All Aboard the U.S.S. Las Vegas!
January 1, 2012 11:17 PM   Subscribe

I’m going to be going on a cruise next year with my parents (at their request and expense). Not to sound like a little brat, but I’m a bit nervous that I’m going to be trapped on the U.S.S. Las Vegas when that is NOT my scene. Help?

I’ve looked at the ship we’re going to be taking and, while we’ll be actually on the thing, it seems like the only things to do are to drink drink drink, get a massage, go the casino on board, karaoke, “sports activities”, go to the night club, go the video arcade, go shopping, or do yoga/pilates. Most of which, even if I am interested (massage and yoga only, pretty much), seems to cost a fair bit of money to take part in.
In fact, it seems like this whole excursion is someone painting a big fat red target on my wallet.

The only other few things I can see myself doing are using the library, visiting the art gallery, using the fitness center, and lounging around in a bikini (probably while reading).
However, my parents have asked me and my brother to “get out of the room and take advantage of the ship”, which I’ve no doubt includes not reading for 6 to 8 hours straight…

Side notes: I’m 23. Not young enough to hang in the number of youth or teen lounges they have scattered about, but not old enough to feel included in….shall we just sum it up with “BINGO” (which is also actually on the ship)? I love chatting with all sorts of people (except for children – reeeally not a fan), but it’s very likely going to be a bunch of very old people, families with little tykes, and spring break party kids.

(And before you call me a non-social sourpuss and that I need to broaden my horizons, do understand that I have a healthy social life without doing about 95% of the money-spending things in that list with my friends. I’m just not comfortable playing sports, singing karaoke, or going to night clubs. I’ve attempted 1 and 3, haven’t enjoyed it at all, and don’t plan to try my hand at 2. I’d sooner skydive, which is one of my greatest fears. Heh.)

By the way, I'm doing this as a "last family vacay" thing for my parents. It'll mean a lot to them and they'd like to know/see me having fun. And I really DO want to have fun, but again, not my scene.
I know I'll have fun on the excursions, in any case but yeah.....*sigh*

So, yeah, a little advice would be appreciated. Have you gone on a cruise when you are not a "cruiser" and how did you survive?
Can I still have fun when I'm not going to spend money, or am I screwed?
posted by DisreputableDog to Travel & Transportation (45 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What's wrong with lounging around and reading and whatnot? Will your parents be enforcing your participation in other activities or is that more of an encouragement so you will if you want to?
posted by schroedinger at 11:53 PM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

I've been on a few family cruises and from the sounds of it we have similar tastes.

You don't say where you are going or for how long, but relax and as long as you get along alright with your family it should be a good time. When you are on board hang out by the pool, read your books, enjoy the (probably excellent) food. Eat at the formalish dining room. You'll often be seated with different strangers every night and the conversations can be pretty interesting. Get off the boat when in port, visit scenic towns along the Mediterranean (or wherever), usually there are relatively few days spent at sea. Challenge your dad to a game of ping-pong or a family scrabble game.

All bets are off if it's 2+ weeks long though, after week two it starts to feel like a play by Sartre.
posted by pseudonick at 12:00 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, you just sign for all that stuff and it gets billed to the room, which it sounds like your parents will be just fine with. Unless you're going to Alaska there will probably be other 23 year olds; it's not all just kids and parents. And you know why old people like Bingo? It's cheap! Have a sazerac and play a card for a buck or a quarter or whatever. Tell your parents you met a nice 83 year old millionaire and he asked you to marry him. Shoot some skeet. Lay around in a bikini and read. There, that's like three days solid already.
posted by rhizome at 12:00 AM on January 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

Food is all-inclusive on cruise ships, and there are usually like four different restaurants, so if you like eating, you can do that all you want pretty much.

