As far as I’m concerned, to paraphrase Samuel Johnson, a cruise is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned, or at least having uncontrolled vomiting and diarrhea. Nobody died on Carnival Triumph, and the CNN breathless coverage was over the top, but it’s typical that the cruisers have no recourse:

[…] [T]he ability of passengers to sue cruise ship operators is sharply limited, lawyers said.

Tickets issued by Carnival and other companies contain language limiting how much a passenger can recover and also set the location of the court where any lawsuit filed can be filed. The location typically suits the company involved, said Vincent J. Foley, a lawyer in New York who specializes in maritime cases.

People who shit in bags, had to live in a tent city on the deck of a ship, and ate buns with ketchup because food ran out are going to get what Carnival chooses to give them: a refund on their cruise and a voucher for another cruise. I’m sure this group will take advantage of that generous offer, because they’ll want to re-live their sun-filled vacation on the Triumph. Of course, there’s no guarantee that they’ll have the all-inclusive port-a-pottie experience next time, but if they’re lucky, they might spend time locked in a toilet fighting norovirus.

Carnival is a company headquartered in Miami that registers its ships in the free-market paradises like the Bahamas, and they don’t pay taxes because they are considered exporters. They make most of their money from Americans, and they have a track record of diarrhea and death. In a sane world, the government would be working to put them out of business. In this world, they’ll continue to have fires, spread disease and run aground, without excessive tax burden, just as Hayek would have wanted it.

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152 replies
  1. 1
    Gin & Tonic says:

    #FirstWorldProblems. What percentage of the world’s population live their lives without a flush toilet?

  2. 2
    Xenos says:

    @Gin & Tonic: If you construct a latrine correctly so that flies can’t get in to spread disease, and have enough clean water to wash your hands, who needs a flush toilet?

  3. 3
    Punchy says:

    Goddamn…bitter much? Cruises done correctly are fun as hell, safe, and an easy way to see multiple countries quickly.

  4. 4
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Can’t say that I’ve ever much wanted to go on a cruise, but this flag of insert-tax-haven-here stuff has always seemed sketchy to me, whether cruise or cargo ship.

  5. 5
    Ash Can says:

    As long as cruisegoers keep booking their cruises aboard Carnival instead of their competitors, Carnival will stay in business. (Yes, I resisted the urge to say “afloat.” Har har, I kill me.)

  6. 6
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Amen! The coverage on CNN was absurd. I’m sure it sucked for the passengers who expected Vegas-style shows and sumptuous feasts round the clock, but I hear there was free booze! A sucky cruise it may have been, but a cattle car to Auschwitz it was not.

  7. 7
    MonkeyBoy says:

    How is this different where sales contracts contain a “mediation” clause? E.g. if you buy a new car the contract will often contain a clause that you can’t sue the dealer or car company, instead you must take your case to a mediator that is selected and paid for by the seller.

  8. 8
    Hawes says:

    I’m not sure floating without power in what amounts to a large town in the middle of a vast expanse of water constitutes a “first world problem”.

    I mean it’s not the Titanic, but it’s pretty damned awful. I liked the scavenger hunts they planned for the kids.

    “Hey, kids! Ten points for whomever finds someone over 70 with dysentery.”

  9. 9
    RP says:

    The registration and tax stuff stinks, but this is one case where I think the free market should do a pretty good job of punishing Carnival. The bad PR will do far more damage than any lawsuit.

  10. 10
    liberal says:

    OT: No FP activity on Ronald Dworkin dying?

    Among many other virtues, he did the most work (AFAICT) to show that constitutional “originalism” is a farce.

  11. 11
    kd bart says:

    This is why I’ve never had any desire to go on a cruise.

  12. 12
    Woodrowfan says:

    Had dinner with some friends a few days ago. They both love going on cruises with their spouses. both said the same thing, “AVOID CARNIVAL!”

    BTW, today’s “Bug” was appropriate..

  13. 13
    Roger Moore says:

    Experience shows that Carnival will suffer no lasting harm from the market. It’s not as if this is the first time they’ve had terrible, widely publicized problems on a cruise, and the previous times haven’t stopped people from going on their cruises.

  14. 14
    WereBear says:

    @Punchy: Cruises done correctly are fun as hell, safe, and an easy way to see multiple countries quickly.

    But if they are not done correctly, one is apparently stuck on a floating Pit of Calcutta, with no recourse.

    But I doubt this will impact the cruising industry. Unlike plummeting towards the Earth on fire, as with a plane, the suffering is not dramatic enough to dissuade.

  15. 15
    Xenos says:

    It is not just guests who have limited or no legal recourse against cruise lines – employment contracts compel arbitration:

    Arbitration is a procedure which strips crew members of their right to trial by jury. Cruise lines prefer arbitration because they believe that compensation awarded to injured crew members will be substantially less and the chances of defeating the crew member will be substantially greater. Arbitration also limits the ability of crew members to engage in discovery of the cruise line’s wrongdoing. (emphasis added)

  16. 16
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I don’t see the attraction of these cruises and packaged tours in general. When I am on vacation, I want to chill, do what the locals do, not hang out with people I don’t know, or worse still, busy bodies I do know.

  17. 17
    Butch says:

    I happened to catch some of Erin Burnett’s coverage because I was waiting for the 9 o’clock news here and the footage was interrupted by a panel of the most amazing industry hacks I’ve ever heard – busy reassuring each other that no one on the cruise was more than inconvenienced.

  18. 18
    Robin G. says:

    @Hawes: Agreed. The early morning mockery here isn’t fair. A very small, very crowded space with no sanitation is nothing to joke about.

  19. 19
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Robin G.: Agreed 3. It is a pretty shitty situation.

  20. 20
    eldorado says:

    david foster wallace had something to say about this

  21. 21
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    OT: One of my wife’s coworkers bought a hamster, and now they have decided they do not want it. Does anyone know where they might be able to take it? I am in the Dallas area.

  22. 22
    Roger Moore says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    I think of big ship cruises (as opposed to ones on smaller, more specialized ships) as being the equivalent of the “bathrooms of the National Parks” bus tours, but with more comfortable transportation. The goal is to take you a bunch of different places, but that comes at the expense of being able to do much while you’re there. So if you like the idea of spending a holiday in a hotel with occasional brief trips outside to new locations, you may like a cruise. If you’d rather go to one place and explore, then going on a floating hotel is probably not for you.

