So I saw THIS Atlantic article linked on Bluesky and I found myself conflicted, nodding in agreement with almost everything the author wrote, yet simultaneously thinking he sounded exhausting and pretentious himself.

It made me think though, that while this absolutely jibes with everything I’ve thought after hearing from my acquaintances who have gone on them – and from extrapolating based on my own understanding of their personalities – I’ve never really asked “peers” what they think. Have you been? How was it? Why would you agree to be trapped inside a compacted hotel where you will literally die if you leave at the wrong time?

…also I didn’t think I could post the link in [email protected]

EDIT:

After 44 comments, here’s where we stand:

  • 28 (including me) responding to the questions

  • 21 have been, 7 (including me) have not.

  • Of the 21, 15 liked it, and 6 didn’t (some answers were a bit ambivalent, so I made a judgment call)

  • Of the 7, 5 didn’t think they’d like it and 2 implied they might in very specific circumstances. I guess technically I could make 3, but I don’t really want to “camp” on a personal family history reenactment.

So, of those who have been, the vast majority saw value in it. The people who haven’t been either know themselves or have some serious sour grapes; I choose to believe it’s the former, for completely scientifically objective reasons.

  • Rhynoplaz
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    1 month ago

    I’ve been on one cruise. 5 days in the Caribbean. Probably the best week I’ve ever had.

    It was within a month or two after cruises were allowed post Covid, so it wasn’t very crowded, and that might have made a huge difference, but my wife and I would LOVE to do it again.

    EDIT: I read that article, well, some of it. I started skimming part way through and then just gave up. This isn’t about cruises. It’s about a lonely socially awkward person who expected to be more interesting because he was on a boat.

    • @GeneralEmergency
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      111 month ago

      The article reads like the author has the mission statement of being the most miserable motherfucker in the room.

      • Rhynoplaz
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        71 month ago

        My frozen margarita was very tasty and mixed perfectly but the little blue umbrella clashed with the green of the lime mix, so I was forced to pour it down the sink and rinse it down with my tears.

    • @wjriiOP
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      1 month ago

      Yeah, like I said, I’m not quite sure what the writer was expecting. I like to imagine his editors sent him on the trip as a punishment; there’s at least one part where he implies that’s a possibility.

      Now, I don’t doubt that he met a lot of thoughtless, unpleasant people on that ship, but the inability to acknowledge that people unlike him could be anything other than worse than him was… offputting. The story was written for an audience of about 5 aging hipsters from Brooklyn.

      • @OhFudgeBars
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        11 month ago

        The story was written for an audience of about 5 aging hipsters from Brooklyn.

        Well said. The whole “epilogue” read like a hypercondensed Manifesto of the Pathological Twat.

  • @Zarxrax
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    211 month ago

    I read the whole article, and I’m just confused. I didn’t really see much actual criticism of the cruise itself, just a rant from some guy who went on a cruise that he clearly never wanted to be on in the first place. It reminds me of being a teenager and having to go on vacation with my family, and just wishing I could be doing literally anything else.

    I’ve been on a cruise once. To Alaska. It was a smaller cruise ship, though I still would have thought it was huge, had I not seen other ships 4 times it’s size docked next to it.

    It was a fun experience. I got to enjoy seeing a lot of cool places in Alaska, got to eat at a free buffet anytime I wanted, and even had my first fine dining experience. There were shows and fun activities to take part in. I also got a nice deal on it. I’m far from rich, but it was a really fun and reasonably priced vacation for me. I’ll probably go on another cruise some day.

  • BraveSirZaphod
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    191 month ago

    I did my first cruise this year, and honestly had an absolute blast. However, the extremely important factor here is that it was a gay cruise (from the company Atlantis), and so it was absolutely nothing like the standard experience. For one week in the Caribbean, it was basically just a giant non-stop party. No kids, no entitled retirees, just you and 5000 other gay men trying to enjoy as much debauchery as can be fit into a week.

    There were some port stops as well which were nice, but the main draw was very much the parties that would go on all night and through the morning. The music and production was incredible, and most of the other entertainment options were also swapped out for more gay-oriented options, so instead of bingo or whatever it is the boomers do, it was drag queens doing Britney Spears singalongs and things like that. And because everyone is gay, there’s already a shared common experience and identity so people tend to be very friendly and welcoming.

    Also, if you’re single or otherwise available, the amount of sex you could have is genuinely ridiculous, though I was there with my boyfriend so we mostly just enjoyed the parties and made some great new friends. I had such a fun time, contrary to my expectations, that we’ve actually signed up to do another one in Europe later this summer, and that winter Caribbean cruise will probably become an annual thing for us.

