A “Kuki” Look at the Conflicting Complications of Cruising
Written by: Kuki
Though those two sentences seem to contradict each other, both are true. In this week’s Blog my intent is to assist you in learning about the parts that make it complicated, and leave you prepared for smooth sailing; or very confused.
Cruising used to be known as attractive to only the newly wed, or the nearly dead. Today cruising is for everyone, from the broke and lazy to the old and crazy.
The most important part of cruise planning to understand is that it involves getting on a ship, and said ship will move from place to place on water. So NOTE- though a part of the ship acts the same as a hotel, it is not hotel.
When choosing a cruise you have many choices of where you want it to go. There’s a wide variety of itineraries to choose from. If there’s somewhere you want to visit, or a series of places, find a ship to book that’s going there. But understand that ships don’t always necessarily go where they say they are going.
Food and beverages are an important part of the cruise experience. Cruise ships are a veritable cornucopia of food and beverage choices. They are available 24/7 during your cruise. However, you may want to remember that it is not a requirement to indulge in them during all waking hours. There’s a reason for the old cruise proverb – get onboard as a passenger and get off as cargo. Though I have no personal experience, it is possible to eat and drink yourself to death. There is no requirement to eat the equivalent of six times your boarding weight by the end of your cruise. And there’s no requirement to calculate the dollar value of the food you’re eating to make sure you consume a total value of food higher than the amount you paid for your cruise ticket.
You may also want to note, that unlike many hotels, the stairs are not only for use as emergency exits. You are allowed to use them to travel up or down between floors without fear of setting off alarms, or facing any penalties.
Pretty much all ships have swimming pools, but swimming in them is near impossible. Due to the limited space they are really “standing pools” or “sitting pools”. They are really more like large hot tubs, without the jet sprays, and hot water. Oh, and if you don’t think people pee in those pools, you’ll believe me when I tell you you’re the best looking person I’ve ever met.
By far the single most commonly asked question on a ship is: Where are you from? It’s starts of innocently enough; a passenger asks a fellow passenger, then a passenger asks their cabin steward, and then they ask their dining room servers, and before they can control themselves they’re asking all the staff in the buffet. The cruise lines have taken moves to try and control this trend. They’ve put name tags on all the crew members, and list their home country right on the name tag. Yet, passengers are too smart for that trick. We look at their name tags, read where they are from, and just rephrase the question…”So, you’re from … are you?”.
Many of the crew have caught the “bug” and busily ask passengers… where are you from?
It’s all about socializing. Cruising is certainly the most social vacation one can choose. Anyone on a land vacation ever walk into a restaurant, look around, and tell the maitre ‘d you think you’d like to sit and dine with those strangers over there? Oddly, it generally works out pretty well on a ship, probably 90% of the time. Though I do have to ask myself if some of these people aren’t idiots if they want to have dinner with me.
If you’re on a land vacation, and you’re going to or from, your hotel room, do you greet everyone you walk by? If you do, you’ll be probably be reported to hotel security as a stalker. Yet, on a ship, it’s pretty much the norm. it’s a bit weird, but pleasant enough.
The most diabolical and well planned thing on a cruise is they key to your cabin. They hand you an innocent looking “room key” and happen to mention that it’s also your identification for getting on and off the ship in ports of call, and, by the way, it’s also your ship board charge card. Now, the world in general has pretty much turned into a cashless society and most of us are used to dealing with credit cards and debit cards to make our purchases. But the shipboard “sail and spend” cards are meant to trick us. I know I over use mine often, especially with pretty bartenders, waiters, and shop staff. Mainly because it’s my “room key”, and I’ve always fantasized about spending my days handing my room key to many different good looking women. When really, what I should be thinking is how badly things generally go when you give a woman a credit card.
One last thing I’ll touch on… when you first get onboard it’s very exciting. And when you first get to see your cabin it is so easy to be over-excited. You run in, take a look at what under different circumstances might look like the size of your walk in closet, and you’re thrilled. You unpack, amazingly finding what seems like the right place for everything. Then you turn around, ready to leave to explore the ship, and somehow you can’t find the door to leave. Don’t panic! It’s there. There are two doors. One is to the bathroom. Just open the other one, ignore the Do Not Disturb sign.
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Posted: August 17th, 2010 under Kuki.