12 Reasons Why Cruises Are Terrible Vacations

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In my whole life, no one who has returned from a cruise has ever told me an interesting story about their trip. According to David Foster Wallace, in his book A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, on a cruise, “Your troublesome capacities for choice, error, regret, dissatisfaction, and despair will be removed” and absent those, without the possibility of failure, real fun is impossible.

While I’ve listed a ton of unexpectedly awful things that can happen on a cruise, there are no corresponding unexpectedly awesome things. Best-case-scenario is that everything goes as planned and you have a bland week full of the kind of weak-ass hedonism where you say things like, “I can’t believe how much shrimp I ate at the buffet!” You can’t decided to spend another day in Puerto Vallarta because you met a local in a bar. You can’t decide you’d rather camp than stay in a hotel. You’re not going to discover a little off-the-beaten-path restaurant. You’re going to do what Carnival Cruise Line has determined their target market will enjoy. And that, in a word, sucks.


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