• GirlWellTravelled

Reasons Not To Cruise

We had only just returned from cruise number eight but no sooner had that cruise ended than cruise number nine was booked.

And each time, I'd ask myself, 'Why?'

Why do we keep sailing the seven sees in a metal box the height of a three-storey building filled with a city of people? Some of whom, I hasten to add, may well have passed on the streets of our hometown without a momentary glance! But the reason is always the same - it's that love/hate relationship. It's like a drug.

Like the looping and linking of the paper strips in a Christmas paper chain kit. We finish one cruise and prepare for the fix from the next.

An Introvert's Gehenna

There's an unspoken word that applies to cruises that does not seem to apply to any other type of holiday. I'll give an example. Stayed in resorts for days, and the only persons spoken to are the bartender, concierge and maybe if I feel like it, travel companions! Lol!

But on a cruise, it's a very different deal. By some form of a cruise spell, we automatically say hello to everyone and move in and out of conversations as quickly as a Singapore thunderstorm.

At check-in you have already met:

- Birgit and a most shockingly beautiful pair of Birkenstock on foot who proceeds to let us know their pre-booked transfer from the airport to the cruise terminal was a no-show!

- In the waiting lounge, Dana from the Midwest (America) shares with us (or rather the entire lounge (such is her unbounded enthusiasm)) that it is her first cruise! And on detecting a slight hint of Britishness in my accent suddenly sounds like all Miami is Dana's captive audience.

Princess Cruises

- There's Moura who gets up with the gannets, she says. Eagerly offering to reserve us a set of sun loungers for when we do rise.

- Then there is Jai whose niece Meera (we discover) attends the same school as my daughter. Jai has been to a handful of the school's social gatherings, but we have never before seen him.

Yet here we all were in conversation, exchanging room numbers, discussing shoe sizes, detailing tour excursions booked and how many leaves of lettuce we usually have in our salad and all before crossing the ship's threshold.

Family Saloons

You've spent all year running around and picking up after your kids and your partner.

Honey why have we got a letter from the insurance company about the policy not been renewed?
I thought you renewed it. Was the reply back.
Why would you think I did when I specifically told you on Tuesday morning that you need to do it because I won't have the time.
Is that what you said? Was the reply.

And your left wondering who the bloody hell you speak to half the time?

Kids we are going to be late for school lets go.'
Mom, I can't find my school shoes.
Standing at the top of the stairs and staring at the same spot you've been staring at for the last five minutes will not help you find them.
No mom but I don't know where they are.
Listen kids, the school shoe fairy has not been in town for three weeks now, please find your shoes and let us go.
Mom can you help, please.

Definitely after being everyone's personal assistant, secretary, doctor, therapist, teacher, chauffeur, detective and shoe finder, indeed you take a holiday to get away from all of that.

Or not. Take a cruise, where you not only take on your family but everyone else and their extended five living generations.

But unless you lucked out on the inlaw lottery, you could well return one family member short or nine months later add an additional member to the family.

Gastronomy Cesspools

Three months leading up to your cruise sees you joining a food convent. Religiously denying yourself of any morsel of gastronomical pleasure. The gym fast becomes the third party in the relationship and soon discovers body parts and contortions not even your partner of seven years was aware of.

But everyone is happy because you can now fit into that bikini which is one size down. And those hot pants you bought in the Christmas sale which are mystifyingly two sizes down actually fits like Kylie Minogue's gold pair.

All of which you become compelled to wear within the first three days of boarding the cruise. Because after day three eating everything from garlic butter grilled steaks at breakfast to Yuzu-cured pork belly at dinner and participating in wine-sipping escapades from nine until nine, it's inevitable you'll disembark the size you were - three months prior. Maybe even more.

It's Destination Speed Dating

For some time, you've been making eyes at those white-on-white cliffs of Santorini. You've wanted to be all over those beaches licked by the turquoise waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands. And you are therefore, undoubtedly seduced by the cruise itinerary that includes one of your idyllic places.

Grand Turks, Turks and Caicos Islands

The cruise docks, you are finally there, the excitement is much too much. You have time for a skinny latte and a philander all while discovering what's turning out to be your new favourite place. You roll from a latte into lunch. And as the last of the destination's sun smiles on you, you want that lunch rolls into a romantic dinner. But that never happens. Why? Because your time has expired, the ship calls, and it is onto the next place.

And with each dock in a new port is another little dalliance that never materialises into anything more serious. And you are left feeling a little short-changed. The reason I'm sure speed dating went out of fashion.

Social Media Deficiency

After spending nearly as much of your moolah on your wardrobe as you did on the cruise holiday, you understandably want your Instagram runway. And after sweating blood and tears in the gym for three months, you undoubtedly need to flaunt your Tiktoked swagger.

Except the Internet/Wifi even where complimentary appears to be the only thing on a cruise ship in scarcity. So much for your social media credentials because 'if you didn't post it right away, it didn't happen!'

But as someone who loves cruising, please note I wrote this with my tongue in my right cheek. It is not intended to turn you off cruising. Instead, it is the opposite— because I enjoy nothing better than wave watching and blue sky fawning.

Have you cruised before? If not, would you consider it?


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