Help With an Ethical Dilemma (Friendship-Related, Long)

Mrs. Homie and I are in the midst of an ethical dilemma involving some friends. Here’s the gist:

A group of nine friends are planning a big blowout vacation to Walt Disney World in December 2010. Within the big group are three sub-groups: the Brent, Michelle & Kim sub-group; the Steve, Jen & Ron sub-group, and the Homie, Mrs. Homie, and SissieHomie sub-group.

When we originally planned this vacation, we all agreed as a group that we would stay at the Caribbean Beach Resort (a more expensive hotel). This way, we could party together at the pool, etc.

This past weekend we learned that Brent, Michell & Kim have decided to stay at the Pop Century Resort (a less expensive hotel) because they don’t have as much money as they thought. Steve also reported that he & Jen & Ron are probably going to downgrade their hotel as well.

Mrs. Homie, SissieHomie and I don’t need to downgrade- we have enough money for the more expensive room, and we were looking forward to it. However, this would put us away from our friends AND possibly create hard feelings since we’re blowing more money when they’re scrimping.

Any thoughts?

Determine what is more important: the amenities of the hotel - or the amenities of the friendship?

Consider taking the money you would be saving on the hotel and using it towards something you wouldn’t have had: an in-room massage, a spa day, some extra souvenirs, etc.

That’s what I would do.

Unless you are dropping from 5 star to roach motel, I’d go with the flow.

Your friends SHOULD have run this by the group however. But on the flip side, if you don’t have the spare cash, you just dont have it. And it sounds like most of the group is opting for the cheap route.

Now, if you knew these folks were professsional cheapskates that pulled stuff like this all the time it would be one thing. But, if its a bit much for their budget it just is what it is.

I think the main idea about vacationing with friends is to spend time with those friends (you can go to a super-nice hotel by yourselves any time). I’d stay with the rest of them (like billfish says, unless it’s going to be a crappy hotel).

I’d rather stay in a less ritzy place with my friends than the Ritz without. But that is just me. I don’t see an ethical or moral dilemma here, just choices about what you like to do. I would probably be one of the people staying in the less expensive place and, while I might miss hanging out with the Homies, I wouldn’t be offended by their decision to stay in the original place. If it was good friends I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from cracking jokes about “Lives of the Rich and Famous” at every opportunity.

I think it comes down to how much time you planned to spend with the other groups. Plan to hang out a lot = stay together. Plan to see each other in the park sometimes = stay where you like. Or is it that those Brents are trying to pull a power play of some kind by switching places?

If the point is to vacation with your friends, then you need to downgrade to the cheaper hotel. It’s kinda tacky that they’ve pretty much forced you to do it, but it’s a done deal at this point.

This is a great way to put it.

I looked at the Web sites for both hotels and they both look pretty nice to me. All other things being equal, I’d rather keep the group together. It still sounds like a pretty nice vacation.

I also agree with the idea of using your savings to splurge on something else. Maybe take your friends out for a super-fancy dinner one night. :slight_smile:

If they haven’t asked/hinted that you should downgrade then you can do what you want. Either way I don’t think it’s about ethics. You agreed to a vacation at Fancy Resort, if they decide to change the plans on their own then you’re free to stick with your original plan. Saying something like “Gosh that’s smart of you guys … well, we were really planning to splurge this year but I’m sure we’ll be able to meet up at the park!” is perfectly gracious, IMHO.

Personally I would downgrade but that would be my genuine preference – the only reason I’d ever go to Disney Whatever in the first place is to be a sport and go along with my friends. If you genuinely want to stay at this particular place more than you want to hang out with your friends all day then they I think they should respect that, so long as you’re not a snob about it, and aren’t a pain about meeting up once a day or so. Just note that they might do the same thing to you later on, when you suggest a different restaurant or whatever, but again, it’s not about ethics, just personal preference.

ETA: ditto shiftless et al.

Billfish678 summed it up nicely. Unless the Pop Century Resort rents by the hour and clean sheets are extra, go with the flow and have a great time.

It’s always been my opinion that a group vacation is more about the company than the location.

I stayed at the Pop Century resort when I was 17 and then again at 18 and I had no complaints. The rooms were Disney Clean and the pools were plenty big and fun. You have to catch a tram to get to the parks but we didn’t have problems with that, either with the school band or my family.

Staying in a nice hotel does kick ass (we stayed at the Polynesian when I was 7) but I agree with the others who say that staying with your friends kicks more ass.

FWIW, Mrs. Homie and I stayed at the Pop Century in 2005 and absolutely LOVED it! We were just excited about trying a Moderate resort this time.

Like everyone else, I vote for a downgrade (and no mentioning where you ‘wanted to’ or ‘could have’ stayed). Even if you don’t spend every waking hour together, making plans will be much easier and it will be a real group trip (rather than having the Homies be the odd family out). And buying a round of drinks or something similar would be nice!

Can you get a group discount to get everybody at the hotel your originally planned on? Use some airline or credit card miles?

As long as the hotel is decent (and it probably will), it’s better for all of you. All the friends stay together (and, really, how much time are you going to spend at the hotel as opposed in the parks?), and you save money. I can’t really see any reason not to downgrade.

BTW I do sympathize with your position. I know how it’s such a nice feeling to save up and pay for “this is gonna be our awesomest vacation yet!” and your big plans are dashed because your fellow travelers are short on cash (or, like in my case, are cheap). On one hand, you want nothing more than to spend time with your friends and you know it’ll be fine, but in the back of your mind you’re thinking “dammit, it’s not my fault that I have so much more money!”

Sucks, I know. But you know you’ll have a good time anyway.

I think you should book a roach motel and tell them you suddenly realized you don’t have as much money as you thought you did, and ask them to join you. Then see what they do :smiley:

I agree that you should go with the flow. Group vacations like this always have some conflicts, so if you’re going to travel with other families, you have to be flexible.

And definitely take the price difference and put it toward something specific–a future vacation or some other thing that’s purely for fun and enjoyment.

We’re currently planning a DisneyWorld vacation for very early December 2010 ourselves. We’ve stayed at the Caribbean Beach twice in the past and loved it. This time, we’re blowing the budget and going for one of the Deluxe resorts - the Wilderness Lodge. We’re going to use this trip to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, so we wanted to go a bit more special.

One thing I have picked up researching our trip is that there seem to be no ‘FINAL’ room rates with Disney. There are plenty of money-saver websites out there that talk about how to really work the system for upgrades, discounts, etc. If you get your friends onboard with that, you could all end up staying at one of the better resorts for not any more money. I’d recommend both Mousesavers and “The Unofficial Guide” (book or website).

Hope this is helpful!

Is your kid a huge pool kid - and in particular a pool SLIDE kid? The moderates have pool slides (and Caribbean Beach’s is nice), Pop doesn’t. That might be an excuse - although I’d be tempted to stay with them anyway. Disney hotel guests only get pool privileges at the hotel they stay at - so you can’t visit the pool at Pop if you stay at CBR, nor can they visit your pool.

Its hard to move a big group through Disney - set expectations for “away time” - we generally make plans to see people for meals and for a few things, but try not to move through the parks as a huge group.

(GythaOgg, Wilderness Lodge is a favorite resort of ours - check out the DVC or “quiet” pool, which has jets on the bottom of the pool to make it feel like a “bubbling spring.”)

No kids. None of us have them, none of us want them. The youngest person on this trip is SissieHomie, and she’ll be 24 when we go.