It was during our Nickelodeon cruise aboard the NCL Epic that we met a family we’ll call the Smiths. We’d snagged a trip to the bridge to meet the captain and they were one of the other families on our tour. The parents were nice enough, and our kids really hit it off.
From there we headed to arts and crafts activities in the lounge and invited them along. It seemed as though the whole ship had turned out to color beach bags with famous cartoon characters. We decided to come back later and wished our new friends goodbye.
A few hours passed and we saw each other again. This time we were on line to have our pictures taken with Spongebob and Jimmy Neutron.
“We’re not stalkers,” they joked.
Seemed funny at the time. But looking back, maybe it wasn’t.
Later, the same family spotted us at the Freestyle cafeteria and we ate dinner together followed by ice cream poolside. They next day they tracked us down at breakfast and I became concerned that we might spend the whole day at sea with them.
I had plans to explore with my kids. This was our trip and time we set aside to be together as a family.
But our kids were thrilled to see the friends they made. And by the time we left to change for dinner – we’d made plans to eat at Teppanyaki that night – I had to make a firm break and turned down the other family’s invitation to meet up for dessert afterwards.
Let’s spend the day together
No, they weren’t swingers or meanies. I never felt uncomfortable or in danger. They were really sweet, nice folks. But I didn’t want to spend all of my vacation with them – I wanted to bond with my family.
Whether they knew it or not, our new friends were vacation crashers.
Vacation crashers are people who become a part of your vacation – sometimes innocently like the “Smiths” and sometimes not so innocently, like when the other couple leaves their kids with you so they can visit the spa.
They can take many forms and sometimes you don’t realize you vacation has been crashed until it is too late.
Have you ever been a vacation crasher victim – and what did you do?