The last cruise ship I was on had a lovely library-styled room, where I happily did plenty of reading. "Lounging" is honestly the main activity while the ship is at sea. That and eating. So just rotate between the various themed lounging areas as the week goes on.
posted by silby at 12:01 AM on January 2, 2012

Although it's superficially going to confirm your fears about this, I think if you read between the lines of David Foster Wallace's essay "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" (dubious link), you'll find the litany of First World Problems he identifies to actually be comprised of pretty tolerable stuff: super comfy towels, super comfy deck chairs, getting his butt whipped at chess by some little kid, etc., etc. He does a great job rattling the gilded cage, but it's usually hard to read the details (and he gives a ton of details) as anything less than fairly nice.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 12:02 AM on January 2, 2012 [7 favorites]

This happened to a friend of mine. He managed to keep himself distracted by bringing lots of books and making good use of the (outrageously expensive) wifi on board. Also the places they actually stopped at were apparently very nice and worth seeing.
posted by anaximander at 12:08 AM on January 2, 2012

Bingo is actually incredibly fun, you should try it!
posted by fshgrl at 12:10 AM on January 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

Extreme people watching. Bring a journal and record all the interesting (read: weird) people you are likely to come across while on the boat and challenge yourself to cultivate some kind of hysterical mystery or story for each of them.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 12:17 AM on January 2, 2012 [6 favorites]

We took a transatlantic cruise once just to see what it was like.

Conclusion A: Yeah, it's mostly old people

Conclusion B: some old people turn out to be really fucking interesting people
posted by ook at 1:00 AM on January 2, 2012 [26 favorites]

Bingo is actually incredibly fun, you should try it!

Agree, but know that some of those folks take BINGO very competitively.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:00 AM on January 2, 2012

If this is not your scene, try viewing it as an anthropological study. Bring a journal, try everything, take notes!
posted by DarlingBri at 1:03 AM on January 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Rejoice in being a brat, it won't last much longer than 30. The young ladies I've observed on cruise ships seem to have no trouble finding interesting young men on board (especially crew officers, though these are generally under strict instructions to entertain without compromising anyone, which should be good for you, right?). If you look past the image you've painted---I'm sure you're being humorous--- of someone sucking their thumb within the confines of their cabin, you may find that cruise ships exist for the sole purpose of finding something interesting for all classes of people to enjoy. Give them a chance, they might surprise you.
posted by alonsoquijano at 1:19 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

After seven cruises I can honestly say that I've found at least one significant totally unexpected fun experience on each of them. Once your voyage is over, you'll likely never see your fellow passengers and crew again. This makes for a great chance to try some things that you'd never do otherwise.

Among the things that I never anticipated enjoying were listening and talking with a member of The Temptations recount the glory days of the group, learning quite a bit about life in Macedonia from a young female bartender, a tour of the ship's bridge, a Segway tour in Nassau, playing Shuffleboard, learning about a ship's artwork, and sing-a-longs at a piano bar (since I never sing).

Give it a fair chance, because you never know!
posted by imjustsaying at 2:15 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

My mom dragged my dad on a cruise a few years ago. He hadn't had a proper vacation in years. When I asked him if he was excited, he got this pained expression on his face. This was not his idea of a good time, I could tell. "Not really my thing" he mumbled. Anyway, he didn't shut up about the damn cruise for about a month after they returned. He had a blast, saw new places, ate tons of delicious food, met lots of interesting people, and most importantly, he relaxed and enjoyed not being at work.

Drop the too cool for school attitude and go have some fun!
posted by futureisunwritten at 4:02 AM on January 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

I was also "dragged" on a cruise ship by my family in my twenties. I had my doubts. I fancied myself a "roughing it" world-traveller, someone who could never enjoy the "mass appeal" of a cruise ship.

I, however, had an amazing time and would love to go back. The great thing about a cruise ship is that you make it what you want it to be. Want to relax and hang by the pool all day? Do it! Your parents will probably join you. Want to try some wine-tasting? Likely available on-board, with staff ready to teach you how it's done. Want to sip fruity drinks in the piano bar? Totally possible. Want to try kickboxing? Likely available at the gym. Want to ask the staff about the joys and perils of working on a cruise ship? They'll indulge you - and convince you it means a lot to them even though they miss their family (and they work crazy hours). Note: they'll also try to recruit you. Enjoy dressing up? Plenty of occasions to whip out your most stylish outfits. Basically: the only way you won't find an activity you like is if you're dead set on not enjoying yourself.

