Jumping on the bandwagon, a writer for the cruise-hating Guardian then wrote an ill-informed and frankly snobbish (ironic for the Guardian) piece on the newspaper’s website, which stated: “Booking a cruise is essentially buying a ticket for a plague ship lottery.”
And then there are five more reasons to give cruising a ‘wide berth’. These include points to the effect that you won’t see anything of the places you visit; you’ll travel in a hermetically sealed ‘pen’; you’ll ‘lose your status as an individual’; pollute the seas; and best of all, that ultimate hell, you’ll be ‘trapped with people who like cruises’.
This piece, I might add, is written by someone who’s never been on a cruise.
We thought long and hard about whether it would even be worthwhile dignifying this ill-informed and deliberately offensive piece with a response, but we thought it important to put the record straight.
So at the risk of getting into an online battle, here goes:
The insinuation of this piece is that people who enjoy cruising are incapable of original thought – but this bleating whine is itself about as clichéd and stereotypical as it’s possible to get, dredging up age-old anti-cruise arguments with little foundation and nothing new to say.
Of course cruising isn’t for everybody. Nor is golf, or caravanning, or pot-holing. But why are cruise-bashers such raging snobs? The writer claims that on a cruise, you’ll ‘see the world in bitesize snippets so small that they’re effectively pointless’. Well, yes, certain types of cruise and ship do attract people who only want to see the highlights of the places they visit. What’s wrong with that? Who has the right to judge somebody else’s experience? Are people who go to resort hotels in the Caribbean or the Spanish costas any more inquisitive? – they eat international cuisine from buffets, watch naff local entertainment and slob around on the beach all day. Shocking.
The piece goes on to say that ‘cruising is for the lazy and the culturally disinterested’, stating with confidence that ‘most passengers conform to the grey-haired, buffet-savaging stereotype’.
So we’ll discount all the families who cruise, the often highly educated passengers attracted to lines like Swan Hellenic or Voyages of Discovery, the adventurous types who enjoy expeditions up the Amazon and to Antarctica or to the Galapagos, or to see the Northern Lights; the music-lovers, the foodies, the wine enthusiasts who take cruises, not to mention the less-mobile for whom a cruise is often the most manageable way to see the world.
Cruising is far from perfect as an industry and debate about how it, and other forms of travel, can improve, should always take place.
But if you’re going to knock it, at least try it first so you can come up with a more intelligent argument than this ill-informed nonsense.
–By Sue Bryant
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