February 15, 2013

About those 4,200 cruise ship passengers...

Do they all imagine they are media stars now? Do we have to hear from each and every one about what they did with their precious bodily fluids?
“It just feels so good to be on land again and to feel like I have options,” said Tracey Farmer of Tulsa, Okla. “I’m just ready to see my family. It’s been harder on them than us I think because they’ve been so worried about us. It’s been extremely stressful for them.”
Tracey Farmer — if that really is your name — please go home to Tulsa, Oklahoma. All of you 4,200 people, please melt back into your normal lives in your respective hometowns.

Unless you have a distinctive and grisly detail or a truly idiosyncratic way to describe the mundane, I don't want to hear about it. I don't want to hear how it feels good to be back on dry land, how you care about your family with whom you are at long last reunited, how stressful it all was, and the crushingly obvious fact that shit stinks.

You are all people who went on a cruise in the first place. That's where you made your mistake.

191 comments:

Portia said...

Gotta agree with that. We have too many 'media stars' as it is. Hard to keep track.

traditionalguy said...

Always Cruise on a high end ship like the Japanese run Crystal Cruise Line. You get what you pay for.

Nomennovum said...

People who go on cruises swear by them. I've never seen the appeal, though I love to sail -- a very different experience altogether.

This episode has reinforced my already unshakable belief in my great wisdom.

Dale said...

You are all people who went on a cruise in the first place. That's where you made your mistake

Spit out my coffee. Funniest thing I've read this week!

Next, we'll be hearing about the "heroes" who put up with it all.

My favorite question asked today in every "news" interview:

"How did you feel about ____________"


Why should anybody give 2 shits about it?

Chip S. said...

I blame Ted Cruz.

Shouting Thomas said...

Cruises are fun, Althouse. I've been on a few.

Sure, it's a prole idea of fun. Went on one with my entire extended Filipino family. It was a gas. They like corny stuff. What kind I say?

Sorun said...

I went on an organized kayaking trip once where we were supposed to poop in paper lunch bags as a part of "no trace" camping. You put a rock in the bag and saved it until you're on the ocean. Then you drop the bag in the water. Out of sight, out of mind.

I tried it once. No fun. On top of that, the hippie wierdos who want you to poop in a bag then feeds everyone vegetarian bean goop, which races to exit your system in a less than solid form.

Mary Beth said...

14,300,000 cruise passengers in 2010 (the most recent year I found data on) and a tiny percentage had problems. If you enjoy cruises, this shouldn't be enough to make you stop, if you don't enjoy them, don't go.

Colonel Angus said...

Why should anybody give 2 shits about it?

Distraction from the idea we have Obama for another four years? It was front page on USA Today.

ricpic said...

You are all people who went on a cruise in the first place. That's where you made your mistake.

Translation: you go on a cruise you're not a beautiful person. You're not a beautiful person you deserve to suffer.

Shouting Thomas said...

Pull the hoity toity intellectual corncob out of your ass every once in a while, Althouse!

Colonel Angus said...

I went on an organized kayaking trip once where we were supposed to poop in paper lunch bags as a part of "no trace" camping.

If shitting in the woods is good enough for a bear, its good enough for me.

Marshal said...

please go home to Tulsa...I don't want to hear how ...


You can't just pay the story no mind? The journalists sought them out for a comment, the nastiness seems misplaced.

Tank said...

I'd rather listen to their comments than watch another weather report about ... Omigod ... 3 to 4 inches of snow on the way.

Or, God forbid (note the God tie in), 10 inches ...

1. Ten inches of snow.

2. ?????

3. Climate Change blah blah.

Colonel Angus said...

You are all people who went on a cruise in the first place. That's where you made your mistake.

I wasnt sure what to make of this comment. Initially I thought it was sarcasm but the more I ponder it, I think we're just seeing some of that academic elitism slipping out.

Cruises being for the great unwashed and all.

Fritz said...

They wouldn't be on TV if the media didn't stick a camera and microphone in their faces.

I'll bet you can get a good price on a cruise in the next few weeks.

Coketown said...

Was it like Lord of the Flies on board? Is there a Carnival Conch they could pass around--and only he who possesses it may speak to the media. That's a good way to regulate the Vesuvius of inane horseshit that's about to erupt from 4,200 people who think everyone cares about their tragic ordeal of being uncomfortable for a couple weeks.

If I were onboard I would have collected my feces in my suitcase and then thrown them from the balcony at anyone trying to talk to the media. Compared to the daytime talkshow-like spectacle of airing your grievances to anyone who will listen, my plan seems perfectly civil.

SteveR said...

I've never been on a cruise but I understand they are a cornucopia of smelly and unpleasant bodily functions. Typically to a greater extent than commercial air travel, and in this case above normal due to the circumstances.

DADvocate said...

I have an idea. Change the channel.

Renee said...

I had not learned of the ship until yesterday, my parents told me it was on the news for days.

I guess the news of the Pope, engulfed my news feeds.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm sure it was a great adventure for folks who are unaccustomed to being plunged into adventure.

They undoubtedly got a hell of a kick out of being on TV. They'll be talking about it back in Bumfuck for decades.

In my hometown, they still talk about the railroad tanker car that blew up and took out Crescent City 50 years ago.

The Old Dawgz play for these folks at BBQs and benefits. They're unpretentious and fun.

furious_a said...

Unless you have a distinctive and grisly detail or a truly idiosyncratic way to describe the mundane...

Sometimes the mundane, like working flush toilets and water running from the tap, can be pretty remarkable. Remarkable being the thin margin between modern comfort and, say, dysentery or cholera.

lgv said...

Uh, it's the media that's creating these "media stars". They are the ones pushing the bodily fluids angle. They mostly just want to go home.

I detest cruise ships and cruisers. We refer to them as POD people. I can't remember the exact entomology, but it was something along the lines of Polyester-clad ????? Dorks. Could have been something worse than dork.

I take vacations to get away from the masses, not to be trapped in Norovirus petri dish with them.

They are herded from port to port to spend money on worthless trinkets made in China, sold in shops owned by the cruise ship lines. Like Pavlov's dogs, they return to the ship when the horn blows.

A great vacation for binge drinkers and eaters pretending to partake in foreign culture.

lgv said...

Hopefully this will hurt the industry.

For those who wish to delve into the bowels of the industry, google "cruise ship junkie". The author has written many papers on the industry, including economic and environmental impact.

Shana said...

I don't think being anti-cruise has anything to do with elitism. For me, it is the pure terror of being trapped in the middle of the ocean with thousands of people, social class be damned. Ugh. I don't think you could pay me enough money. If the possibility of being eaten by sharks isn't enough, now you have to save your poop in a bag. At least now when my husband pesters me to go on a cruise, I can say "See? See?"

Kensington said...

So the usual media jackals descend on these people, and we're going to get annoyed with...the people?

Really?

Titus said...

What fucking options?

The last thing I would do is go on a cruise-being on a boat with a bunch of strangers with all kinds of entertainment options gives me the fucking creeps.

I just met at Baha'i today-what the hell is that? He sounded nice on the phone but I was suspicious.

furious_a said...

Seeing as the family is leaving on a Spring Break Disney cruise in three weeks, this is big news in my world.

The kid has been asking about the Titanic.

Shouting Thomas said...

Althouse, you really need to go on a cruise.

You are desperately in need of getting out of your iMac, SWPL, intellectual fog.

Here's a great one for you. I know these guys in Rocky and the Rollers. They'll have you dancing and laughing your ass off.

The drummer in the group was the drummer on all those great Philly rock hits of the 50s and 60s.

Pull that corncob out of your ass and get down!

Methadras said...

These fucking idiots appear to be completely incapable of handling the smallest of hardships. They whine like they went to war and made it back alive. Oh, this is also Bush's fault.

furious_a said...

...now have to save your poop in a bag.

We reserved an outside cabin with a veranda.

bpm4532 said...

Unfortunately, they all think they are unique and special.

That's what they've been told all their lives.

bpm4532 said...

Unfortunately, they all think they are unique and special.

That's what they've been told all their lives.

ricpic said...

Hopefully this will hurt the industry.

Wait, don't tell me, I'll bet you're all gung-ho for the workers, right? Schmuck.

Bob R said...

I know several people who like cruises, and I'm sympathetic to part of the appeal. But the sea and salt air is a bug not a feature for me, so it's not something I want to do. The aspect of a cruise that I find most appealing is that you have all kinds of food and entertainment within walking distance. You can get that in New Orleans with a much more comfortable hotel room.

creeley23 said...