Choose your day excursions to suit your taste. Start researching them now. I'm sure many mefites could recommend activities in your various ports. Make sure you do an excursion with your parents. Have fun meeting people of all ages, from all over the world. Try to catch some of the shows. And enjoy the fine dining experience.
posted by Milau at 4:23 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's not that bad. I'm introverted to the extreme and still have enjoyed cruising. If you get overwhelmed by the noise/crowds/etc. in the public areas it's okay to retreat to your room for a while. Every ship has areas that are nice to hang out in and pretty much deserted when not "in use" (like a lounge during the day) if the pool/bar/bingo crowd gets too much for you or you need a break from the sun. Bring lots to read, enjoy the food. I have successfully cruised several times without once participating in the "activities" or socializing with strangers.
posted by Daily Alice at 4:26 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Chet Atkins reluctantly went on a cruise with his wife without a guitar. After several days he started to get itchy and on an early morning walk found someone on deck with a guitar and he asked if he could play it. After ripping it for a bit, he returned the instrument. The owner said, "you're good, but you're no Chet Atkins."
Your goal for this cruise: find Chet Atkins (or someone similar).
posted by plinth at 5:16 AM on January 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

Depending on what kind of cruise ship you're on, there may be dark spots - if so, you would have an excellent opportunity to do a bit of star-gazing without light pollution. Some cruises even bring along an astronomer to tell you what's what. (I have never taken a cruise but I do know astronomers who've done it.)

Relaxing by the pool with a book does count as taking advantage of the ship, especially if you go for a dip now and then.
posted by gingerest at 5:21 AM on January 2, 2012

I also enjoyed my first cruise way more than I thought I would. I hate nightclubs and crowds and thought I would be bored. I really found it super relaxing and very interesting. You can read by the pool, go for walks around the deck, go to the gym, talk to the crew and other passengers, go to lectures, watch other people ballroom dance. I also found out I loved the piano bar and drove my friends crazy by wanting to go there every night. I also just enjoyed sitting on the deck looking at the ocean.

If you are a fast reader I would bring a lot of books, or an ereader. I think I read three books on my cruise.
posted by interplanetjanet at 6:08 AM on January 2, 2012

You're an adult. If you want to sit on the deck and read under an umbrella, you should just go ahead and do that. If you mom wants you to have a day at the spa with her, she can pay for it.

Just treat it like a hotel, enjoy relaxing in the common areas, and maybe explore a little when you're bored.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 6:21 AM on January 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

I've never been on a cruise, but I'm a big fan of watching the sun rise.

If I were on a cruise, I'd be sure to set my alarm to O' dark thirty and watch the eastern sky fade from black to bright with a nice cup of coffee. And then, I'd probably go take a nap.
posted by bricksNmortar at 6:55 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

There's no reason at all why a lot of activities shouldn't be fun even if it's not meant for your specific demographic as long as you go into it with the right attitude. Bingo can be a lot of fun, for example, and only barely counts as gambling. Take this as an opportunity to do all sorts of things you're too embarrassed to do back home -- slum it in the video arcade, do water aerobics, learn shuffleboard and bridge. You might be right about not really wanting to hang out with 16-year-olds, but I bet you can have a ton of fun and have great conversations with the older crowd.
posted by lilac girl at 6:55 AM on January 2, 2012

In addition to the excellent advice above, consider teaching yourself a new craft or developing a skill in a craft you already know. Teaching yourself how to knit, card weave, etc. will eat some time, and if you work on it in one of the public areas of the ship, it will likely start conversations, too.
posted by smirkette at 6:57 AM on January 2, 2012

I have been on about five cruises, all of them with relatives much older than me. I was around 23 for the first two of them.

Some of my very best memories of the cruises have been of wandering around the village/town/city where we have docked for the day, often on my own. It can be lots of fun exploring on foot, taking pictures, finding random snacks, etc. It can also cost nothing or very little. If your cruise stops in ports, then you might really enjoy doing this as well.

If you do end up getting off at various locations and exploring, then you will probably be more than content eating the free food and lounging in various spots on the ship for the rest of the time.

Also, a lot of the crew (particularly the activity leaders, bar staff, etc.) will likely be around your age, and - as others above have noted - talking to them could be very interesting.
posted by sueinnyc at 7:55 AM on January 2, 2012

I got dragged on a family cruise in my twenties & it sucked. But ten years later I can clearly see that I made myself miserable by deciding beforehand that I would hate it, and then following through by being a miserable sullen hater-of-things. That was disrespectful to my family & somewhat knocked down their own enjoyment of the trip.

