Monday, April 14, 2008

A Liberal on a Luxury Cruise



Sailing out of Sydney Harbour, past the Sydney Opera House - this is shot from the balcony of my stateroom. It was midnight when we left. I was hosting a segment of the World Cruise on Crystal Serenity, and I was a liberal among conservatives.

The Sydney Opera House is one of my favorite buildings. On the cruise, I started a series of watercolors with the Opera House as my subject, and now that I am home I've actually gotten serious about my paintings. When I finish, I will photograph them and put them up on Flikr, or Picassa, or something - but right now, I am just doing them. But this image, taken at night, without a tripod, while on a moving ship - well, it has the energy I wanted.

The cruise segment was 17 days, with five ports and 12 days at sea. Those were my favorite days, the sea days. Those were the days for relaxation, reflextion, Yoga, painting, spa, pool, walking. However. I went to the library one day, after I'd finished my book (No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy). They had every book that Ann Coulter has written - they had books by every current neo-conservative author, nothing by any liberal, and the fiction was all Clive Cussler genre. Yikes. The travel books were decent, but I'd read them all, so I sort of backed out slowly...

It was a funny experience for me. I met lovely people, as long as the topic of conversation was superficial - clothes, food, the cruise, men, dancing, the casino. One woman discovered I was a Democrat and she said she would have to reconsider being friendly (until we all decided to chip in on the last day's bingo game. We won the grand prize. She liked me again, thought I was lucky.)(I was lucky. I won big bucks in the casino at Black Jack, Craps, and, yes, even Roulette.) But greed is a strange and powerful motivator. And greedy people tend to be suspicious of others. I spent a lot of time just observing others.

I also found that people who cruise don't really want to get to know a destination in depth. They want convenience over anything else. I prefer land travel, when all is said and done. I want to break bread with local people, to hear about their day, to experience their culture. Do I dislike cruises? Not at all - but I'd just be happy to use a cruise as a means of transportation - I love sea days - I love being afloat on the ocean with nothing but water and the open sky around - the power of the sea is mesmerizing, and it makes my heart sing.

4 comments:

betmo said...

i have taken one cruise and i don't like them. i feel trapped. i don't like tourist traps which is all the ports of call were- and i don't dance, gamble or sing karioke. we went with his family on an extended family cruise. sigh. i also prefer to get to know a locale- what the locals eat or do for entertainment- or just to chat about life and what we share as fellow humans with different cultures. i am not big into convenience vacations. i have that at home.

The Future Was Yesterday said...

"I also found that people who cruise don't really want to get to know a destination in depth. They want convenience over anything else. "
It isn't just cruises. While on a trip thru some rugged, beautiful mountain terrain, I heard this disgruntled adult voice behind me: "I bet there isn't an Arby's within a hundred miles of here!"
Oh....My.....Gawd!

robin andrea said...

Interesting observations about life on cruise ships. I think it might be way more fun if the cruise were thematic, like the one Air America did recently. Standard cruise-line cruises actually don't interest me because the kind of people it attracts are the ones that were on the ship with you. It's a giant floating right-wing hotel. Like Orange County at sea.

I'm looking forward to seeing your paintings.

enigma4ever said...

well....here is the thing...I have not had any vacations in many many years....not one...ANY vacation sounds wonderful...a boat..a rowboat or a Cruise....soooo magical...I watch all the travel shows, the GlobeTrekker show, and the travel channel...

I am on a NO FUCKING FLY list I KNOW it will be a Long time before I ever travel so for me blogs that post about wonderful things like a Cruise, or beautiful photos, I can go there in my mind , hear the waters, see the Magic....

So Dear friend I say thank you please do share...namaste...

( PS. I know when we have Regime Change there is Hope for me....I am a decent person and should not be on such a List.....84,000 People are on the stupid list....maybe we can all have a Cruise one day ;-)