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Family Reunion Cruise or not?


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So my mom is turning 80 in 2023.   We had talked about maybe doing a family reunion cruise to Alaska when that happens over the last few years.  If we did end up going I was figuring Princess, because we wanted to see Glacier Bay, and the prices seemed reasonable.


Today she calls with my brother and sister-in-law on the line out of the blue, saying they booked an Alaskan cruise for her Birthday in 2023 on Silversea for 7 days p!us land for $15k/couple.  My wife and I could come if we wanted.    Also maybe my son, in college (20).   I was pretty surprised, because I didn't know anything about it and wasn't asked about dates, times or anything.   They were all excited about going on a luxury cruise.   I guess I don't care about the luxury.


I was kind of annoyed about being asked without being involved, but I think I'm over that.    The question is...   Should we feel obligated to go.   It's her 80th birthday.  I do want to hang out with my family, although I do see them once/year.   $15k sounds like too much.   I think equivalent trip on Princess is like $5-6.  Also for $15k, I don't think I would bring my son.   A little nervous about COVID possibilities too.  


I guess I feel like, if they really cared about other people going they would have figured out a budget that worked for everyone and did some planning as a group?    Maybe I'm overthinking it.  Anyone else have a similar circumstance?

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My parents did a Greek Island cruise for my mother's 60th birthday.  It was important to my mother that we all be there, so it was scheduled around my brother and my work schedules.   


If your parents' priority was to have you there, they would have included you in the planning, both in terms of budget and available dates.  So at this point, I'd say you are absolutely not obligated to attend.  You should be completely upfront with them if the sole reason you choose not to attend is financial.  And then they can decide if they want to pay for the difference between what you would have spent on Princess (which does a great job in Alaska) or go by themselves.


Just one thing for you to note - at the last minute when I was pregnant I decided to travel to Alaska for a baby moon.  I planned the whole trip 6 weeks out.  It went from, "oh gee, this cruise fare is so cheap, we can just go to Alaska and sneak in one cheap exciting trip before we have kids and it gets really hard to travel," to hmm....if we are traveling all that way (we are on the East Coast) we really should add on the land tour, and all the crazy expensive excursions like a helicopter to a dogsled.  Given the incredibly short tourist season and need to import everything - including seasonal workers - Alaska is extremely expensive, so please be aware of that prior to agreeing to a cruisefare that is out of your budget because the excursions will really be painful. Personally, I'd rather spend the money on excursions than sail on a luxury line - especially in Alaska, where the destination is so beautiful and filled with so many interesting excursions, but if your parents have the money for everything then they should totally go for it.  


But they don't get to guilt trip you for not going if you have to pay for it, and you should feel free to politely but firmly say no if this isn't how you want to spend so much money.  I hope you are all able to work something out.


Also, for something this expensive you definitely need to consider cancel for any reason insurance policy, and I would also consider travel health insurance policies so you can be medavaced out if you get covid.  The cancel for any reason policies need to be purchased quickly after you make  first payment for your trip so just consider that also.

Edited by kitkat343
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