As Josh and I make the long drive back from our cruise this past week, we can’t help but laugh, and possibly even poke a little fun at some of the individuals we encountered. If nothing else, cruises are the best place to people watch. There are some interesting folks out there, but vacationing, and cruising specifically, brings out a whole new crowd. I, myself have been on six different cruises, and Josh three, so we feel pretty confident with this group of people we wanted to identify for you, to maybe bring you a little laugh as you find them, or maybe realize you are one of them, on your next cruising experience.
1. The Guy Who is Really into Himself: this guy lives by the pool, he’s wearing shades and too small swim wear (hopefully of the trunk variety). He usually has a small gang of friends, maybe they accompanied him or maybe they met over their first beer at the pool bar, but for some reason this group also thinks that by being with this guy, they too are cool. He is the go-to volunteer for the poolside games and his gang is there cheering him on and cackling together at the poolside bar. You don’t see much of him when the pool is closed, but comes out for the 70’s dance party with some serious hip shaking. He still is wearing shades.
2. The Seasoned Cruise Couple: this is usually a middle aged couple, they are probably gold members and they are fast friends with any cruise staff member, learning the names and backgrounds of their room attendant and evening dining wait staff. If you sit too close they are sure to eagerly ask, “so is this your first time cruising?” If so, they will tell you all you ever didn’t care to know about the cruises they’ve been on and have planned for the remainder of the year and the destination you just HAVE to go on for your next cruise. They will ask your name and maybe even your cabin number. Suddenly you’ll start seeing them everywhere, which, if you like that kind of thing, can be nice to see a familiar face around. If not, it will feel like you can’t shake loose of them and they always have the last two seats in the lounge left beside them. Now that afternoon trivia doesn’t sound as interesting as it did before, does it?
3. The Cliche Tourist: you can identify this group by their gear- hat, tote bag, t-shirt, and lanyard all either from the cruise ship gift shop sporting the cruise line name or from the shop right at the end of the pier at your ports of call. During excursion tours they have trouble following directions because they are taking lots and lots of pictures of their family members with the cruise ship in the background, that giant frog statue with the sombrero, the funny mask in the gift shop, that tree, that interesting building, on that bench, and so on. And it’s not just one family or group member, it’s each member with each of the things. They always look like they are having a great time, even though the tour guide stated to stay seated on the boat/trolley/bus and that there should be no flash photography or videoing.
4. The Volunteer: this guy or gal is at every name that tune, couples contest, trivia, minute to win it, that the cruise activities directors (ehem, adult camp counselors) have to offer. They don’t embarrass easily and they have a drawer full of cruise keychains and highlighters at home as proof of their winnings. Their spouse is usually nearby with their phone out videoing and giving many thumbs-ups. Every once in a while they can talk the spouse into joining them.
5. The Undiscovered Karaoke Star: this person brings the house down with their first couple of numbers that first night. Yes, we agree, they’re talented, but then Karaoke starts to become the solo concert that they longed for and never achieved. They’re at Karaoke every night, they don’t need to look at the words on the screen, and they sign up for another song after every other person. Come on, we want to see the drunken college kid singing, “I’ve got friends in low places” too!
6. The “Girl’s Trip” Gang: these ladies are just flat out sloshed the majority of the cruise. You’ll find them in a cluster cackling away, totally unaware of anyone around them. During evening shows they’re the ones screaming for the performers and trying to get everyone else to participate in a wave or slow clap. When they get back on the boat from they’re excursion they’re pretty sunburned, maybe they have some new tight braids with beads in their hair, and usually a tall plastic cup with an umbrella that contained some kind of alcohol. They’re still trying to slurp the remnants up from the bottom.
7. The Retired Permanent Cruiser: you usually first come across this individual if you attend Bingo or MASH trivia hour. They have they’re own dobber at Bingo and they already know all of the answers to trivia. You learn their identity when the cruise staff knows them by name or says, “you know how to play this don’t you? You were with us last week!” Either they’ve been riding this same cruise ship for a while now or they’ve returned every couple of weeks with a different group of friends or family. Maybe they ride an electric scooter around the ship or maybe they hog the good couch in the centrum that always has the best view of whatever activity is going on.
8. The Wish-There-Was-Still-Upper-Class Classless Cruiser: you will hear these individuals bragging at breakfast of their winnings in the Casino the night before, they take the formal night VERY seriously, they probably took a picture with the captain and maybe even ate at his table (everyone has the option too, but they will act like it was their secret priveledge). They’re rude to cruise staff members, expecting to be served in an unobtainable manner in which they’re never satisfied, and rude to anyone else that’s slightly in their way. They wear ugly designer sunglasses and have probably purchased art or a fancy watch on a cruise before.
9. The Buffet Browser: Often they’re holding an ice-cream cone. Their whole cruise experience is seemingly focused around the all-you-can-eat dining. You’ll see them in the fancy dining room for supper and then again with a new plate of food at the Windjammer buffet. Maybe they like to eat a lot, maybe they like to try new foods, maybe they don’t like any of the food so they just keep going back for more trying to find something good. You may have had plans to go the gym every morning, always take the stairs, or do a few laps each day around the deck 5 walking track, but this WILL be you at some point!
10. The Self-Righteous Young People Watchers: they usually keep to themselves and often laugh at their own inside jokes. They attend many of the scheduled events on the “Days At Sea”, but mostly just as onlookers and not participators. They don’t buy any of the “professional photographs” because they end up looking stupid or take part in any of the “flash 50% off diamond/art sales.” They’ll make friendly conversation if someone else has initiated it. They will kindly offer to take a group picture for you or pick up and return something that you may have dropped. They take lots of naps and are sometimes found playing a board game in one of the lounge areas. They’re us, if you haven’t figured that out!
I myself have been in a few of these different categories on different cruises, so unless you are the Classless Cruiser, don’t take offense, it’s all in good fun, which is why people go on cruises- to have fun! Sometimes I’m the Seasoned Cruiser and like to share my cruising experiences, which I will soon do in another post to come! I hope you all are having a wonderful Monday!