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Cruising Off Baja

“A life on the ocean waves,
A home on the rolling deep…”

— Sea Shanty

In travel I once thought there were only three levels of tedium that overtake one between departure to destination. 1) If you go by car, your tedium level is light. You have the power to interrupt your journey at any point as well as a changing view and a task, driving, for diversion. 2) Travel by rail or bus introduces you to the second level of tedium when only scheduled stops enable you to break the journey, but the scenery remains in the middle distance as a diversion. 3) Should you go by air, your despair and terror are lessened by the knowledge that, except for extreme distances, your powerlessness and lack of view will at least last no more than a day.

The three levels of tedium. Each more or less equal to the others and each part of what you pay for wanting to indulge in the mindlessness of modern travel. But I have a fourth level and this level contains all the horrors of travel plus the horrors of actually being there. This is a level of tedium previously unexplored by me, but rumored to exist by sensible travelers who have gone and returned to tell the tale. I should have believed them but, like the fool I have always been, I had to experience it myself. It isn”t too soon to send out a warning in the hopes that there are others out there who will not be the fool I was; who will turn back before committing themselves to the constantly renewing fresh hell on the ocean waves.

But should you have a taste for tedium, should boredom be like mother”s milk and daily bread (lots of it) to you, you will be surfeited by this otherwise antiquated mode of travel. Indeed, for sheer, mind obliterating tedium; for the kind of vacancy induced only by event horizons with no events and fewer horizons; for a feeling that arises in no experience other than incarceration, there is nothing that can beat the tedium induced by that modern masterpiece of torpor, stupor and pointlessness, the Cruise Ship.

“The sane reaction to a cruise would be to throw yourself off the ship in the hopes that the props would convert you to chum before the sharks found you.”


This marvel of contemporary capitalism — a hotel that takes its patrons far out of reach of any competition — has no peer when it comes to simultaneously suspending and extending time. At sea, the ship’s clock is all there is and its pendulum pulses exceedingly slow. After a day or so, you exist in this world with either way too much time or outside of time altogether. Either way the first thing to leave your mind and judgment is your mind and judgment. This is hardly noticed by most since management has arranged for a host of activities so mindless that you will be convinced for days that you are actually in possession not only of your mind, but in your right one at that. It is only when the credit card bills arrive long after you are at home that you will realize what you have done to yourself.

The sane reaction to a cruise, once one has trapped oneself on board and has perceived exactly what sort of fresh and renewing hell one is in, would be to wait until midnight and throw yourself off the ship in the hopes that the props would convert you to chum before the sharks found you.

But since you are obviously so insane as to actually get on the cruise ship in the first place, this blissful option is closed to you. Besides, the small pattern of looping dots on the map in the main lounge that lays out your trip to nowhere gives you the hope that, when all the little red dots have changed to green, you will be released and returned to life. Since the ship only moves at a piddling four dots per day, and since the dots are many, you try not to peek too often lest despair absorb you and you hear the chimes of the starboard rail at midnight.

Still, in the brief moments of lucidity that come between meals and naps, an experience aboard a cruise ship is not without its uses. It can, properly considered, instruct you in the deeper meanings of your foolishness. Indeed, it can cause you to re-examine attitudes towards life issues you previously thought of as resolved. Capital punishment Vs. life imprisonment comes to mind at this moment.

Before being trapped aboard this bobbing monument to all that is mediocre in our culture, I had been of the firm opinion that for certain crimes only death was a just reward. After a few days of hiding from Muzak in my ironically named “Stateroom,” I began to believe that life imprisonment in such a room, even if were a bit larger, would be a finer and more just torture than a bit of nod and wink before the big sleep at the end of a needle or rope.

As an added punishment to the condemned, I would allow him the cable system I possess of four channels, two of which endlessly repeat either an infomercial for amber jewelry and the roast of a minor celebrity. The others are devoted to the X-files and Wolf Blitzer and seem, after a couple of days, completely interchangeable. A week of this begins to melt the sheathing from every nerve fiber you possess. Several decades would a hell beyond imagining. For especially heinous crimes, the remote would be removed from the cell and handed to the steward who hasn’t been tipped in ten years.

