As a Cook Islander I have grown up with family reunions being a massive event. Every four years (except the blip in history that was Covid) my extended family on my mother’s side would gather for a week of family time. It was always so much fun and required a lot of organisation.
In the Pacific community, family reunions are still very much alive and thriving. It’s a great way to get to know your relatives and of course find out your family tree / lineage so you don’t marry your cousins!
To keep the tradition alive in this day and age with expenses for everything sky-rocketing, let me propose an idea. Some may like it, some may hate it but I’ll share it regardless.
Cruising!!! Yes, I said cruising.
Before you shut me down, let me explain a few of the benefits of cruising!
1.Value for money: Expenses are high when it comes to reunions. The travel expense and day to day expenses can take a toll. Your cruise fare does not just include your cabin either. It includes all your meals!!! No cooking, no cleaning up – how good! Now that alone is cause for celebration. There are numerous food outlets on these gigantic cruiseliners so there’s something new to try every day. Some cruises include all restaurants and some charge a small fee for their premium restaurants. Some offer buffet restaurants but where they don’t, you can order as much as your tummy can fit in. Handy tip – take some stretchy pants or gym every day on the cruise or else you’ll be taking the bed sheets with you when you finish your cruise haha!
2.Extended payment period: This is a biggie! With airfares you have to almost always pay them upfront. Cruising on the other hand allows you to pay it off over time. Generally, all you need to pay for is a deposit and then the balance isn’t due for quite some time, depending on how far out you’ve booked your cruise of course.
3.Activities on board – there are generally large swimming pools, kids clubs, gyms, spas, shows, movie theatres and shops onboard. Depending on the itinerary you’ve booked, you can also do exciting shore excursions (again depending on the cruise it may be included) to do a bit of exploring when you dock.
Now those points above take care of four important areas for family reunions: accommodation, food, budgeting and activities whilst in your reunion. Headache nowhere to be found.
Before I did a cruise I was skeptical about whether I would actually enjoy it, if I’d run out of things to do, if the food would be good, if the boat would rock too much. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m probably the worst Islander when it comes to being out on the open sea. I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise and I think you would too.
So, if this is something you are keen to do or have questions about – family reunion or not – chat to me about your options 😊 There are plenty of different types of cruising out there and I’d love for more people to experience voyaging the seas. It used to be something only the very wealthy did back in the day. These days there’s something for everyone.
Let’s get cruising!