Why I Avoided Cruises long Before COVID-19
Listen, this isn’t an, “I told you so!” type of column.
In fact, the U.S. State Department and the CDC are encouraging Americans NOT to travel by cruise for the foreseeable future.
I have written a few times about my aversion to cruise line trips long before the word, “coronavirus,” became the living personification of some Freddy Krueger-esque kind of dread.
First of all, get the facts on coronavirus. Over 82% of people who get it don’t show any symptoms. Or, they manifest modest flu or pneumonia-type medical issues.
There is no cure. A vaccine won’t be prepared anytime soon. Practicing habitual and efficient personal hygiene practices and avoiding sick people is pretty much all you can do.
Over 12,000 to 61,000 people die of the flu every year. Since December 2019, until this writing, only about 3,000 people have died from coronavirus.
The cruise line industry has taken a significant hit in terms of traveler interest, profits, and public relations damage, because of the coronavirus.
Long before the coronavirus hit, I have just never seen the appeal in taking a cruise trip. It’s very expensive, they’re floating petri dishes when diseases manifest, they’re essentially lawless in international waters, and cruise companies are run out of third-party countries.
I’m not telling you not to take a cruise – I could probably convince you with little effort now – all
I am saying is, it’s just a waste of money to put oneself in a situation they can’t control for long periods of time.
The Costs of a Cruise
I don’t enjoy airplane travel and that involves traveling with hundreds of strangers for a few hours.
I really can’t imagine paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to live with thousands of strangers on a floating mini city for weeks at a time.
That seems like a waste of money and an exercise in enduring the company of uninteresting people to me.
Long before coronavirus was the pandemic panic story of the moment (Does anyone remember ebola? Now that was a virus to panic about) I was worried about getting the norovirus, also known as Norwalk virus.
Norovirus is extremely contagious and causing intense stomach sickness. If one person gets it on a cruise, everyone essentially gets it. There is no remedy against contagious sickness on a cruise.
I’m not paying for that.
Many people find this truth incredulous, but there is no law in international waters. When violent crime occurs on a cruise, the captain must decide what to do.
Usually, a perpetrator of crime is locked in their cabin until port is reached. Or, until the cruise reaches the home office city, which is probably in a developing country.
Even though a cruise line may be owned by a large Western company, it may be headquartered and operated out of a third-party and developing country.
Check the flag of the cruise you’re on the next time you’re on a cruise. It may be from a Central or South American country. The doctor on board may be a medical student or veterinarian.
Any crime committed on that cruise may have to be investigated in the country the cruise operates from, not the country of the cruise’s parent company.
Better, Cost-Efficient Ways to Go On Vacation
Again, this is not an, “I told you so,” post.
I have written about my aversion to paying for cruise trips, a big waste of money to me, before.
People would comment that cruise are safe and I was overreacting.
The very same people cancelling airplane and cruise trips right now because of coronavirus panic. The very same people who may have already pre-paid for trips and are now throwing away money to cancel planned cruises.
I read that it might take as much as 5 years before the cruise industry gets back to normal because of current coronavirus panic.
Well, long before coronavirus was a thing, I always felt I can find better things to do with $560 than spend a week being helpless to whatever happens on a cruise.
It’s confining, constrictive, and anything can happen. I would rather pay to explore a real city than a freedom restricting floating city.
Allen Francis was an academic advisor, librarian, and college adjunct for many years with no money, no financial literacy, and no responsibility when he had money. To him, the phrase “personal finance,” contains the power that anyone has to grow their own wealth. Allen is an advocate of best personal financial practices including focusing on your needs instead of your wants, asking for help when you need it, saving and investing in your own small business.