Cruising: The Silent Addiction

You're with your significant other as beads of perspiration start to form on your forehead; your breathing deepens, with the occasional moan escaping from your throat; your palms are sweating; and you can feel your pulse throughout your body, as your heart begins to race...

You've shared the joyous news. The Travel Agent just called, and your cruise tickets and documents are in. If you're doing back-to-back cruises, it's like you've just had twins.

If this feeling sounds familiar--and it does to me--you should know that you are in serious trouble. How did we get to the point where 50 percent of our waking hours, and 90% of the time we're asleep, we're thinking about cruising?

It starts innocently enough, maybe when you start to consider that it might be nice to take your loved one on a cruise vacation. Perhaps the initial trigger is an upcoming anniversary or birthday. You stop in at a local travel agency to pick up a few brochures, so you can start to learn what cruising is all about. In passing, you mention to a friend that you're considering going on a cruise, and it just happens that they know someone who just came back from one. They helpfully suggest getting together with their "cruising friends" for coffee, so you can get some firsthand information.

The "cruise friends" are delighted to get together and share their vacation experience with someone new. After all, they've already driven everyone in their immediate circle of friends crazy, showing off their pictures and talking about their cruise. To have a "newbie" who's already got a seed planted invigorates them.

Their enthusiasm is contagious as they explain the wonderful food and entertainment, and talk about the terrific friends they made onboard and the fabulous ports they visited. And before they leave, they share the name of their travel agent, who always gets the best prices anywhere. The line is in the water, and it's just a matter of time before you're hooked and booked.

Before you know it, after you return from your cruise you discover you have become just like them--driving everyone you know to the brink with your cruise talk. Then, by a stroke of overwhelming luck, you check the Internet and find Amazing! There are all kinds of people here who aren't bored by incessant cruise talk. They actually enjoy discussing all the various aspects of cruising. They share your joy when you run to the computer to tell the world you've just booked another cruise. They happily share links to information about ports of call, and tours, and before you know it, they're suggesting that you cruise together.

It all seemed innocent enough to me too, to begin with, but it's really an insidious plot, and since you are now reading this, you must realize now that it's too late for you to return to what you once were.

The good news is it's really a really a rather minor affliction--as long as you've got another cruise or two booked.

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