My apologies for last weeks’ erratic posts. They should all be there now.
My first-cruise-ever was pretty great, but a few final observations and a suggestion. First off, if “you are what you eat,” I am surely by now a smoked salmon. I spent a fortune on the cruise, but if you price out the smoked salmon I consumed — for breakfast, for lunch, for snacks for dinner — I made a profit on the deal. I can now swim upstream with the best of them . . . handy for a contrarian investor. (Show me a trout that ever beat the Dow and I’ll show you a trout who’s at least one quarter salmon.) Second, if your fellow cruisers are, like you, deeply concerned about their carbon footprints, then perhaps a cruise — we burned 33,000 gallons of diesel fuel a day — is not the best venue for the discussion. But what an amazing thing: a floating hotel, built in Italy two years ago, with a Dutch name (“the Nieuw Amsterdam”), flying a French flag, owned by a British-American firm, cruising in the Caribbean, staffed by 888 mainly Indonesians and Filipinos serving baked Alaska to the aforementioned Egyptian (and 2,110 others).
And yet everywhere we went — 326 nautical miles to Half Moon Cay, the cruise line’s private island; 507 nautical miles to Jamaica; 251 to Grand Cayman (“Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Tax evaders have to go!”); 350 to an island off Honduras; 815 back to Ft. Lauderdale (where 2,111 of us disembarked by 10am so 2,111 fresh cruisers board two hours later) — was essentially the same: a crowded little beach packed with lounge chairs; rum funnies; a snorkeling option; and festive music that should not be playing before sunset, let alone at 11am.
So here’s my suggestion. Steam to Half Moon Cay, have a nice day. Then, as the sun is setting, go a few miles out to sea, keep enough power on to churn the water a bit and make the boat rumble and vibrate — occasionally clank some stuff — and “arrive” in port the next morning, by which time the beach chairs have been swapped out for a different color, the signage has changed, and — well, you get the idea. Welcome to Jamaica, Mon! It’s basically what Disney does: all the rides are identical, as you sit in little tubs that travel around a track up and down and around through tunnels on whose walls are projected the dinosaurs you would see if you were a caveman, with appropriate narration and sound effects, the stars you would see if you were an astronaut, the dragons you would see if you were a Hobbit — whatever.
Think of the fuel it would save! I’m on to something here.