  23. 23
    Cassidy says:

    I can see how this was traumatic for the people involved, but let’s be real. If you get into an airplane, there is a possibility you could crash. If you get onto a cruise, there is a possibility you get sunk by a rogue wave or bad storms. There are risks inherent with anything and it really sucks for these people that it happenned to them, but it was bound to happen to someone. I sympathize, but I think some objectivity is needed.

    That being said, fuck the media. They circlejerked about this all day yesterday and had a single article about the SoD being fillibustered. Fuck those useless hacks. When the revolution happens, I will happily line them up myself.

  24. 24
    Xenos says:

    @Cassidy: What, is this the Airplane point-counterpoint?

  25. 25
    magurakurin says:

    @Robin G.

    A very small, very crowded space with no sanitation is nothing to joke about.

    But the ship’s crew had no plans for what to do in the case of a failure with the ships plumbing? I mean, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria were small, enclosed spaces without plumbing, but they found Hispanola. Why wasn’t there a plan to deal with it? Set up latrines around the upper decks. Close and lock down the toilets. Tell everyone to use those latrines and dump the shit into the sea. The stories are saying that people kept shitting in the toilets and the stewards were cleaning them out. I mean, WTF? Some of the toilets got so full of shit that they ripped off the walls. Some of the lower decks got flooded with sewage, but why were people allowed to stay down there or be there at all?

    It seems like there was absolutely no plan at hand to deal with this. A prepared crew could have basically just declared martial law…I’m sure they have armed security on board…and told be people what was going to be done for their own safety. In other words, cruise is over, fun is over, we’re in a motherfucking crisis here so everybody pull your head in and do what your told. Instead it seems from the reports that they treated as some sort of minor trouble and tried to go on with the cruise.

    Also, too it sounds like the passengers were totally assholes and were looting and stealing and doing all sorts of fucked up shit. And then they started serving free booze. Double Plus Ungood right there.

    Fuck cruises.

  26. 26
    Cassidy says:

    @Xenos: I can use trains if you like. They’re all modes of travel to a destination spot. A cruise moves slower and stocked with better alcohol, but other than that, not much to different than a plane to me.

  27. 27
    MikeJ says:

    I understand that bad things can happen. The question is, why didn’t they pull into Mexico instead of taking three days to get to Mobile? When the two other ships pulled up resupply why didn’t they take passengers off?

  28. 28
    cmorenc says:


    Goddamn…bitter much? Cruises done correctly are fun as hell, safe, and an easy way to see multiple countries quickly.

    Not very much of a country beyond the limited area specifically catering to foreign tourists can typically be seen on cruise ship stops in a port. It’s more like a 3D holographic postcard view than any sort of true experience with the local country or culture.

  29. 29
    PurpleGirl says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I know… The temptation was too great and you just couldn’t resist.

  30. 30
    jibeaux says:

    I don’t really see the appeal of traditional cruises, which just seem like weird floating cities, but those windjammer things on those beautiful ships? I want to go to there.

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:


    There are risks inherent with anything and it really sucks for these people that it happenned to them, but it was bound to happen to someone.

    Sure, there are risks, but not all risks are equal. There are things you can do to reduce some kinds of risk, like performing regular maintenance at appropriate intervals and having crew prepared to deal with likely problems. All indications are that Carnival is not doing an adequate job of taking those precautions. That’s a situation we should be able to avoid with appropriate regulations, but Carnival is using regulatory arbitrage to avoid them. We probably ought to be at least trying to block that kind of behavior.

  32. 32
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @jibeaux: I have done a 3 day sailing trip on a schooner off the coast of Maine in June, it was cold but fun!

  33. 33
    jibeaux says:

    a refund on their cruise and a voucher for another cruise.

    I dunno, PR can be a fairly powerful motivator, and this was high-profile. It’s possible they’ll be offered something fair.

  34. 34
    WereBear says:

    @magurakurin: I agree, that’s the point. The cruise lines can basically do ANYTHING, and it’s legal, and I don’t think the people signing up realize that.

  35. 35
    Cassidy says:

    @Roger Moore: I don’t disagree. I would also suggest that machinery breaks down, especially large machinery like that. And sometimes it happens just because; there is a lot that can go wrong.

  36. 36


    Transferring passengers from ship to ship in the open sea can be a dangerous operation. Unless the ship is in danger of sinking, it’s better to keep them on board.

  37. 37
    Yutsano says:

    @jibeaux: My parents went on a cruise to Alaska and loved it, but it’s my understanding that ports of call tend to last longer than Caribbean ones. My youngest brother honeymooned on one in the Caribbean and had a great time, but they talked more about off ship than on. I just don’t have the desire to get on one of those big wasteful things.

  38. 38
    Cassidy says:

    @Yutsano: I’d take my family on a Disney cruise.

  39. 39
    Todd says:

    Two points – this is why I don’t go on cattle boats. Having 5000 people aboard can make something a crisis.

    Second, the heroes are the lowest paid, as usual.

  40. 40
    dmsilev says:


    I don’t really see the appeal of traditional cruises, which just seem like weird floating cities, but those windjammer things on those beautiful ships? I want to go to there.

    Yeah, me too. If I had to go on a cruise, it’d either be a windjammer or maybe a riverboat traveling up the Danube or something like that.

  41. 41
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Yutsano: The only cruises/journeys I find romantic are the ones in the Agatha Christie novels, for example, Death on the Nile and the Murder on the Orient Express.

  42. 42


    Actually, it looks like a design flaw in this case. The Triumph has two engine rooms; a fire in one seemed to knock out most of the ship’s electrical systems. It would seem a proper design would allow the remaining engine room systems to supply power to the ship (at least for critical systems).

  43. 43
    Cassidy says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy: Entirely possible. I’m just saying that large, moving machinery can breakdown just because. While that may not be the case here, that’s something people don’t think about when they sign up to travel or do anything. Machinery fails and sometimes in spectacular/ catastrophic fashion.

  44. 44
    magurakurin says:

    Machinery fails and sometimes in spectacular/ catastrophic fashion.

    I honestly don’t think you will get much disagreement with folks on that point. To me, the problem is that it seems that Carnival didn’t seem to have absorbed that simple truth at all. That ship clearly did not appear to have plans in place to deal with the inevitable failure of its systems. That seems like a point that a wicked smart lawyer might be able to go after them on.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    All that planning for contingencies costs staff time and money.

    This cuts into profit that could be used by executives (probably guys with MBAs) for hookers and blow.

