Tuesday, April 6, 2010

When We're Cruisin' Together...

Cruises. All I hear about cruises is how romantic they are. How fantastic they are as vacations. How they have so many amenities that it is almost impossible to not have a good time. How they go to the best ports and you can do so many different things. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

I'm here to set the record straight on cruises. Hopefully I can appeal to your logical and rational side before you book that ticket for passage on the next clipper ship heading out.

To be fair, I have never been on a cruise. Most likely, I never will be on a cruise. You see, I understand that vacation should not be able survival but enjoyment.

Following are the reasons why cruises are the worst excuses for vacations ever:

1. The Names. The names of the major cruise lines are just hideous - Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Disney Cruise Lines to name a few. Think about it for a second.
  • Carnival? Do you really want to be pestered by carnival barkers all day long asking if you can throw a hula hoop over a giant teddy bear? And you won't be laughing when you wake up and there is a carny in your bunk. 
  • Royal Caribbean? We cast off the shackles of our royal oppressors long ago. Anyone remember the Revolutionary War? Why would we want to vacation with the "privileged?" And you won't be laughing when you wake up and Queen Elizabeth is in your bunk.
  • Norwegian Cruise Lines? Do I really need to spell it out? Norway is the home of Vikings! So unless you want to be a party to raids and pillaging, I would suggest you don't sail on their cruise lines. And you won't be laughing when you wake up and there is Brett Farve in your bunk.
  • Disney Cruise Lines? It's Disney. So unless you feel a strong desire to tear our your spleen and shove it into your ear in an attempt to drown out the "merriment," I would advise against Disney cruises. And you won't be laughing when you wake up and there is the cryogenetically frozen head of Mickey Mouse in your bunk.
2. The Disease. I can not begin to tell you about how many stories of illnesses I hear about cruises. On average, every third day a cruise ship is reported to have hundreds of sick passengers (statistics have yet to be verified). The most common ailment is the Norovirus. The Norovirus causes vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and nausea, with dehydration as the most common complication. Let the vacation begin! This is not even taking into account of how many people get seasick on cruises. I know I want to book a vacation where I can watch dozens to hundreds of people blowing chunks over the side of a boat.
Even though the Norovirus can spread on land as well, it has a nickname of the "cruise ship virus" because the people who go on cruises do not stay in their cabins when they fall ill. Instead, they wander around the ship, infecting every public area possible. And once that happens, there is nowhere to hide from it. In effect, the ship become nothing more than a floating petri dish. Party city, baby!!!

3. The Commercials. Damn, those people on cruises in commercials are annoying! Plus, one of them is surfing on the boat! Excuse me, but you are ON A BOAT ON THE WATER! If you can surf on deck, something is not right about that.

4. The Love Boat. I hate to break it to you, but your cruise vacation is not going to be aboard The Love Boat. Captain Stubing has retired, Gopher is in politics, Isaac may still be your bartender but will probably lecture you about the amount of calories in that drink (Ted Lange was on Celebrity Fit Club in 2006), Doc is too busy treating the Norovirus, and Cruise Director Julie can only direct you to the nearest rehab center. The Love Boat has docked, people. Please move along.

5. The Gilligan Effect. Now, we all know that the S.S. Minnow could not navigate away from that storm because the starboard side was weighed down with the Howells luggage, but in reality, it could have happened to anyone. Therefore, unless you think it would be fun to eat nothing but coconuts and live on a deserted island with Ginger and Mary Ann (okay, you may have a point there), I would suggest even the shortest of cruises. An exception here should be made for those considering entering the space program with NASA, as Gilligan's Island had an abnormally large amount of space debris land on it, including manned ships, satellites, and the occasional Harlem Globetrotter.

6. Jack is Dead. Again, I hate to break it to you, but Leonardo DiCaprio is not going to be on your cruise and he is not going to steal your heart. Also, the chances of receiving a priceless and one-of-a-kind necklace is highly unlikely as well. You may get lucky in the back of a car in the ship's recesses, but it will probably be with Billy the Busboy whose breath smells a little too much like Cheetos.

7. However... You saw Titanic. You heard the stories. Cruise ships hit icebergs all the time. Icebergs are the number one killer of cruise ships (statistics have yet to be verified). They are moral enemies and nothing will stop an iceberg from taking a pot shot at a cruise ship's hull. Why would you want to go far out on the ocean and get in the middle of a blood war between icebergs and cruise ships? It's preposterous!

8. Pirates. Lastly, I hate to break this to you, but Johnny Depp is not a real pirate. Real pirates roam the seas and take over ships all the time. In fact, it is such a common occurrence these days that CNN has a template which they use for all new pirate stories. They just replace the name of the cruise ship which has been attacked and then report it. And if you've never taken a metal hook in the private area, believe me, it is no fun. And then the parrot mocks you with that evil, pirate parrot laugh...

Anyway, there are 8 very good reasons not to go on a cruise for your vacation. I decided not to even bother going through specialty cruises, like the Rock 'n' Roll Boat or Al's Big Gay Boat Ride. I figure that if they need a gimmick, their cruise must not be all that special.

One final suggestion - If you are dead-set on taking a cruise, try to avoid Styx Cruise Lines. Charon is a very convincing travel agent, but it really isn't worth it.

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