by Paul Motter
Common cruise questions answered with quotes by the famous comedian
Comedian and film maker Woody Allen
Are you sitting on the fence about taking a cruise? Or maybe you already love cruising and want to convince others to come aboard and see why you keep raving about them. When it comes to reaching conclusions, it is always helps to consult the wisdom of respected thinkers. Some people may choose Theroux, Einstein or Benjamin Franklin. I personally prefer Woody Allen.
So – here we have the wisdom of Woody Allen to answer the more existential cruising questions:
- I am not sure I am the kind of person who will enjoy a cruise
Woody says, “My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.”
In fact, there is no one “type” of person that enjoys cruises, because cruises are designed to have something of appeal for everyone. Cruise ships are one of the few ways to travel where your vessel includes your accommodations – a subtle but exceptional point. Cruises offer everyone in your group the freedom to travel together, but to still have an individual vacation experience.
Mom can take a culinary class while the kids soak up the water park. Grandparents can enjoy watching the kids while dad catches a much needed nap in the stateroom. Even better, all of this can happen with minimum discussion and planning, as long as everyone knows where to meet for dinner.
Applying Woody’s philosophy, you can go your own way most of the time and not allow your “attitude” to alienate anyone else in your group as so typically happens on “family vacations.” Be yourself, no one is watching what you do – they’re too busy having fun.
- I am not sure a cruise is the healthiest vacation choice
Woody says, “You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.”
Who says every moment of your life has to reflect responsible, healthy choices? What is life worth if you don’t occasionally do something just because you enjoy it? Just don’t make it a full-time lifestyle choice. Here is another Woody-ism with the same sentiment, “Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go it’s pretty darn good.”
A great meal followed by an afternoon nap – as a rare and special treat – is the kind of indulgence that cruises specialize in offering. Not only can you have a great meal followed by a fantastic dessert; you can have an amazing meal and five desserts if that is what you want.
- I am not sure I can pick the best cruise
Woody says, “If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”
This is obvious – if you don’t take a chance you’ll never have an exceptional experience. We cruisers have a common expression of our own, “there is no such thing as a bad cruise,” however some cruises are exceptionally good.
The more you cruise the more you find ways to enjoy any cruise, but you don’t want to take fifteen family members on your first cruise, because you want to get that cruise right. For your first cruise I suggest doing your research and just taking your spouse on a less expensive cruise. Get a feel for ship life first and then start booking those more adventurous cruises.
Now, I am not suggesting that you book a cheap cruise line that doesn’t appeal to you, but I do suggest that you try a shorter cruise on a line that does appeal to you. You will gain a frame of reference to further refine your cruise choices. To offer yet another Woody saying “80% of success is just showing up.” Get started with your cruising and take it a step at a time.
And please include your spouse in the decision making process. The idea is to find a cruise with appeal for everyone who will be going. As Woody also says, “In my house I’m the boss. My wife is just the decision maker.”
- I am not sure cruises offer enough value
Woody says, “If only God would give me some clear sign, like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank!”
If you want to see the world, part of the value in cruising comes in what is included in the cruise fare; food, travel and accommodations. But there is additional value in the form of discretionary time and cruising adds value in giving you far more of it. For example, when you travel by more traditional means, such as trains or planes, after you pay to reach each new destination you must also find and pay for taxies, hotels and every meal, snack and beverage.
A diverse cruise itinerary that offers a different port every day is an incredible value. The naysayers will say that one day is not enough time to experience a place, but they are forgetting that you arrive refreshed and ready to tour with no need to get settled. Cruise ships travel while you eat and sleep, so you can cover an astounding number of miles with no effort at all. I believe you can see more on a cruise than on most traditional vacations.
In addition – you still have the option of trying local food, but in my experience eating “local food” can be over-rated unless you are in France. Restaurants in foreign countries can be expensive and unpredictable. Many overseas meals have left me disappointed unless I paid far more than I expect to pay in the U.S. As Woody said, “The food here is terrible, and the portions are too small.”
On a cruise ship, however, the portions are unlimited and the food is generally excellent.
Woody also said, “The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have.” So pick a cruise and literally get your feet wet. If it is not the perfect cruise, the next one will be better because of what you learned. Here is our final wisdom from Woody,
“Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.”