You know how we walk around a zoo feeling safe knowing the animals are not going to attack us? Well, that is the feeling I get when traveling on a cruise abroad. One gets just enough time to observe the people, buildings, and culture of another country without time for much interaction.
Just enough time for a bus tour or a single activity. Some people don’t even try the local food for there is plenty of food on the cruise. There is plenty of time for selfies and photo ops to later share on your personal blog. Stay the night? No way! There is plenty to do on board. Vegas and Hollywood style entertainment and dining options fill up the list of activities printed daily and delivered to your cabin.
No starry nights at enchanting cafes listening to conversations without understanding a word. No sharing a smile with a stranger. No moonlight serenades on foreign soil or carriage rides flanked by dimmed yellow street lights. No time for wandering in markets and no time to meet locals and engage in conversation. No time to sit for hours sipping coffee and people watching. No time for an adventurous detour. But with plenty of opportunities to spend money and shop, shop, shop on board a bright and shiny cruise.
Trapped. Boxed inside luxury buses and cruise ships with guides who speak our language. Why don’t these people learn English? I’ve heard fellow travelers ask.
Cruises are a great place to disconnect and relax, I thought until I noticed passengers glued to their cell phones just like in the mainland. An expensive option too and one I am willing to spare. Cruises are certainly fun and comfortable, but in my humble opinion, they are designed for tourists and not travelers. They are becoming increasingly popular because, in some way, they are like our smartphones; they distract us from reality. Deep, deep down inside, we don’t care about experiencing other cultures, it is too complicated and takes too much effort. All we desire is to share photos on social media and zoo our way around from our comfortable floating castle.
Even if on a cruise, go out there and explore and meet the locals. Save money and avoid bus tours. Photos were taken during a cruise in January of 2018.