Another lesson learned when trapped on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean is a lesson, a deep lesson, about food.

I’ ve long held that one of the sure signs of the success of modern civilization in the United States is that we have, for the first time in the history of creation, created a culture whose central problem is that is has way-t00-much food. We have a nation so drenched in food that we now have to have our legislature spend time passing laws making it illegal to sue those companies whose business is offering cheap food in massive quantities to the population. Given that the entire history of life has been a ceaseless search for adequate food, the advent of a nation that produces, winter, spring, summer and fall, way-too-much food is a signal event in evolution. But it still, alas, remains a problem for the human animal that has evolved to consume food whenever and where ever available. Since many cannot just say no to the bacon-chili cheeseburger option, the persistent supply of cheap food is a problem.

Cruise ships seem, as part of their most persistent purpose, to be designed to eliminate this problem of way-t00-much food once and for all. Never before have I been in an environment that pushes food at its end users as frantically and methodically as a cruise ship. The offers come thicker and faster than the suggestions to buy at Amazon. Your Gold Box is on your screen all day every day. You can pass but it all comes back the very next instant.

Whole herds were sacrificed for this ship. Flocks of poultry that could darken the skies have be plucked and jammed onto its ravening spits. Oceans of grain and islands of sugar cane have been hijacked into its ovens. In New Zealand, mountain sides of happy, gamboling lambs have been seared black beneath its broilers. And, of course, in the quiet, seldom visited case marked “Sugarless Desserts” lurks the knowledge that “there”s always room for Jello.”

Like the boiler rooms deep below, the buffet pulses heat night and day trying to push out and dispose of all this food. It looks to be way-too-much and on land it would be. But this ship”s passengers are doing their level best to keep up with the buffet. On any given day it is difficult to say who holds the lead, but both sides struggle to stay on top.

While somewhere long ago this ship may have had a sign that said; “Our Policy: One mammal per person per seating,” that sign has long since been purloined to decorate the refrigerator of a double-wide somewhere in Oklahoma. Indeed, a brief, very brief, glance at many in the buffet line that has no end confirms that unlimited opportunities for gluttony was one of the lines in the brochure that made them reach for their Discover cards.

More than the sea or the money, it is the food that fetches them at sea. Five, six, seven times a day. The moist pink carving boards, the sizzling griddles, the burbling steam tables, and the tiers of dessert offerings have lured them here as surely as the Sirens of old lured mariners to their deaths on the rocks of the lee shore. The only difference here is that the rocks in question are made of mashed potatoes with three kinds of gravy, and the comforting knowledge that a portable defibrillator is fully charged with a trained operator on call only three decks below.
Written for a bottle at sea, somewhere off the Baja California Coast

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • FrankS November 27, 2017, 10:15 AM

    Finally I have found someone who agrees completely with my view on the torture of taking a cruise. May God have mercy on your soul. Any norovirus outbreaks yet?

  • pbird November 27, 2017, 10:54 AM

    Yuppers. Went on a cruise once against my better judgement. It was a gift from my youngest. Husband spent the whole trip drunk. I guess he had a good time.
    It might have been fun with the right company.

  • ed in texas November 27, 2017, 11:06 AM

    So Jer, how’d you like your cruise?…(snicker)
    I’m with Boswell on this, who likened sailing on a ship to ‘being placed in gaol, with the chance of being drownd throuwn in’.

  • HH November 27, 2017, 11:35 AM

    Never in my whole life have I wanted to take a cruise. Husband thinks it would be fun; I said, “Go … have a good time. Send me a postcard 🙂 “

  • Rob De Witt November 27, 2017, 11:42 AM


    At the risk of joining ghostsniper at the top of the list of contraries, I gotta say I got a gig on a cruise ship to Alaska once, and I loved it.

    The scenery was, of course, staggering, but the best part was the calm that descended on the boat once it sank in to everybody that television (and it was long before cellphones) – and the other modern distractions that had replaced for them the burdens of contemplation – was a thing of the past. On a ship the constant hum of the engines induces in the rest of those aboard a borderline soporific that approaches my own need for quiet and the room to think. Everybody, in other words, slowed down to my pace and introversion. When I smiled, they smiled back. And went on their way.

