DBTG who… goes on a cruise

Earlier this week, I found myself reading this article, where the well-meaning folks at “The Week” conjured up 7 reasons to never ever EVER (ever!) go on a cruise.  While I can appreciate their sentiment, it seems to me that they’ve made a couple of errors:

  1. The internet does not need another website attempting to be humorous through the medium of numbered lists.  Here at DBTG, I take great pride in being the original hate blog ever to exist on the web, and I urge “The Week” (seriously, it’s a dumb name, I can’t write it without inverted commas cos it looks like I’m talking about the actual week) to find a way to spew drivel in a non-derivative fashion.
  2. The “The Week” (see? Stupid) article lists 7 things that could go wrong on a cruise.  Things like getting ill or sinking, which frankly are just as big a risk on a canoe, perhaps even bigger if you will accept the anecdotal evidence that I have capsized multiple canoes but never been the least bit involved in a cruise tragedy.  Regardless, you only need to mention 1 reason: Cruises suck.

For the sake of really building up a thick layer of sarcasm in this post, lest The “The Week’s” lawyers decide to get a bit cease-and-desisty with me, I will address the problem I have with cruises using a list of poorly thought out, unresearched reasons.  I have identified a rich vein of irony that could be tapped if I can pad the list out to seven entries, but I’m kind of making this up as I go along so we’ll just have to wait and see if I hit it:

  1. If there is one thing that I really hate about the world it is OTHER PEOPLE.  I may have mentioned this before in passing, but I really don’t like sharing experiences with the rest of the human population.  They may be (mostly) decent people, but I am not particularly keen on tolerating their quirks and foibles.  If I’m on a normal holiday, and some ass is braying loudly on the adjacent pool lounger, I can get up and move away, and hopefully never see him again.  On a cruise, I can guarantee that he will be there at every turn – never mind the 5,000 other people on the ship, he will find you and piss you off.  And that’s a problem because:
  2. There’s no escape.  Here’s a neat idea, let’s take all the fun of going on holiday and combine it with the misery of being in prison.  Now some people will tell you that prison is an easy ride these days, but I think it takes a particularly belligerent lack of imagination to believe that sharing a room and a 14 inch tv with a knife-crime artist (and you better believe he picks what you get to watch), while dining out on a food budget of about 30p per inmate, would be a laugh a minute.  It sounds like utter crap to me.  So why then do we put ourselves through similar scenarios on cruises?  If the food sucks, tough shit.  If donkey-man is still following you, unlucky!  Once the ship leaves port, you are well and truly stuck on it.  You’d better hope you don’t get really ill, or a family member dies back home (which, when you think about it, are good things to hope for anyway), because the ship won’t be turning around for your benefit.  There was a video that kind of went viral a few years back showing a really badly ill woman being transferred off a cruise ship by some sort of pulley system.  Everyone thought it was really funny when she was (inevitably) dropped in the sea, until they heard that she went on to die.  That’s what awaits you if you get ill on a cruise ship.
  3. The whole thing is an exercise in extorting more money out of you.  You want a room with a balcony, right? Sure you do; everybody wants that.  Except it will cost you £2k extra or some shit.  Why do you even need a balcony on your floating prison cell? The only thing you do in your hotel room is sleep (plus one other thing, ladies), and that isn’t aided in any way by the presence of a balcony.  Also, you know that those balcony railings will attract that really aggressive sub-set of seagulls, just waiting to steal your chips.  Not to mention the fact that, while the food, delicious and salty, is free you have to pay for drinks.  And I am prepared to wager that the prices in the middle of the ocean are not that competitive.  Don’t like them, what can you do?  Any drink you try to bring aboard will be confiscated by the captain and locked up in the brig, probably.
  4. You have to obey the man.  I don’t mean having a lifeguard yelling at you for heavy petting in the pool, that can happen anywhere.  But on a cruise ship, you have to give up your alcohol, and generally do what you’re told at all times.  In the first few days, you will get locked in your cabin while the crew pretends to fight off pirates.  Ostensibly, this will be so everyone is prepared in an emergency, but really it is just done to make you fearful and compliant.  Knowing that you can get properly imprisoned and that the captain will break out the guns at the first sight of black people wouldn’t make me feel safe.  Then there’s the dress code.  I have a BIG problem with dress codes.  I wear a tie to work, because they pay me and I’ll do a lot worse than that in order to keep my job.  But when I’m paying you, don’t think you can make me dress up for your amusement.  If I have to write a cheque just to be here in the first place, that should make you my bitch, not the other way around, so I really resent having to put on a dinner jacket just to get some food.
  5. The entertainment is actually going to be quite crap.  I went to the Wikipedia page for the Oasis of the Seas, the biggest (and therefore best?) cruise ship in the world.  Can you guess what the first amenity listed was? A zipline.  HOLY SHIT! Stop everything.  It seems like this blog is barking up the wrong tree after all.  NOT! (sarcasm alert!)  We know it wasn’t a quirk of alphabetisation that brought it to the front of the queue, so I am forced to assume that this really is the ship’s primary attraction.  No one likes ziplines.  Not even children.  You are either afraid of heights, in which case you will be scared shitless, or not, in which case it’s just marginally faster than taking the stairs.  Also, you will have to wear a harness and hard hat, and open-toed shoes will be forbidden, so any semblance of risk has been completely removed from the situation.  Indiana Jones would tackle a zipline with a rolled up teatowel (and he would almost certainly be chased down it by a bear), which makes the endeavour interesting at least.  Finally, you know it won’t be operational 3 days out of 5 due to “high winds”.  I’m quite sure this means the guy who operates it is hungover to fuck, again.
  6. You get to visit loads of places and spend a seriously limited amount of time there.  Ever done a city break?  You probably have, if I know my audience.  How long did you spend in Vienna? Was it more than 5 hours?  If so, a cruise isn’t for you.  You are released from your prison ship into the docks (always the most salubrious part of any city) and told that if you aren’t back by lunchtime, the ship leaves without you (if only!).  This is just enough time to find somewhere that will serve you a reasonably-priced drink and get back to the ship, which really raises the question: why bother?  You’re hardly going to lap up all of Vienna’s culture in this stopover (also, it’s 300 miles inland, but shut up).
  7. Damn it, I was so close.  I know you’re disappointed, but trust me, not nearly as much as I am.  I set myself a target here, a fairly reachable one at that, and have fallen woefully short.  If I sat down and really worked at it, I could probably come up with a seventh reason, but why bother?  Instead, I will take a cue from the “The Week’s” article, and just say: Pirates.

Fuck you, the “The Week”.

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