Okay y'all, I need your advice. First, let me say that obviously any decisions will have to involve the rest of my family and Odessa. Nevertheless, let me tell you what the background is and then what the options are, and then I really really really want your feedback.
Background: we booked a family vacation way back in September. Sabrina was with me then but we knew she wouldn't be staying, and of course I had no clue of Odessa's existence, or that there was even the remotest possibility that I would end up with a teenager in my home. We are going on a cruise leaving from thousands of miles away from our Big City, from a Big City2 that I've never been to. My aunt and I are to share a stateroom on the cruise, and I intend to spend a few extra days after the cruise wandering Big City2 and the BigCity3 that is a few hours away.
The question now is: do we bring Odessa on the cruise, or does she stay somewhere else for two weeks?
1. If she comes on the cruise, I can't extend the vacation. This is for cost reasons (I'm assuming that I can find enough couches to surf for a few days that I won't have to pay for a hotel. Can't do that with a teenager.)--though we'd also have to change up my ideas about what we would do for those few days, and that just seems stressful to me. (Plus her summer job will start the day after the cruise ends.)
2. Stateroom options if she comes:
a. She shares the stateroom with my aunt and me. Total cost (outside of airfare) for the extra person: $580.
b. She shares the stateroom with me that I was going to share with my aunt, and my aunt gets her own stateroom in the same (expensive) category. Total cost (outside of airfare): $4100-some.
c. My aunt and I share our stateroom, Odessa brings a friend and they share an interior cabin. Total cost (outside of airfare): $2489. (Note: I didn't ask about Odessa having her own interior cabin, my guess is that would be about $2200; I'm not sure I like the idea of a 17 year old with her own cabin, though I traveled with my parents and had my own hotel rooms. In fact, we went to England when I was 9 and my sister 14, and we shared a room that wasn't always adjacent to my parents'.)
Airfare at the moment is about $450 per person round trip. I hate spending money but I think I would be okay paying for a friend to come with her, since it would be only a few extra hundred dollars plus airfare.
3. I'm really just bummed that I wouldn't be able to extend the vacation.
4. I promised Odessa that we could go somewhere by plane so we either do this (which will give her all sorts of new experiences) or I have to plan another trip to somewhere that would end up costing about $1000 anyway. (Yes, $1000 is very different from $3500. Nevertheless...)
5. If she doesn't come, I will feel guilty for going on a family vacation and not treating her as part of the family. Even though we didn't know her when the trip was planned.
6. All this time, my expectations were for a responsibility-free vacation. I don't want to have to shift my expectations.
7. I don't know how the rest of the family would feel about the addition of a 17 year old and an 18 year old to our group. (I'm making assumptions about which friend Odessa would choose to bring.)
8. I'm cheap. Over $6000 for a vacation seems steep to me, even if it would be for three people. (I think that the $2500 I have to pay for myself seems steep, but I'd gotten used to it.)
What do you recommend I do???
But I'm a MESS!
8 hours ago