Do they all imagine they are media stars now?

Good grief, Althouse, do you imagine these people hired media flacks to get their words into the papers?

No, the media stuck microphones into their faces and asked them to say something.

And what's your snark about cruises? They are perfectly fine experiences. I have a friend who works at the VP/Director level in corporations and she likes them because they allow her to completely unplug and relax.

Writ Small said...

The greatest sin in the Althouse pantheon is being boring -- that and the misuse of words such as "pantheon." Note well, commenters.

rhhardin said...

It's for soap opera women.

Narrative: things going wrong.

Shouting Thomas said...

Cruises are one of the last venues where you can drink your ass off and not be busted for DUI.

That's a big part of the appeal.

I'd like to see Althouse shit faced. Jesus, but she's serious! I mean really shit faced and stoned.

Does she ever need it! So do I!

garage mahal said...

I would have whipped out the credit card and called a fishing charter to come pick me up and get the hell out of there.

James said...

That's a good way to regulate the Vesuvius of inane horseshit that's about to erupt from 4,200 people who think everyone cares about their tragic ordeal of being uncomfortable for a couple weeks.

More like 4 days....

Michael said...

Garage. I would have split it with you. Or a seaplane.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I'm going to assume the prostitutes made out like bandits.

Lem said...

precious bodily fluids...

Dr Strangelove... How I never Learned to Stop Worrying... or Everything I never Wanted To Know About Bodily Fluids.

prairie wind said...

Translation: you go on a cruise you're not a beautiful person. You're not a beautiful person you deserve to suffer.

You forgot to add:
The beautiful people sit around and contemplate the piss and poop of the SOTU audience.

Sigivald said...

Do they all imagine they are media stars now?

If the media demands that they endlessly prattle on about it, well... aren't they?

Blame the media and the need for Something New Every Second, not the passengers - it doesn't appear that they're seeking out this attention, for the most part.

Shouting Thomas said...

Too funny!

Egghead Althouse getting pissed at the rednecks.

Come on, Althouse. If you ever get to NYC, I'll take you to a BBQ with my mixed white/Filipino family.

You'll see. They won't bite you. While they won't talk PC, they don't have any intentions of hurting anybody either. They joke about race and sex, but they're really quite tolerant.

It would do you some good to get out. Hell, I'll even take you to my redneck hometown in Illinois! You could even go to a Dawgz concert. They've been asking us to do a gig at the Art Deco movie theater that they've remodeled.

Meade would get a kick out of the trip.

Shawn Levasseur said...

This highlights the main problem with cruises. If the service sucks, you're trapped. At a resort, even if you are on the hook financially, you can always spend your time elsewhere.

Kit said...

You can't just pay the story no mind? The journalists sought them out for a comment, the nastiness seems misplaced.

Agreed.

I've got family members that like them - that's fine, they're just not for me - too crowded. Way too much stimulation.

Sorum, where were you kayaking? It's just that some ecosystems can't handle the amount of human traffic/waste that might come through an area (soil type and water contamination issues).

furious_a said...

Mechanical failures, icebergs, U-boats...shudder...

Chip Ahoy said...

I like the shape of the boat. It's sort of like a dirigible just floating along far away holding a lot of people doing nothing at all really. It's a cool looking boat.

The photo on Drudge has become a trope in my mind for disaster. I wish the photo was better, I'd take it. Idle pleasure turned to disaster and I want to insert it in everything. Have it float across in the background. A reminder of a constant floating stinking disaster in the near distance, a floating utopia gone bad.

Another similar trope that I want to put everywhere is the photo of Jeff Neely in a bathtub. Floating across the background like a boat, the summation of cartoon-laughing-at-you waste.

bagoh20 said...

I only went on one cruise, and it was to Alaska. It was fantastic. You get up in the morning grab a quick breakfast, then leave the ship to go hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, bus touring, kayaking, canoeing, zip-lining or shopping. Something different every day, lots of outside wilderness activity if you choose that. Then when you go back to ship for dinner, and it's a comfortable relaxing time to read with great scenery scrolling by. You go to bed and the ship cruses to the next port while you sleep. In the morning you are there, and off you go for another adventure. I found it really enjoyable. The time on the boat is a little boring for my taste, but it is great for reading or conversing with a few drinks.

If you just hang on the ship and go into town to shop, then that would drive me nuts, but a cruise to the right place, and done right can be awesome.

And it really helps if like me your shit don't stink.

Oclarki said...

Too bad that meteor didn't hit that stupid ship. They play CNN at my work and I had to watch them tow that dopey ship for 8 hours yesterday.

Ann Althouse said...

Seems to me that being on a cruise ship is like going on vacation where you stay in a big hotel, but you can't leave the hotel... even in an emergency.

And where is law enforcement? It's like a city adrift in the wilderness... and you can't run away.

Horrible.

I don't think my opinion is elitist. It's not like poor people go on cruises. The people who go are spending a lot of money. They are responding to a pitch that emphasizes luxury and coddling. The people who go for that can't turn around and whine that it's elitest to reject that kind of vacation. What bullshit!

It's not like I said I prefer staying in 5-star hotels in major cities. I prefer staying home!

Ann Althouse said...

"I only went on one cruise, and it was to Alaska. It was fantastic. You get up in the morning grab a quick breakfast, then leave the ship to go hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, bus touring, kayaking, canoeing, zip-lining or shopping. Something different every day, lots of outside wilderness activity if you choose that. Then when you go back to ship for dinner, and it's a comfortable relaxing time to read with great scenery scrolling by. You go to bed and the ship cruses to the next port while you sleep. In the morning you are there, and off you go for another adventure. I found it really enjoyable. The time on the boat is a little boring for my taste, but it is great for reading or conversing with a few drinks."

But is it better than staying on the ground in Alaska, traveling by car from place to place, and staying in motels?

Palladian said...

Seems to me that being on a cruise ship is like going on vacation where you stay in a big hotel, but you can't leave the hotel... even in an emergency.

It's like "The Shining" with daiquiris and a floor show.

edutcher said...

They need to interview all those people because every reporter needs a fresh angle.

If people start saying, "Oh, I've already seen her with Cavuto and Madcow and Coop", they'd lose viewers.

Ann Althouse said...

You are all people who went on a cruise in the first place. That's where you made your mistake.

My God, Ann, you are really getting grumpy.

Hate to say it, but Shout's right. you need a vacation.

Spring Break!

Go Down to Lauderdale or South Padre.

Take a cruise before you tell everybody how bad it is.

Go Royal Caribbean. Very nice. The food is great (world class). so is the service, and there's a lot more to do than you might think.

And you get to see a little bit of the world.

They also have a string quartet entertain you before dinner.

Very civilized.

Shouting Thomas said...

Cruises are one of the last venues where you can drink your ass off and not be busted for DUI.

Yes, but you can also fall overboard. it seems to be a party favor with Carnival. They lose at least one a year that way.

PS Whatever happened to pitch it over the fantail?

garage mahal said...

And a bus carrying passengers to New Orleans broke down on the way. LOL

Shouting Thomas said...

Try the Rocky and the Rollers cruise, Althouse.

You've got no idea what you're missing. These guys tear it up. They're funny as hell. And great musicians.

And, it's bunch of old farts just like you. They're all wearing their Depends.

Rocky will drag you right out of that morbid seriousness. Believe me, he's an expert. One of the best. He'll have you laughing and drinking and dancing.

Shouting Thomas said...

It's like "The Shining" with daiquiris and a floor show.

I'd pay to see that, Palladian!

Shouting Thomas said...

I shouldn't be giving Rocky this kind of PR.

I'm gonna have to ask the old bastard for a cut next time I see him.

jacksonjay said...


Why begrudge these poor souls their 15 minutes of fame! To tell you the truth, I would much rather hear about this than anything about a rapper or a ball player!

Craig Landon said...

In the Navy the word 'cruise' is often used interchangeably with 'deployment'. I am willing to bet the passengers were never as uncomfortable, dirty, or tired as the typical sailor on an aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea, so my empathy is limited. (Except for those aboard whose medical devices needed electricity.)

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

Seems to me that being on a cruise ship is like going on vacation where you stay in a big hotel, but you can't leave the hotel... even in an emergency.

Lifeboats?

And many of the new ones have helipads. It's nicer than being on an aircraft carrier.

