Mary came across a Wall Street Journal (Note: Strictly For The Validation of the 1%, Not Intended For The Raising of Social Consciousness, Whatsoever) article about people using cruise ships like the Queen Mary 2 to travel across the Atlantic instead of flying. If it’s in the Wall Street Journal, from my observation, there is at least a fifteen percent chance that this represents a trend. It also means that there is at least a ninety seven percent chance that the editors at the Journal needed to fill some column inches for this edition. Remember kids, statistics are your friend, just before they go all rabid, and try to gnaw your face off.
Since we have the time, because we don’t have children, and a bit of money, because, again – no children, and you’d be amazed how that will add up over time, we decided we too would like to cruise across the Atlantic. That’s before the article above came out, since we’re no slavish slaves to trends, even fake trends made up by newspaper editors.
There are all kinds of benefits to the nautical travel option. For one thing, you get to say nautical this and nautical that, which is buckets of fun, at least for me. Some wives (like mine) might have a different opinion. At no point will a latex gloved TSA agent fondle my package, at least not without buying me a drink first. Nor will I have to submit to non-clinical radiation therapy. Instead of an employee of an airline glaring at me with barely concealed contempt when I board, on a ship, an employee of the cruise line will hand me a glass of champagne when I arrive with a smile. For a fifteen percent gratuity to be paid at a later date. Four course meals, three times a day, instead of microwaved proteins of doubtful provenance served in plastic trays. No seatmates experiencing a drunken psychotic break at thirty five thousand feet. Best of all, we plod sedately across the sea to Europe at a rate of one time zone per day, rather than zooming through a half dozen is as many hours. So when we arrive, finally, in England, we’ll be fresh as a daisy, and completely acclimated, instead of wanting to curl up on the sidewalk till the terrible, terrible weariness goes away.
Granted, there are some distinct drawbacks to cruising our way to the Old World. I, for one, will very probably drink a great many more cocktails than I would normally. Alright, a few more than usual. All that food means more time in the gym, or more time lamenting how I didn’t go to the gym as much as I planned. If we hit rough weather, instead of fearing that we’ll all die, we’ll be praying to the gods to just let us die. The stogies in the cigar bar will, without doubt, be overpriced. This being a cruise on a Cunard ship, I will have to dress up for three formal nights and two semi-formal nights. Granted, the twenty first century has intruded a bit. Proper breakfast attire no longer no longer includes frock coats and top hats, so standards have slipped. Dressing for meals is a drawback for a lot of Americans, since nowadays many feel that proper dining attire can and should include items like a printed t-shirt that says “My Other Shirt Has Sleeves”, and Crocs. Personally, I don’t mind turning out in a tux, since then I can play my James Bond fantasy, complete with cool Bondian soundtrack, in my head. Your mileage may vary.
Best of all, unlike the writer in the article above, we won’t be travelling with my mother. So there will be no one to ask me, in a faintly scandalized tone, if I really intend on eating two starters AND a bowl of consommé before the entrée. For that, I have my wife, that you very much.