Don't be me. Just take people and things as they come, try new activities without judgement, and really discover the joy in power lounging. Maybe bring some cards and get really good at gin rummy.
posted by jenmakes at 8:07 AM on January 2, 2012 [6 favorites]

I've never been on a cruise, but my vote is for finding a sunny spot and laughing maniacally to yourself while reading this. It's a safe bet that you'll have, and give the impression of having, fun. Don't forget sunscreen.
posted by kengraham at 8:17 AM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Cruises aren't really my thing, but the stops along the way make it worthwhile. I'm not really into the food (it seemed kind of meh), but there is something to be said for having your pick of meals without thought of cost. Go lie in the sun, read a book, and spend time with your folks. If it's a family vacation, they must be planning family time, so focus on that and out trips.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 8:54 AM on January 2, 2012

Sounds like you've already decided you are not going to like this vacation. The way you head into the vacation will really determine what you get out of it. Look at this as an opportunity to spend some time with your family in a way that doesn't involve distractions. This is a chance you have to talk, laugh and catch up. I've been in the same situation when I was younger. If you dig around you will be able to find something to enjoy - also the people that work on these ships are around your age and know how to have fun - they tend to seek ship guests out to have a little fun as they too are looking for new blood.

This may not be the perfect vacation that you would pick out but I can assure you this is a vacation that is very important to your parents. They are probably really looking forward to having time with the whole family and building memories. You may not really understand how important that is to them now but the efforts you make to have a successful family trip will go a very very long way for them. Try and relax and see it as a chance to catch up on sleep lost over the holiday period and to enjoy just being with your family. Read, write, find a quiet spot on the ship to enjoy the sunrise or sunset. Watch your parents enjoy themselves and be happy that you've given them this time together as a family.
posted by YukonQuirm at 9:12 AM on January 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

I enjoyed the two cruises I've been on, and my girlfriend and I weren't in the usual cruise-going demographic, being younger than most of the adults there - but I can understand your feeling given what's been written about them by many smart people.

Here's a tip: try and find your cruise on the web. If it's a big ship then there's a good chance that there are people already talking about it on the various online cruise forums, and those people will be chatting about meetups and excursions and so on. When I went on a Disney cruise I arranged to meet up with some other people to play board games like Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne, which was a nice diversion and a good chance to meet new people - you might find other interesting people that way.
posted by adrianhon at 9:36 AM on January 2, 2012

When I went on a cruise there were definitely far more on-ship activities available to passengers than what you listed (surprisingly good musical performances and comedy shows, neither of which cost anything to attend unless you're drinking), as well as a lots of fun daytime excursions (snorkeling and horseback riding were the two I took advantage of, but there were lots of other options as well).
posted by The Gooch at 10:24 AM on January 2, 2012

Wow, I've never wanted to take a cruise but it sounds like I'm missing out. What a great opportunity to pay attention to the parents as an adult, and to capture some family history. Spend some time asking the parents to tell family stories you haven't heard. Bring along a journal, and write down as much of the ancestry as they can remember. Tape some of the stories you love, like how they met, or how she proposed to him, etc. Take pictures to illustrate some of the stories you record on audio or in writing.

Bring a lot of sunscreen, books, magazines and music. Sounds like it could be a lot of fun.
posted by theora55 at 1:13 PM on January 2, 2012

Once your voyage is over, you'll likely never see your fellow passengers and crew again. This makes for a great chance to try some things that you'd never do otherwise.

This is always our attitude. As a couple, we've gone to nude beaches and spent days in the cabin having sex until mealtimes rolled around, just because we could. Why worry about what other people will think when you will never see them again?

When we go as a family, my son frequently picks an accent a day and pretends to be from somewhere else (he loves improv and has an uncanny knack for dialects). His brother chooses to read, swim, eat as much ice cream as is humanly possible and watch for sealife (which, by the way, you might enjoy. We've seen dolphins and sea turtles swimming by our cruise ship before).

Bribe an attendant early on and get the best covered lounge chair near the pool (tip them well for the drinks and they will put a "reserved" sign on it), and catch up on your reading while getting a tan.