And where is law enforcement? It's like a city adrift in the wilderness... and you can't run away.

You'd be surprised how fast people can be dropped at the next stop.

If you like being a stay-at-home, that's fine, but why rain on everybody else's parade?

As I say, you need a vacation.

Go someplace warm and sunny over Spring Break and sit on the beach for a week.

creeley23 said...

But is it better than staying on the ground in Alaska, traveling by car from place to place, and staying in motels?

Your opinion may not be elitist (though I sure get a hit of that from your writing) but it is your opinion.

Depends on what you want. On a cruise all the mundane detail of making arrangements, fussing with maps, and shlepping yourself and your luggage from place is over once you get to the boat. Driving unfamiliar roads especially in foreign countries is not relaxing. The old joke about needing a vacation after your vacation mostly does not apply to cruises.

Then there is the eerie majesty of the night sky when you're out gliding along on the dark oily water and there is nothing but the ship, the sea and sky.

bagoh20 said...

"But is it better than staying on the ground in Alaska, traveling by car from place to place, and staying in motels?"

Absolutely! First, in a place like Alaska, you can't drive to these locales. It's wilderness with the only access by water. And like I said, the boat does the driving while you sleep, so you spend nearly all your awake hours having fun. When you book the cruise, you also book all the excursions you want to do in each port. When you get there, a bus takes you up into the wilderness where your bike, horse, canoe or whatever is waiting, and off you go. Me and my date usually strayed a little off on our own.

We did Norwegian Cruise Lines which is different as in it's not regimented - you can eat whenever and wherever you want on the ship, and of course you can always eat at a restaurant off ship too. Being able to drink without having to drive is a nice bonus.

I don't think most cruses are that enjoyable, but Alaska was. We did it in June, and although their were glaciers, snow, and icebergs, it was in the 60 - 70s. We were often wearing shorts (sorry) with no jackets.

Kirk Parker said...

"But is it better than staying on the ground in Alaska, traveling by car from place to place, and staying in motels?"

I take it you've never been to Alaska? You can't do that there, especially not in SW Alaska. Ketchikan, Sitka, Petersburg, Juneau... water or air are the only ways.

furious_a said...

Trapped in a conveyance with bodily fluids brings back a boyhood episode that is seared, seared into my memory...

Along with my teammates I suffered through a high school sports bus roadtrip-from-hell like those cruise people. Soccer and basketball teams were returning on the same bus to San Antonio from weekend tournaments in Houston (~210 miles one-way).

At one of the cafeterias or buffets at which we'd eaten we picked up a food-borne illness. First victim succumbed in westbound I-10 just outside of Houston. He made it to the onboard restroom. So did the next four or five until the line for the door became too long and then the toilet jammed.

Then the bus driver began pulling over, but there were those who couldn't make it to the exit in time. Windows on Greyhound-class buses can only open so far. So then this awful tide formed in the aisle, creeping rearward on uphill those and forward on the downhills (Look OUT! LOOK OUT! HERE IT COMES!) It was at this point that those who weren't sick began making so. The last irongut, the varsity b-ball team's leading scorer, succumbed after he accidentally sat in a seat into which someone had, well, you know...

The spasms peaked near Schulenberg and by Luling were reduced to the occasional dry heaves. The coaches had called ahead so that when we reached San Antonio the gym was open for showers and our parents had been notified to bring fresh clothes. Everyone made it to school (and practice) the following Monday.

Can't imagine how the charter company ever got that bus clean.

Aridog said...

Althouse said ...

You are all people who went on a cruise in the first place. That's where you made your mistake.

I Agree. It's not about being hoity toity or rubbing elbows with the great unwashed...it IS ABOUT going aboard absurdly designed sea going vessels. Way too many decks above the water line, way too many passengers & crew, and the usual ignored feature of life boat access...e.g., when the giant top heavy vessel begins to list, fully half of the life boats are no longer available.

Cruising may be fun for all kinds of people...just not me. I lack the required confinement mentality and absolutely do not trust the cruise ship designs of today. Seriously. I've spent considerable time on the water in boats from 17 feet to 114 feet long with power from 65 HP to 2000 HP....and every single one of them were safer and better designed for open water operation.

Garage ... I like your idea, BUT I'd bet good money that the cruise ship's officers would have prohibited you from debarking to a fishing boat or seaplane. And, afloat, they are 100% in charge...not me or you, not even land lubber law.

Putting myself in the company of 4000 others all under the immediate control of Captain Feel Good, like the Costa Concordia (also Carnival lines...who'd a thunk it?) just doesn't compute for me.

Colonel Angus said...

And where is law enforcement? It's like a city adrift in the wilderness... and you can't run away.

Believe it or not, they have this thing called security officers and yes, a brig. Trouble makers tend to be held there and dumped at the next port of call.

Are you really that dim?

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seeing Red said...

Professor, you should check out Off The Beaten Path. It's a good company.

Big Mike said...

This whole episode has been overhyped by the media because otherwise they'd have to work for a living.

Amartel said...

Hey Igv at 11:55, I take vacations to get away from people like you, you pretentious overentitled dumbshit. I hope you get eaten by a bear during an environmentally educational nature walk at an overpriced "green" resort.

heyboom said...

Not quite getting the attitude of some here, i.e., "I personally don't like cruises so everyone who does is a piece of shit who can't go to hell fast enough."

My wife and daughters went on a cruise without me because I hate boats. I will never go on a cruise, but I'm glad they had a great time and met some nice people.

vza said...

Amen!

Baron Zemo said...

I take a cruise every year and it is a lot of fun. Great food and there is nothing more fun than having a cocktail on the deck in the sun as your are sailing in the warm Caribbean seas while everyone at home is digging out their cars from the snow. Dancing and listening to music and a midnight buffet sure beats picking up the crap from a borrowed St Bernard on a frozen lake in my book.

But then some people live in Wisconsin. Thats were you made your mistake.

Baron Zemo said...

Next year we plan to cruise in Italy with stops in Vencie, Milan, Rome and Naples.

It will be a lot of fun.

bagoh20 said...

Here is a photo I took on a horseback riding trip during my cruise in Alaska. It's my favorite landscape pic I've taken. I just turned and snapped it. It looks fake. A few minutes later a huge bear walked right across our path. Great fun.

Above Ketchikan AK

Baron Zemo said...

I take a cruise every year and it is a lot of fun. Great food and there is nothing more fun than having a cocktail on the deck in the sun as your are sailing in the warm Caribbean seas while everyone at home is digging out their cars from the snow. Dancing and listening to music and a midnight buffet sure beats picking up the crap from a borrowed St Bernard on a frozen lake in my book.

But then some people live in Wisconsin. Thats were you made your mistake.

Big Mike said...

But is it better than staying on the ground in Alaska, traveling by car from place to place, and staying in motels?

Actually, yes. I know because wife and I actually did the ground travel routine in Alaska one summer after a conference I attended near Anchorage. Once much outside of Anchorage you'd find that Alaska is way more primitive than you can imagine, and there simply aren't motels every so many miles apart. And you're missing other things like gas stations, fast food joints, etc. Plus there are many places in Alaska you can't get to by car, for instance their capital city of Juneau. The best part of our trip was when we took a ride in dome coaches on the Alaska RR from Anchorage to Denali Nat'l Park. There we stayed in a dilapidated motel of sorts run by the National Park Service (and since torn down).

Camping is good in Alaska, if you don't mind the possibility that you could get up in the morning and find your tent surrounded by a wolf pack or a bear going through your food cache. No, I'm not kidding. Humans share the apex predator role in Alaska with two very large and terrible bear species, plus black bears and wolves besides.

So I share your revulsion towards cruises, Professor, but for Alaska I'd make an exception. An Alaskan cruise is on my bucket list.

edutcher said...

Baron Zemo said...

Next year we plan to cruise in Italy with stops in Vencie, Milan, Rome and Naples.

It will be a lot of fun.


Sounds like it.

Just be careful. The world is not as safe it was 5 years ago.

I take a cruise every year and it is a lot of fun. Great food and there is nothing more fun than having a cocktail on the deck in the sun as your are sailing in the warm Caribbean seas while everyone at home is digging out their cars from the snow. Dancing and listening to music and a midnight buffet sure beats picking up the crap from a borrowed St Bernard on a frozen lake in my book.

