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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cruising.....

Welcome Aboard, it's love, love love..........

So the term "cruising" can have many connotations, but in Miami its pretty well understood that the term refers to the to the ships, the cruise lines to be exact.  I just spent a week on one of them, Celebrity's Reflection.  I can say unequivocally that I had a fun time, However whenever I have cruised there is always an ambivalence about it. Here are some things that stood out:

The Frequent Cruisers: its hard not to miss the frequent cruisers. These are people who basically just given up and have decided that their leisure time and treasure will be entirely dedicated at sea. Like frequent flyers they achieve some kind of status points and have secret meetings on board with the captain and Isaac the Bartender.   If you're on your first cruise they will call you a "virgin" but in the most patronizing way.  The Frequent Cruisers basically stand around and complain how this cruise wasn't as good/long/expensive/exotic as their last cruise or the one before that.  They feel entitled to everything and refuse to leave the ship for shore excursions. Their whole existence revolves around staying on the ship and drinking. You tend not to see them during the day. They love "re-positioning" cruises.  Favorite hangout: Martini Bar. 

Condescension When You Ask About Connectivity:  Internet connectivity for us landlocked types is like our lifeblood.  Life is better with connectivity. Why? Because some key things occur when you're connected to the internet. 1. You can find people with ease. On a giant ship, you will not find who you are looking for by just "walking around". Complicated schedules have to kept in your head and meet up points and so on. 2. You can't truly win an argument without Wikipedia. 3. So much of our data is kept in the cloud, our music playlists, cameras and applications won't work well, rendering our devices almost useless.  However if you dare to complain, cruise personnel will act condescendingly and say "you can't even disconnect for a week?"  My response is "why should I?"  I mean the charges to connect are astronomical but as anybody knows there must be a cheaper solution.  Being connected is part of modern living....I can usually get connected in the most remote of places and minimal cost....but these floating cities feel that you are pitiable because you want to tell your friends on Facebook what a good time you're having. 

The Hordes: The ship is packed with people, there are hordes, it's like the Black Friday at the mall...everyday...all the time. The hordes are excited, the hordes are drunk, the hordes want your chair, your massage, your fitness bike. Prepare to deal with hordes. 

The cost. All things considered it's a bargain as far as vacations go. However there are a lot of hidden costs....drinks, excursions, exercise classes, specialty restaurants, spa treatments, etc. etc. all of these things add up considerably and  your wallet will lighten up to the point it becomes a flotation device. 

Finally, if you're from Miami you really don't need a tropical vacation.  

Cozumel? Jamaica? No, Miami