Check out the ports. Ignore the cruise excusions (unless there are some you'd really like to try), venture out and find the local markets and explore the non-touristy areas.

If I knew your ship or itinerary, I could give you more specific advice, as I've been on tons of cruises and we find something new to do every time.
posted by misha at 1:17 PM on January 2, 2012

Oh, and bring a camera! A good one. Your family will dress up for dinner at least a few nights on the cruise, and the photographers will take pics, but they'll be overpriced. Take some of your own, ask other crew to take them (waiters or waitresses are a good choice), and then make up a photo album for your parents for their next anniversary. They will love having the family pics to view.
posted by misha at 1:19 PM on January 2, 2012

What things do you like to do when you're not on a cruise? A great many things happen on many cruise ships that don't form part of the larger brochure, but are on the itinerary you get ever day on board the ship. Just to give one wildly unexpected example: there is an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at least once a week, and usually one every day the ship is at sea on every cruise I've been on.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you want to join AA just to have something to do on board a boat. But there are dozens of little things going on all the time on those ships that don't make the flashy brochures and most of them are free. One of the more entertaining ones was a Dendrographology session -- basically, we all got together and drew a tree and then the workshop leader told us what our trees said about our personality. Basically pseudo-scientific bullshit, but tremendously funny and worth checking out for a couple of hours while the ship was at sea.

I also liked to start the day with the Morning Mile -- most cruise lines have something like this. You do a little stretching with someone from the athletic department and then walk around the ship a few times until you hit a mile of walking. It's a nice way to start the day and keep yourself from sleeping in late, and you often meet new people.

Another thing I'd suggest is to take advantage of open seating breakfasts and lunches in the main dining rooms. They'll seat you at tables with random groups of people so you can meet your fellow passengers as you dine. They're usually kinda fun to talk to, and even if they aren't, you're only stuck with them for an hour and then you can go off and giggle about the blowhards you met at breakfast.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:28 PM on January 2, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I didn't realize that there would be an itinerary with other things to do throughout the day.
Thank you also for the tips on random little side things I could do (like people watching and journaling about it) by myself when I get weary of people.

Though I said that I did enjoy talking to all types of people, I think some folks here think I'm, I dunno, ageist or something against old people. I guess I didn't say what I meant very well in that, sometimes, even though you might enjoy talking to others who are way outside of your age range, at some point it can be a little alienating when you don't have others your age, whether those old folks are the ultimate interesting storytellers or not (i.e. ook, your "fucking" was a little out of line).

I guess I had looked at the stuff on the ship on their site and kind of panicked (since my mother and I can get along....if I hold my breath a lot and ignore some of the passive aggressive shit and walk away from the family group now and then). But, since there hopefully -will- be people my age, and things to do, and experiences to be had (and the lovely reminder that I will never see these people again), I'm a LOT more hopeful about this cruise now, *grin* thanks again.
posted by DisreputableDog at 2:00 PM on January 2, 2012

I think whether you will enjoy this will depend more on your relationship with your parents than on the cruise ship itself. From what everyone else is saying, left to your own devices you could easily find enough to do and enjoy yourself. Your only problem is going to be if your parents try to insist that you have 'compulsory fun'. If you think that's likely to happen you might need to persuade them by your happy smiley face that you are enjoying the cruise ship even though you're just lazing by the pool. And probably also do a selection of things that they want you to do. If you get on with your folks generally, it'll probably all be fine.
posted by plonkee at 2:11 PM on January 2, 2012

I went on a cruise with my grandmother when I was about 20. The handful of other 20 year olds and I found each other very quickly, and proceeded to have wonderful adventures. I also made friends (and had a tiny shipboard romance!) with the crew, and remained friends with some of them for years afterwards. It was unexpectedly delightful, which I hope will be the case for you as well.
posted by judith at 2:37 PM on January 2, 2012

Also, depending on your itinerary, port visits and excursions might be nearly every day.

Even if you don't go on the arranged excursions, at least you'll be able to visit different places and sight see, etc.
posted by maurreen at 3:31 PM on January 2, 2012

Bring a sketchbook and some pencils. Who cares if you can't draw, it's a cheap and creative way to while away some time, and record some memories. If you're ambitions, bring a portable watercolor set.
posted by spinifex23 at 3:55 PM on January 2, 2012

I've been on 2 cruises with my family and am about to go on the third this summer.

