As the school year is ending, you may have started the search for your perfect summer vacation spot. Because of Google's handy dandy algorithm, we are exposed to pages and pages of paid advertisements from travel companies urging us to visit the iconic West Coast, gorgeous Hawaiian Beaches, the Florida Gulf, or better yet, a cruise that stops at all three. Maybe that's your idea of a perfect summer vaca, but for me, that's honestly my worst nightmare.
First of all, why would you want to be trapped on a big a** boat for days at a time? You're surrounded by strangers whom you know nothing about, there is a literal DEEP SEA beneath you, and the only activities you're exposed to include a) chilling on a lawn chair, b) shuffleboard?, and c) cheesy musical performances during your evening meal. Wouldn't you rather spend your time actually sight-seeing in a different country? Or doing activities you cannot do from your home like hiking or horseback riding in the jungle?
And, when you're surrounded by so many people in one confined space, germs are bound to spread. You are sharing a space with up to thousands of people – living together, eating together, and breathing the same air together. According to the CDC, "1,386 passengers suffered from an illness outbreak on just 11 cruises in 2017." And, if you're anything like me, you'll be vomiting overboard due to seasickness as well. Still sound like a good time?
Thirdly, without a doubt, you'll be spending more money than you had intended to. Cruises are freaking expensive. In addition to your $212.00-$161.00 ticket per day, you'll be purchasing drinks, meals, snacks, merchandise, family activities, and even Wifi. If you think about it, you're kind of just paying everything you normally would at home (rent, utilities, food, internet) but on a boat? How is that a vacation?
If you're still thinking, "Well Belle, you get to visit so many different places on your cruise than you normally would had you been traveling solo!" Yes, that's true, however, each port stop ranges from around five to nine hours each. Can you really explore/get to know a new place in just five hours time? The answer is no. Seriously, you can't.
And, if you know me, you know my mind automatically jumps to worst-case scenario. What if the boat crashes and sinks? What if I fall overboard into the deep sea? Will I get robbed on board? Or go missing? Usually these accusations are pretty far off, however, a) Around 20,000 cruise ship passengers were stranded at sea after Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, b) 304 people have gone overboard on cruises between 2000 and 2018, c) As many as 200 people have reportedly disappeared on cruise ships since the year 2000, d) approximately 60 people per year are injured on cruise ships due to "operational mishaps", and e) Royal Caribbean posted 237 crimes which allegedly took place on their cruise ship over the last 2 to 3 years, ranging from rapes, sexual assaults, robberies, and batteries. So yeah, these things actually do happen.
If I still haven't convinced you, maybe the notion of cruise ship smoke polluting the environment will change your mind. I'm not joking when I say that "each passenger's carbon footprint while cruising is roughly three times what it would be on land." THREE TIMES. From the ship's smoke emission to the sewage pipes literally being drained back into the waters, to passengers tossing their trash overboard, it's only adding to Earth's environmental decline.
I encourage you to rethink your summer plans and look into more of a safe, environmentally friendly, cheaper, and overall more enjoyable vacation. You can thank me later.