Just like us, or at least what we used to do. Now we have to watch the expenses, but we'd do Royal Caribbean, go to Sandals (Montego Bay is great), or Cancun.

Scott M said...

I have been doing a LOT of research on modern life boats and know way more than I need to. That being said, if you don't know, they are absolutely nothing like the ones most people probably think of circa 1912. Despite the fact that they are fully or mostly enclosed, have their own power, RFID, beacons, etc...a quick look at a diagram showing how sardined the people are. It would be miserable no matter what.

And, who are we kidding...it's still going to be women and children first.

MadisonMan said...

furious_a -- that's an awesome story.

When I was 11 or 12, my Boy Scout Troop was in a mammoth log cabin -- 3 stories! -- for a weekend, and food poisoning struck (whatever it was that caused it, I didn't eat it, so no effect on me). I vividly remember watching one person lead someone else (sick) down the steps as the sick kid is just spewing vomit everywhere. Next morning he was sitting there with a scraper cleaning dried vomit off the steps.

Tibore said...

" I don't want to hear about it. I don't want to hear how it feels good to be back on dry land, how you care about your family with whom you are at long last reunited, how stressful it all was, and the crushingly obvious fact that shit stinks.

You are all people who went on a cruise in the first place. That's where you made your mistake."


Whoa. That was... really curmudgeonly.

Don't get me wrong; I'm somewhat of the same opinion. It's like the news folks want to beat an unimportant story like this to death in great detail, yet they treat truly important topics sooooooo superficially; it really, really bugs me just how idiotic the news profession can be. It's just that I'm just a little surprised you were willing to put the thought into writing. Me, I just mutter and ignore the stories. :)

"It's not like poor people go on cruises."

In general, true, but I do know one person who, with his friends and significant other would save up their hourly pay (he was in a benefits-free position where I work) and take a cruise every year. Sure, they didn't meet the actual "poverty level" income as defined by the government (he was making in the mid-to-upper $20,000s at best), but I still wouldn't even call them "middle class". Yet, they go faithfully every year. Also, one of my college-aged coworkers and his buddies went once, and I'd say they're in the lower middle class bracket (lower 30k's). My point is that I get that most of the people who go are far from poor, but it's not like it's only the seriously big earners who go.So I guess this is one of those cases where we'd say "define 'rich'". Because I get the impression that the cruise ship customer profile is a bit broader than popular perception holds it out to be. When I found out those guys went, it certainly turned out to be broader than I thought it was.

Clyde said...

I had a funny juxtaposition when I got online yesterday: On my news home page, there was a picture of the crippled cruise ship, but then an animated purple cloud appeared over it and wafted to the right side of the screen! I thought it might be a stink animation, but it turned out that it belonged to a Toyota ad in the right sidebar! Sheer coincidence, but funny as hell.

Clyde said...

And this whole catastrophic adventure is one reason why I have no desire to ever go on a cruise: You are stuck there! If you take a vacation on land and things go sour, you can always pay your tab and go somewhere else. And you don't have to worry about drowning.

Julie C said...

I just reread David Foster Wallace's essay, "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" a few days ago. Every time I get the urge to do a Caribbean type cruise I read that and save myself money.

I'm with the others here on Alaska, however. My husband and I have plans to take a cruise there once the kids are up and out.

Tank said...

Baron Zemo said...

Next year we plan to cruise in Italy with stops in Vencie, Milan, Rome and Naples.

It will be a lot of fun.


Probably will be lots of fun. The part I don't like is that most evenings, when it's time for dinner and after dinner entertainment, you'll be going back to the ship. When I'm in Venice, Milan and Rome, I don't want to go back to the ship for dinner and after dinner - you're missing half of the great stuff of a city by not being there at that time. Naples, hmmm ... good place to not be after dinner, no?

Aridog said...

Aw, come on...there's no one saying (that I can tell) that you're scum if you don't like to cruise. It's a choice ... a choice some of us won't make for a variety of reasons. For me, it's the size and design of modern cruise ships...in my mind they are "capsize-o-matic" contraptions. In open waters full of large carnivorous fish, no thanks.

I'd probably enjoy the Alaska passage cruises mentioned here, if they are on smaller, more manageable, vessels than ships such as the Triumph or Costa Concordia. It's not that I fear water per se...it is that I'm selective on what kind of boat or vessel I go aboard. I'm the same way about airlines....you ain't got enough money to pay me to ever get on Spirit Airlines again, for example.

As a guy who has spent a lot of time on the great lakes, 30 miles or so from land at times, in small craft 17 to 26 footers, motor or sail, I'm still averse to boats I see handled poorly, even at twice the size....;say 52 feet or so. At my daughter's wedding in Nassau, Bahamas I declined to join the groom's party aboard a large sport fishing boat because I watched the craft master fail to hold it safe & steady in calm water against a pier so folks could hop on....boat slammed around like a berserk chimp, the "master" had zero skills with twin props and holding steady on position...me get aboard? Let that clown take me out in to the open ocean? Not a chance.

It's about choices, not prejudice or elitism.

garage mahal said...

Garage ... I like your idea, BUT I'd bet good money that the cruise ship's officers would have prohibited you from debarking to a fishing boat or seaplane. And, afloat, they are 100% in charge...not me or you, not even land lubber law.


I would politely advise the officer telling me I can't get off the ship that they either let me go or they are going overboard.

creeley23 said...

It's not like poor people go on cruises.

But it's not poor people whom the elites despise with their elitist opinions.

It's the tacky middle-class strivers and tradespeople who can now afford goodies like vacation cruises which had previously been the province of the elites.

Tank said...

Actually, especially if you don't have to fly to the departure city, lots of cruises are very affordable. No more expensive than many cheap vacations.

bbkingfish said...

I love it! This post is a logical bowl of spaghetti. The Tracy Farmer quote seems chosen intentionally to illustrate the vapidity of the author's premises.

But, no one seems to notice, and a good time is being had by all, so, by all means, have at it.

I am beginning to empathize, however, with the right-wing's loathing of the concept of academic tenure.

Aridog said...

Garage...I understand what you mean, but I doubt that the attending Coast Guard alone would allow the fishing boat to get anywhere near close to the cruise ship. Even if the fishing boat got semi-close, you'd probably still have to jump overboard yourself, if not on too high a deck, and hope they picked you up.

There's zero chance, IMO, that they'd let you or anyone rig up even a crude bosun's chair to transfer to the fishing boat. That hog-wallowing-no-control-tippy-pig of a cruise ship under tow by tugs would make it a very difficult maneuver to accomplish.

While I am inclined to have my way the same as you are...getting all uppity with the security personnel or ship's officers would get you a bunk in that brig someone mentioned earlier. :(

prairie wind said...

It's not like poor people go on cruises.

They work on the cruises and I'd bet they were in worse shape than the paying guests.

Aridog said...

But it's not poor people whom the elites despise with their elitist opinions.

It's the tacky middle-class strivers and tradespeople who can now afford goodies like vacation cruises


Seriously? I'm not a cruise person, but I'd bet the very wealthy & elite cruise folks have accommodations 24/7 where they almost never even see the hoi polloi "strivers" pon board.

Or has cruise ship travel become egalitarian now? No passage class distinctions, etc....?

Chuck Currie said...

They should all feel privileged to have had a prep course/training in the future of American life.

Cheers

Cedarford said...

Last night, I watched Fox to see if they had any news in what really interested me - the Russian meteor - only to be treated to a mildly hysterical Shepard Smith (the resident gay liberal on Fox) playing the Victimhood narrative with departing vacationers.

He picked the wrong couple:

It must have been so terrible for the two of you
Woman "Actually it was pretty exciting and we got to know a lot more crew and passengers than we would have.A little bit of roughing it, sleeping under the stars."
But don't you blame the cruise line for wrecking your vacation??Did they apologize for your ordeal?
Man: "How do you blame the Carnival people for an an accident where equipment fails? It happens a lot in anything in life. You make the best of it, help one another, don't let it ruin your day.."
How do the two of you feel about them offering you another cruise (lowers gay voice) on SUCH a ship.
Woman: "Pretty excited! We are already planning our next vacation to be a cruise. A free cruise!"
Shepard: But doesn't the fact that the cruise will be with the very same Carnival cruise line company give you pause?
Man: "Why should it? The crew was absolutely great."
Shepard: Ummmm, thank you for commenting and when we return we will have some more comments from the unfortunate passengers..

What a tool.


Michael said...