I am not a sit in the sun kind of girl. I didn't even take a bathing suit on the last one (since I didn't even use one on the first one). I spent a lot of times sitting on the side deck with a stack of books and a drink at my elbow, watching the ocean slide by.

The meal times are fun (we never sat with strangers, as our group of 20 took up 2 tables on our own). The only rule with our family group is you come to dinner, the rest of the time is your own. I loved wandering around during the shore excursions, and taking ample advantage of the room service and free soft serve machines on the ship.

Have fun. Get a pair of sea bands in case of motion sickness. Enjoy a vacation where your hotel room travels with you.
posted by bibliogrrl at 5:07 PM on January 2, 2012

I've been on several cruises with my family. Cruising is really fun. Every time I pretty much did whatever I wanted each day and still ended up feeling like I missed out on something fun. There are trivia contests and scavenger hunts and piano bars and all kinds of stuff. The Royal Caribbean ship we were on had a cruise director and entertainment director who filmed a half-hour video show each morning at 2 am recapping the day's events, showing film clips and interviews with passengers and answering questions dropped in the Question Box -- the segment was so hilarious that I would wake up early just to watch it on the ship's TV. Look for the "Marriage Game" or such like -- there's one on each cruise and it's always packed -- and you will laugh yourself silly.

Sure, there are plenty of ways to spend a lot of money (and I've done that too), but the people-watching is free and more fun anyway. My experience has been that 90% of the people on board are determined to enjoy themselves and will happily talk to you if you just smile at them. Think of it like high school -- stay with me here! -- but you get to go back as a grown up and do it again without being so paralyzingly self-conscious. Wouldn't you love a week of life where you don't have to work or cook or clean up your room and you can stay out late every night if you want to? It's called a cruise. You'll have a great time.
posted by woot at 7:54 PM on January 2, 2012

If it's one of the bigger ships there will be a lot of places where you can basically disappear off to for the better part of a day to read, either indoors or outdoors. Stay away from the top deck / poolside area and go to one of the lower-deck open areas (down where the lifeboats are) if you want more seclusion.

My experience with the family-cruise-vacation thing has been that harmony is best achieved with one or two (maximum) scheduled meetup type activities per day -- e.g., meet up for breakfast together, then let everyone go off and do their own thing independently, meet for dinner or to do a specific shore activity, whatever. But that everyone has the bulk of their day to themselves. See if you can negotiate this?

And personally, reading is a major part of most cruises that I've been on. In fact, part of the reason that I've liked cruises (as opposed to just going to a beach somewhere) is that there's no internet or email, and therefore I end up actually getting through books that might not be quite so engaging, but I want to read anyway. So I don't think you should feel guilty for making that part of your plans.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:50 PM on January 2, 2012

Enjoy a week where you're not connected to the internet and nobody can get a hold of you on your cell phone.

Cruising is for relaxing. Sit around, get a tan, eat too much food, watch oddball "Broadway" revues, and racist/sexist comedians. Spend time with your family. Ask your parents what they're doing and go do that stuff with them. Think of it like you are getting to live inside of a cheesy sitcom for a week.
posted by paperzach at 1:32 AM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

i.e. ook, your "fucking" was a little out of line).

Apologies. To be clear, what I was trying to say was that on our trip I had dismissed the cruise in my head as "just a bunch of old people", and we did in fact turn out to be the youngest on our boat by some margin, so I had settled in for what I expected would be a lot of solitary reading. And was genuinely surprised to discover, unintentionally, that some of them really were interesting to talk to. I was the ageist one, in other words.

As for using "fucking" as a modifier, that's just how I talk; sorry if I offended.
posted by ook at 7:39 AM on January 3, 2012

Read some books about the ports on the itinerary. Read some short stories and get a feel for the place. Go to an open market in each town - purchase some fruit and little treats. Vegetable markets are almost always local in flavor and away from the 'cruise strip' of shops which line the main street. Get off that street and you'll have a great time.

Pick one cool point of interest for each port. You can see if your family wants to join you, and if not, you'll catch up with them later. It gives you a direction and a contribution to the fun, instead of being the naysayer to their lame ideas.
posted by barnone at 3:48 PM on January 19, 2012

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