What was the biggest challenge you faced in getting out there?
I think the biggest challenge for everyone is just deciding to do it, making the commitment and setting a date.
Every part of dropping out for a period of time to travel with your kids runs against the grain of societal norms. It isn't what we're supposed to do in our late 30s to early 50s. It doesn't make financial sense. It leaves people wondering about our kids' education. It even causes some to think that you're putting your kids' lives at risk.
If you share any of these common fears, you shouldn't go. But if you don't, if you're eager to cast off and show your kids some of this big world and the way others are living in it, if you're willing to make the personal sacrifices (mostly financial) to go, then you shouldn't feel challenged in making the decision to go.
How old were your children when you left? Is there a best age to take children cruising?
I think going cruising is like taking your kids to the grocery store or out to eat.
At 13, you may have trouble convincing them to go.
But I think in that latter age group, we tend to cite stereotypes (there's a reason for them), but it's really kid- and family-specific. There are 15-year-olds eager to go. My advice is to go when you can.
In interviewing dozens of current and former cruising teens, two trends emerged.
First, teens who started cruising long before that age, still love it.
Second, teens who were dragged kicking and screaming aboard came to love it after about six months.