    You figure out what the priorities are.

  46. 46
    handsmile says:


    Just before reading through this thread, I posted a comment on Ronald Dworkin’s death on Anne Laurie’s “Friday Morning Open Thread.”

    I wouldn’t think his passing would catch the attention of any FPer (legal and moral philosophy not among the usual topics), but I’m glad to know that others here are saddened by the death of such a brilliant and influential thinker.

  47. 47
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Carnival is yet another American corporation taking advantage of the laws that our Congress passed. They carry over a million passengers a year on ships and things do occasionally go terribly wrong on ships , even those operated by our own Navy, (Guess how I know that last) and when they go terribly wrong those aboard suffer. It’s always been that way, it will always be that way.

    Travel by ship lost its appeal for me long ago so I’m not a partisan. This just doesn’t seem to be worth a post.

  48. 48
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Hey, aren’t Carnival cruises “the FUN ships!”?

    Lots of fun there…

  49. 49
    Cassidy says:

    @magurakurin: @Villago Delenda Est: Absolutely agree with both points. On that note, I’m not sure how much a plan could have been in place with what is, essentially, a large hotel serving staff. Security on these vessels is minimal at best and even in a crisis, they’re (management) stuck in please the customer mode, instead shit got real mode.

  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:

    Somehow, though, we very rarely see awful accidents involving mechanical failures on commercial airlines, which are heavily and effectively regulated, but we do on cruise line, which are using all kinds of tricks to avoid regulations. Hoocodanode!? It’s almost as if market forces are lousy at providing safety, but regulations are.

  51. 51
    Roger Moore says:


    That seems like a point that a wicked smart lawyer might be able to go after them on.

    If they didn’t have an arbitration clause to prevent just that.

  52. 52
    TS says:


    If you construct a latrine correctly so that flies can’t get in to spread disease, and have enough clean water to wash your hands, who needs a flush toilet?

    I do – lived the first 21 years of my life without a flush toilet – don’t want to go there again – ever.

  53. 53
    magurakurin says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yeah, well, wasn’t it Mark Twain that said, “When in doubt, hookers and blow.”

  54. 54
    geg6 says:

    I have never been able to fathom why anyone would want to cruise, even before all the bad cruise headlines of the past few years. Stuck on a ship for days with a bunch of people I wouldn’t spend a second with IRL. Only the most cursory experience of any of the ports of call. Questionably fresh food. Herded like cows to tourist traps.


    I love to travel and I do it at every chance I get. But I’d rather never travel again than cruise. And these kinds of incidents just harden my antipathy to cruising.

  55. 55
    JPL says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): When we lived in Dallas, my son’s first grade teacher had two hamsters. At the end of the year there was a contest to see who would take the darlings home for the summer. What are the odds, I thought. My son was the only entry.

  56. 56
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “In a sane world, the government would be working to put them out of business.”

    Or in a sane world, customers would stop going on Carnival cruises.

  57. 57
    Face says:

    @MikeJ: When this first happened, the articles I read said they were going to be towed to Mexico. They were only 150 miles off the coast! Why did they have to come all the way back to the states? Security too lax in Mexico?

  58. 58
    Robin G. says:

    @magurakurin: The Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria were ships full of sailors, not uneducated passengers, and were designed to function without plumbing. You’re comparing a Model T to a Prius. They’re barely even the same category of vehicle.

    I’m not saying that the ship shouldn’t have been prepared to deal with such an obvious potential hazard, mind you. Just that the snide comments in this thread about how the passengers are just whiny titty-babies for living in an environment that wasn’t meant to function as it was forced to, and therefore had to more or less wallow in their own excrement for days on end, isn’t funny and isn’t fair. It’s not much different than saying that, because there are people who still live in wooden huts, the Katrina survivors were moaning about first world problems during their time in the Superdome.

  59. 59
    Punchy says:

    Stuck on a ship for days with a bunch of people I wouldn’t spend a second with IRL. Only the most cursory experience of any of the ports of call. Questionably fresh food. Herded like cows to tourist traps.

    This is SO not what a cruise experience is about. I’m guessing you’ve never been, which is why you blast it so inaccurately.

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It’s almost as if market forces are lousy at providing safety, but regulations are.

    Just needed to see this again, as it amazingly captures the terrible liberal bias of reality.

  61. 61
    Tokyokie says:

    The spousal unit and I took a short cruise a few years ago and hated it. Her getting seasick didn’t exactly help, but your choices aboard the ship are either the solitude of your tiny stateroom or common areas that are jam-packed with people desperate to make the experience fun, and there’s no escape. If you’re even remotely claustrophobic (or learn the hard way that you are), it’s a miserable experience. And you don’t really get to see foreign ports of call but a few blocks of street fronts near the cruise liner pier that are filled with the same tacky tourist-trap merchandise and food. This year, we tried an all-inclusive resort, and we look forward to doing that again sometime. But cruises? Ugh.

  62. 62
    magurakurin says:


    Why did they have to come all the way back to the states?

    The explanation I saw given by the company was that since the shift had drifted north 90miles in the night before they got the tugs there they decided not to fight the currents and went to Alabama. They said that it would have taken the same time by that point and that docking in the State would have been simpler for the people without passports. That sounds reasonable enough, but who knows what’s true or not.

    Definitely putting “I’m going on a Carnival Cruise” on my “shoot me if you hear me say” request list.

  63. 63
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Face: Current was working against them. It would have been riskier from a seafaring point of view.

  64. 64
    shortstop says:

    @Roger Moore: I would add that these things can work pretty well for multigenerational vacations. On our own, the third baseman and I prefer active and independent travel, always to places with no horrifying “Broadway-style” shows, bingo and casinos. But my folks are older and my dad is not very ambulatory. Going all the way through the Panama Canal (one of the coolest gadgets in the world, IMO) with them was fun because we got to be together and everyone involved could do as much as they could physically handle.

  65. 65
    RSA says:

    I think that it’s less likely that Carnival will suffer business losses than, say, some entertainment company will be inspired to create a new reality show: Lord of the Flies–Cruise Edition.

  66. 66
    shortstop says:

    @Roger Moore: I would add that these things can work pretty well for multigenerational vacations. On our own, the third baseman and I prefer active and independent travel, always to places with no horrifying “Broadway-style” shows, bingo and But my folks are older and my dad is not very ambulatory. Going all the way through the Panama Canal (one of the coolest gadgets in the world, IMO) with them was fun because we got to be together and everyone involved could do as much as they could physically handle.