    There was on this ship a lack of distraction that approached perfection. The only entertainment were various classical music acts, and apart from the one day a week that it was our turn, my partner and I were left to our own devices with endless time to read (and an enormous ship’s library of paperbacks left behind by previous literati) and take in the sights of the Northwest Passage. When a port was reached and the pent-up consumers aboard rushed for the souvenir shops, I turned the other way and walked around Alaska on a fortnight that the locals assured me was the best summer weather they’d had in years. And kept alert for bears, of course. On these, the longest days of the year, the sun made a brief nod at the horizon somewhere around 2 am and then resumed its effulgence for all to see. The entertainers congregated on the aft deck all night and traded jokes to an extent that everybody stocked up on several months worth of new material. Classically trained or not, musicians are musicians. It was very heaven, there was nothing but high-quality music to be heard (no Muzak,) and I wanted it to go on forever.

    Inner resources, G. I’m frankly surprised you found it so boring.

  • Frank P November 27, 2017, 11:42 AM

    Never been able to afford one, but always silently resolved that even in the unlikely event of becoming filthy rich, not a penny would ever be spent to volunteer for entrapment on an oceanic liner with the sort of folks who go on cruises.

    Never sussed you as one of those G.
    WTF caused this rush o’ blood?? Musta been a woman. Not your ma, was it?

  • Bram November 27, 2017, 12:15 PM

    I’ve been on 2 cruises. One was an award from work my wife won. It was free and I wouldn’t pay a dollar to repeat the experience. We did have a short stay in Key West and I seriously considered not getting back on the ship.

    I also had a cruise while in the Marine Corps in the Pacific on a LST (Landing Ship Tank). There was a nice storm that made the flat-bottomed (so it can drive right up to a beach) ship bob like a cork. The food served was standard Navy fare – and generally exited through our mouths at high velocity as the ship corkscrewed in the storm. In case we all weren’t sick enough, at one point they had us climb down the side on nets and enter landing ships that bobbed even worse in the sea. Afterwards the squid driving it complained about the deep layer of vomit on the floor of his boat while we climbed back up the net with what little strength left. I got paid something less than minimum wage for the experience.

  • Gordon November 27, 2017, 12:32 PM

    I have a friend who likes to knit, and who finds winter far too cold. Once a year she goes on a knitting cruise. She sits in a deck chair and knits, surrounded by other knitters, and she gets warm. She is a Finn, so it satisfies her need for social interaction. Me, well, no, it’s not for me.

  • ghostsniper November 27, 2017, 12:50 PM

    I agree with you Rob, I would create my own space on that barge and enjoy it to my utmost. An alaska ride would be especially enjoyable since I’ve already done alaska once.

    Long ago we, my spouse and I, did a short cruise to one of the islands aboard a, get this, triple master. Yeah, one of those. I think it was a Windjammer or something. I enjoyed the journey better than the destination though the destination wasn’t bad either (Barefoot, Sandels). It was like being at a real life small venue Jimmy Buffet concert both ways.

    But a venture on one of the big dawgz would be like Disney World all over again, and food has nothing to do with it except as a pit stop now and then. Yes, I’ll have that 2″ prime rib again and double the shrimp cocktail order please, and leave the umbrella off my azure colored double rum drinking material as it almost poked my eye out last time.

    I’m a designer unlimited and I would wander that engineering marvel with my eyesballs filled to the brim, to know and understand every little detail on how a building built sideways rather than vertical, can deny the sciences as it does. Perhaps deny is too strong. Down in the parts of the hull where nobody normally goes is where I’d be, headlight on 800 lumens to examine inside the crevices, looking at the huge ribs, counting the bolts and considering their placements for maximum structural stability. The enormous electric panels, saline convertors, sewage systems, and communications, larder size, orientation and organization, all of it would taken in as christmas gifts of rarity. By cruises end I will have consumed a (vintage) college degree of information that will entertain and delight me for decades into the future and my overall knowledge base will be advanced exponentially.

