Scott Hardie | January 2, 2023
Should Kelly and I go on a cruise?

Several friends who love cruises have pressed us to take one for years, alone or with them. We've resisted for a number of reasons:

• I never drink, and Kelly rarely does.
• She never dances, and I rarely do.
• Neither of us gambles.
• Neither of us likes spa treatments or similar pampering.
• Neither of us likes crowded or noisy spaces.
• Disabilities prevent us from doing many of the physical activities common to cruise ships.
• I get seasick, though I assume it can be managed with medication.

We like to dine out, and I'm sure that the food on cruises is great, but we have plenty of great restaurants in our area that cost much less.

We like to visit interesting destinations in the world, but we can book direct flights there rather than needing to go the much more expensive route of booking a cruise.

Taking a break from work and other responsibilities would be nice, and hanging out with friends who are on the cruise with us would be nice, but we can do those things at home for free.

Cruises just seem like a massive expense for little benefit to us. The only way that one seems even remotely appealing would be if it was a themed cruise with a topic that really appealed to us, but it would have to be really, really special to justify the high cost.

And yet, the advice that "you've GOT to go on a cruise!" is so frequent and so insistent that I still wonder if I'm missing something. Am I?

Erik Bates | January 2, 2023
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Steve West | January 2, 2023
I compromised on larger, more extravagant cruises and took my then wife, Betsy, on a dinner cruise on the Potomac River on a boat about the size of 3, maybe 4, double decker buses. Along with dinner was a stand-up comedian, a slow sail on the Potomac where many DC historic sites are easily viewed (Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, Tidal Basin and cherry blossoms, some of Arlington Cemetery, etc.). We were able to walk above decks to see the sites and the whole thing took about three hours. Worth doing - once.

Scott Hardie | January 4, 2023
That's a nice memory, Steve. We've considered smaller afternoon and evening cruises. Living on the coastline of a tourism-driven state means that we have plenty of options for those, and I think it would be nice to take one. But I also know that such a compromise won't silence the insistent friends who think that we should take a week-long Caribbean cruise. :-)

I appreciate the advice. I'm tempted to take a cruise just to settle this once and for all -- either we'll find out what we're missing, or we'll have proven that cruises are not for us -- but the price tag is too high. "We don't see the point for us" will continue to be our answer.

Samir Mehta | January 5, 2023
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Scott Hardie | January 6, 2023
Excellent advice! I have no doubt that the quality of every aspect of a cruise would be of a high caliber, but of course that's meaningless if I'm not interested in most of them and could replicate the rest far less expensively at home. And that's an great point about being vegetarian at a steakhouse. Kelly and I have lately wanted to return to our local Brazilian steakhouse and wondered if it would be inappropriate to invite a vegan friend to join us; they have a large salad and side bar that you can pay for separately without having any meat, but it must be unpleasant to have slabs of meat constantly brought to the table and carved up in front of you if you're not a meat-eater, so you've convinced me not to invite her and I want to thank you for sparing her from our cluelessness. :-)

I have plenty of friends who like cruises, but there are really two main couples who keep pressing us about it. One talks about how the first thing they do aboard the ship is get alcoholic drinks in hand and relax on lounge chairs by the pool and then they more or less stay in that state for a week. That doesn't appeal to us; we don't drink, and we already have a swimming pool at home with patio furniture that we barely use except when guests want to smoke. Sitting around doing nothing when I'm not tired just gives me anxiety because I think about all of the time that I'm wasting that could be put to better use. The other couple also drinks non-stop the whole time they're on board, but they seem to prefer hanging out in the bars and talking with friends and people-watching, which is even less our thing.

It's the insistence that we must take a cruise because we'd love it that's throwing me off. I have to conclude that, even if they mean well, this is more about our friends' need to include us in their beloved activity than it is about our own feelings. I have friends who don't like board games or card games, and I might mention in passing that they're welcome to attend a game night if the topic comes up (I consider it rude to discuss events in front of people who aren't invited), but I can't imagine spending an hour pressuring them about how great games are and showing them photos and insisting that they attend a game night. That has happened to us several times regarding cruises, and it just happened again to Kelly a few weeks ago, which is what inspired me to ask here.

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