    ETA: One of these days I’ll remember which ga.ming words are no-nos with WP.

  67. 67

    @Face: It took three days for tugs to get to the boat, by which time it had drifted so far north that getting to Mexico wouldn’t have taken much less time. In addition, a quarter of the passengers didn’t have passports with them so landing in a foreign country would have caused some significant problems.

  68. 68
    magurakurin says:

    @Robin G.:

    First, the bulk of the blame lies at the feet of the company for not having some sort of plan to deal with the disposal of human waste in the event the sanitation system fails. That such a plan apparently didn’t exist is inexcusable. It really shouldn’t be that hard to do something. The Red Cross does it in disaster sites. And most people will do what they are told/asked in a tough situation. But if you don’t tell them what to do, then yeah, they aren’t trained sailors.

    However, if I’m on that boat, I’m not going to be shitting in my non working toilet in my state room. I’m gonna shit on a piece of newspaper and toss it over board. I’m sure the folks living up on the deck in make shift huts of chairs and towels were doing something similar. And I wouldn’t be surprised if that group had set up some ad hoc committees to deal with some issues. The people who continued to walk down hallways of sewage flooded decks and shit into their toilets until they ripped from the wall, choose to loot from other state rooms and get shit faced drunk or any other fucked up shit…well, that’s your Republican base right there.

  69. 69
    mapaghimagsik says:

    I’ve been on two cruises.while both were pleasant and uneventful, the smaller cruise, with about 100 passengers total was much more enjoyable. There are good tours and cruises, they just cost more.

  70. 70
    shortstop says:


    I love to travel and I do it at every chance I get.

    Only to places you can drive to, because you refuse to fly and don’t see any reason to go overseas. ;)

  71. 71
    Cassidy says:

    @Robin G.:

    Just that the snide comments in this thread about how the passengers are just whiny titty-babies

    Well, I’m not usre baout snide, but it does sound as if the passengers, mostly American surprise surprise, went into asshole mode the moment life got a little difficult. It sounds to me like a combination of poor planning on Carnaval’s part and an overblown sense of entitlement on the adult passengers as well.

  72. 72
    shortstop says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    In addition, a quarter of the passengers didn’t have passports with them

    (Rolls eyes) Only in America.

  73. 73
    Gex says:

    To be fair, I believe roughly half of the passengers firmly believe that government regulation is evil and there should be tort reform limiting the actions citizens can take against companies. I can only assume that they adore having consumer experiences like this.

  74. 74
    handsmile says:


    This is completely off-topic (so my apologies to others here), but you are one of the very few who regularly comment from whom I believe I might get an affirmative answer to this question:

    Have you seen the film Holy Motors? I finally saw it last week; it’s been playing in NYC for months. I hated it for the most part, desperate for it to end, while acknowledging that Denis Lavant’s lead performance was astounding. Yet it’s received mostly rapturous critical reviews and was placed highly on most “Best of 2012” film lists. Such a chasm in response will probably impel me to see it again. I’d be curious to read your reaction (if any) to the film.

  75. 75
    Tokyokie says:

    @Punchy: I dunno. His summation of an imagined cruise-ship experience jibes pretty well with our actual such experience. And the cruise we took was this very one, albeit on a different Carnival ship.

    @Face: Carnival has port facilities in Mobile (as opposed to mere docking privileges at a pier), not in Mexico. And the port facilities would include a standing contracted rate for various services, including tugboats. Had Carnival ducked into a Mexican port, even one with sufficient draught and facilities to service the cruise liner, the company would have faced significantly higher costs because it wouldn’t have been able to negotiate favorable terms for port services. The company made the coldblooded calculation that none of the passengers on board was in mortal danger and that the higher costs of using a Mexican port outweighed the suffering and the bad publicity of towing the ship into Mobile.

  76. 76
    geg6 says:


    Security on these vessels is minimal at best

    Take a moment and google the crime statistics on cruise ships. Rapes are common, for instance. And any stats you see are only what are reported to authorities and are probably ridiculously low-balled.


    Totally agree. My ex and I and another couple did a trip down the Ohio from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati in a 40′ small yacht and we had contingency plans for everything, replacement parts for every possible mechanical device, extra props, reservations at every marina along with our ETAs, and every safety device possible. We planned the trip for an entire year. Of course, the worst thing that happened to us was almost running out of fuel just outside of Huntington, WV (and we knew that was a possibility due to the distance between the marinas with fuel), but we were ready for anything. You have to be if you want to make it through a 1000 mile, two-week river trip during which you will pass through 11 locks each way. I don’t trust anyone else, especially a cruise company, to prepare the way we did.

  77. 77
    Cassidy says:

    @handsmile: No clue and din’t even know the move existed. I’ve generally found that my tastes run the exact opposite to most movie critics.

  78. 78
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Robin G.: Oh, come on. They spent four days in a luxury hotel with about one staff member for every four guests, and at the end of that period they got a free hotel room to wash up and a free ride home. Yes, the plumbing and air conditioning didn’t work during those four days, and they couldn’t leave when they wanted to, but a lot of people are making it sound like some kind of fucking concentration camp. On the scale of real or potential human suffering this rates the world’s smallest fucking violin. You spend a few days in relative discomfort. Boo fucking hoo.

  79. 79
    shortstop says:

    @Gex: I would guess, pulling this number from my ass, of course, that it’s more like 75%. Cruising is perceived as a safe and sanitized way to visit “foreign” countries (and yes, I know some cruises/itineraries, such as expedition cruises for wildlife/nature lovers or theme cruises built around particular artistic interests, are far more sophisticated and culture-immersive than others; I’m speaking generally). Although there are lots of exceptions, mass-market cruising tends to attract people who want to be able to predict what they’ll eat, what their room will be like, who they’ll be traveling with and how they interact with locals. The audience skews heavily conservative.

  80. 80
    Cassidy says:

    @geg6: Oh I know. When I was looking for “contracting” work after I got off Active Duty, I applied to several companies that were getting into maritime security because of all the pirate mess. I did a lot of research. My favorite was how you can’t really carry a weapon as a “contractor” because territorial waters had different laws and some of those companies would finish a job in Johannesburg, for example, and you’d be stuck their until another job came in. That was just merchant travel. I looked into contracting for commercial travel as well and that was interesting.

