The Escape Artist

Posted on April 28, 2008

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I feel like this is my first vacation. For some reason it’s like I didn’t really pay attention before. I remembered the scent of the Florida air, but that’s only because I subconciously assign smells to memories and it has been printed into my mind because of my various trips to Disney World as a child. Besides the scent, I have almost no memories of any sensory input except the freezing water when swimming in Cozumel, Mexico on the day after Christmas.

I’m realizing that despite what many people think, going on a cruise is no way to “get away”. When you board one of these gargantuan ships, you’re not getting away from anything. There is everything from pools, saunas, spas, stores, lounges, restaurants, hotel rooms, and anything else you can imagine that would be put on a floating city.

It’s even more sophisticated than an average vacation to a Florida beach house. The beach house bedrooms might be more spacious, but other than that the crew of the ship makes everything so incredibly convenient it’s sickening.

“Hi. We’re definitely moving, so I wanted to call and say goodbye really quick.”
“Oh, okay. Come back home soon.”

I paused to reply. Solid land was inching away from the edge of the boat.

“I will.”

This really was the only moment I felt anything remotely close to leaving.

After the ship-wide emergency drill, I went back to my room and powered up my laptop, noting that my 4′ by 9′ balcony is the perfect place to do some editing. My computer booted up, and in the process alerted me that there were wireless connections available.

Please don’t tell me that they have Wi-Fi, I thought. Please don’t tell me they have Wi-Fi.

Sure enough. There were the words “Carnvial Wi-Fi” and directly following them there was a large green bar indicating the excellent strength of the signal.

The only difference between a cruise ship and home, is there is no driving, no corporate sector, and you have to pay for everything. Seven dollars a minute to call the United States, ten dollars anywhere else. Their satelite wi-fi has prepaid plans. Anything but the barebone drinks like water, tea, and lemonade cost extra. Island excursions are hundreds of dollars. The cans of pop that the statesmen so kindly put in your room cost three or four bucks a piece.

There’s no escape from anything. Cruises are nice vacation, but they are hedonism as its finest.

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