Cruising hits the news every season or so. There is the annual launch of the new superships. When it's not supererships it's often superbugs taking residence in the buffet line with all the subsequent distress. There have been incidents of international terrorism and occasional massive ship failures; the most recent of these occurred this past weekend on the Viking Sky.
Of course we have done our share of cruising. While the kids were home and growing we sailed out of every Caribbean island and bought souvenirs in every port city gift shop. We crammed into small cabins and luxuriated in Disney's Big Red Boat Penthouse Suite. We even shivered on Alaska's Inner Passage. Twice. More recently Barb and I have cruised the Mediterranean, traveling from the mysteries of Turkey to sun-drenched Greek Isles, the Côte d'Azur, and finally the wonders of Barcelona.
Our cruising life is not necessarily over. Twice we have made plans to cruise the Baltic Sea, but work, health, and other practicalities have canceled both sets of plans. Someday we will get to it. We envision a Rhine River cruise, once we work up the desire to see all those medieval churches and town squares. And Barb and I are still trying to analyze whether a cruise might be the best way to experience a future voyage to Australia and New Zealand. Any suggestions from past travelers?
So I get cruises, the convenience, the mindlessness, the alcohol. As we have aged our taste in cruise ship lines have matured from the Carnival/Norwegian class to Oceania and Crystal, but the appeal is still a big hotel at sea.
What I don't get are the brochures. Lovely, full color, thick paper, dozens of pages. They are in our mailbox day after day after day. They stack up on the kitchen counter, they overflow out of the recycle bin. In this day of targeted online advertising (and I get plenty of cruise ads on my Facebook feed,) I am amazed that the cruise industry seems to be the only commercial enterprise that still believes a bombardment of paper will spur on their business. We are in the digital age, dudes.
I assume consultants have the data suggesting that pretty pictures of pretty people on pretty islands lead to pretty sales dollars. Maybe they are right. But is it OK if I opt out? I'll let you know when I am ready to cruise again.
Big Powerball drawing tonight. Why I am afraid we won't win.
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Filed under: life style