    My wife? The on-board book store would tire of seeing her as she’d take up permanent residency in one of those portside balconies with 400 page Ann Pratchett novel on her lap and iced tea on the chair arm, and maybe a small bowl of manicured exotic fruits on the table, over and over again.

    I’ll remind you life is what you WANT to get out of it and if you accept it on other people’s terms then your hell on earth, or water, is deserved.

    Friendly tip, once again:
    “If you can’t get OUT of it, get INTO it.”
    –gs, 2099

    Tip 2:
    “Regret is a terrible thing, maybe the worst of things, and so easily avoided with eyes wide open.”
    –gs, 2099

  • Snakepit Kansas November 27, 2017, 4:04 PM

    My longest ship ride was an overnighter from Manila Bay to Coron Island, Palawan Province, Philippines. The reason for the trip was scuba diving on a number of Japanese ships sunk around the island by US Navy planes during WWII. Four to a room on the ship and I got a top bunk with a little curtain. The on-ship bar was loud, smokey and the ceiling wasn’t much taller than 6′. Beer was cheap and cold. I might have been the only white person on the ship. I had a great time on the ship as well as diving. I would have to check my log book to count the number of ships and caves we dove on, but the ship ride to/from was quite memorable with good Pinoy friends.

  • Sam L. November 27, 2017, 4:22 PM

    I’ve been on 3 cruises. The first: Cabin reminded me of the one the Marx Bros. had in “A Night At The Opera”. Dinner tonight, prime rib or lobster. OK, who’s for Seconds? Later, Thirds.
    Second: In-laws got all the children who could come, and their children. Third was honeymoon trip. Food, food, more food.

  • azlibertarian November 27, 2017, 4:45 PM

    Add me to the list of contrarians. First of all, vacationing via a cruise ship was Mrs. Azlib’s idea, and as the wise man once said “Happy wife: the end”. We’ve been on 4 cruises (Alaska, the Caribbean twice [once by ourselves, once with the kids and grandkids], and a river cruise in Europe) and are looking forward to a 12-day cruise to Australia and New Zealand in late January. On land, between the two of us, she’s the more out-going , but put her on a ship, and she’s the one curled up with a book. I’m the quiet one on land, but give me that list of tomorrow’s activities, and I’m charting my day minute-to-minute from one end of the boat to the other.

    The food can be quite good, or it can be mediocre (but in large quantities). The people you meet can be interesting or dull. You make of it what you will, much like everything else in life.

  • GoneWithTheWind November 27, 2017, 8:52 PM

    I doubt I would enjoy a typical cruise. I don’t drink, I like to eat but I would eat a McDonalds or a prime rib with equal pleasure (well, almost. I would probably prefer the hamburger if the fries were fresh). And I don’t like crowds. But I did spend a week on a 133 ft sailing schooner and enjoyed it immensely. We, about 20 of us, were the crew and we sailed it everyday. Got to sail there 10 foot wooden dinghys when we were gunkholed in one of the many small harbors around Puget Sound.

  • Ann K November 28, 2017, 5:18 AM

    My husband refuses to get on a “plague boat,” but I have enjoyed a couple of cruises with friends. I’d love to take the cruise to Alaska.

  • ghostsniper November 28, 2017, 6:48 AM

    Looks like most people’s disapproval of the cruise ship thing is centered on the over abundance of people and the asshole behavior they demonstrate and I don’t disagree with that sentiment, in fact, I agree wholeheartedly. Doubtful there is anyone on the planet more disgusted with humanities insane behavior than I. So read my next to last sentence in the above comment.
    “Figure it out.”

    Then find your own personal bliss in what might be a once in a lifetime experience.
    Do NOT let others dictate the parameters of your enjoyment.

    I simply would not cajole with idiots and would lots of other stuff to accentuate my experience and would only associate with assholes was there was no other way, like, consuming as many high fat content food stuffs. Maybe I stack a plate to the rafters and head for the cabin, or out to the railing and when done consuming throw whatever remains to the sea creatures. Great Whites gotta eat too ya know. And if an assholes decided that the only place along both sides of that 1000′ long engineering marvel he could find his bliss was within my 3′ or so, well, GW’s like dessert too.

