The ship goes out to sea and barely moves or moves very slowly for the 14 hours. A ship doesn't stay in port because then it has to pay port charges. And if the ship is at sea, then it has all the passengers available to cater to with food, drink, gambling, etc. (read: make money)
Think about most cruise routes. Usually you can hit most destinations in less time than what is mapped out. But it's not the destination, it's the journey that counts.
Of course some itineraries require a long fast journey, but also remember fuel consumption is important.....so they might want to take it slower to save fuel in general for the ones that take longer than they can be made in.....
And of course the argument about taking it slow and out of port for more profit is entirely valid.
Holiday 5-day Western Caribbean
Liberty 8 day Western
And.....you *are* taking a cruise, so the "cruising around in the ocean" part is important. My favorite part of our cruise was being at sea. Especialy if you are close enough to see the lights of shore (and even if you're not) being at sea at night was just wonderful.....
Sit outside, look at the stars enjoy the sea breeze.
Carnival Elation March 11
Carnival Imagination Sept 07
Carniival Sensation Dec 06
RCI Sovereign of the Seas Sept 06
Carnival Miracle Sept 05
Carnival Glory Sept 04
Carnival Fantasy Jan 04
When We took the March 1, 2003 5day on the holiday we actually went to Cozumel first and stayed until Midnight then we went to playa the next morning. I don't know if that had anything to do with Mardi Gras or not but it was that time and there was night parades in Cozumel on the 3rd and 4th. Sure hope we do it again.
Inspiration May 26, 2002
Holiday March 1, 2003 & August 21, 2003 & April 24, 2004
Sensation March 3, 2005
Don't remember too many times when I could see the lights from shore at night, though.
But a few weekends ago, we were in Baja California, just north of Ensenada, and in the evening we could see a cruise ship (don't know which one for sure, but it coincided with Carnival's schedule) out in the darkness....Now THAT was a pretty sight, all lit up and reflecting on the ocean....
Sorry, I just have to giggle at what the Captain might be thinking "oh good, it's night time--no one will ever know this is the 36th time we've gone in a circle!" Or better yet--just out doing "donuts" in the middle of the ocean wasting time till sunrise!