Woo-hoo we are going on a cruise for Christmas! Palm trees, sand, clear blue water, entertainment and someone other than my husband and I will be making the holiday meal and every other meal for 7 days! It is destined to be so relaxing and great way to bond with our Millennials. The kids came home from college all pumped up to go on the cruise and suggested we leave as early as possible to get to our debarkation port of call, Tampa, Florida. The day was here, we were at the port of call just waiting our turn to get through a long line for customs and obtain our boarding passes. It was at this point I decided to deliver the news that Dad and I are not paying for the internet and phone package for anyone due to the high cost per subscriber. Smiles left the Millennials faces and then silence overcame us until Millennial 3 thought it would be wise to challenge our decision. Millennial 1 and 2 know that it is useless to challenge, so they remained silent and took in the exchange between the parents and their younger brother. Of course, I used the ‘It will great to unplug and not be tethered to your phone for a week!’, ‘There are going to be so many activities that you won’t miss it’ and ‘you’ll make new friends by talking to them’ rationales but you could sense they didn’t buy into it. For family communication, my friend gave me a tip ahead of the cruise to buy whiteboards with adhered magnets to put on the outside of the cabin door to leave messages of your whereabouts. There were also phones in each cabin.
For the first day of the cruise we all kept busy exploring the ship and attended all activities that interested us. Whiteboard communication was working out great for us and our room attendants. The phone in the room was not really an option after we woke up a Millennial from a nap. I don’t know if it was the crankiness from being woken up from a nap or separation anxiety from his phone but apparently shortly thereafter there was a meeting of the Quint Millennials and an executive decision made by most likely the CEO, Millennial 1 that one internet and phone package will bought, and they will share the phone. The CFO, Millennial 2 who holds the most money financed the decision and the CTO, Millennial 3 had an iPhone that didn’t have a cracked screen so his phone was elected to be shared.
The second day is when my husband and I found out by Millennial 1 staring at a phone in his bunk. I was like, What game are you playing? and he responded ‘No game, I am sending my girlfriend a text.’ I responded, ‘You bought the package!’ Ready to pounce I awaited an answer, and he promptly told me about the Quint Millennials meeting and decision made. Honestly, I thought good strategy but responded ‘Oh, I see.’
Sharing the phone must have worked out well because I didn’t hear any complaining. It wasn’t until after an incident involving my kids and I going on an excursion did I wish that I bought the internet and phone package. The plan was we were to meet at the gangplank at a certain time but Millennial 1 was missing. Millennial 2 went searching for him back at the room and in the common areas on the floor where the gangplank was but he was nowhere to be found. We thought he must have decided to meet us at port, so we got on the next tender. We arrived to the port in Belize and decided to go searching for him. No luck until we got back near the debarkation of the tender area that we found him coming off a tender. There was relief, hurt feelings and confusion that put a cloud over our day in Belize. We have no idea how it happened since there is such a small area to leave the ship but somehow we missed each other after waiting quite a long time. Having a phone with service would have alleviated that situation! I didn’t end up buying a package after the incident but the next family cruise I go on I will consider it. #STAYCONNECTED