    • @forgotaboutlaye
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      41 month ago

      Did you encounter any non gay couples that either booked by mistake or just wanted to hang out on a busy full of gay people for a week?

  • @[email protected]
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    141 month ago

    I’ve been on a few. My family loves them, but I am not particularly fond of them. They’re a super convenient way to see a lot of tourist attractions in a short period of time if you find the right one, but your time is limited at each port. I do feel guilty about the ecological impact of the cruise industry, not to mention some of the working conditions of the staff can’t be ideal. I am an introvert who dislikes crowds, I have a fear of open water, and I get motion sick easily. So they’re generally a pretty miserable experience for me, personally. It’s even worse if there’s high pressure sales or lousy patrons aboard. For example I was aboard one that really pushed jewelry and vacation package sales. The at sea days were just long super sale events. I kind of felt a side eye by some of the sales people, like they thought I was going to steal something. Truth was I didn’t want any of the crap they were selling. Dining can be hit or miss. The more affordable the cruise, the less tolerable the food is over time. I’ve had very few run-ins with grumpy people, but it happens. People overall can be rude following rules, such has hogging the sun chairs all day long, every day, or bringing noisy kids into adult only areas. If I can help it, I would prefer to not go on one ever again, but my family may drag me kicking and screaming again. I do think the right cruise could be fun if you were going with friends instead of family. A adults only party cruise could be fun in my mind. Keeping track of kids or boomer family makes the experience less enjoyable. If I were to do that, I would pack loads of Dramamine. Drink packages are a rip-off unless you’re an alcoholic. I had one once and it took a lot of drinking just to break even.

  • @[email protected]
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    101 month ago

    I’ve been on 2 cruises and enjoyed them, which still kinda shocks me because I’m generally an introvert who doesn’t like going to crowded places. However there are a few reasons I liked the cruises I took and would consider going on one again:

    1. The first cruise only had 1 “at sea” day (out of 7). The rest of the days we were in a port. The 2nd cruise did have 2 at sea days but they were at the beginning and end of the cruise. I’d probably stick with just 1 at sea day if looking at a cruise in the future.

    2. To me the ship is just the hotel. It’s where I sleep, and the food is decent with the added bonus that I don’t have to cook or wash the dishes. With the cruises I went on, we got deals where it was cheaper per night than sleeping in many hotels. And we never had a problem finding some quiet corner to hang out if we didn’t want to be in our room when we were on the boat.

    3. I didn’t take any tours offered through the cruise. Instead we would get off the boat and use public transportation or a cab to take us to where we wanted to explore for the day. This let us avoid the cruise crowds.

    4. I didn’t feel much sales pressure. Yes they mentioned a couple times about getting a deal if you book your next cruise before the one I was on finished, but I knew I wasn’t interested. I just ignored it and no one bothered me about it. I also didn’t have any presentations I had to sit through either.

    It’s definitely not the only way I’d vacation, but I’d take a cruise again under certain circumstances.

  • @Suck_on_my_Presence
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    1 month ago

    Didn’t read the article, but my partner and I went on a Caribbean cruise in 2022 ish. Generally, it was fine. We had a good time.

    But personally I would never do that again. I hate crowds and it was super crowded, I’m shy and awkward and didn’t try to meet anyone new, and I just felt weird on the land excursions where the locals seemed like they hated their jobs but it was the best industry for them to feed their families.

    I will say the restaurants on board were phenomenal (but not included in the price point), and the shows were fun. But the best time I had was just spent on my balcony, watching the world go by.

  • @son_named_bort
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    81 month ago

    I went on one when I was 16. I enjoyed it, there was an arcade and a water slide and all the pizza and ice cream I could eat, so I was pretty much set for the week. There were other teens my age there, so I had made friends that week, which was fun even though I never talked to them again after the cruise. It was my parents first cruise, and they enjoyed it so much that they have become regular cruisers. I haven’t been back on one, as I didn’t have the money and now my wife doesn’t want to go on one, so it will remain a very fun thing I’ll never get to do again.

  • @Okokimup
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    81 month ago

    I went on a caribbean cruise with my family when I was 12 in the 90s. I was old enough to appreciate and remember some things, but I imagine it’s better as an adult. I wouldn’t mind doing an Alaskan or European cruise.

