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Can You Lose Your Cruise Lust

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It probably makes perfect sense that I love cruising. For 14 years I’ve been avidly following the industry, and writing about it for CruiseMates.

Like many others who love cruising, almost as soon as I returned from a cruise, I was looking for the next one, if in fact I didn’t already have several more on the books.

Between 1996, and 2012 I’d cruised over 60 times. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, I haven’t sailed on a ship for 2 1/2 years. It’s not that I’ve lost my love of cruising. But over time, circumstances occurred in life, that combined to slowly diminish my lust for cruising.

In 2001, we were in Rome, Italy as a port of call while enjoying a Seabourn cruise, sailing in the Mediterranean (before all ships had internet service for passengers) and we received a message delivered to our cabin telling us that Mrs. Kuki’s mother was seriously ill, and not expected to survive.  We very quickly made arrangements to leave the ship before its scheduled departure from Rome, and with Seabourn’s assistance, made arrangements for our flight home.  We didn’t make it back in time for Mrs. Kuki to see her mother before she passed, but we were back in time for the funeral.

At the time I thought very little of it. I considered it an anecdotal experience; life and death happens. It doesn’t stop because you are cruising.

Then, in 2008 we, were on a Carnival cruise, off of the coast of Rotan, when I received a call in our cabin, notifying my father had been hospitalized, and might not survive. The ship was going to be in Rotan that day, then there was one more sea day before the end of the cruise. The choice I faced at the time, was to try and fly back home from Rotan, or continue on to the end of the cruise, and return home as planned. After considering the alternatives, and realizing because of the available options for connecting flights from Rotan to home, we would only get home about 6 or 8 hours earlier than if we stayed on the ship, I made the decision to continue on to the end of the cruise.

In the middle of the night, just prior to our scheduled disembarkation, I received the phone call notifying me that my father had passed away.

Though it had been seven years between these incidents, they did have a psychological impact.  Subconsciously I began to make excuses not to go on cruises. I did keep cruising, but nowhere near to as frequently as I had been in the past. I thought I was moving on, but in fact there was a barrier to my really enjoying the experience as much as I usually did. My lust was diminishing.

In 2012, while sailing in Hawaii on a Crystal cruise, just prior to leaving the islands before heading to the mainland, I received an email, making me aware my mother had been hospitalized, and was in serious condition. Once again I was faced with the decision of leaving the ship and flying home, or returning to the mainland to fly home immediately.  Thankfully, my mother survived that episode, so I wasn’t just coming home for a funeral.

But, in my mind I apparently decided I was not going to go anywhere again that was further than a direct 2 0r 3 hour flight home. I made excuses about not going on cruises. I turned down trips that were writing assignments for CruiseMates. I honestly hadn’t even realized I was doing it, until last summer when friends really wanted us to join them for a river cruise and land trip in Europe. I said I would consider joining them, when Mrs. Kuki finally spoke up and said “you’re not going to go anywhere” while your mother is still alive. And, I had no choice to accept the fact she was right. I had subconsciously made that decision.

From the 2012 incident until just recently my mother’s health continued to worsen, and almost continuously teetered on death. And with it, my lust for cruising.

Recently, my mother succumbed to her illness, and she passed on. I am, of course, still going through the mourning process. But, this time I was there for her when she became ill. I was able to do whatever I could to organize aid, comfort her at the end, and just be with her.

As I go through the mourning process, I do wonder of myself… Maybe now I’ll want to cruise again? There’s no question that I still love cruising. But, I am not sure I have the lust for it that I did. All of the wonderful memories I have from our many cruises, at least for the moment, are being drowned out in my heart by the 3 traumatic memories I’ve spoken of here.

For now there’s no way to know if that will  change. I am still grieving the loss of parents. And dealing with the “business of death” (handling the government documentation, legal requirements, and dealing with acting for her estate, etc.) makes it difficult, and extends the grieving process considerably.

I’m certain I still love cruising! Will my lust for cruising return? I don’t know.

I do know once life is somewhat straightened out again, we’ll certainly be getting on another ship to find out.

– A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising –







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Comment from Mike M
Time August 6, 2014 at 7:51 am

I am sorry for your losses and it is even more sad that many have occurred while at sea. I understand how you could lose your lust for cruising.

