Traveling with Kids: Family Cruise or Parents-only Cruise?

kids or no kids

Since the beginning of our dating days, John and I have been taking at least one trip a year, and one of them is definitely during Memorial Day week. We had a few year stretch where we went back to the same area of Mexico just trying different resorts each time….we even saw some of the same travelers doing the same thing year after year. #random.

Back in January we booked our upcoming cruise. We went with MSC Cruises, an Italian cruise line that we haven’t tried before. At the time I booked it for four, thinking it would be our first cruise as a full family. (check out our cruise as a family of 3 back in 2013)

Now….I kinda want to call and rebook as a family of two.  Just me and Johnny.

Don’t look at me like that. I feel guilty enough.

dont judge me rupaul

But….hear me out.

I’m with the kids all day every day. I know things will be slightly different on the cruise because we’ll be away from our daily grind, and someone else will be doing the cooking and cleaning, and in charge of entertainment for the most part. But…I still just want to be away…from responsibility. I told you already how important having a momcation is… well I feel a parentcation is essential as well.


Mom guilt is what has kept me from calling up our travel agent already. Well, mom guilt and wife guilt. I am home with the kids non stop, but John isn’t. He sees them on weekends, and just for a couple hours each night. During the day I send him pics and videos, and he laments not being a work from home dad. I know he wants more quality time with the kids…and a week-long family cruise would give him just that.

So I feel terrible wanting to chuck em over to my family so we can have a couples getaway just because of my daily interaction with them. I want them to get lots of daddy time and attention. I want them to experience all the fun stuff we do, and make awesome memories with them.

I asked John what he’d prefer and he said “Whatever you want to do, is what I want to do.” The guy’s equivalent to us girls’ “I dunno, what do YOU wanna eat/do/see?” lol So…he’s no help.

Rohan’s been on a cruise with us, and Kaya hasn’t been on any vacation with us except a road trip to my family reunion when she was just a few months old. Right now I’m leaning toward just keeping it a whole family cruise and hopefully John and I can take a mini getaway alone later in the year…

What say you?

Family Cruise or Parents Only Cruise?


  1. says

    We have yet to go on an alone vacation. Our girls are 8 and 11. The main reason is I have a hard time leaving them even though we are home everyday together. It’s not a clingy thing, but more of a “they need a change of scenery too” thing. I wouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to spend alone time with my husband though. For now, we just have weekly date nights and monthly longer date nights. I am optimistic that in the future we’ll have plenty of vacations together for now we will continue to include them although they have even mentioned that we should go somewhere alone.

    • Dani says

      we have the same sitch – mini date nights weekly and a biggie once a month. … but you’re SO tough not taking an alone vacay in 11 years… lord have mercy! Whens your next getaway?

  2. says

    I say you back out and let John take ’em on the cruise by himself, lol. He gets the full dad experience while you relax. No? Family vacation now and mom/dad getaway later.

  3. says

    The only getaway I get sans kids is blogging conferences -_-

    We both work from home (but they are in school now) so pretty much every trip is all of us or just the girls. I’m down for just you two going alone and I wouldn’t judge you one bit! But I totally get what you mean about John not having as much time with them as you do.

    Def do what feels right and enjoy your trip! And I better get tons of random ass snaps! LOL

  4. says

    I think it should be just you and your hubby this time. Take the kids when they’re a little older and they can have memories of it. I took my kids on our cruise recently because my parents planned and paid for the cruise. They originally wanted to just take our kids, but added us to the bill when they thought about how difficult it might be with passports and guardianship stuff since it’s out of the country. Next year I’m hoping my husband and I can go on a cruise all by ourselves ;-).

  5. says

    I’ve only been in the parent trenches for 3 weeks so my vote is for Parent Only!! But again I’m in the very earlier stage of parenthood and feel like I already need a vacation…

  6. says

    Family trip all the way! Wait…hear me out : ) It’s definitely nice for us moms to get a bit of a break and reconnect with our hubbies but based on experience, family trips give dads a chance to really connect with the kids, especially if they’re busy during the week. They get a chance to be “all in” during the trip. Plus the kids will be excited to have all of dad’s attention. You can always plan to take a mommy break at least once during the cruise…take a nice long walk, take in a spa treatment…etc. Hopefully the kids aren’t too filthy or malnourished after an hour or 2 alone with dad…but who knows LOL!

  7. says

    First let me say, I LOVE cruising! It’s my favorite way to travel. And if I’m doing a family trip, that’s the way to go. We took our kids on their first trip when they were 6 years old. They absolutely loved it!! So much for kids to do, away from mom and dad. Not sure how old your youngest is or how comfy you are with leaving the kids at a cruise “kids club” but my kids adored it and hubby and I had good chunks of time alone.

    On the other hand, my daughter now says she wishes we had gone when they were older because she can’t remember a lot of it.

    I vote for family trip. We have awesome memories from our cruises!

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