This is going to sound very annoying and whiny. You should consider skipping this one. Remember, I warned you.
"My" cruise ship is in port today. At least, she will be mine for 15 days, 45 days from now! We've got a great itinerary: 5 days at sea; Hilo, Hawaii; Kona, Hawaii; Honolulu, Oahu; Nawiliwili, Kauai; Lahaina, Maui; 4 days at sea; Ensenada, MX; San Diego.
The Mr and I are so excited about this trip! We really (!!) need a vacation, we love (!!!!!) cruising and I have never been to Hawaii.
But this trip, OMG, has had so much drama.
A quick history behind our cruising. In August of 2006, The Mr and I decided we wanted to take a cruise through the Panama Canal. We did some research and found what we thought to be a good deal on Norwegian Cruise Lines. Then we thought... "I wonder if we should ask the parents if they want to go too.... I'm sure they won't go for it, so it's a safe bet." But they wanted to go! And my sister wanted to go too! Very cool! But my FIL said that we could not take a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise. (You see, The In-Laws had taken a cruise on Holland America, and he was a cruise expert. Obviously, Holland America is the only cruise line to take.)
It all (eventually) worked out and we had the best trip ever for 17 days aboard Holland America's Zuiderdam transiting the Panama Canal in the spring of 2007.
Last year we cruised the Sea of Cortez on Holland America's Ryndam. My sister decided not to join us last year (she'd been to many of the ports already and had different ideas for her vacation budget), but all the parents were there.
This year, we tried to get some input as to our itinerary and the timing of the cruise. We had some suggestions of places to go (keeping in mind that we must sail on Holland America) and really want to go sometime in the spring.
After a significant amount of wrangling, we finally got everyone decided on Hawaii. Yea! This was my first choice, though a bit more expensive than some of the other choices. (Well, second choice after a 30 Tahiti cruise and a "redo" of the Panama Canal... neither of which were really on the table). Then we tried to get people to agree to a date. No one really had any constraints. "You let us know, and we'll be there!"
Then my sister had a conflict (she's going to Costa Rica this month, lucky girl) so she had to go in March. And my parents need an accessible cabin, so we had to work around that. We found a date (March 22... 45 days from now!) and we all booked.
3 days later The In-Laws cancelled their booking. UGH! My FIL, who is retired, has a "retirement" job at the church. He puts together the church bulletins. And our trip gets us back just after Palm Sunday. He couldn't possibly be gone for Palm Sunday. And my MIL can't leave her mom (Great Grandma who is 93 years old, basically in good health but chronically bad-spirited and cranky and living in assisted living) for 15 days with no one. She also can't leave the cats.
We think this may be the last cruise that we all take together (for various health reasons) and have been trying to change The In-Laws' mind since they cancelled. FIL figured out that he could train someone to take over bulletin duty (ugh...) but MIL can't change her mind. Even though MIL's sister would be here to take care of Great Grandma and the cats.
Finally, after much haranguing, we managed to get MIL on board. BUT now FIL has decided that he just cannot have someone else make the bulletin.
Some further hand-wringing, some emails and many text messages gets a new plan. MIL and her sister will go, leaving FIL at home with Great Grandma and the cats. MIL is lukewarm to the idea, but will go. MIL's sister is SUPER EXCITED!
Call to the travel agent shows that the cruise is fully booked. UGH! We've got them wait-listed, but don't have much hope.
THEN... my parents send an email to my sister that they are thinking of cancelling. UGHHH!
We have a wonderful time with the family on our cruises. The planning part is so stressful though. We workd hard for our vacations and do not need the drama involved. Seriously thinking our next cruise ought to be the 30 day Tahiti because no one else would think of coming along. Does that make me a bad person? Sigh, I think it does.