Family trip for 50th anniversary

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We are planning to take our whole family on a trip for our 50th anniversary in 2013. there are 10 of us...6 adults and 4 children who will be ages 16,13,8,7. We are thinking of a cruise or a destination resort(hopefully all inclusive) where we can all be together and Grandma doesn't have to cook! We hope to go over Thanksgiving week to work out with school vacations and want to go somewhere warm. Any suggestions from all you travelers out there?

Four years ago I took our family , there were 11 of us, from adults to teen agers
to 9 year old, to Costa Rica.
I went there as there was something for everyone to enjoy.
We went to a volcano park; cloud forest, rain forest, swamp boat ride; and all the
kids and some adults took a zip line ride.
For the last few days we stayed at a very nice resort near Manuel Antonio Park; there
are also many beachs on both coasts. There is also a famous turtle area on the bay coast.

The air fares were reasonable, the food was good (no one got sick). We rented a large
van so we could all fit in with our luggage rather than small jeeps.

We had a travel agent for our bookings in the country but made our own air reservations.
Our last day was spent in San Jose, the capital, which is old and kind of quaint.
If you go, be sure to visit the museum in the bank building. It is outstanding for a
small country. Let me know if I can be of further help.

Thanks..that is a great idea. We have been there before but our families haven't. It is a beautiful place with very friendly and helpful people.

I would suggest a warm spot - Central or South America. Costa Rica, Panama, Galapagos/Ecuador, Peru/Macchu Picchu. I have not tried this but many are doing the 'home exchanges' to count down on costs. It all depends on how adventurous you want to be, do you want to stay put on one place or move around? What activities would you like to do? A combo wildlife/adventure/beach can meet everyone's needs. November is a good time - flights are not as expensive as Dec-Jan.

Take a look at a cruise - everyone can be in the same "place" but do different things and travel and share new memories at the same time. They are reasonably priced when you add up what is included: room, board, entertainment and travel. We like Holland America Lines outselves, but depending on what age ranges you have you may want a "younger" or older passenger ship - greater or lesser onboard activities. But they all have some sort of youth programs and get a lot of high marks from other multigenerational families travelling together.

That is what we are leaning toward so far.....I like the idea of us all being in the same place and being able to eat together but do our own things during the day. Would there be enough for the 16 year old to do? I'm not worried about the others. Thanks for your ideas...I really like this forum and all the great suggestions people come up with.

A lot depends on what cruise itinerary you select. If there are a lot of ports I don't think you need to worry about what a teenager will do on the few at sea days in between all the port stops. All mainline cruise ships have youth activities and their own retreat areas onboard with computers and probably video games. Special youth activities directors work with these various age groups and they may well have activities planned just for them that we regular passengers may not even get.

The best part is getting to know other young people their ages from all over the world, even if there are only a few their exact age onboard. There are adequate recreational activities onboard as well - paddle tennis, basketball, swimming, gyms, movies, DVD's for in-cabin viewing or just having a general run of the ship for the few hours between meals. There are libraries as well and just plain lounging outdoors on the chaises watching the world go by in the sun at sea. And there are also port lectures and enrichment lectures during the day which can also be interesting to young people so they get the most out of where they are visiting.

You might want to stay away from some of the "young party" ships because there may be more drinking and noise than you might like for a multi-generational family vacation. And there are some cruise lines that get a reputation for "older" passengers that are usually more upscale and pricy. Disney Cruise Lines gets high marks for "family" cruising but are on the higher end of the price scale, as well as appealing to probably a younger than age 16 age group. Middle of the road traditional cruise lines would Holland America, Princess and Celebrity which is where I would start looking first. Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Carnival are a bit more party and more loosely structured but can provide very good price packages.

CruiseCritic website devotes a whole forum for tips on family cruising:
PS I thought "being bored" was a normal part of any 16 year old's vocabulary anyway, and that always reminds me of the advice given to young people by the Queen Mother: If you are bored, then you are boring! ;-) The world is out there to explore so in my own mind this sort of travel can never be boring in today's global economy. Any 16 year old who gets a taste first hand of what lies past their own backyards gains a very important advantage IMHO.