Ship Shape or The Shape of a Ship?
Written by: Kuki
The fact of the matter is you’re actually going to be a more typical than atypical passenger. There is no “look” that is truly representative of cruise ship passenger. On our first few cruises, Mrs. Kuki and I both fretted how our average, somewhat overweight bodies, would fit in amongst the cruise ship society.
Once we stepped onboard, and saw just who our fellow passengers were, and how they looked, all our worries disappeared immediately. There really is no “type” of cruise ship passengers.
The cruise ship society is just a microcosm of society in any given city; there’s overly thin ones, there’s overly heavy one, there’s a few stunningly gorgeous ones, there’s a few really, really ugly ones, and there’s the regular run of the mill ones, like us. There’s always a few overly loud ones, there’s a few boisterous ones, there’s a few very quiet ones. There’s those who are jovial and smiling, and there’s those who look absolutely miserable every minute. But, generally the mix is such that everyone blends together, and the melting pot of personalities allows everyone to enjoy their vacations. You just start off immediately throwing the few miserable ones overboard during sail-a-way; they replace the confetti you’re no longer allowed to throw overboard because of environmental rules. But disposed “miserable folks” are environmentally friendly.
It also seems many first time cruisers become overly apprehensive about dressing for what are designated the ship’s “Formal Nights”. While it’s certainly acceptable to use a pending cruise as an excuse to shop for some outfits you think look great on you, it is a waste for a woman to run out and spend money on a ballroom gown that she’ll never wear again, or a man to purchase a Dior tuxedo he may rarely wear again. Always shop for clothing you can wear again and again. However “again and again” does not imply every single day. During the course of our lives all of us have places to go that require a more “formal” look. Weddings, funerals, job interviews, etc. A suit will even help impress the jurors at your next trial, so having one hanging in your closet isn’t a bad idea.
A hint for the real thrifty cruisers – formal wear is often very easy to find in second hand (lightly used) clothing stores in your area at very reasonable prices.
Bottom line… Don’t skip out on the formal dining experience because you are intimidated. Take just a few steps to “dressing up”, and knowing you look good in what you’re wearing, and you’ll absolutely be appropriately attired, and you’ll enjoy the great dinner and service that awaits you. It is a part of the cruise experience, if you chose a cruise line that has formal nights. If you are dead set against at any attempt at “formal wear”, and would prefer to go 10 rounds with George Forman ( either the boxer or the grill) than dress up, there are some cruise lines which offer that option; such as Norwegian Cruise Line and Oceania, to meet your needs.
Heck, there’s even nude cruise charters, where no clothing is required. I was thinking of trying one of those, but I couldn’t figure out where I would carry my cabin key. I did attend a nudist wedding as sort of a test, but everyone thought I was with the band because of the guitar I was carrying.
Also, don’t worry that a cruise is too “stuffy” an atmosphere for you. There’s an old adage that cruise line staff use to entice passenger participation in events onboard…” you’ll never see these people again”. On cruise ships you’ll see many people participating in seemingly silly ways who you’d think would be the least likely to get in front of a crowd and make fools of themselves. Imagine yourself onboard watching a passenger participation game, and finding a neurosurgeon on stage talking in public about he and his wife making love on a motorcycle. These things happen all in the name of good fun. Certainly there are a few cruise lines where the atmosphere is more reserved, but it’s not difficult to research on CruiseMates and find what cruise line atmosphere best suits your needs.
The biggest mistake cruisers make is to approach the experience with unrealistic expectations. No matter how expensive a cruise you chose, do not walk onboard expecting perfection. After all, we’re dealing with a human experience, and we human beings are nothing, if not imperfect. Choose a cruise line that’s right for you, let down your guard and relax, and enjoy a vacation that gives you full value for the money you’re spending.
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Posted: October 7th, 2008 under Kuki.