me with the cruise part, I’d kill him. We all had nice clean clothes for the cruise, and I pack the kids, DH doesn’t. Heck, when they were little, if he got them dressed, he usually put them in outgrown or mismatched outfits.

 

I love planning and researching. What if she has plans in those 3 days?

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I’d love the surprise, but  I’d agree with everyone that we can’t really predict how your wife will feel

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To keep a peaceful marriage.. and after reading all your comments, I told her last night.. Very happy about my idea but thankful I told her before the trip. We agreed that my plans were about 95% complete, but she preferred to be involved in that 5% and re-check the other 95% I thought I figured out.

 

.Thank you all for your ideas and comments.

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46 minutes ago, jdr1000 said:

To keep a peaceful marriage.. and after reading all your comments, I told her last night.. Very happy about my idea but thankful I told her before the trip. We agreed that my plans were about 95% complete, but she preferred to be involved in that 5% and re-check the other 95% I thought I figured out.

 

.Thank you all for your ideas and comments.

Sounds about right.   I'd have to double check my hubs work too.   LOL.   But to be fair,  we once had a last minute family emergency & I forgot to pack a few things for him.   Fortunately we were next to a Target.  Way different in a foreign country. 

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Surprising kids? YES! Surprising wife? NO! I'm glad you told her - some things just require planning, especially for the Mom. 

 

But this does remind me of the time we tried to surprise our kids with a Disney cruise out of Florida. We live in Southern California and so a flight was required. Being young they had no concept of time and we took a red-eye so they were sleeping most of the trip. We had told them we were flying to Las Vegas - a place we had visited before and seemed like a good decoy. So we arrive in Florida in the early hours, catch our shuttle and drive to the port. Both kids were sleepy and didn't really know where we were so we made the big announcement as the driver pulled in to drop us off and they could see the ship sitting there in front of them. We were so excited - certain they would be ecstatic. My son was mildly enthused - my 6 year old daughter however burst into tears and was incensed that we didn't go to Las Vegas. Apparently a born gambler just like her Dad! She is 19 now and we still give her a hard time about that one!

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As Karatemom says, don't be too surprised by kids reactions.

 

Six years ago we did your plan but in reverse.  We had flown out to Vancouver for a Disney Alaska cruise, and had a wonderful week aboard.  When we got to the airport for our "return" flight we surprised the kids and told them we were not headed home but flying to Anaheim to continue the vacation in Disneyland. 

The kids were initially non-plussed as they were looking forward to being in there own beds.  Good thing I didn't record it as I had initially planned.  They did have a wonderful time in DL, but I definitely didn't get the big reaction I had hoped.

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17 hours ago, karatemom2 said:

Surprising kids? YES! Surprising wife? NO! I'm glad you told her - some things just require planning, especially for the Mom. 

 

But this does remind me of the time we tried to surprise our kids with a Disney cruise out of Florida. We live in Southern California and so a flight was required. Being young they had no concept of time and we took a red-eye so they were sleeping most of the trip. We had told them we were flying to Las Vegas - a place we had visited before and seemed like a good decoy. So we arrive in Florida in the early hours, catch our shuttle and drive to the port. Both kids were sleepy and didn't really know where we were so we made the big announcement as the driver pulled in to drop us off and they could see the ship sitting there in front of them. We were so excited - certain they would be ecstatic. My son was mildly enthused - my 6 year old daughter however burst into tears and was incensed that we didn't go to Las Vegas. Apparently a born gambler just like her Dad! She is 19 now and we still give her a hard time about that one!

When we surprised our kids, the story was they were missing school that day to drive 3 hours to a nursing home to have a birthday lunch with a great aunt they never met. They were very happy with Disney instead, and since we stayed onsite, they were peppered with commercials for DCL on TV.

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21 hours ago, mjkacmom said:

When we surprised our kids, the story was they were missing school that day to drive 3 hours to a nursing home to have a birthday lunch with a great aunt they never met. They were very happy with Disney instead, and since we stayed onsite, they were peppered with commercials for DCL on TV.

I grew up in the L.A. area and the first time we went to Disneyland we were told a similar story -- I remember being super confused and happy when we pulled in to the park area.

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As a wife, I would just about die from excitement if my husband planned this on his own. I say surprise her! Just make sure you have everything you need if she's a planner.. she's gonna wanna know you have it all handled lol.

