I am not a fan of cruises.
I was not a fan before taking a cruise, when I let my prejudices inform me. A cruise experience did not improve my opinion.
My children gave me a cruise as a birthday present. That sounds very generous; it was not. If I wanted to be magnanimous, I would say that they were well-meaning. If I wanted to be doubtful, I would say that they wanted to go on a cruise. If I wanted to be less charitable, I could compare this gift to receiving a telefax from someone in Nigeria offering to make me rich.
I live in Germany; the cruise departed from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. It lasted for four days and three nights, with stops at Key West and Cozumel, Mexico. This post is about the gift. Someday, I will moan about the cruise itself.
Remember that I wrote above that the gift was the cruise? To enjoy that gift, I had to get to Florida. You don’t fly to the US, take a four-day cruise, and fly back. You spend some time before and after. You stay at hotels or motels. You must rent a car (ever try public transportation in the US?). You must eat. You cannot avoid trips to malls, where you are compelled to “save money” on all the bargains. A trip to Disneyworld is probably required, since you’re so close. And, of course, you must take your wife along.
I have not done the math, but I guess that my birthday present cost me about 20 times the cost of the value of the cruise package. Overall, we had a nice family trip, but I learned some lessons.
There is a saying about looking a gift horse in the mouth. There is another one about knowledge gained from the kick of a mule!