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We will be cruising with our 2 college aged sons.  I hate saying this, but I'm a little worried that we will all be bored together.  DH and I will give them plenty of space (they have their own room, etc.), but I'm insisting that we all eat dinner together in the evenings and I'm hoping to have a little extra family bonding time.  I would love to find a game that they will play when we're together.  Getting my family to play games is like pulling teeth.  We do enjoy some games that are fun in large groups, but getting them to play cards, or any type of game like that is always difficult.  

 

What's out there for an adult family of 4 that will help ignite some laughs and fun conversation?  I'm open to pretty much anything.  The kids are grown up, so we don't need to worry about some of the things we would think about if they were little.  

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3 hours ago, lola4795 said:

We will be cruising with our 2 college aged sons.  I hate saying this, but I'm a little worried that we will all be bored together.  DH and I will give them plenty of space (they have their own room, etc.), but I'm insisting that we all eat dinner together in the evenings and I'm hoping to have a little extra family bonding time.  I would love to find a game that they will play when we're together.  Getting my family to play games is like pulling teeth.  We do enjoy some games that are fun in large groups, but getting them to play cards, or any type of game like that is always difficult.  

 

What's out there for an adult family of 4 that will help ignite some laughs and fun conversation?  I'm open to pretty much anything.  The kids are grown up, so we don't need to worry about some of the things we would think about if they were little.  

Which cruise line/ship are you sailing on? I recommend going to the comedy show (if offered) as you can engage in meaningful family-time and laughs, which can spark further conversation down the line. Go to the bar, and have drinks (virgin, if they are not old enough to consume alcohol). Go to trivia (if offered) and go to hosted game nights.

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12 hours ago, lola4795 said:

Getting my family to play games is like pulling teeth.

I would NOT do it during a vacation... Vacations are supposed to be a relaxing time, and not at all something that most people in your family dread. Don't force it.

Meet up at the pool, lounge in the hot tub, a little conversation goes a long way. Dinners together could be quite pleasant.

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I love playing games, and if you really just wanted good game recommendations would be happy to help (Red 7, Ticket to Ride are favorites of everyone I know).

 

But, might I suggest, shore excursions as opposed to games? Then you get to have the fun stories of "remember when dad got lost in Mexico", which is what people say are good bonding experiences.  Heck, there are even "Amazing Race" type shore excursions. I would recommend letting everyone pick one at a different stop- the kids might be more adventurous than you, but you may enjoy it!

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If they don't like board games, they don't like board games... but if you haven't tried the new-style board games, it might be worth looking into things like Pandemic, Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, etc. that might be more up their alley. Otherwise, we might be able to be more help if we knew what kinds of things your kids like.

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I think the dining together idea is great.  But, your kids are young adults, and will probably not want to spend as much time with you as you might like.  Let them pick some things to do ashore, and go and make some memories.  I'm sure you'll find things to do together on the ship, as well.  They may surprise you!

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My rule of thumb vacations on a ship if it doesn't mirror somewhat fun/leisure at home or land-based it is forced un-natural and won't end well.

 

We don't play games at home, but did have fun doing cards and some borrowed games on the ship, YMMV.  

 

Meals, always made a point to have go-out formal meals at home, and really enjoy the three sit-downs on a cruise, actually the highlight now as they are "adults."

 

You didn't mention plans in port. I find those initiate the glue that makes days on the ship tighter, pick a great excursion builds the following days, pick the wrong one and things can tend to have everyone go their own ways.  

 

Shows are YMMV as are music bands, again comes down to their and your joint interest.  They as they got older have opted out of the nightime shows due to interest, forcing can be counterproductive.   

 

Kids run the cycle of life, remember when you were a young adult, don't worry they will come back, it's the circle of life.

 

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General observation not specific to cruising.....

 

You will have more success at finding bonding actives if rather than asking the question, "how do I get them to do what I enjoy?"  instead you ask, "what do they enjoy that I can do with them"  And rather than guess you might ask them.

 

I would not be surprised if you have considerable more success going to the arcade with them and playing video game verses them (you will probably lose but that is okay, the goal is to spend time with them, not beat them) than you would if you try to force them to play a game of bridge.  

 

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This post hit me in the feels since I have 2 still relatively little boys. Is there a sports deck on the cruise? Ping pong, shuffleboard, mini golf, giant chess, even basketball might be fun to play as a family. My husband and his brother always love being competitive with each other so that is something I could see them enjoying. 

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4 hours ago, M2LR said:

This post hit me in the feels since I have 2 still relatively little boys. Is there a sports deck on the cruise? Ping pong, shuffleboard, mini golf, giant chess, even basketball might be fun to play as a family. My husband and his brother always love being competitive with each other so that is something I could see them enjoying. 

Again, which ship?

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  • 2 weeks later...

They way we always worked it was that we ate dinner together and go into ports together. When my kids were younger we would also insist on other meals together, but that changed as they got older. For excursions, I always try to find at least 1 that they will enjoy (don't ask me about my zipline experience a few years back). That is not to say that we never get together on the ship other than dinner, but it is on something that we both agree on, or, often, by chance as we see each other on the ship.

 

I am not sure that forcing them to have game time will have the outcome that you intend. Sorry.

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How long is the cruise, and what ship? 

 

I wonder if this would work — tell them in advance what ship it is, and tell them that each of the 4 of you will be tasked with choosing one activity for the whole family. It can be anything, from a family game night, to a comedy show, to a night at the arcade or casino. But there should be really tiny ground rules, like in general you should plan for something you think all will have a chance of enjoying (like not a wine tasting if mom is a recovering alcoholic or if kid #2 is underage, or not the zip line if dad suffers crippling fear of heights). Explain that you’re footing the whole bill of the trip, and that most of their time on the ship will be spent without you, but that this will be family time so you want it to be fun for everyone. 

 

 

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