  81. 81
    geg6 says:


    No, I’ve never been and never will. But I have plenty of friends and relatives who have and this is pretty much how they describe their experiences, even those who describe it that way like it’s a good thing. I’ll make my own travel plans and adventures, thank you very much. I guarantee mine are more fun.

  82. 82
    SatanicPanic says:

    I’ve shat in the woods many times before, but being stuck in a boat full of mine and 700 souls’ feces is a whole ‘nother story.

  83. 83
    Cassidy says:


    whole nothing story.

    Enjoying your phone, lol.

  84. 84
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: Sadly, I did that on a desktop.

    ETA- and I wasnt quick enough on the edit. Too early to be commenting today

  85. 85
    lol says:


    Why would you have your passport with you if you didn’t need it? Do you have your passport on you now?

  86. 86
    Gex says:

    @shortstop: I was just guessing based on partisan divide. If we were to describe the actual preferred policies of the people on that ship, they would believe in deregulation and tort reform for every business other than the cruise line industry. Because that’s how selfish children behave.

  87. 87
    Robin G. says:

    @magurakurin: That depends on the level of information that was being delivered to the passengers, which, given how badly everything was handled, I suspect wasn’t high. Were they told, or led to expect, that the plumbing would be fixed? Weren’t stewards attempting to clean out the toilets for a period of time? I’m not surprised that people didn’t immediately resort to carrying their shit in a newspaper out onto deck — and then, once it’s clear everything’s descended into Calcutta, but you’ll be getting off soon at least, what difference does one more bowel movement make, really? I think you’re expecting a little too much sensible thinking out of a group of confused, uninformed, leaderless people in a relatively short period of time.

  88. 88
    Gin & Tonic says:

    This is really funny. I just read that one of the charter buses Carnival hired to take people back to New Orleans broke down on the way.

  89. 89
    handsmile says:


    We know each other only through our comments here, of course, but I suspect you’d be demanding your money back from the box office after about 20 minutes.

    Though there is one extended sequence involving the actress Eva Mendes in which she’s kidnapped from a cemetery and then is willingly disrobed that does manage to hold one’s attention. And then there’s the simulated sex scene (another actress) with both participants garbed in body suits and sensors. Singer Kylie Minogue is featured in yet another sequence as an assassin.

  90. 90
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    LOL! Those passengers should have just tightened their belts, pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, and hung their asses over the rail and crapped in the sea like the red blooded American mariners of yore.

  91. 91
    Feudalism Now! says:

    Cruises can be great. They are not my bag, but I know many people who love them. I have not heard anyone who loves Carnival. Cruise lines are perfect examples of regulation light industry, redundancy and contingency are expensive, arbitration clauses and rebooking are cheap. The reality is cruise ships will break down, they will be floating petri dishes of nasty viruses and poor sanitation, the endless turnover will make cleaning and maintainance impossible, so ships wil run until they breakdown or have an outbreak of norovirus.
    The industry is not safe at the price point/profit level it currently operates at. People still book cruises so there is no incentive to change. Changes to penalties for these mishaps will be the only motivator.

  92. 92
    Robin G. says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Is it not possible that there is, perhaps, on the scale of human suffering, something between a concentration camp and “the world’s smallest violin”? A small space with an enormous number of people and no sanitation is not a minor thing.

  93. 93
    Maude says:

    There were over 4,000 people aboard the ship. I doubt there is any way to dispose of waste on a ship like this.
    I’d like to know how many lifeboats they had on Triumph.

  94. 94
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Gin & Tonic: This story is starting to sound like a John Hughes movie

  95. 95
    skeeball says:

    This post would have been orders of magnitude better if the title had been stolen from David Foster Wallace’s fantastic essay about going on a cruise, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again”

  96. 96
    Cassidy says:

    @handsmile: I would just save myself the trouble and not go, lol. I don’t appreciate “art” the way artistic and artsy people do and I tend to assume that’s a lack of something on my part. So I just save myself the frustration and avoid anything that advertises itself as art. I know my limitations.

  97. 97
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    Irwin Allen would have mined gold from this one.

  98. 98
    Robin G. says:

    @Cassidy: Definitely poor planning on Carnival’s fault, which I’d argue contributed directly to the asshole problem. Anarchy develops pretty quickly among social animals once they’re in a stressful situation and sense no one is in charge or capable of fixing it. While it certainly seems that there were a number of true douchebags (probably about the same number you could expect in an average population breakdown), I think it’s unfair to use them to suggest that everyone was just being overly dramatic. In particular I’m curious anout the age range: a recently potty trained three year old, or a seventy-five year old without perfect bowel control, should they have the right to feel they were in a genuinely awful situation?

  99. 99
    Suzanne says:

    There is no excuse for basic sanitation systems not being functional except in a critical situation. A small fire is not a critical situation. The ship had E power, but the sanitation systems weren’t wired to it. That is a massive design FAIL. The amount of disease spread on that boat could end up being truly horrifying.

    Even if the damn toilets weren’t going to be functional, Carnival could have come up with something better than “crap in a bag and we’ll come get it and then prepare your sandwiches with our shitty hands because we can’t shower”.

  100. 100
    Jay C says:


    This is SO not what a cruise experience is about. I’m guessing you’ve never been, which is why you blast it so inaccurately.

    Sorry, dude: the negative aspects of cruise-shipping may nor be what the “experience” should be about, but all to often is. I think it’s a matter of taste: if, as shortstop says, one’s priorities are “…to be able to predict what they’ll eat, what their room will be like, who they’ll be traveling with and how they interact with locals.” (i.e., the standard American attitude), then a “big-box” cruise like Carnival is going to be A-OK: if you have (or want) other expectations? Well, there are other choices.

    Mrs. Jay used to work in advertising, one of her company’s clients being Windjammer Cruises: she (and, to my elation, me a couple times) used to use her discounts on the a lot back in the day. I recall those cruises as being some of most-fun times we have ever had. Our one experience on a Carnival ship? Not so much…

  101. 101
    Killjoy says:

    Why oh why does this never happen to a National Review cruise? I’d like to see how our Galtian betters handle such adversity compared to the 47% parasites that infest a typical Carnival cruise.

  102. 102
    Tokyokie says:

    @handsmile: I don’t think Holy Motors has made its way to this part of the world yet. But I’ll poke around and see whether I can find it. Thanks for the tip. It’s bound to be more interesting than the latest Die Hard, Fast & Furious or G.I. Joe sequel.