Professor: Alaska is big and bopping around in a car and staying in motels is good but not as good as flying to Anchorage and renting a camper, a good one, for a couple of weeks. Then you are in your motel all the time. The cruises are fantastic but obviously only give you scenery and not much exposure to the people.

I once took a picture of a moose from my highrise hotel room in Anchorage. It was walking down the street. The guy I was on the phone with in Los Angeles didn't believe me and said it was a drunk dressed up as a moose. Took the picture and sent it to him where it resides on his office wall together with the snotty letter.

Michael said...

Aridog: The kind of ship they are talking about here is one class. Lots of variation in cabin sizes etc but there is no steerage, no first class. These huge jobs are priced to attract from the middle on down. The quality of the trip is in inverse proportion to the size of the ship except where first class is involved in which case that axiom can be ignored.

traditionalguy said...

The people who fear a loss of control seem to be the ones who ridicule the pleasures of a good cruise ship experience.

It is an experience where all is taken care of for you by others. You have to let go and let the crew take the responsibility.

Try it on a high end line and just let it be what it is.

LordSomber said...

A good rule of thumb is to just not talk to the press.

As for cruises, I'd rather take a Windjammer or even a freighter cruise.
Carnival cruises sound like being stuck in a Vegas hotel surrounded by people wearing shorts and eating all day.

lgv said...



Hopefully this will hurt the industry.

Wait, don't tell me, I'll bet you're all gung-ho for the workers, right? Schmuck.



It has nothing to do with the workers. It has to do with an industry that wantonly pollutes the oceans and traps sucker tourists to shop in captive stores and fails to provide a healthy environment, let alone the untold crime that occurs on the ships. I think the downside of cruise business are well hidden from consumers.

Ann Althouse said...

I asked: "And where is law enforcement? It's like a city adrift in the wilderness... and you can't run away."

And I got this incredibly rude answer: "Believe it or not, they have this thing called security officers and yes, a brig. Trouble makers tend to be held there and dumped at the next port of call. Are you really that dim?"

How about considering your own possible dimness?

Here's this privately owned ship, a big business, that has its own employees, some of whom perform a role similar to police, courts, and prison authorities. You're supposed to count on these people to protect you and not to abuse you. Why would you trust them?

What are the crime statistics on the ship you are about to surrender yourself to? Is there robbery? Are there sexual assaults? What happens if you are accused of theft or sexual assault on the ship? Who are all the people who can get into your room -- when you're away and when you are in there sleeping or bathing?

What happens if terrorists board the ship? Will the employees protect you?

People who go on these ships just assume all this stuff must be taken care of, just like they assume there is food safety and clean water and properly working toilets.

Ann Althouse said...

FBI Works With Cruise Lines to Bury Reports of Rapes at Sea

"Our mental images of cruises usually involve lots of sundecks and cocktails and endless buffets of food, but the reality is that cruise ships are basically floating cities in which all kinds of ugly things happen—including rape. In fact, rape aboard these vessels was such a problem that Congress passed a bill to change the way these crimes were reported and give consumers access to information about them. Only the FBI slyly introduced some language into the bill that has effectively stopped the reporting of these assaults to the public. Why would they do such a thing? Some experts believe it's because they've gotten a little too friendly with the cruise industry."

Alex said...

There's something wrong with the design of these ships. They're way too top heavy. I'd not want to sail aboard a monstrosity like that.

Fprawl said...

I predicted Althouse non-empathy with this bunch.
My "in a parallel universe where Spock is Evil." post in the lazy dog cafe.

The crew saved everyone, no fatalities.
If you go on a boat for vacation, you are on a boat.
End of story.

Alex said...

Here's another thing. You can't take a firearm aboard a ship for protection.

Alex said...

Anyone who goes on these modern monstrosities is an idiot to begin with.

Ann Althouse said...

There's a lot of drinking on these ships, and, presumably, a lot of hopes and dashed hopes about sexual adventures.

I'm sure there are plenty of rapes and plenty of ambiguous situations (with alcohol added) that lead to false accusations of rape.

The notion that "troublemakers" are "dumped at the next port of call" would look a bit different to you if you were the one they decided was the troublemaker and you got dumped somewhere!

Why don't you feel exposed? Why do you assume you won't be the person who is abused?

You don't even think you'll be the person on a ship with a food poisoning problem or toilets that don't work!

lgv said...

Hey Igv at 11:55, I take vacations to get away from people like you, you pretentious overentitled dumbshit. I hope you get eaten by a bear during an environmentally educational nature walk at an overpriced "green" resort.

Wow, first I'm a schmuck and overentitled dumbshit.

Perhaps I agree with Shanna's view. I live in a metropolitan area of millions and prefer vacations away from crowds of people and noise, just like unpretentious hikers, campers or hunters.

It's rather odd being painted as a workers' rights schmuck and enviro greenie. My friends would get a good laugh out of it.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

I asked: "And where is law enforcement? It's like a city adrift in the wilderness... and you can't run away."

And I got this incredibly rude answer: "Believe it or not, they have this thing called security officers and yes, a brig. Trouble makers tend to be held there and dumped at the next port of call. Are you really that dim?"

How about considering your own possible dimness?

Here's this privately owned ship, a big business, that has its own employees, some of whom perform a role similar to police, courts, and prison authorities. You're supposed to count on these people to protect you and not to abuse you. Why would you trust them?


No people acting as courts or prison authorities, but bad actors can be dropped at the next port. I've never seen any problems on any cruise I've taken, the idea the troublemakers are just put off the ship.

You're supposed to count on these people to protect you and not to abuse you. Why would you trust them?

What are the crime statistics on the ship you are about to surrender yourself to? Is there robbery? Are there sexual assaults? What happens if you are accused of theft or sexual assault on the ship? Who are all the people who can get into your room -- when you're away and when you are in there sleeping or bathing?


What are the risks going into a motel on your drive to Colorado or Texas?

What if you're accused of something out on the road where nobody knows you?

A hundred years ago, a lot of people got strung up simply because they were strangers in town.

BTW, those same thoughts must run through the heads of parents sending their kids off the the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

What happens if terrorists board the ship? Will the employees protect you?

People who go on these ships just assume all this stuff must be taken care of, just like they assume there is food safety and clean water and properly working toilets


In the event of terrorists, we used to have Special Forces, Rangers SEAL Teams, and other assorted rough men with weapons. With Barry running things, not so much.

But, to be serious, you're being silly here.

What if terrorists invade your classroom?

Are you going to protect your students?

(this would be a happenstance where you really would want to be like The Blonde - nurse w/ 43 years' experience, dead shot w/ pistols (.45, .22) and '03 Springfield rifle, black belts in judo and karate, former undercover babe)

Alex said...

Ann - people still associate cruises with the romanticism of the HMS Titanic.. oh bad example!

Alex said...

edutcher - you sound overly defensive of your cruise ship vacation habit.

Baron Zemo said...

There are many poorer or lower middle class people on cruises. I have met many of them and had a drink at the bar or danced along to the Motown oldies show in the lounge.

I met two very nice ladies from Detroit who loved to get an ice cream cone at around midnight just as I did with my wife. They had saved all year and their whole extended family came from Detroit and Alabama where they were originally from back in the day. They had thirty people in their group. All the way from Granny to infants. They weren't rich but they got the same meals and cheerful service as the richest people on the cruise. Even the rich and vain pompous and elitist professors who might have been there looking down their hobbit noses at the rest of us regular Americans.

garage mahal said...

@Aridog
I've never been a cruise ship, or at least one of these behemoths. Do you sign anything before you board that details your mandatory incarceration? Or does that deal end when you're dead in the water and there is shit flowing down the hallways. Or if you have a medical condition....etc.

Baron Zemo said...

The security on these ships are very tight. They know when there is trouble and they nip it in the bud. The casino and the bar is tightly controlled. Much more so than in Vegas or Atlantic City.

Of course why listen to someone who has been on twenty cruises when you can listen to an elitist pompous windbag who has never been on one.

Shanna said...

People who go on cruises swear by them.

All they ever talk about seems to be the food! I'd rather just go somewhere and hang out for a week. The thing I like best about vacations is walking around and cruises are somewhat limited in that respect. Plus, I don't want a schedule on vacation.

Baron Zemo said...

It is more dangerous to go the Wisconsin State Fair than it is to go on a cruise.

Alex said...

Baron - if you went on 20 cruises that makes you an even bigger idiot then I thought.

