When my grandparents asked me if I wanted to go on a free cruise through the Caribbean, my answer was obviously yes.
For my grandparents’ 50th anniversary, they decided to take the family on a cruise and have done so every five years since. This will be the third time I attend a cruise with my grandparents, father, sister, 16 of my cousins and five aunts and uncles.
The last cruise I took with my family was when I was 16, so I will be enjoying the benefits of being 21 this time around. Being of age will open new doors, mainly those of bars, and offer new opportunities for me to take advantage of.
With our Irish and German heritage, my family treats drinking like a competitive sport. I never see a family member without a drink in their hand, even at 11 in the morning.
Drinks on cruises can be expensive and as a broke college student, this is a major concern to me. Luckily, I will have many family members who are not as financially challenged as me to cover some of the costs.
My biggest worry about being 21 this time on the cruise is getting drunk in front of my uncles, who will not be as accepting of my drunken behaviors as my cousins and father. I realize that I have to see these people for the rest of my life and would like to avoid them seeing me as a drunken mess, so I plan to wait until the most judgmental adults go to bed to start the shots and heavy drinking.
I am not a morning person, especially with a hangover, and my grandparents like to plan excursions onto the different islands at eight in the morning.
On my last cruise, I remember how cranky I was all day from waking up so early. This time around, the family has hopefully learned to plan events later in the day — I doubt it though.
My resolution for this is simple — get food as soon as I wake up. Starting your day with a delicious buffet makes everything better.
Besides all the negatives, the excursions are a great part of traveling with family because usually we are the only group on the excursion. On another cruise I took with just my mother and sister, the excursions were always filled with random people who are not as fun as my cousins.
My favorite part of traveling with my family is that we are always the life of the party on the ship. By the end of the cruise my family is well-known for our large group of people with matching shirts, obnoxious laughs and the fact that we are always at the bar.
My sister always participates in every activity on the ship, and our family owns karaoke night. Even though only two of us can actually sing, we all decide we all are worthy of the stage.
There is a downfall to the size of our group, however. Getting everyone in one place at the same time is always a hassle and frustrating. Also, I always run into a member of my family no matter where I am going.
This can be a downfall because there are always aunts and uncles watching my every move. Between the ten of them, they can pretty much cover every popular spot on the ship.
There are certain locations that my family members will not think to go to. Not many people know that on Royal Caribbean cruises, and possibly other cruise lines, there is a helicopter pad to front or back of the ship. I love to go to the helicopter pad at night and lay down and look at the stars.
I guarantee this is the quietest place on the ship and a nice place to relax after a stressful day with family.