  103. 103
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @Gex: God I wished this happened during one of those National Review or any other Conservative themed cruises. I would have loved it it was a Rush to the Bahamas, or a Glenn Beck cruise.

  104. 104
    Tripod says:

    Poop deck.


  105. 105
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    Fresh water is provided on large vessels by salt water converters which are located in, wait for it, the engine room. If the salt water converter is knocked out then there’s nothing to pump. Navy ships are able to switch to using salt water for sinks, showers, and flushing the toilets in the event of a fresh water shortage, but those systems still rely on high capacity pumps to operate.

  106. 106
    shortstop says:

    @lol: Certainly! I never know when I’m going to want/need to flee the country.

    Seriously, though, my comment was more a cheap shot at the prevailing (not universal) mass-market cruising mentality. A not-long-ago work project led me to spend a certain amount of time talking to people who go on a lot of closed-loop U.S. cruises (beginning and ending in the U.S.). A major reason they gave for selecting this mode of travel was that they didn’t want to get a passport. Not wanting a passport is a pretty uniquely American point of view among travelers from across the globe. The attitude among many of the people I spoke with was the world didn’t have anything to offer them that they couldn’t get via. a cruise ship. Astounding.

  107. 107
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @handsmile: Thanks for mentioning this. I hadn’t seen anything about it. Sad news.

  108. 108
    lyford says:

    Sheesh. Use old technology. Rig a grating or netting over the side for the able-bodied, and let the very old/young/infirm use the limited indoor facilities.

    Poor planning aside, it sounds like a failure of the officers to be decisive early on, and a failure of the guests to adapt to a new reality.

  109. 109
    Cassidy says:

    @Robin G.: I get what you’re saying. That’s why I said “adult” passengers. Without knowing numbers, I’m removing the lederly and children from any kind of equation as they require special attention. I’m also willing to bet that 90% of the adults were doing what they needed to get by. It’s the ones that continued to shit in overflowing toilets and hoard food, etc. that I’m referring to. Unfortunately, it’s that small minority that can easily make the rest miserable.

  110. 110
    shortstop says:

    @Gex: Right you are! Taking it one step further, they would grumble about needing tort reform and deregulation for every other cruise passenger (keeping their own fares super low) and demand full legal recourse for the specific cruise they’re on!

  111. 111
    Mike in NC says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: Beat me to it. Was thinking of the Weekly Standard cruise to Alaska that brought the world Sarah Palin.

    Ocean cruises generally are boring, but river cruises are fantastic (for example, the Danube).

  112. 112
    Robin G. says:

    @Cassidy: I’m betting the rest would have been pretty miserable regardless, but, yeah, assholes have a way of making every situation exponentially worse. While this falls under the category of experiences I wouldn’t wish on anyone, like those above said, I’d make an exception for the NR cruise people. Critical asshole mass.

  113. 113
    Eric U. says:

    self-centered assholes and Republicans (but I repeat myself) are nature’s way of reducing the population when resources are tight. I see no other reason for them.

  114. 114
    Gex says:

    @Robin G.: Modern American life has made it such that many of us have no real conception of how difficult and terrible things can be when our systems go wrong. People die all the time underestimating the weather because they can’t imagine that something terrible can occur. Of course this guy thinks a ship full of people without all the usual support systems is no big deal. I’m pretty sure Americans who’ve been stuck on the tarmac on planes with poop running in the aisles would disagree.

    Even if it wasn’t all that bad yet on the boat and the situation is fine under those conditions, it’s okay until it isn’t. If that situation goes bad, it will go very bad and very fast. That’s why you take *this* situation seriously: the next reaction point coincides with a lot of death. Human crowding and poor sanitation is always a bad situation to be in.

  115. 115
    magurakurin says:


    Unfortunately, it’s that small minority that can easily make the rest miserable.

    Like I said, Republican base. How much you wanna bet those broken toilet shitters totalled 27% of the ship?

  116. 116
    Cassidy says:

    @magurakurin: I think that would be the divine fucking with us a tthat point.

  117. 117
    Maude says:

    There was a problem with high voltage on the ship before it sailed. It was to be resolved by 2/17/13. At the time she sailed, it was unresolved. It had to do with one of the generators.
    They did get some power back, including toilets forward, but aft was SOL.
    The Coast Guard dropped over 3,000 pound of supplied to the ship.
    I would be leery of passenger stories. First of all, some people love the spotlight and take center stage.
    Second of all, people make stuff up.

  118. 118
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    I’ve never understood why the fuck anybody would want to take a cruise in the first place. They just seem so shitty–even without actual shit spilling down the walls and such.

  119. 119
    rea says:

    @Robin G.: Not to mention the fact that the crew of the Santa Maria all got drunk and ran her aground on a reef off Hispanola. Chris had to go back to Europe in the Nina.

  120. 120
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    The attitude among many of the people I spoke with was the world didn’t have anything to offer them that they couldn’t get via. a cruise ship. Astounding.

    As I’ve mentioned in the past, during my tour of duty in Germany, most of the troops could not be bothered with being TOADs (Tourists on Active Duty, h/t Omnes) but instead planned, in great detail, their mid-tour leave back “in the world” while all of Europe lay before their feet to explore. Me, I couldn’t wait to visit London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Firenze, you name it. Go back to the States after Uncle Sugar paid your way to be living smack dab in the middle of Europe? Are you mad?

  121. 121
    JoyfulA says:

    I was on a Princess Alaska cruise; my mother-in-law paid for her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren to go so they would all be in the same place for once.

    I liked it, to my surprise. I read in bed much of the time, went to dinner with all my in-laws, ate my other meals when and where I chose, occasionally socialized with strangers in a lounge, toured Juneau in a bike ricksha and came across a demonstration of peace activists, and basically relaxed, with no housework. I ignored all the “entertainment,” discovered that all the other ports of call were full of transients (who spent summers in the Caribbean) selling diamonds and souvenirs, and learned that a jacket is necessary even on July 4 in Alaska. The nicest night was the first in a Vancouver hotel, where we gathered.

    I’d do it again, even pay myself, if Internet access was good and free and if the ship sailed from someplace I didn’t have to take a plane to, except my husband hated it.

  122. 122
    rea says:

    Carnival seems to be a company to avoid, considering, apart from the Triumph fiasco:

    (1) Costa Concordia was owned and operated by Carnival’s Italian subsidiary.