Michael said...

To the professor's point there are a lot of people who vanish from these cruise ships.Many more than advertised. They simply don't come back to their cabins. They fall or are pushed overboard, have some drunken altercation, and that is that. Impossible to recover the bodies, nearly impossible without a witness to pin the deed on someone. Bad all around.

On the other hand there is a lot of whinging about all the bad things that can happen while traveling that are just part of the program. Many, most, people stay at home because of that. They are afraid of flying, they don't like TSA, the planes are late, the toilets overflowed, the food is iffy and on and on. They miss much of the joy of traveling

Alex said...

Michael - traveling is a joy if you can go VIP style.

Ann Althouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Baron Zemo said...

Lucky your opinion doesn't mean uh gootz to me.


Michael said...

Shanna: I agree with you but the people who like the food on the cruises really like it. It absolves them of overeating because it is paid for!! Free!! That is not the same as hanging out in a great food town and going to great restaurants every night because then you have to whip out the AmEx every night. Different deal.

Ann Althouse said...

"The security on these ships are very tight. They know when there is trouble and they nip it in the bud. The casino and the bar is tightly controlled."

They want you to think everything is under control, so they create this impression to the extent that they can. Why do you assume that the impression you've received is an accurate account of what's going on?

What is the downside of "tight control"? What if your city were tightly controlled by the police? Do you think anything could go wrong?

Let's have a little more skepticism here people!

But then, if you were more skeptical, you wouldn't be the one getting on the ship in the first place.

All I'm hearing is you're saying nothing bad has happened to you yet.

Alex said...

I bet 50-60% of the clientele on these "discount" cruise lines are obese pig monsters feeding at the buffet as it were a trough.

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry I had to do a correction.

Thanks for the info that you don't care about my opinion.

Sorry I bothered to take the trouble to respond to you.

Michael said...

Alex: First Class is clearly better than steerage but then I have been to Asia a dozen times in steerage on airplanes that were packed to the gills and had great trips, profitable trips. All travel requires a bit of stoicism. If you don't have it you should acquire it.

Alex said...

Michael - in the past there was no TSA to deal with.

Alex said...

Now why should I go on a cruise line that caters to obese pig feeders?

Sorun said...

"Sorum, where were you kayaking? It's just that some ecosystems can't handle the amount of human traffic/waste that might come through an area (soil type and water contamination issues)."

My trip was island hopping along the Maine coast, which has monster (cleansing) tides. Someplace like the Gulf of California might be much more sensitive. Anyhoo, it's the TP you lasts for weeks or months, not the poop.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Folks viewing be made happy, congratulating themselves they were not on the ship.

Suppose however the air time were devoted to honest discussion of the national financial condition; who voted for what bills, what the result was, etc.

Folks viewing will be made unhappy, realizing how badly they were screwed; remorseful over their bad judgment at the polls.

Easy choice.

AprilApple said...

Ted Cruz and water! Water had a lot to do with this.

Water.. .it's a conspiracy.

I am claustrophobic. I'd go nuts stuck on a vessle stuck in the middle of the ocean. Even with all sorts of fun things to do... Like eat and sit on floaty chairs. The thought of no toilets, and that I had paid for this? oh my no.

No thank you. Perhaps a river cruise. I like the idea shoreline sight at all times.

Shanna said...

I will say Alaska and the Greek Isles/Mediterranean are the only two places I have ever considered taking a cruise.

It absolves them of overeating because it is paid for!! Free!!

@Michael, this has been my impression as well. But then the bar bill isn't free. One of my coworkers told me their bar bill after a cruise was 1000 bucks! I went to Cancun at an all exclusive hotel for a week for 1k, airfare included, food included, drinks included. Seems like a better deal (granted, this was a pretty cheap hotel, but it was on the beach which is the important thing). And then they have to tip people. I don't think it's as cheap as people make it out to be. I don't go on vacation to eat large quantities of food and be stuck all day and night.

Roger J. said...

interesting thread--Me? I love cruising, but I do it my 17 foot Grumman canoe north of the Churchill river in Northern Saskatchewan--the canoe can carry 700 pounds of gear and my son--cruise the Churchill river flowage, Reindeer Lake, Wollaston lake. Fish on every cast, wild blueberries, and you can poop in the woods. I have 8 trips up there and have logged over 5K miles on my canoe. The world's best vacation. Do it in August and it comes with northern lights and the perseid meteor shower. Just make sure you check yourself for leeches when you get out of the water.

AprilApple said...

Palladian - Heh!

It's like "The Shining" with daiquiris and a floor show.

Amartel said...

lgv @ 2:55 "I live in a metropolitan area of millions and prefer vacations away from crowds of people and noise"

[you really should have stopped right here, but nooooo]

"just like unpretentious hikers, campers or hunters."

Great. That certainly justifies dropping a massive steaming load of lame on people who prefer other types of vacation.

And, no, I didn't call you a "workers' right schmuck" or an "enviro weenie." I doubt you care at all about workers' rights or the environment. I called you a pretentious overentitled dumbshit, because that is what you are. And I still hope a bear eats you. Then spits you out for your bad taste.

AprilApple said...

Bagoh - your photo of Alaska- Geez that's gorgeous.

edutcher said...

Alex said...

edutcher - you sound overly defensive of your cruise ship vacation habit.

Then you need to reread what I wrote.

Ann Althouse said...

The security on these ships are very tight. They know when there is trouble and they nip it in the bud. The casino and the bar is tightly controlled.

They want you to think everything is under control, so they create this impression to the extent that they can. Why do you assume that the impression you've received is an accurate account of what's going on?


No disrespect intended, but how do you know this? I don't know that I agree with the Baron, but, what is the basis of your statement.

What is the downside of "tight control"? What if your city were tightly controlled by the police? Do you think anything could go wrong?

Well, that what a lot of Lefties want, isn't it? You want tight control, we have that at the airport and, if Big Sis gets her way, at bus and train stations, concerts, and probably ball games.

That's tight control.

Right now, the opposite of that is Chicago.

But, on a cruise, you're there for fun; it's not a regular environment. You're not there to complain about the government or hold demonstrations.

You have a problem, you go see the Purser. They're usually very eager to help (I speak from experience).

Otherwise, you hang out at the pool, go on excursions, eat yourself silly, and have fun.

Try it, you'll like it.

Roger J. said...

Edutcher: Mayor Bloomberg would not approve. And of course he would catch the vapors on my living habits in the northern Saskatchewan wilderness. But as we quakers say: fuck thee.

Shanna said...

Bagoh - your photo of Alaska- Geez that's gorgeous.

Seconded. Wow. I need to move Alaska up in my little mental vacation queue.

mikeski said...

"Why do you assume that the impression you've received is an accurate account of what's going on?"

...because, look at the media coverage a ship full of plugged toilets gets. If robbery and rape were so rampant on cruise lines, you don't think CNN would be all over it like flies on poo?

Or, at the individual level, look at the hate that flies around the internet due to Amazon shipping something in the wrong sized box. You don't think the typical whiny American would be VERY LOUD about being raped on a cruise ship?

Or is the media in on it? A grand Illuminati led by the president of Princess Cruise Lines, snuffing out all bad press and blog posts? Be careful, they're on the way to Wisconsin already...

(I doubt they're crime-free, but I can't see how they're any worse than any other vacation destination, including one's own house... most kidnapping being people who knew the victim, etc.)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Althouse: Seems to me that being on a cruise ship is like going on vacation where you stay in a big hotel, but you can't leave the hotel... even in an emergency

Palladian:
It's like "The Shining" with daiquiris and a floor show.


Both absolutely correct.

Alex said...

Carnival expands 'all you can drink' package

Now what could possibly go wrong?

Sorun said...

"Carnival expands 'all you can drink' package"

The red Carnival poop bags can also be used as vomit bags.

Jane said...

Cruises are all-inclusive (except for the shore excursions, tips, surcharges for certain restaurants, etc.) but I priced out a week-long cruise for my family of 5 and figured it would be enough to fund a full month's vacation elsewhere. Of course, with kids in school, we need to travel in the high season, which adds to the expense. But ultiamtely I'd rather an a-la-carte vacation than paying for someone else's pigging out at the restaurants.

I suppose, though, that if you're short vacation time, you're much more likely to blow all your vacation money in one week.

Baron Zemo said...

I was speaking to Alex but I would be happy to include you in it if you like since you are spouting off nonsense about something that you nothing about.

