Hey Team,

Cruise ships are not a form of transportation. They’re more like huge freaking hotels that you’re locked inside of for 16 hours at a time with a few thousand of your closest friends (provided you don’t have many actual close friends), and when they finally open the gates, you’ve been mysteriously teleported to yet another strange city. I guess teleportation is technically a form of transportation…but let’s not dwell. Here’s my point:

You can’t go around comparing cruise ships to airplanes just because it makes your environmental impact argument sound better. Hell yeah it takes less fuel to fly from Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Cayman than it does to take a boat. Know why? Cause you’re transporting 200 people…not five THOUSAND people in a huge freaking floating city that allows for more entertainment and adventure in exotic locales than the average working class family would have the opportunity to experience during their one and only week of vacation a year by any other means.

And for those people, cruising is perfect. I can’t imagine a better way to get a smattering of everything a great vacation has the potential to offer. Not everyone can drop everything and travel for extended periods. (And for that matter it would be kind of a bummer if they could…who would sell you all the knick-knacks you don’t need at various ports if everyone were off globetrotting?)

In my case, although I had a great time on the cruise, it’s tough to get out of the Amtrekking mindset. I probably got just as much out of wandering around Ft. Lauderdale watching passed out drunk people pulled off of buses while I make phone calls trying to figure out where I’m going to sleep. Once a hobo, always a hobo?

It’s really tough to explain. I think it comes down to chaos. I crave the unknown and live for those moments when the New Jersey beach patrol skids to a stop on their ATVs to tell me that I need to find a better place to sleep than underneath their pier. I’m not going to pretend that those are always fun times. In fact, for they most part they REALLY suck. But…that’s where the best stories come from.

Enough rambling. In short, are you traveling with friends and/or family just trying to relax and maybe see a few sights with your limited time off? Are you looking for an easy all-in-one solution to getting trashed with friends and not having to drive back to the hotel? Do you love seeing new sights but would like to have your hand held in the process? Take a cruise.

bum-1Want to explore the world, learn a little more about humanity and collect stories? Want to contract an especially virulent form of drug resistant tuberculosis? Take a bus.

I’m done.

Brett.