    I just finished reading The Last One by Will Dean, the fictional story of a woman who wakes up on a cruise boat to find everyone has disappeared. I hated the ending, but if anyone is interested in luxury boat-realted horror, you might be into it.

  • @stanleytweedle
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    81 month ago

    Never been and zero inclination to go on an ocean cruise for the reasons you mentioned and anecdotal horror stories I’ve heard- but I am intrigued by river cruises. With those you can spend time on the boat but also pretty frequent stops and if anything goes sideways you’ve got land on either side.

    • @wjriiOP
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      71 month ago

      My very nerdy uncle and his even nerdier wife did a Viking cruise. They liked it. I am told it’s basically still very cramped and full of old people, but there’s a distinctly lower number of MAGA hats.

      Not zero MAGA hats, mind you, but fewer.

  • @[email protected]
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    71 month ago

    I love them. I would reply more on why but hate typing on my phone. But I’ve been on six of them between 7 and 14 days. They give you the ability to get a taste of different areas and the entertainment on the ship is usually good. I’ve never felt “trapped” on a ship as they are very big. I have another cruise booked later this year and looking forward to it. I’m an introvert too. I know some people like the interaction with other people but that really isn’t my thing but I do like cruising.

  • wirelesswire
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    61 month ago

    I went on a cruise 20 years ago with my family. We drove to New Orleans and stayed a couple days there before boarding the ship and hitting a couple spots in Mexico. Overall, the cruise was fine, but I actually enjoyed our time in New Orleans more. Some notable things from the cruise: -Security at the Mexican ports were packing some heat. I saw security personnel with Uzis and M16s. -The ship had a clothing-optional tanning deck, and I found it equal parts amusing and awkward to be walking with my parents among a bunch of topless/naked people laying around. For context, I was 18 and raised in a conservative christian household, so I hadn’t really been exposed (heh) to that kind of thing before. -The food on the ship was fine. They had a soda fountain and small pizza bar available 24 hrs/day. -A hurricane was entering the gulf towards the end of our cruise, which ruined our snorkeling activity. The waves wouldn’t let us swim very far from the shore. At least we got refunded for that part. -On the way back to NO, we sailed on the outskirts of said hurricane, so the waters were decently rough. Luckily, I don’t get motion sickness, but evidently, just about everyone else did. I got bored sitting in the cabin with my seasick family, so I walked around the ship. It was kinda eerie seeing almost no one else as I was walking around.

    I don’t think I would do another cruise, since for that kind of money, I’d rather take a trip that I would enjoy more, not to mention the environmental impact those ships have.

  • @afk_strats
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    1 month ago

    To OP’s point, this guy DOES sound pretentious in a very writerly way. However, I felt just like him on my first cruise not too long ago. I reluctantly went with my girlfriend so I didn’t have to “make friends”… but the excess, the hard-working and undervalued employees, and the crowds were just as poignant obvious. The food was fine but not special, a point of disappointment after hearing so much about how great cruise food was. This was very late in the pandemic but the ship was all the way full and the price could have bought us a nicer trip by way of premium economy airline and 4-star hotel. I was one of maybe two or three people i ever saw wearing a mask. Still got covid. My hope is that I never have to go on another cruise.

    • @wjriiOP
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      1 month ago

      I suppose there’s some value in seeing that, “yes, it is indeed as bad as you suspect, dear reader,” but I don’t feel like the takes are all that fresh, and the story tells me more about his personality than the cruisegoers’.

  • @solrize
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    61 month ago

    I was on one as a kid (my dad had a job on the ship) and it was fun. But I wouldn’t do it today since the ships are floating petri dishes for respiratory illnesses.

  • @Today
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    51 month ago

    Took my mom on an Alaska cruise. I was very nervous about it and expected to hate it, but it was fun. Not nearly as claustrophobic and boring as i expected. We had a balcony so we spent a lot of time outside watching water animals and looking for land animals and eagles. When we travel city to city we always try to do two nights in each place so we don’t have to repack everything every day. It was kind of nice to see different things each day and return to a room with my book and phone charger on the nightstand. I have friends who’ve been on many cruises and talk about early/late dinner seating to get to the show and pack dinner clothes. We just wandered into whatever restaurant or pub sounded good that night. The food was fine. We went to one show and it was so bad that i complained to the cruise director. The other nights we went to the jazz bar or karaoke bar after dinner. I saw groups sitting in the closed buffet area late at night playing games and i thought that would be fun for a gathering where no one has to drive home.

  • @thorbot
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    51 month ago

    I have. It fucking sucked. Never again