So as you’ve no doubt gathered, I’ve decided that the cruising lifestyle is not for me. It’s not just the sickness, although that is certainly a factor. Before this trip, I had no idea that I was prone to seasickness, but now that I’ve tried everything from sea bands to drugs with little improvement, it’s definitely discouraging. Mom says that the seas were never this bad on her other cruises, and I’ve just had a run of bad luck. So I might - might - be willing to try a tropical cruise, or at the very least a river cruise, because it is still my dream to take a cruise down the Nile. But it’s definitely not my preferred mode of traveling.
It’s not just the effects of the ocean that sour me on cruising, though. I don’t like the brevity of the port stops. I know that’s part of the sacrifice – each trip, you go lots of neat places, but you don’t spend a lot of time in a particular spot. I can’t imagine trying to do Europe this way. Like, when Mom went on a cruise through Italy, she only spent a few hours in Florence, so she only saw the highlights of the city. After spending nearly a month in Florence and feeling that I’d barely scratched the surface, I can’t imagine trying to do the “Renaissance experience” in only a few hours. It’d be too frustrating. Even now, knowing that towns like Ketchikan and Skagway are tiny and largely depend on tourism to survive, I wish I could spend more time there because I don’t think I saw anything, really.
Being around mostly older people for a week and a half wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t great, either. I didn’t see a lot of people my own age the entire time I was on the boat, and the few that I did see usually had young kids or were with a large family group. So the people I ended up talking too were typically older retirees. I know that this varies a lot from one ship to the next, and at a different time of year or on a different route there will be more young people – but still. All of the entertainment was aimed at the older generation, so the shows and musical performances bored me and the shops stocked things I’d never buy. Luckily I brought a huge pile of books, so I was able to amuse myself.
But the biggest turnoff from cruising is just the attitude that a lot of people display. There’s this awful entitlement that bubbles up constantly. The most memorable example happened one morning as we were eating breakfast, before we disembarked in Skagway:
Woman: I can’t believe this.
Husband: What is it?
Woman: LOOK AT THIS! **thrusts plate at him**
Woman: This butter. It’s terrible.
Husband: It looks fine.
Woman: IT’S FROZEN.
Husband: Well, it’ll warm up in a minute-
Woman: HOW CAN I SPREAD FROZEN BUTTER ON MY TOAST? IT WON’T MELT. I HATE THIS. THIS IS TERRIBLE. FROZEN BUTTER. I HATE THIS **interrupts herself** WAITER!!!
Waitress: Yes, ma’am?
Woman: This is not what I want. This butter is too cold. I hate this.
Waitress: The butter?
Woman: THIS BUTTER IS FROZEN. WHY WOULD YOU FREEZE BUTTER ANYWAY?
Woman: I WANT MY TOAST HOT. I DO NOT WANT COLD TOAST AND FROZEN BUTTER. I HATE THAT IN FACT. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
Woman: IT’S SO STUPID. THIS FROZEN BUTTER IS YOUR FAULT. YOU CRUISE PEOPLE NEVER THING THINGS THROUGH. HOW ON EARTH CAN ANYONE SPREAD THIS?
Husband: Just put it between your toast, and it’ll soften up. **to waitress** We’re fine.
Woman: I HATE THIS BUTTER. I HATE THIS TOAST. BREAKFAST IS RUINED.
Me: Good grief, drama queen!
**The woman drops her fork.**
Woman: Great, now the cruise made me drop my fork. I HATE THIS. This breakfast is RUINED.
She goes on and on, rather ruining my breakfast with her ceaseless whining. When an overhead announcement plays, she bitches and moans throughout it about her toast – and then starts complaining that she couldn’t hear the announcement, and did it say something about government ID because that is NOT OK and why do people ALWAYS TALK THROUGH THE ANNOUNCEMENTS???
You tell me, lady. For crying out loud, you’re on a freakin’ boat in the middle of the ocean! My mind is boggled that we can have twenty different things to eat at any hour of the day, and if the butter has to be frozen to make it last, then I think we’ll survive.
There were other manifestations of this throughout the cruise. People complaining about the security lines, complaining about the food, complaining about the drinks, barking orders at servers like they’re servants, etc. etc. It was just…unpleasant, much of the time. Politeness just didn’t seem to be a priority.
There’s also the gluttony factor. Let’s face it – a lot of the people on the cruise were on the heavy side. Fat. Obese. And as I’m walking around, I see these huge people shoveling down plate after plate of high calorie food. Just because it’s there. Like my mom, who is not obese but definitely has high cholesterol, would eat three or four bags of popcorn each day because she could. She ate full meals, and she wasn’t exercising, so those were just empty calories going straight to fat. Her justification was, “Well, I don’t eat food I don’t like, so this is OK.” And that sort of attitude seemed to be the norm for most of the people I met.
Sometimes, that much excessive food makes me lose my appetite. Between that and the nausea, I’m pretty sure I’ve actually lost weight on this cruise.
So yeah. Me? Not a lifelong cruiser.
I can’t wait to get off the boat for good tomorrow.