When my parents had their 25th wedding anniversary, my sisters and I wanted to do something special for them. We thought about throwing a big party, or sending them off to travel someplace, but what we really wanted to do was send them on a cruise. We had difficulties with fundraising and organization, so it never ended up happening, but the idea still lingers in my mind. I think to myself, ‘maybe for their fiftieth’.
I’m not sure what it is about a cruise that still catches my attention. Perhaps its the allure of old money, of travel undertaken in a slow and stately manner, the call of the ocean and the mere idea of ‘ports of call’. Perhaps it is the food or the entertainment or the style of the whole huge ship. But somehow, there is still an attraction that outweighs the inevitable problems of cruise ships.
And there are always problems. There’s food poisoning and seasickness, mechanical problems and staff shifts. There’s possible seasickness, there’s the lack of real interaction with the ocean itself. There’s the limited amount of time spent in those touristy regions in various ports-of-call, and be sure to be back aboard on time, cause we WILL leave without you. And hey, even if you manage to get all the way around the world on your around-the-world cruise just to be stopped at one of the last ports of call, like these poor suckers. I mean, you could make your own way back home, catch a flight or something while the various owners and cruise lines work out their legal troubles. But who really ever wants to leave the Madeira islands?
I’ve decided instead to travel around Africa in a sailboat, after I save up the money to buy one and learn how to sail. If you’re interested in joining me, please send a check.