But that is par for the course.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I live in a metropolitan area of millions and prefer vacations away from crowds of people and noise, just like unpretentious hikers, campers or hunters.

I live in a rural area of hundreds....maybe even a few thousand people if you include a 50 square mile area. I USED to live in a metro area. I only go back to visit family.

The downside of a cruise, to me:

1. Too many people crammed into one area
2. Regimented atmosphere. Eat this, sit here, dine with these people, get off the ship at this time, get back on at this time. Only a cattle prod would have added more ambiance.
3. Forced gaiety and structured entertainment. Trying to market to you all the time. "NO...I do NOT want you to take my picture. If I want a photo, I'll ask a friend to take one. I am NOT buying a photo album of my trip and get that FUCKING parrot away from me!!!"

Upside:
1. You do get to go to places, like the Alaska cruise, that you wouldn't be normally able to see.
2. Relaxation and no stressful driving or making your own arrangements.
3. Beautiful evenings at sea.
4. The staff on the boats are the best and great people with interesting stories...if you take the time to actually visit with them.

That being said. I prefer my little unpretentious wilderness area.

Kelly said...

I hated the first cruise I went on. The second cruise we went with a large group and I loved it. I love all sorts of vacations mind you. I like hiking, sightseeing, car trips, cruising is just another kind of vacation. Shep Smith interviewed a passenger last night. The guy was good humored about it all and said he'd go on another cruise.

Maguro said...

There's a lot of drinking on these ships, and, presumably, a lot of hopes and dashed hopes about sexual adventures.

I'm sure there are plenty of rapes and plenty of ambiguous situations (with alcohol added) that lead to false accusations of rape.


Yikes. Sounds like the Madison City Council.

Big Mike said...

@mikeski, from time to time I run across articles about people disappearing from cruise ships -- presumably fallen overboard and lost at sea. My subjective impression is that these "disappeared" individuals are much more likely to be young and attractive women

Keep in mind that anything that happens outside the US territorial waters cannot and will not be investigated in any depth by federal agencies, if at all. The first people investigating these disappearances are employees of the cruise lines and have no training as police officers and plenty of counter-incentive to investigate in depth.

So I don't think the Professor's concerns are unfounded.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

On a Carribean cruise, on of the best days we had was when everyone else got off of the boat to go shopping and sight seeing.

We stayed on an almost empty boat and were able to relax and nap on the chaise lounges on the deck. Use the pool without a bunch of obnoxious teens and young adults screaming and jumping around. Easy access to food and drinks. Even the staff seemed happier.

Then....everyone came back.

edutcher said...

Alex said...

Carnival expands 'all you can drink' package

Now what could possibly go wrong?


Clock. Stopped. You know the drill.

Of the lines that ply American (Caribbean, Bahamas, Pacific coast) waters. the only one that ever had a problem with people going overboard was Carnival.

And they are a booze cruise. you can hear them all over the harbor.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

2. Regimented atmosphere. Eat this, sit here, dine with these people, get off the ship at this time, get back on at this time. Only a cattle prod would have added more ambiance.

Ever travel by train or on a plane?

Schedule there, too.

Yeah, you are assigned a table, but you can ask to be reassigned and you have the same choices as a first class restaurant.

Better, in many cases.

3. Forced gaiety and structured entertainment. Trying to market to you all the time. "NO...I do NOT want you to take my picture. If I want a photo, I'll ask a friend to take one. I am NOT buying a photo album of my trip and get that FUCKING parrot away from me!!!"

Wrong and wrong on both counts.

You only participate in what you want. A simple, "No", is all you need if you don't want to do something.

You want to walk on deck and just look at the ocean? nobody's going to stop you.

As for structured entertainment, no more than in Vegas or anywhere else.

And I've never had anyone "marketing" to me. This isn't like a timeshare.

Granted, I've only sailed Royal Caribbean (and I was very much a skeptic, at first, the Blonde had to talk me into it), but, no offense, unless you've had friends who had a bad experience with another line, you're going more from imagination than facts.

Inga said...

Bagoh, I can see Russia from your picture.

Bart said...

My question is if the MSM can intreview 4,200 passangers after a this why can't they find any of the 30+ people who survived the Benghazi attack? I think they would have a great story to tell, but they have just fallen off the face of the earth.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

you're going more from imagination than facts.

SO... I guess I was just imagining that Christmas cruise to Mexico. Somebody pinch me.

mikeski said...

@BigMike:

"Unfounded"? No. Overblown? Yes. I'd think that if a cruise was significantly more dangerous than other vacations, the industry would fold. (Notice much tourism to Detroit, lately?)

This post reads to me like the logic of people who refuse to fly because plane crashes are spectacular, despite the fact that driving the same distance has a higher mortality rate.

mikeski said...

...and since she was blaming the failure on the passengers, it read rather more like blaming the passengers on the jets that hit the WTC towers. The fools.

Aridog said...

Michael said...

Aridog: The kind of ship they are talking about here is one class ...

Okay, didn't know that. Thanks.

garage mahal said...

@Aridog ... I've never been a cruise ship, or at least one of these behemoths. Do you sign anything before you board that details your mandatory incarceration?

Never been on one either and never will, with the potential exception of a reasonable sized & designed vessel for the Northwest Passage trip to Alaska...recommended by others here.

I'm sure there is all manner of paper to sign with copious fine print, waivers of liability, yada yada....BUT, someone who has actually gone on a "mega-cruise" on one of these hog-wallower-top-heavy-capsize-O-matic-joy-boats should be able to answer your question.

Dust Bunny Queen said ...

... Only a cattle prod would have added more ambiance. 3. Forced gaiety and structured entertainment. Trying to market to you all the time. "NO...I do NOT want you to take my picture. If I want a photo, I'll ask a friend to take one. I am NOT buying a photo album of my trip and get that FUCKING parrot away from me!!!"

Thanks. Cleaning my coffee off my monitor and keyboard now. :)

Baron Zemo said...

That is exactly right edutcher. Imagination not facts.(Except for Dust Bunny Queen)

The thing about a cruise is that there are a lot of choices. You can choose to just get off the ship and walk around. I did that when we went to Canada and the Caribbean. Or you can spend time at the beach.

The benefit of having a consistent place and quality of food should not be overstated. You can go off to one of the restaurants on board or eat before the ship sails but you can also get a great meal on board.
The Italian cruise I am thinking about has tours of various restaurants where you would be able to get lunch or dinner. Also they have excursions where you get cooking classes from some of the chefs. Or you can go off exploring on your own.

Nothing beats a Christmas cruise. You get away from your annoying relatives. No presents that disappoint you or your snotty nieces and nephews. This year we enjoyed the Caymans, Curacao and Aruba. It
had its problems don't get me wrong but all in all it was a great vacation. The snow in the atrium of the ship while we were in topical waters was great. Carolers led everyone in song. A wonderful and moving midnight Mass. The people of the Caribbean love Christmas.

And when I was snorkeling... I found Nemo.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think that the issue is a BIG gargantuan ship experience versus a smaller more relaxed ship experience.

The Alaska inland passage cruise is also on my bucket list and from everyone who has been, the experience is great. The boat is small to begin with. Being around less people tops my requirement list. Lots of frequent stops with cool activities to chose from at each location. The scenery just sliding past as the boat cruises is beautiful.

Paddy O said...

This post reminds me of the Andrea Doria episode from Seinfeld.

edutcher said...

On the issue of ship size, you have something, DBQ.

We like the smaller ships Royal Caribbean had (think Celebrity uses them now) rather than the aircraft carriers (as I call them).

If you like shopping and gambling, you have several extra decks, but otherwise, not that big an improvement.

PS I used to work with someone who took the Inland Passage. He said it was the experience of a lifetime.

It would have to go some to top the sight of the Great Pyramid looming up out of the jungle at Chichen Itza (you go down a little jungle trail after having lunch at a little hotel where you half expect to see Indiana Jones conferring with his Arab buddy in the lobby), but I'm wiling to give it a shot.

JRPtwo said...

When a reporter files a poorly written story about the man on the street, it's not the man's responsibility to make it interesting or go home.

Baron Zemo said...

Ed it is not the size of the ship but the motion of the ocean.

I would hope that the Blond agrees!

Fritz said...

It was Dr. Johnson who said:
"No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned... a man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."

