In full disclosure, we’ve never been on a cruise. We’ve been on many a boat and ferry ride, but no cruises. It’s not for lack of opportunity, but entirely for lack of interest. There are several reasons we haven’t been interested in cruises, whether our perceptions are fair or not.
- The cruise ship scene: The biggest reason we haven’t cruised is that we are not really the type of travelers that get excited about spending our vacations in fancy lodging with pools and restaurants and night clubs. We don’t go dancing and partying…not out of moral opposition, it’s just not our jam. We like to be out and about exploring at our destinations, grabbing something quick and edible to eat when we’re hungry, but we don’t generally make an experience of our meals. We stay in clean, middle-of-the-road vacation rentals and hotels. With cruises, it seems to us like the land destinations are very much secondary to one’s experience on the ship. Our priorities just don’t line up with that reality.
- The humanity: The next biggest reason we haven’t gone on a cruise is that we do not like crowds. In fact, we try to avoid them at all costs. We knew that going to Yosemite in June was going to stretch the limits of our tolerance for our fellow humans, but unfortunately it was the only time that year we could make it work. And the crowds almost ruined the experience for us. Cruises do not seem like the best travel option for people looking to avoid the masses.
- Motion sickness: I’m very prone to it. Yes, I know there are Sea Bands and other miracle cures, and that the movement on large ships is minimal. Still, I hesitate to shell out my limited travel resources (time and money) for the possibility of being sick for my whole vacation.
- Contagious viruses: I know that the actual number of viral outbreaks on cruise ships is a pretty small percentage of the number of cruises taken. And generally I’m not a germ-o-phobe. Maybe it’s the public health professional in me, but I’ll pass on the norovirus.
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Many people I love and respect swear that cruises are a fantastic way to travel. And given the number of cruise opportunities out there, it is clear that they are appealing to a pretty large segment of travelers. They just don’t call to us.
I’ll never say never, but so far we’ve only come up with a few scenarios where we might someday relent on our cruise moratorium, none of which we are actively exploring at the moment.
- As a means to an end: For example, we really want to get to all seven continents. My husband and I have three left to visit, one of which is Antarctica. It seems that a cruise might be the best way to get there.
- As part of a larger exploration of a place: For example, we’ve heard that Alaskan cruises are pretty spectacular. My husband wants to drive to Alaska someday and then explore the state in his Jeep. But we might consider taking a cruise as part of our larger visit, to see the area from another perspective.
- Caving to family peer pressure: An actual example…we’ve had family members strongly suggest that we should take a family cruise together. So far we’ve held them off, but someday we may cave.
Until then, this landlubber family will stick to road trips, train trips, occasional flights and boat excursions, and exploring the world on foot. If we change our minds, I’ll certainly let you know. 🙂