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More Reasons Not to Take a Cruise

I’ve done a whole lot of traveling in my life, but I’ve never been on a cruise. Unless you count the Staten Island Ferry, or those overnight boats you take all around Indonesia and the Philippines. I just don’t see the point, really. If you’re going to be on a floating hotel for a week, why not just go to a hotel? Then you can come and go as you please. And you don’t have to walk in an oval. And you don’t spend your days in the most commercialized spot in the country when you step out your front door (or ramp, in this case).

Plus hearing Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” used in a Carnival Cruise Line ad made me feel the industry was even more clueless than I had expected. A song about a heroin addict, by a circa-1977 punk band, used for an ad about doing the same thing every day as 600 other tourists? That shows a lust for life? It drove me crazy.

Every time I think that maybe I should try it once just so I’m speaking from experience, I see some article that convinces me I’d rather be staying almost anywhere than on one of those floating people movers. The best one ever just came out in Smart Money magazine. Thankfully, they’ve posted it on line, so you can read the whole thing yourself. “Ten Things Your Cruise Line Won’t Tell You.”

Here are a few salient points you probably expected, but can now see confirmed:

– “Almost all tickets allow cruise lines to change itineraries at their discretion.”

– “Cruise ships are an ideal breeding ground for viruses: thousands of people in close proximity, eating food made in the same kitchen, inhabiting enclosed spaces that just a few days before housed someone else.”

– “Our ‘gourmet’ food is anything but.”

– “Excursions, which are not included in the cost of the cruise, are a ‘huge moneymaker’ for cruise lines.” (You’ll often pay 1/5 of the price walking off the boat and arranging it yourself.)

– “People who expect a sophisticated experience probably wouldn’t be happy.”

– “”We’ll get along fine — as long as you don’t have any complaints.””

I’ll sign off with a little refrain from that Carnival ditty, “Lust for Life”

I’m worth a million in prizes
Yeah, I’m through with sleeping on the sidewalk
No more beating my brains
No more beating my brains
With the liquor and drugs
With the liquor and drugs

(nice paycheck for doing nothing though Ig–I’ll give you that!)

Sharing is caring!

Jeff Robertson

Wednesday 26th of November 2008

Wow! I have to say, this is a tough crowd. O.K. I've got a few tips for people who've had a bad experience or never cruised but was unfortunate enough to be swayed by this blog. There are so many people who cruise regularly and for good reason. They are awesome. I deal with thousands of cruise passengers a year. I live just blocks from Port Canaveral, which is the second busiest cruise port in the world. If you decide to take the plunge (maybe a second time) odds are you'll find a cruise you're interested in that is out of our port. You should know about those ships (see Ship and Terminal Information for Port Canaveral), our local hotels (see A Unique Guide to True Port Canaveral Hotels) and how to make transportation plans (see Travel Plan Guide for Port Canaveral Transportation). You should have one of the best times of your life.


Tuesday 24th of July 2007

I've never tried sheep brains either, though millions of people eat them each year. Following your logic, I can't say I don't want to eat them?

Life's too short to spend time on activities you have no desire to indulge in--unless you're getting paid for it. I've spent enough time in port cities--including Nassau--and just looking at those massive ships and the typical cruise ship port atmosphere is enough. That's miles away from how I ever want to travel. Others feel differently, obviously.

melanie s.

Tuesday 24th of July 2007

I used to think the same thing about cruising, and had no idea how my parents (former big time cruisers) could rave so much about it. That is, until the company my husband worked for issued him an all-expense paid cruise. Our daughter joined us, and we literally had a ball! It was both relaxing and exciting all at the same time; much to do, plenty of good food, beverages, breath-taking views, water so blue I only thought it could exist in fairy tales, and great shows/productions, and my favorite, the casinos, which, in my view, are much better in payout than Vegas or any other casino I have visited. My husband won $4,000.00 on that first cruise! Regarding expensive excursions, they dont HAVE to be. It all has to do with what you want to do. Personally, we were quite content in Mexico, going to the (free) public beach and walking a quaint area to shop for a special memento. I loved bartering, something USA store owners do not do, and I purchased a HUGE (appraised in the USA as genuine) smokey topaz and silver ring for a tiny fraction of the price it would have cost me back home in the states. We enjoyed our first cruise so much that we went on another, and will soon be taking yet another. On our second cruise, we stopped at Nassau. It was interesting to just walk the marketplace and look at all the sights and diverse people. Later, we bargained for a horse-drawn carriage ride, $25.00 for 30-40 minutes.

I think it is naive, unfair and ignorant for you to put down something you have never even tried. Its like saying pizza tastes aweful...without ever even eating a slice! Or saying a book sucks, without even reading it!

As for your view that many people come off a cruise saying never again, honestly, i have NEVER met such people. Everyone I know who has taken a cruise loves it so much they want to start planning for their next one! Crusing is economical, fun and a great way to see the world!


Thursday 24th of May 2007

It’s certainly not so they can interact with other cultures. Others obviously like it, so we’ll keep going our separate ways.

Tim L.

Monday 22nd of May 2006

Just to clarify, I didn't write the article. It appeared in SmartMoney. I was just commenting on it.