Monday, November 21, 2005
When someone surprises you with a free cruise to express their appreciation for the good work that you do, it ought to feel good right, like a reward?
I am struggling with this. Cruises violate my principles on so many levels. First, there is the "getting on a vessel I don't know how to operate" issue. Every time I fly, before I board, I remind myself, "You chose to do this dumbass, and you don't know how to fly, so just accept whatever happens or don't get on." Then I get on the plane. Every time,I do this.
Then, there is the "Only can eat food that other people cook" issue. Botulism runs through those cruise ships, like Botulism runs through, well, anyone with Botulism. I call it Least Common Denominator cooking- even if they don't poison you, it can't be too spicy for some, too salty for others, so what I expect is sticky sauces made with 2% milk, King Crab legs because they look expensive (As a Florida boy, I know that Stone Crab claws are the best) and sheet pan after sheet pan of bland tira misu, key lime pie, and German chocolate cake. Of course, there will also be Prime Rib, nothing says "You're on vacation" than a minority in a white hat carving prime rib under a heat lamp.
Other concerns are:
Pirates- I'm certain you can't board the vessel armed so I will have to improvise if faced with sea thugs.
Lack of a free market system- Everything will be quite costly due to being a captive audience. $5 beers, $3 Advil, $4 toothbrush, etc...
Sinking- I will undoubtedly spend the entire first night sleepless in order to study the layout of the boat and the best possible routes of egress should the vessel list or capsize. I went to my first ever college football game two weeks ago and spent most of the time scanning the area for trouble and formulating a plan for sheltering-in-place in case of a stampede or riot (In case you ever need to: lie on the floor of your row, vital organs turned inward for protection, cover the back of your neck and wait for the panic to subside, then escape in an orderly manner atop the bodies of the less prepared).
Seasickness: My only experience at sea is grouper fishing 30 miles out in a 14 foot boat. To me, ocean-going boats mean puking on your hands while reeling cinder blocks up from the bottom of the ocean.
Other than that, I'm totally psyched about the trip. I embark January 16, two days after San Felasco. It should be quite an abrupt transition.