    Point is, once again, anything can be your heaven or your own personal hell and you get to develope to the maximum of your capacity anything within your sphere.

    If I found the opportunity to latch on to a 21 day cruise in the Caribbean or up along the Canadian-Alaskan coast for say, $5k, I’d be on that big bitch in a nanny second and everybody else be damned!

    $5k. It’d have to be a really good deal to lure me out of my lair here in rural heavenville.

  • GoneWithTheWind November 28, 2017, 9:01 AM

    I enjoy micro-segment hiking of the Pacific Crest Trail. Typically a segment that is just long enough to not finish in a day but easily finish in two days. Don’t get me wrong I would really like to hike a longer segment but I’m 74 and being able to hike at all depends on factors that are sometimes beyond my control anymore. So I set smaller goals. Costs me very little, usually I get a ride to the start and sometimes the pickup point as well. Already own the gear and the food is simple fare when the hike is so short. That is I don’t need light weight freeze dried food and titanium cookware, just some supermarket food that only requires adding water and heating. Cheap and healthy entertainment.

  • Barry from Victoria November 29, 2017, 9:07 AM

    I’ve only been on one sea cruise, and that was from San Pedro, Cal to the South China Sea with stopovers in Hawaii and Olongapo. The ship was USS Platte, AO 24. The fireworks off Da Nang, courtesy of some cruisers, were spectacular but I’m glad I wasn’t on the other end. Much amusement was provided whenever the ship we were refuelling failed to properly secure the hose. Its hilarious to watch a bunch of sailors slip and slide on gushing bunker C while their destroyer bobbed in the waves. That was in the old days. No air conditioners in 130degree weather, no women, nothing for recreation except the punching bag on the fan deck which helped keep me sane. I did like the ocean phosphorescence and the brilliant stars at night.

  • Smokey December 10, 2017, 9:15 PM

    I think I recall a short video posted right here (but on the old AD site), showing the dining room of a cruise ship during a storm. Tables, chairs, etc. were slip-sliding this way & that, accompanied by appropriate music as the waiters and stewards hopelessly tried to maintain control…

    …and you still went on a cruise?

    Is it because of early-onset Alzheimers? Or masochism? Or maybe you’re almost as foolish as I was, when I accepted Mrs. Smokey’s suggestion that we take a river cruise down the Mississippi.

    You haven’t lived until you’ve viewed hundreds of miles of an unchanging shoreline, populated with trees, trees, and more trees—and nothing else. After which, it will seem like you’ve lived for too long.

    Anyway, glad it was good for you, too. Because misery loves company…

  • jd November 23, 2021, 6:36 AM

    I’ve crossed the ocean three times on a liner but never just for a cruise. The
    first time, from Europe to South America, I was four and with my mother
    whom I thought was my mysterious aunt from France (too long & involved
    a story to get into). On that trip, I became very ill to the point of delirium and
    that’s the part I remember.

    The second crossing, from South America to North, was in the fifties when I was
    eight. Pictures of frolicking in the pool and sitting proudly in the “adult only”
    dining room, tell me I loved it. Not so my mother who, due to one of the high
    official’s infatuation with her, was privy to extreme weather predictions which,
    in the end, we avoided.

    For the third, a visit to family in Europe, I was just out of high school, and was
    instrumental in more worries for my mother due to another infatuation, this
    time mine, with a tall and handsome Dutch purser who liked me too. Naturally,
    I had fond memories.

    Everything in life is relative. If our world weren’t so dysfunctional I would love
    being peacefully pampered on the ocean just for the experience, as an adult, of
    a change from the every day. I have a friend who has just left for a river-cruise in
    Budapest (Austria already cancelled). Though I don’t envy her, I am anxious to hear
    how it went.

    I loved the essay, by the way. Very funny in parts.

  • edaddy November 23, 2021, 7:11 AM

    I suspect this might take Gerard to a new level of loathing.


  • Bill Henry November 23, 2021, 8:12 AM

    I loved the 2 cruises we took with family. Lots of good food.. talk… dancing with wife .. reading.. and plenty of good sex with the Mrs Henry. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

    • edaddy November 23, 2021, 10:12 AM

      The sex distracted you from the reality.

