Now that winter seems to be arriving, it’s time to think of where else I’d like to be except here. Because I hate winter. It’s cold, it’s wet, and it freezes my water and makes me have to cart individual buckets of water from my laundry room. Clearly it’s time for a vacation so some one else can do that for me.
For some unknown reason, Dave and I keep taking cruises. Granted, we’ve only taken three, but each one has been worse than the last. Each time, I complain bitterly about how much I hate cruises and never want to take one again. And then I end up going on another cruise. I do not understand this phenomenon. In an effort to not allow myself to ever take another cruise, I’ve come up with this list of reasons to hate cruises.
1. You’re basically stuck on a floating hotel.
There’s no popping out like a land hotel if you get bored. This is what you get. You are shuttled at a snails pace around the ocean with no option to leave. If you didn’t get a window view, you will have no concept of time in your dark cell of a room.
They will often have activities set up around the ship, but if it’s something awesome, there’s a line for it. And then there are the times where they decide they are shutting down for the day, so all the time you spent in line was for nothing.
2. They give you a ship credit card to use. This is only done so you have no concept of how much money you are spending. Which brings me to…
3. They try to act like you get all the food you want, but the truth is they charge you for everything they can get away with. Drinks are at full bar prices, if not more. It’s very easy to run up a huge tab. When the buffet starts looking boring, you may be tempted to eat at the specialty restaurants, except they all charge. They shove as much shopping in front of you as they can. Like photos of yourself? They’ll be happy to overcharge for mediocre photography. They have auctions for “Original Reproductions” of art. The last cruise we were on was the worst. Shows cost money. Drinks were $8-$9 each. Room service charged. There were tons of specialty restaurants, and all of them charged. The more bored you are, the more you end up spending. We average anywhere from $50-$200 a day in boredom fees. If you think you’re getting a good deal on a $199 cruise, you aren’t. It’s just a lure to bring you in to spend more money.
4. In the event your ship actually reaches its destinations (the last one decided to cancel one of the stops), another thing you have to pay for are excursions. They are usually priced anywhere from $50-$200 per person. What the cruise ship doesn’t like to tell you is that you can usually find the same excursions for a fraction of the price by just disembarking and looking for it. And then you don’t have to deal with the cruise ship canceling your excursion, like it did to me. “Not enough interest”, they said. What the heck, I’m interested, dammit! And thanks for telling me at the last minute, when everyone is already disembarking and now I don’t have anything planned. (although this feeds into finding my own excursion.)
5. There’s never enough time to explore the destination. It would have been fun to go scuba diving, but since we only have 6 hours, I’m afraid the boat will leave me behind. So I guess I’ll find other things to do.
I get the cruise ships are on a schedule. This is a good reason not to go on a cruise, and instead visit the island itself. You’ll actually have time to experience the culture, see the land, and find interesting things.
6. Disembarking is awful. You are kicked out of your room, and have to wait around, sometimes for hours, to get off the ship. But they don’t have anything open, so you can’t get food, drinks, or coffee. Since everyone else on the ship is also waiting to get off, there’s never enough seating.
Basically the only reason to go on a cruise is to see the islands/destinations. And since that can be done without going on a cruise, and a better experience will be had, what is the point of going on a cruise!?