My Thoughts on Cruises

Day 31: Friday, November 9, 2012
What’s worse than being stuck on a ship? Being quarantined to your room on a ship. Apparently, there is an outbreak of the norovirus, and since we share enclosed quarters with 3,000 other people, those who exhibit any symptoms are confined to their staterooms — Ryan included. After sixteen days at sea, I’ve developed an opinion about cruises: they’re incredibly convenient…and inconvenient at the same time.

Convenient: travel logistics and luggages.
Not having to time taxi rides, lug around luggages (with weight limits), and go through airport security and customs are huge benefits. Your stateroom stewards collect your passports ahead of time, get them stamped, return them to you the night before a port excursion, and the next morning, you speed through the cruise terminal and hop on a tour bus. Sometimes, it’s even easier than that because there aren’t even terminals, just docks by the ocean. Don’t have a tour booked? Someone will direct you to a shuttle notifying you of pick-up and drop-off locations. Traveling is like a no-brainer via cruise.

Inconvenient: medical emergencies.
One night, an elderly lady had a medical emergency, which required an unexpected helicopter landing at 1:30am. Our ship doesn’t have a landing pad, so the top two floors had to be evacuated, while updates were constantly blasted through the PA systems past most people’s bedtime.

Convenient: food and housing, your basic needs.
You don’t have to worry about checking out at noon or switching from hotel to hotel — you live on a moving building, that goes with you from country to country! Got the munchies? Call room service any time you want, or visit any of the bajillion restaurants on board. Order whatever you’d like without having to see price tags or calculate tips — just go to the gym every once in a while. Feeling the sniffles? There’s even a sick menu with lighter options!

Inconvenient: fire alarms at 2am.
Apparently, one of the crew members threw a cigarette butt into his stateroom trashcan, then decided to peace out before it caught on fire and set off the fire alarms — in the middle of the night. The PA systems went crazy again, in multiple languages this time.

Convenient: entertainment galore!
Comedy shows, musicals, poker tournaments, walkathons around the perimeter, movie screenings in front of the pool…you get a daily newsletter called the “Patter” with hour-by-hour programming to entertain you on sea days. Too bad the only things I went to were the port talks and Asia lectures (which were really interesting!).

Inconvenient: outbreaks of the norovirus.
It kind of sucks when you get quarantined on vacation. At least a “special team” came to sanitize the room!

Conveniently inconvenient: crazy expensive and incredibly unreliable internet.
Don’t email me, I’m on vacation and really off the grid. On the other hand, I paid major bucks to post a post before election day.

In conclusion, I’d totally go on another cruise, because this one was fantastic!

eunice