There a people who like ships and people who don't. My father served in the Merchant Marine in WWII, and thought he would not like to cruise But sometime late in life, he and Mom took one to Mexico from SoCal, and came to like it.

I went to school in Oceanography, and spent a fair amount of time on ships.

My parents invited my wife and I on a cruise and we enjoyed it. We've been on 5 since then. Mexican East and West Coast, Caribbean, Bermuda and Alaska.

Most days you can sleep late, walk down for breakfast whenever you want, go into to whatever port your in, stay until an hour before the ship is scheduled to leave. Have dinner, go to a show, or sing in the piano bar, get up and do it again. They'd really like you to drink a lot, I think it's where they're profit margin comes from.

It's not a good plan for someone addicted to cell phones, note pads and computers, as they tend not to work and be incredibly expensive when they do. With the exception of port time, you're basically forced to vacate.

Our last trip was to Alaska, last spring (documented on my blog). There's no way we could have covered as many places in Alaska by car in the week were were there. Some of the cities don't even have roads to them. Planes? One leg would cost as much as the whole cruise. Dog sled might be fun though.

I wouldn't want to take a cruise for every vacation, but once a year or so, they're a reasonable alternative.

Erika said...

It's weird that some of you are very persistently trying to talk Althouse into taking a cruise. A. she doesn't take advice from her readers, or hadn't you noticed; and B. so she doesn't think a cruise sounds fun; what's it to you?

edutcher said...

Baron Zemo said...

Ed it is not the size of the ship but the motion of the ocean.

I would hope that the Blond agrees!


Her motto.

furious_a said...

Here's this privately owned ship, a big business, that has its own employees, some of whom perform a role similar to police, courts, and prison authorities. You're supposed to count on these people to protect you...

Seriously, Althouse? After we were just treated to a week of LAPD firing on anything that didn't resemble the perp's or perp's car's description during the Dorner manhunt?

A commercial cruise line's personnel would have to start pitching people overboard without lifejackets to top the clown-car performance of the big-city civil-service professionals.

furious_a said...

FBI Works With Cruise Lines to Bury Reports of Rapes at Sea/

Almost as bad as the universities:

Often, young women who’ve been assaulted at college remain silent out of fear or embarrassment. But the CPI report found that victims of sexual assault face institutional barriers when they do seek justice on campus. Some of them, after enduring inconclusive disciplinary proceedings, are even told by school officials that they cannot talk about the incident.

[..]

Many schools have improved the accuracy of their crime reporting in recent years, but not enough. Too many colleges take advantage of loopholes in the federal law — for example, not tallying any suspected sexual assault that is reported to certified counselors, who enjoy a privacy exemption.

furious_a said...

Excellent opportunity for the Campground people to get some PAYBACK for that Carnival ad:

Couple sitting in camp chairs next to their RV, watching the sunset and sipping wine while in the foreground their kids feed the baby deer.

"This is so much better than last year.", says Dad. Cut to cruise cabin where Mom is kneeling in front of the toilet while Dad squats over the bucket and the kids wail in the background.

"POUR IT OUT THE PORTHOLE! POUR IT OUT THE PORTHOLE!" scream the kids. As mom starts to hurl the scene cuts to the smokestack and the boat horn sounds HAWWWWWWWWWWWNK!!.

Cut back to the campground. "Never again" says Mom as she and Dad clink wineglasses.

Cut to music. The End.

edutcher said...

furious_a said...

FBI Works With Cruise Lines to Bury Reports of Rapes at Sea/

Almost as bad as the universities:


Trust me, you want a better source than the Inky.

Fritz said...

"It's weird that some of you are very persistently trying to talk Althouse into taking a cruise. A. she doesn't take advice from her readers, or hadn't you noticed; and B. so she doesn't think a cruise sounds fun; what's it to you?"

It's not so much that she doesn't want to take a cruise, it's the level of disdain that irritates me.

You can disdain people who take cruises, but not gay people, I guess.

Petunia said...

Oh for crying out loud. There were not 4,200 passengers on board. There were about 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew, and from all accounts, the crew did a fantastic job under very trying circumstances.

What percentage of the 3,000 passengers were interviewed yesterday? A fairly low one...and the media went after THEM, not the other way around.

All cruise ships have security personnel and facilities to confine people. They will put people and their luggage off at the next port if they have to for security reasons. And the port agent will help them arrange their trip home.

As for the crime...yeah, you're so much safer on campus/on your road trip/at your hotel/at a resort. Crime can (and does) happen ANYWHERE. And drunken stupidity happens everywhere.

If you don't want to go on a cruise, then don't go. But don't go all elite and pretentious on those who do. You're no better or worse than people who choose that form of holiday. And it IS elitist to criticize them; obviously you know NOTHING about the cruise industry or you would know that many cruises are bargain-priced and many passengers who go, while not poor, are not wealthy either.

I enjoy cruising. I get to see places I might not otherwise see, relax, read, watch the ocean go by, meet people, eat good food whenever I want to, sit with whom I want to. I don't want to sail on the mega-ships with the climbing walls and ice rinks, but I don't consider myself superior to those who do.

If you don't want to hear or read about it, then avoid TV networks and websites that cover it. FFS.

Carl Heppenstall said...

I absolutely love this piece, and the DFW is brilliant commentary on the associated cultural sickness.

edutcher said...

Erika said...

It's weird that some of you are very persistently trying to talk Althouse into taking a cruise. A. she doesn't take advice from her readers, or hadn't you noticed; and B. so she doesn't think a cruise sounds fun; what's it to you?

She listens to her readers more than you think.

And, what she thinks is her business, but she feels obligated to rain on everybody's parade, which, considering she tries to be fair-minded in other realms, comes off as a bit odd or cranky.

There are times I think she starts a post like this to serve as Saturday morning cartoons - the kids are kept busy among themselves for several hours while Mom and Dad get busy upstairs.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Dung, exciting and new,
Come aboard, we're expecting poo...

chickelit said...

Erika said...
It's weird that some of you are very persistently trying to talk Althouse into taking a cruise.

I wouldn't recommend that. First, they'd have to travel to a coast to take one. I took a cruise from LA to Ensenada a couple years ago--it was a family thing--three generations--and we spent a good deal of time catching up and mocking others. The food was quite tasty but my bar is low.

I would highly recommend that Althouse and Meade take canoe trip between Sauk City and Spring Green on the Wisconsin River. It's mostly undeveloped and chock full of wildlife like bald eagle eagles and other birds. There's no real hazard--they give you lifebelts in the unlikely event that Meade capsizes the canoe. It's very serene and placid. Few others if you go on a weekday. You paddle downstream and put in at Spring Green where a van picks you up. There may not be Wi-Fi, but the whole thing lasts only a few hours.

Craig said...

Couldn't they have curtained off a couple areas at the stern of the ship and allowed people to relieve themselves on the far side of the rail. One cruise ship isn't going to contaminate the entire Gulf of Mexico.

Nini said...

Ann talks about the risks of going on a cruise.

Well, just crossing the road you expose yourself to risks.

SukieTawdry said...

I like cruising. I like unpacking once and being in a new port most every day. I like being able to eat when I feel like it and without a lot of fuss. But I wouldn't go on a Carnival cruise even if it were free.

Choose the cruise line, ship and itinerary carefully. Get a private balcony. Get a massage. Indulge yourself aboard ship and be active off. It's a great vacation!

bagoh20 said...

"You are all people who went on a cruise in the first place. That's where you made your mistake"

That would be a good line to tell law school graduates.

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AllenS said...

I went to Viet Nam on a merchant marine vessel. The USS William Weigel or Wiegel. Being in the middle of the ocean was the most helpless feeling that I've ever had.

Skipper said...

In defense of Carnival, we took a cruise of theirs a while back and had a great time.

rhhardin said...

Imus's Tony Powell: Spending thousands of dollars to poop in a bucket is like a long hospital stay without TV.

mariner said...

Nobody made you read about Tracey Farmer. That's where you made your mistake.

Baron Zemo said...

Erika said....
It's weird that some of you are very persistently trying to talk Althouse into taking a cruise. A. she doesn't take advice from her readers, or hadn't you noticed; and B. so she doesn't think a cruise sounds fun; what's it to you?

That is absolutely untrue. I just want to defend cruises which are a lot of fun.

However I couldn't think of a worse fate than to be at a table every night with the Nutty Professor. It would be just about the worst thing you could ever experience on a cruise.

Shitting in a plastic bag doesn't come close.

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