    (2) The same thing that happened to Carnival Triumph happened to Carnival Spendor in 2010, apparently without motivating Carnival to do anything to prevent a repetition.

  123. 123
    jonas says:

    Sure they don’t pay taxes, but on the upside, each boat is staffed with thousands of third-world laborers making a fraction of what American workers would and they don’t have to follow environmental rules, either.

    See? Give a little, get a little.

  124. 124

    Never, ever, ever. Not for free, not as a prize, not at gunpoint, not as the only way to evacuate the island. I am unable to fathom why anyone pays money for the experience of being imprisoned for days in a floating penitentiary.

    A sailing cruise on a twin-master around the Bahamas sounds fantastic. I’d even go for a chartered journey with a small group. These barely-legal nautical petri dishes, not at all. I’d rather take a week off and play in the tub with the bath toys, thanks. “Avast, maties, the norovirus pirates have mutinied! All hands on deck!” (fog horn noises)

  125. 125
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @Gin & Tonic:


    AAAAAND PIE. Dismissive fucking asshole, like all people who use that self-righteous fuckery. Get off my Internet.

  126. 126
    Elie says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I think that they are attractive vacation alternatives for the elderly and those who have a hard time with the energy required to travel from town to town and take in a lot of sites and experiences.

    I have no idea what proportion of their business is with the elderly, but that puts a specific concern on how they manage keeping them safe in evacuations or disease outbreaks. Some of these ships have over 4000 folks on them at a time!

    I agree, cruises of this nature are not an interest of mine, but our government should be watching these companies a bit closer. And may I add, they’ve had some bad events in warm and tropical waters. Imagine a cruise to Alaska that goes bad and you have sub zero water and air temperature.

    There are many technical issues around the design of these things and the engineering and management prosesses for handling ships with several thousand people of varying degress of physical capabilities… I don’t think that they have thought through the implications of the size of these ships and the nature of where they will be cruising —

  127. 127
    lol says:

    I did a week long cruise to Bermuda a couple years ago on Norwegian. It was a blast. Didn’t pre-purchase any activities. We got off the boat, hopped on a ferry to the other side of the island and had beaches all to ourselves.

  128. 128
    shortstop says:

    @jonas: It would help if the Republican caucus weren’t dead set against the U.S. signing UNCLOS.

    @rea: In addition to Costa, Carnival Corp. owns Holland America, Princess, P&O, AIDA, Ibero and even luxury lines like Cunard and Seabourn. They control about half the world cruise market.

  129. 129
    Elie says:

    There are also smaller cruises of all types — the Turkish Gulets are an example — no more than eight people…

    Its not the cruise per se, but the scale and the needs brought on by having so many folks on board.

  130. 130
    burnspbesq says:

    Mainstream reporting about taxes is nearly always absurdly over-simplified, and the linked article is no exception.

    The rules about taxation of international shipping income have hardly changed at all since the 1920s. At that time, all of the major industrialized countries wanted to subsidize their shipping industries because they were considered strategically important, so a consensus was arrived at, that assigned primary jurisdiction to tax to the residence country.

    There is no doubt that Carnival is managed and controlled in the United States. Under a large number of our major trading partners’ tax laws, Carnival would be treated as resident in the United States. However, the U.S. has a bright-line residence rule based on the jurisdiction of incorporation, and the top company in the Carnival structure is Panamanian.

    That does not mean that Carnival doesn’t pay any U.S. tax, however. A wide range of shoreside services that are important value drivers are performed for the non-U.S. ship-operating companies by captive service providers in the U.S, and U.S. tax law requires that those companies charge fees that can be shown to be market-driven. If you look at Carnival’s SECfilings, you’ll see that it pays a buttload of U.S. tax.

  131. 131
    Beauzeaux says:

    Samuel Johnson never said such a thing. The original observation was on traveling by ship and it was made by none other than Winston Churchill.

    I’ve been on a number of cruises. NEVER on Carnival or any of the other water-borne amusement parks. They’re all about gluttony and drunkeness. Traveling around Tahiti on a small ship is lovely.

  132. 132
    Xenos says:

    @Elie: Too big to be sued. Passengers will have to be satisfied with a trebuchet-load of feces launched at the parking lot outside of their next board meeting. Revenge, not justice, but it is something.

  133. 133
    burnspbesq says:

    ETA: Even now, the Code is pretty friendly to U.S. shipowners and operators. They can choose to pay income tax computed under the normal U.S. corporate income tax rules, or to pay under a special “tonnage tax” regime that operates pretty much the way it sounds like it would operate.

    Shipping companies have a long history of acrimonious disputes with the IRS, because the IRS’ supposed “expert” on the shipping industry was an unprincipled maniac (and yes, I thought that when I worked with the guy in the 1990s).

  134. 134
    handsmile says:


    Perhaps more germane to what’s being reported on this particular entity of Carnival Corporation Plc, that should be a “shit-load of U.S. tax.”

  135. 135
    Maude says:

    The passengers signed when they got their tickets the limitations of responsibility by Carnival. I forgot to mention that last evening. People don’t read the fine print.

  136. 136
    wasabi gasp says:

    I went on a cruise just over a decade ago and I enjoyed it. We hit a bunch of islands that would have been otherwise impossible to see in such a short span of time. No limitations were placed on what can be done while at port.

    There’s plenty to do aboard, but I mostly regarded the ship as a floating hotel. My cabin had a terrace and one of my favorite on-ship activities was playing guitar and smoking doobs out there while the sun set.

    I also met a smoking hottie aboard who lived relatively nearby. After the cruise, we spent a couple of weeks together rubbing off each others sunburns.

    Good times. I’d do it again.

  137. 137
    Cassidy says:

    @wasabi gasp: So was this an all inclusive cruise or did you have to pay extra for that?

  138. 138
    wasabi gasp says:

    @Cassidy: Doobs were part of the package.

  139. 139
    Xenos says:

    @Maude: Unless the passengers have been to law school they will not understand what it means to have jurisdiction established in Florida. And why it is unfair when a Washington resident buys a ticket to a cruise out of LA. And boy is it not interesting that the vaguaries of contract law in Florida leave them with little ability to recover. What a surprise.

    What was the name of the case that proves the cruise company can make this stick? Oh, it is Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. v. Shute 499 U.S. 585, 111 S. Ct. 1522, 113 L. Ed. 2d 622 (1991). What a fucking coîncidence!

