Monday, March 28, 2016

Bon voyage!

As I sit here and read about one of the world’s largest cruise ships heading back to port after a massive storm that injured passengers and left thousands of others confined to their (very small) rooms, I am reminded once again why cruises remain – and forever shall remain – on what I’m calling my “Hole in the bucket” list. 

These are things, simply put, that I never want to do.

Cruises top the list. I once had a good friend and avid cruise goer spend her entire New Year’s Eve trying to convince me that I should give it a try. Finally, I broke down and – no, not agreed – told her that even if she talked for the rest of the following year, I was never going to go on a cruise. 

I have a number of reasons for feeling this way, though I feel as if any one of them could stand alone. 

Let me count the ways:

One, I get motion sickness. Please do not tell me you get used to it! I had another friend who days after her return said she still felt the ground moving. This is not for me. I spent the majority of my childhood vacations asking mom and dad to pull over after riding in the backseat of our Chevy, and, sadly, I didn’t grow out of it. 

In fact, when I met my very first editor, whom I thought was the coolest person on earth, I got miserably car sick from riding 45 minutes in her sporty convertible. And, if that wasn’t humiliating enough, several years later, on the first day of MY job as editor, I found myself lying in the backseat of my manager’s car with the bus boy putting a wet washcloth on my forehead while the folks I really wanted to impress were inside packing up my fries. And, that was after a 15-minute ride across town. All of this to say, I WILL NOT GET USED TO IT!

Two, I do not love swimming. I know I’ll be in a boat, but anytime one travels in such a way, he or she must face the realization that she could somehow, someway, end up swimming – in the ocean - which lends itself to a whole other set of dislikes. Not to mention, I’m clumsy. If the boat doesn’t sink, then I could very well fall overboard. Did I mention I don’t like heights?

Three, claustrophobia. Enough said.

Four, food buffets. I am sure I’m wrong, but the thought of the food on a cruise reminds me of my son’s favorite restaurant – Golden Corral. I am gluten-free, and despite the numerous buffets of food there, I can rarely find anything to eat. Furthermore, I have never there left their thinking, “Wow, I can’t wait to go back for breakfast, lunch and dinner!” 

Five, germs. From salmonella to norovirus, cruises have been known to spread them rapidly among passengers. Talk about captive audience.

Sixth, the Carnival ship that was stranded at sea because a fire knocked out the power and the plumbing was compared to “a floating porta potty,” and the ordeal was broadcasted live. I watched the passengers’ horror for days on the news channel at work every time I went to the refrigerator or elevator. I have never felt such relief as the day they were rescued, which, by the way, took a very long time, long enough to make my bathroom breaks feel like a luxury.

Some people counter my argument by saying, “Well, I would like to take an Alaskan cruise.” I agree. An Alaskan cruise is better, far more appealing than being in the heat, but it’s still a CRUISE! Not to mention, all of the things you’d miss while on a boat. For example, buying beef jerky from the guy on the side of the road, spotting a bear playing with a lost glove as you ride the rail car up a glacier, checking out the view of (not from) Sarah Palin’s backyard in Wasilla and getting four parking tickets because you are so excited to see your sister that you don’t notice the signs. Oh, wait a minute, perhaps there is a benefit to a cruse after all. 

I guess in the end, it’s whatever floats your boat. Just don't try to get me on-board. 

Bon voyage!