  • Thud Muffle November 23, 2021, 8:55 AM

    A cruise? Shoot me.

  • Tom Hyland November 23, 2021, 9:56 AM

    Author David Foster Wallace wrote at length upon this very topic… in a very amusing way. He hanged himself… didn’t use a gun… and his ocean cruise probably contributed to his tragic demise.

  • Dirk November 23, 2021, 10:15 AM

    Maybe I’m wrong, but always seen this for what it is, selling a lie, once again Media is telling us, what’s cool, what to wear, what to drive, how to vacation. Personally I grew tired of the “ marketing gimmicks in my twenties.

    We have Crater lake in our county, I’m so so so tired of some shitbag, in New York marketing my back yard. These people have literally lined their pockets well, marketing EVERY secret place, Any of us have ever had.

    A small example is the Deep Blue rivers on Northern Calif. stunning, use to be isolated, not anymore. It wasn’t the locals who sold em out it was travel mags, others selling em. Was their last summer,,,, 100’s of people found those isolated deep pools and water falls. How, I ask?

    Cruising na, ill sail there,,,,, if I want to go. What truly saddens me is this…..

    Upon arrival those communities have literally become trinket peddlers, selling shit prostituting themselves like chia pets, they’ve sold their soles. In most applications sold their soles for all the wrong reasons.

    If these locals were to wear their cultures custom dress,,,,share their culture, not sell out their homes, I could understand. On a very tiny island in the South Pacific,I sadly watched Tonga Warriors prostitute themselves like a fucking pack of Rock Apes, for 12 minutes 10 times a day.

    Sell junk from China, for men in the United States. How pathetic is that?

    I’ve learned there’s more then one kind of Whore, or Prostitute. One need not hoe in bed to achieve that title.

    I guess I’m in the No column.


  • enn ess November 23, 2021, 12:01 PM

    A Cruise – showing the downright stupidity of the human species. You spend the majority of your days locked in a tiny apt, surrounded by man quantities of people you have little in common with and most likely don’t even like, working in a cubicle of an office (a huge number of us) surrounded by people you probably don’t like and only have the job as a commonality. Then you make your “escape”, an opportunity of a lifetime a cruise, locked on a boat in the middle of nowhere on a ocean that can swallow you up and ruin your entire life in a heartbeat (if things go terribly wrong) surrounded by people you probably don’t even like and only have being on this stupid cruise as a commonality. To what extent the human will go to change one set of circumstances for another that is frighteningly similar is mind boggling.
    Same can be said for living in a city and taking a vacation to another city to spend your 2 weeks locked in a hotel room smaller than you house just for different scenery. And you wonder why our society is in the state it’s in!

  • Anne November 23, 2021, 9:47 PM

    I have read that the average “newer” cruise ship holds approximately 5,000passengers. There are currently approximately 300 cruise ships in operation around the world, plus an additional 500 river cruisers. If we multiply 5,000 x 300 that is approximately 1 million 500 jerks that are not trampling around our national parks. Not pissing in our beautiful rivers while cruising down the river in an inner tube. That is 1, 500,000 people not trying too . . .well you get the picture. I will not be stunned when some 3rd world country decides to start WW3 and lights up one of those cruise ships out in the middle of the Atlantic, or Pacific. I haven’t even talked about the river cruisers. Not nearly so many people, but such small areas for shore excursions. FWIW the nation of Italy is the first to finally say ok folks move that damn thing down the coast! Referring of course to the cruise ships pulling up to Venice. Please tell me you weren’t part of the 20,000 people walking around the Venice plaza because your cruise ship sold you a shore excursion. IMHO we are all better off if they get on a damn boat and skip Yosemite this year! 🙂

  • Mike Austin November 24, 2021, 1:43 PM

    A cruise ship sound’s like a Heaven for the materialist: unlimited anonymous sex, mounds of food, hours of entertainment, oceans of booze. Of course the materialist could not leave for at least a week or so, but why would he want to? Even though he would return to his home hungover, with a venereal disease, 10 pounds heavier, and with “Hotel California” seared into his memory for all time, he will regale his friends past their limits of boredom with his tales of derring-do and pure joy.