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On 6/21/2019 at 5:09 PM, karatemom2 said:

Surprising kids? YES! Surprising wife? NO! I'm glad you told her - some things just require planning, especially for the Mom. 

 

But this does remind me of the time we tried to surprise our kids with a Disney cruise out of Florida. We live in Southern California and so a flight was required. Being young they had no concept of time and we took a red-eye so they were sleeping most of the trip. We had told them we were flying to Las Vegas - a place we had visited before and seemed like a good decoy. So we arrive in Florida in the early hours, catch our shuttle and drive to the port. Both kids were sleepy and didn't really know where we were so we made the big announcement as the driver pulled in to drop us off and they could see the ship sitting there in front of them. We were so excited - certain they would be ecstatic. My son was mildly enthused - my 6 year old daughter however burst into tears and was incensed that we didn't go to Las Vegas. Apparently a born gambler just like her Dad! She is 19 now and we still give her a hard time about that one!

I surprised my son on our first (only so far) cruise... We're in San Antonio, and left out of Galveston. My sister is in Houston, and had just had a baby. We let him think we were going to visit his cousins and meet the new baby. His teacher had let it slip he'd be gone for a week (we went during the school year), but he thought we were just spending longer with them. My sister and the kids drove us to Galveston, and once he realized/we told him what was going on, he burst into tears because he thought he was going to get a week with his cousins :classic_laugh: He was 8.... he got over it quickly, and had a blast though

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Glad you told her, I would be pissed if my husband surprised me with a cruise, or any vacation for that matter. I need to have time to pack, plan and do things such as get my hair and nails done. 

 

Kids?

Depends on your kids how much they will appreciate it. Some kids wouldn't be too happy because they want to get back to the stability of home life. Sometimes on You tube there are videos of kids all excited about surprises, but there are also videos of kids who are unenthused and sometimes even mad. You say your kids don't have "cruise" in their vocabulary, not too mention you've already been gone for a week at stress inducing Disney. They probably aren't going to care. 

Have fun with whatever you decide. 

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Honestly, I LOVE surprises. However, the surprise for me would be my hubby telling me that he booked the cruise, before we left for vacation. I am the planner, I research the heck out of ports have everything planned/scheduled/paid for etc, including parking at the pier. Case in point, we are cruising this January and I have already pre-booked all of our excursions as well as booked pre/post hotels, parking and started my "cruise box" (things that we won't necessarily be needing until the cruise, i.e passports, new water shoes, etc.  If ,my husband sprang a cruise on me while we are going to the port, NOTHING would be done.

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We are simply surprising my daughter with the cruisefor her birthday next year.  Never even been on a plane and I don't plan on telling her anything about where we are going.  We'll just be "going to the beach" when we get in the car and then show up at the airport.

 

Spending the night in Ft Lauderdale the night before, we will point out the big cruise ships but may not even mention we are going to get on one until the next day when we get on the shuttle to the port.  Should be a blast.

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We are surprising our 3 boys with a week trip to Orlando and a week cruise as well. They are getting the surprise at Christmas.

 

As a wife and a mom, I would have suggested right away you tell her. Even if you surprise her alone in telling her. Like take her out to dinner/date night and surprise her with the cruise part of your trip. 

 

 If you guys were doing this trip alone before you had kids or going alone without kids, I think its fun to be surprised and would have enjoyed it. However, as you probably know, taking a big vacation with kids involved requires a lot of forethought and planning, and since I am usually the one responsible to pack, ensure passports are in order for all the kids and myself, I would not be happy if I wasn't told ahead of time. 

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Years ago I gave my parents a cruise as a surprise on their wedding anniversary.  The way I handled it was that I gave them a present (normally they might get a $20 gift card wrapped in a box for example).  So I had the same size box as what I normaly put gift card but this time put in a MSC cruise magazine with the ship on the front cover then a sticky note saying January 7 - 14.

 

They were so shocked when they opened it haha.  They couldn't BELIEVE it.

 

That was 10 years ago.  Now they've done more cruises than me haha.

 

I'm on team "don't surprise the wife" and I see that you wisely told her ahead of time.  As fun as it would be to see her shock, on cruises you need nicer outifts for the gala nights, plus as others have mentioned there's a bunch of stuff you just HAVE to have packed as you won't be near any stores aside from what the cruise gift shops have.

 

 

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