  140. 140
    Cassidy says:

    @wasabi gasp: My trip to Jamaica started with the young men at the resort asking if we needed some pot.

  141. 141
    umyeah says:

    There is a reason it is called the poop deck…

  142. 142
    wasabi gasp says:

    @Cassidy: I forget which island I got the weed, but remember it being easier than finding the guitar.

  143. 143

    Well, I heard Carnival keeps sweetening the deal. It started out as a refund or a voucher, but here’s what they’re getting now:

    The government is investigating the engine-room fire. Carnival, which has suspended the Triumph through mid-April, will give $500 to each passenger from the Triumph, plus reimbursement for the cruise and a free future cruise. Carnival also said Friday that passengers will be reimbursed for what they bought on the ship, not counting artwork and purchases in the casino and gift shop.

    In light of the fact that one of the buses out of Alabama carrying people to New Orleans broke down, I’d say they’re likely to throw in some hookers and blow.

  144. 144

    I’m in goddamn moderation

    Jesus christ I hate that.

  145. 145
    JR says:

    First, good cruises are fun. Carnival is not in the business of good cruises, but of discount ones. They’re regularly hundreds of dollars cheaper than their competitors. Having been on one, it shows.

    Second, I think mistermix is underestimating the passengers’ position here. They might not get certified as a class, but in some sense Carnival will probably be better off dealing with them as though they are. It’s already going to lose huge sums on cancellations, people booking with more reliable cruise lines, and the dozen or so voyages the Triumph can’t take now. They really don’t want to extend the negative publicity for any longer than necessary. It’s probably going to be cheaper to give all the passengers a few thousand apiece than to fight this out for the next two to five years, garnering new stories on the evening news every time there’s a hearing.

    The people most likely to be screwed in this are the employees. There’s around 1000-2000 Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, and Malay workers making a fraction of minimum wage who just spent the week shoveling shit with no a/c and (literally) crappy food and water. Their working conditions went from annoying to disgusting because of Carnival’s negligence, and yet they probably have zero chance of recovery.

  146. 146
    PJ says:

    @handsmile: You didn’t ask for my opinion, but I’ll add it because I’m generous like that:
    I really liked Holy Motors, mostly because it was unpredictable and had a wild spirit, but also because it made me think about the roles we play in life, and how we treat other people, and what we owe them, and what it takes to make real connections. I have no idea what the director intended – maybe he just had these ideas for set pieces and decided to use Denis Lavant and the limo to string them together – but it made a much deeper impression on me than 98% of recent movies I’ve seen. (I try to avoid seeing crappy movies, but most of the ones that get highly praised, e.g., Django Unchained, usually fall into the “ok” or maybe “pretty good” category for me.)

  147. 147
    mainmati says:

    @Xenos: Dry composting toilets are cheap, work very well, produce (eventually) a usable product (compost) and use next to no water. In those places that will be hit very hard by climate change, this will be part of their climate adapted future.

  148. 148
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Cassidy: I’ve been on a Disney cruise in the Caribbean without taking any children, and it was loads of fun. They have areas set aside for adults only, but I never saw kids being bratty.

    One thing, I think there were about a third of the passengers on that cruise and at every meal you were expected to sanitize your hands. The crew enforced it as people lined up to enter the dining hall. We had a little boy at our assigned table who was adorable and the kids at the other tables behaved decently. I’m not sure why, but I never saw a past-naptime/over-stimulated meltdown. The food was good, the crew was very attentive, and there were all sorts of entertainment on board.

    Our daughter was a cast member, which is why we went. This gave me the fantods, she “flew” from the top stack across and down to the deck:

    One of the most vivid memories was going up to the top deck at midnight and seeing lightning flashes on the horizon, 360 degrees. That and getting caught in a terrific thunderstorm while visiting the small island called Castaway Cay, and the tiny shelter getting hit by lightning while we were under it. Wow.

  149. 149
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: We were strong-armed into going on a Viking Princess (I think) cruise, again because the kids were entertainers aboard that one, and when we docked in Catalina we met a bunch of people from the Carnival cruise that was docked next to ours. They grilled us about food, how many launches to get back and forth, price, and more, and by the time we were done they were furious about what they were not getting for a nearly identical price. Ours was slightly cheaper because it was booked with a large group, but we knew the regular price was just about the same as theirs.

    That was the easy way of learning to avoid Carnival, even though I have no desire to go on another cruise. I feel sorry for these people, really.

  150. 150
    DavidTC says:

    Ah, cruise ships. It’s like spending a week in a really nice hotel, except you can’t leave whenever you want, it isn’t near anything you want to go to and even if you do want to go there, you can only spend a day there, and the food is a week old. Oh, and the risk of seasickness, even for people who think they don’t get seasick. (Being on a boat for a few hours where you can see the water is not the same as trying to sleep indoors on a massive rocking ship.)

    Cruises appear to be about $120 a day. For that price, just book one of the off-strip Vegas hotels for a week and see a show or two while you’re there. Or go to Orlando, get a week-long pass to Disneyworld and all their stuff. Or go to ComicCon. Or whatever.

    Hell, just _fly to one of those islands_ that cruises take you to. I assure you, the lodging there are much cheaper than on the cruise.

    ‘Stuck on a boat for a week, visiting two foreign countries for six hours each’ is almost surreal vacation idea.

    And that’s if everything _works_, which, as has _repeatedly_ been demonstrated, it does not. Also, people don’t realize the really high crime rate on cruise ships.

  151. 151
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Gex: On the Disney cruise I was in the hot tub one evening with my daughter and three women in their late 30s joined us and immediately started carping about how unChristian Hollywood is, blathering on and on about it, until my daughter left (in a snit I found out later). I was as fascinated as I was offended. All three were home-schoolers from Oregon, and their hatred of all things SoCal, especially Hollywood, was almost hilarious: they were wrong about 70% of it.

    Finally one of them made Disneyland the exception for visiting Hollywood. I couldn’t keep still any longer and explained that Disneyland isn’t in Hollywood, that Hollywood isn’t even a city, and that Disneyland is in a different county. Their expressions were interesting, as if they had their shields up and couldn’t hear a word I said.

    I left soon after that.

  152. 152
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    When we thought about taking a cruise one time I looked into the ship size and number of people (passengers and crew) on the ship. We live in a town of about 6,000 people and the thought of most of our town on a ship just over 800 feet long for a week long cruise?

    Fuck that static. If shit goes wrong I want the ability to walk away from it.

    Walk, not swim.

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