UNPOPULAR OPINION: I LIKE CRUISES AND WANT TO GO ON ANOTHER ONE
Yeah, that’s right. I like cruises. I’d love to take another one. You know why I don’t? Because all these blathering snobs among my friends and family can’t stop railing about little things like fecal hellscapes of sewage-surging hallways and bag-defecation protocols. C’mon, people. You did worse in college and called it Spring Break.
What these bag-diarrhea phobics neglect to understand is that cruises can be a great time. They’re not all the E. coli floating Winnebagos one friend called them when I threw the question out to social media. Some of us really enjoy them. Another friend responded that he did coke and lost his virginity on a cruise and is therefore a lifelong fan. See?
There are several reasons my positivity endures, too, and I’ll address some of them here.
1. I really, really, really hate to fly
This is a thing, people. An enormous impediment. Can I think of interesting places I’d love to explore? Hell yes. Does the thought of flying there destroy the entire fantasy instantly with accompanying gaggy shudders? Yes again. Finding a way to slither into, say, Bermuda (where I cruised from Boston) without the involvement of jet service makes Auntie a happy woman. Those who’ve read Tina Fey’s Bossypants know her husband is on Team Meredith on this issue, or was. And if you haven’t read it, you should. Immediately.
Think it’s stupid to be afraid of flying and focusing on the tiny percentage of flights that end up on the ocean floor with 100-million-hour CNN coverage? I agree with you. Kind of like being convinced you’ll definitely get Norovirus on your cruise.
2. I’m cheap as hell
And terrible with money, a winning combination not just anyone can achieve. The cruise I went on (several years ago) cost like $3K between the two of us. That’s a trip to Bermuda, six nights of stateroom, and all the food the cruise staff could cram down our barely willing throats. And we had a porthole, an important distinction should one wish to wake up in a room not identical to solitary at Leavenworth.
Alcohol costs extra, of course, so tack on another…maybe…$600 for that (shuddup). And alcohol-related activities such as gambling and art auctions (see: terrible with money) can add significantly more. Excursions weren’t awfully expensive, included hikes and snorkeling in front of Ross Perot’s house, and tended to involve the best-looking men on the tub.
3. A variety of activities magically devoid of social intercourse
I think we all know at this point that the company of some cruisers is worse than explosive diarrhea in a Ziploc horror show, so let’s just accept that as fact. In the old days of cruises you were crammed into awkward situations with these specimens at almost every turn. But times have changed, and cruise lines have realized that moody loners like me would rather carve out our own experiences minus adults wearing Mickey Mouse sweatshirts who really, really enjoyed Forrest Gump. There’s more and more offered that requires little social interaction and I, for one, applaud that.
On my cruise, we got lucky and got a dinner table assignment with interesting, funny people. This did not happen again at any other meal and we often sought other options. I vividly remember one lunch at which everyone else at the table had taken multiple cruises per year and spent the entire meal delineating everything about the current cruise that sucked compared to others. I fled to the Internet café, where I happily spent $9 million to check my email and not be at a table with those people.
4. You can go your own wayyyyyy
I went on my cruise with a friend who was really into SCUBA diving. She brought her gear and went off and did that a few days. Perfect. I took those moments of solitude to pause, reflect and remind myself what’s important in life (read: drink, gamble and attend art auctions). During breaks from that spiritual practice, I reclined on lounge chairs and flirted with the legions of multinational beer-bringers who really, really liked me for me. And yes, I do apparently tip double if you’re cute, flirty and Filipino.
When my roommate got back, we’d take turns getting ready for dinner. Since our stateroom was roughly the size of a Hyundai Sonata, any attempts to primp simultaneously would’ve resulted in death, accidental or otherwise. She’d shower and do her hair, I’d resume my spiritual work. Then I’d shower and off we’d go.
After the 100-course dinner we weren’t paying extra for, they’d catch us on the way out and remind us of the midnight chocolate buffet just a few nauseatingly short hours away. These were just five or six of the surprisingly small number of times I’ve contemplated extreme violence against another human being. If you can eat to the point of projectile vomiting and then tamp that down with a layer of Black Forest cake, you’re dangerously insane. Or a bulimic. But remember, it’s all free. At least it feels that way until the booze bill comes.
These are just four things I like about cruises and I didn’t even mention perks like gold chains by the yard, weird-looking fish and enormous whale couples swimming alongside the ship. Imagine how many things I might love about another cruise — minus icebergs, cowboy captains and gastrointestinal geysers, of course.
Who’s with me? My bags are packed. Let’s do it.