When you’re planning your cruising, and then periodically as you are following your dream, it’s important to make sure that everybody is getting a dose of what they enjoy doing. There’s no faster way to ruin the cruising experience than to feel that it’s never any fun!
It starts by asking everyone aboard what they’d like to do. What appeals to them about cruising? And you may get answers like “sail,” “hike,” “see new places,” or “go snorkeling.”
And while those are a good starting point, you really have to dig a little deeper. Does the one who likes to hike enjoy hiking to take pictures? If so, that has some implications for having photography equipment on board and power for the computer to view and edit the photos. “See new places” can be towns or untouched wilderness. Visiting a winery or the ruins of former civilization. Without specifics, it’s hard to make sure that plans meet desires.
Next is asking what everyone really doesn’t like. Sure, spending all day on emergency repairs is going to be on most people’s list. But you may find that while one person loves to sail no matter what the conditions, another may hate light air.
It’s not just where you go and what you do; also consider creature comforts. Does someone hate living without heat or AC? Want some restaurant meals? Prefer to shower in a nice marina? Desire trips to see the grandkids? Just want some time alone?
All of it is important. And believe me, it’s likely that there are going to be some differences of opinion. But it’s critical to consider everyone on board – yes, even babies and pets who can’t speak for themselves. What does everyone need for this to be a viable lifestyle??
And then you can start to work out the compromises. Is it more important to have air conditioning or two fewer systems (AC and generator) to maintain? What do you spend that $1500 on: more solar power, a trip to see family, tours of nearby places of interest, or some dinners out? And so on. Just make sure that one person doesn’t “win” all the time!
Finally, you have to act. It’s great to decide that you’ll do more land travel but someone has to actually plan it. It’s wonderful to say that you’ll snorkel more, but you have to go places where there is good snorkeling and then go do it – and maybe someone who isn’t as wild on snorkeling goes along for safety. You have to make the things happen.
It’s easy to say that the person who wants to do something should be the one to arrange for it. But I’d like to argue that maybe it’s just as important for others on board to occasionally suggest doing something that they know someone else would enjoy. And then doing whatever they need to do to make it enjoyable for the other person: going along, buying the equipment, watching the kids, or something else.
Everyone should enjoy life aboard! You can keep cruising fun!