Saturday, November 10, 2007

Making Waves

Today, I read an article in the NYT about how cruising is becoming more elite. They're reintroducing the class-system.

Excuse me?

The article says that passengers don't really want to have a vacation with other people. They don't want to go onshore with the masses or stand in a buffet line.

I think this is complete bullshit, and I'm calling it.

Having gone on three cruises myself, I can say that a) part of the fun of going on a cruise is mingling with people you might not ordinarily meet, and b) there are plenty of ways to get away from people. I'm not a huge fan of large crowds, so breakfast was always a bit difficult, but here's a thought: if you want to eat by yourself, most of the cruiselines offer 24-hour room service. I had it once when I was sick. We got ready for dinner, and all of a sudden, I had a horrible case of sea-sickness. I wanted to stop the boat and get off. Instead, I took a dramamine, laid down for a bit and then we ordered our dinner in the cabin.

When it comes to eating, there are plenty of ways to not be around people: instead of going to the regular restaurant for dinner, try a trattoria. I did this, and it was great. Choose to eat at a table for two instead of a table for 6 or 8. Skip high tea.

As for getting away other times, go lay on the side of the ship in a lounger. My then-husband and I were the only two on that side of the ship when we sat and read and watched the waves go by. Head to the library - there was nobody in there when we went.

I can understand that the pools can be a little busy, but you are on a cruise. It's not like that's the only water you'll come across.

The article also mentions that they are tailoring excursions to be more private too. This is something that I won't make a fuss about. If you want to spend the day with a Russian family at their dacha in St. Petersburg (which the article says is an option), then go ahead. But I do wonder why spending some time with a single family is really different - aren't you still strangers?? Isn't that the point of making parts of a cruiseship exclusive - so you can be by yourself?

Give me a break. This is just another ploy by big companies to tell you you're special, and they'll prove it if you pay for it. Apparently, it's working because even though the cabins cost 20% more, they're selling out. People, get some self-esteem.

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