I have to say that my lust for cruising has diminished over the years. I still love to cruise and still cruise whenever I can but that “feeling” that I had on the first eight or ten cruises is no longer there. I do not get as excited as I once did. I do not spend the days or even hours on research that I once did and I find that I now cruise more for ports than the ships. In June we wanted a relaxing getaway for our 30th anniversary. I booked a very last minute cruise just to kick back and take it easy. All of the ports were places we’d been a number of times and I found that by choice or circumstances I only left the ship in Cozumel. Overall the cruise was fun, but it just wasn’t the same feeling I had before. I know that the next cruise will have at least one port I’ve never been to before.

I believe that cruising is an addiction and like a drug addiction you are trying to recreate that feeling you had on your first few cruises. Sadly, like any addiction, the high is never the same but you keep trying to recreate it.

I am trying for a new high for this winter. We rented a condo in Puerto Vallarta for over a month just to see how we like immersing ourselves in a foreign place. I hope the cruise gods don’t punish me for straying.

Take care,

Comment from Paul Motter
Time August 6, 2014 at 11:38 am

Kuki… naturally your mind associates cruising with tragic family loss – it is inevitable, but as our parents move on we realize a new sense of not only our own mortality, but also our freedom.

I think your parents would want you to enjoy the rest of your life as much as possible.

I think you will return to cruising when you realize how much free time you now have, and that you can be away for extended periods and the rest of your family can take care of themselves while you are away.

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time August 8, 2014 at 6:12 am

When we first started taking cruises we pinched pennies and saved and and took one per year, always at the cheapy season, which back then, was after the New Years cruises, and before the world cruises – that one 7-10 day period that was cruise dead. It worked fine for us, mind you, that was over 40 years ago. We also had the crappiest cabins, went along with cheap, until we heard “free upgrade”. Thank god for a good travel agent.

Today, and for the past several decades, not so much on the cruise dead time frame, no cheapy season. We are able to go when we wish and where, and most importantly, on which ship and cruise line we prefer. To us it is the ship that is our sole destination, the ports mere side steps along the way.

From the very first cruise, one we had doubts about, in the brand new QE2, during that first cruise, we doubted we would cruise again. We had these doubts before we even arrived at the ship in New York. WHY? What did we know, we no clue. Well, the ship captivated us, the rest is history.

In all the ships, ports, cruises and so forth, we now still have the cruise bug, still love the cruise concept, and still cruise.

However, today the “lust” has been tainted. Terrorism, started back in the 1980’s with Achille Lauro, 911, TSA, luggage restrictions, and many many other taints, personal to us, have put a damper on the cruise product.

I must point out, it is NOT the cruise line or any aspect of it that is off putting. We can book what we want and like, that is not an issue. It is the dehumanization, the foibles and treatment and fees for this that and everything else one must incur.

It is the very restrictions that are imposed on passengers before we even see the ship awaiting in the port. Hassles yes, fees, yes, safety? YES!

Comment from Nicholas Sabalos
Time August 10, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Thank you for sharing these most difficult life experiences, decisions and challenges with us, your faithful readers.

I faced a similar situation with my Dad a few years ago….and, now, sense, the same is approaching for my 85-year-old Mom.

My own lust for cruising has been, like you, diminished.

But, my Mom keeps telling me: “I want you to put your own life first. I know you love me. But you, too , only have one shot at life.” And, in many decisions and choices I face in life, she has shown me to think: “What would Dad do….or what would Dad want me to do?” She wants me to think the same of her when her time to leave comes.

Thank you for helping me face my own similar life challenges. Your article has meant so very much to me!


Your shipmate in spirit,


Comment from RayB
Time August 27, 2014 at 8:43 am

My lust for cruising isstill with me. Since I lost my wife Helen, I have cruised 10 times. It has been very hard for me not having her with me. And yes , even tho I am now 94 I hve been on 97 cruises. I must love to do it. Got one on the books to do the New England cruise out of NYC on the Ruby Princess for 11 days ending in Quebec City. My bucket lists shows “I wont to do at least 100 before I pass.” So I wished to stay in cruising health and keep on going.

I love all the ships and the blue of the sea waters.

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