    There is no possible way in this world that you could get me onto a cruise ship, unless I were in a coffin.

  • Deborah November 24, 2021, 4:14 PM

    In 1974, my godmother took me to Paris on what turned out to be the last voyage of Le France (but that’s a story for another time). Back in the day, a ship was a way to travel, not an end in itself. But you needed a fast way to weed out the bores for the duration. She had prepared me for quick identification of simpatico companions for the trip with the Three Questions to ask them:
    1. On first meeting: Do you find travel broadening?
    Anyone who answers this as a serious question can be automatically crossed off.
    2. At the first good opportunity: Do you believe that, if all the world’s goods were divided equally on Monday morning, they would be back in the same hands by Sunday night?
    This brings out enough of a person’s stance on politics, world view and economics, as well as their ability to grasp opposing viewpoints, for you to decide their value as a companion for five days.
    3. After you think you might have found someone truly worth knowing: Is there anything in the human condition you feel is alien to you?
    Cuts to the quick of a person’s heart.

  • whatever November 24, 2021, 11:21 PM

    I heard for a long time about cruises that you either love them or hate them.

    Then in my 40s I went on my first cruise around Hawaii – different island every day, sailed to a new one each night while I slept. Boat was just a floating hotel for the night trip, spent all day on a different island. It was magical.

    Subsequent cruise got Alaska off my bucket list. We sailed very close to a big glacier, not something I could experience in another venue.

    Caribbean. Ug. I really didn’t want to go but lots of wife’s family were going so I was dragged along. I was not happy to be going to third world hell holes and stayed aboard on a couple of the stops on the incredibly nice, if crowded, ship. Got off in Puerto Rico to discover why the island’s population migrated to New York. Now I know why. Wife understands that I will not go to the Caribbean ever again.

    I’ve been waiting for covid restrictions to pass – would like to do Hawaii again, and a North Atlantic trip with stops in Iceland would be interesting.

    Not for everyone but we do book the better cabins and upgrade dinners to private dining.

  • Fred Z November 28, 2021, 8:32 PM

    Many of you are full of bushwah, parroting the upper-snooty line like a corral of dildoes.

    I just got back from yet another cruise, NCL, Rome to Rome via the Dubrovnik, Greek islands, Athens, Napoli and Livorno.

    Our daily Agenda:

    I get up at 4:30 or 5, before dawn. Have breakfast while the jolly Philippinos kitchen staff prepare for the day and sing, tell each other obscene jokes and give me pastry and lots of coffee. Phillipinos are a kindly people opposed to old white guys suffering from caffeine and pastry deprivation. We chat. I read the internet looking for idiocy and finding it.

    Wife joins me at 6 or 7. More coffee and more food, now Omelets. We watch 120,000 tons of steel being docked by true professionals, much different from internet dildo wankers.

    Until debarkation, anywhere from 8 to 10, we walk the promenade digesting brekky and looking for huge gigantic fat-arsed American land whales stumbling about complaining “there’s nothing to do”. And finding those land whales. No doubt they are supercilious wankers too.

    After we disembark for an excursion we walk, take a bus or taxi to see interesting and weird foreign thingies, ruins, arts, and stuff. All great fun. Lunch with different foods, great wines and beers. We walk a lot. My fitbit says I average 25K steps a day while I am idling about on a cruise.

    At the end of the excursion, we’re back to the boat for a workout in a fine gym, a cocktail and a shower.

    Followed by dinner and dancing. Every single night. The guy in the video lousing up a foxtrot is me. https://tinyurl.com/2p8bdj2p. Many nights we’d go to a semi-professional dance show, musical, magic show, or novelty show. Most nights in bed and sound asleep by 11, so as to be ready for the next day

    On sea days we walked a lot more on board, took goofy classes in silly fun stuff, or drank beer in the pub and had fun, fun, fun. The slack time of a sea day gave us the energy to go to the 10 PM open air dance party on deck and boogie until midnight

    Only boring and lazy people are bored on a cruise.

    So yeah, I disagree with the post and many of the comments.