Posted: 06/14/2012 | June 14th, 2012

A lot of people hate cruises. “Oversized boats filled with oversized people.” There’s a particular disdain for them among backpackers and other “real” travelers. “Cruises aren’t travel,” people say. “You don’t get to experience the local culture. You don’t get to explore the places you visit. You’re shuttled from place to place in pre-fabricated trips in enormous groups.” Cruises are considered fake travel for people who want to pretend they’re traveling some place without having to do any actual traveling.

I’ve been on three cruises my entire life. The first was when I was 16 and went with my family around the Caribbean. I remember going to Cozumel, Mexico, and sneaking off to drink Kahlúa on the beach. (Sorry, mother and Dad. I guess you had to find out sometime!)

The next cruise was a Dave Matthews cruise with some pals (I’m a substantial Dave Matthews fan). It was three days to the Bahamas and watching Dave Matthews Band play on a boat. It was epic.

My last cruise was five years ago. I went with my family up the inside passage of Alaska. It was beautiful seeing glaciers, and I even got to see killer whales chase, kill, and eat a porpoise. The whole trip was a lot of fun.

I love cruises for the same reason that everyone else hates them: because cruises are not travel.

A cruise is an adult playground on the sea. It’s like Las vegas except on water. It’s a huge buffet, pool, random activities, tall glasses of fruity drinks, and sheer gluttony. It’s bacchanalian fun.

A cruise is a vacation.

To me, the definition of travel is going out, exploring, and learning about the world and the cultures that inhabit it. It’s about discovery. A vacation, on the other hand, is simply a break from day-to-day life where you can unwind and not do anything.

And I think that distinction is typically missed by the cruise haters. getting away from home doesn’t always have to be about exploring unknown lands, trekking through primordial forest, or navigating the bus system of Calcutta. No, in some cases all you want to do is relax. You don’t want to deal with anything or plan anything. You want a break. You want to shut your mind off for a bit.

If you view a cruise as travel, you’re going to be disappointed. If you view it as a vacation, then I think it’s simpler to accept the Disney-like atmosphere of it all.

After all, all travel serves a purpose.

So, next week, I’ll be going on a royal Caribbean cruise with my pal Jason, my objective being to just sit by the pool, cocktail in hand, and work on my tan. I plan to acquire 10 pounds at the buffet and then work it off at the gym. I’m going to mini-golf on a boat and sleep late. I’m going to keep my computer closed.

Me voy de vacaciones.

And I’m really looking forward to it. I could use a break. I’m a bit burnt out. between three conferences in the last month, my final book edits, traveling back and forth from Asia, a trip in Japan, running this website, and just trying to live life, I’m frazzled.

A lot of people think travel and what I do is a 24/7 vacation. No es. It takes work trying to figure out your way around the world. It’s fun work — but it’s still work. throw in running a company on top of that, and you find yourself running nonstop from dawn until the wee hours of the morning. It drains you, especially when you do it 365 days per year.

So, exhausted and exhausted, I’m going on getaway to recharge my batteries.

I’ll admit that it’s been a long time because I’ve been on a cruise. No tengo idea de que esperar. I’ve never been an adult on a normal cruise just trying to unwind and be a “tourist.” This is new territory for me.

I may hate it. I already know that I’m not looking forward to the land excursions. I hate those things. I see them around Europe, and it’s just a large mass of people. try seeing the Acropolis in Athens when 937,439,282,349 trip groups from the cruise ship are also there. It’s aggravating. I plan to make my own ship excursions.

Moreover, I’m going on the largest boat in the world — the Oasis of the Seas — and I may find that to be just too large and too overwhelming. ¿quién puede decir? All I know best now is that I’m giddy with excitement about my vacation.

But I’m not going to pretend that a cruise is anything much more than it really is: a vacation. It’s a week where your mind can shut down, someone else can plan your life, and your only issue is what time the buffet starts.

Because we all need a getaway sometimes.

So that is why this intrepid nomad is taking a cruise — and who knows, I may even delight in myself.

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