~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Cruising vs Cruising

Seems like an easy choice to me!

The wife has been interested in doing the cruise thing. No, not the two wheeled kind with a v-twin engine, lots of chrome, shiny black leathers, and a vest covered with patches from 30 mile, police escorted fundraiser rides. No, she apparently saw too many episodes of "The Love Boat" as a kid, has watched too many Travel Channel shows, and has become convinced that traveling in a floating city while wearing floral print shirts and plaid shorts as we watch the world go by is a fun thing. Given that the our Gold Wing is a bit of a land yacht you would think that she'd be satisfied with that, I certainly am.

Now, the wife has been on a short cruise or two before we met so has some experience with ocean travel. I think she's done more miles on the Gold Wing than ocean going vessels so she should be able to see the easy choice of bike over boat when it comes to vacation travel. Zillion dollar cruise ship, soft beds, cool breezes, unlimited food or Gold Wing, Magic Fingers Motel, and mom & pop cafes? No brainer choice for me, that's for sure. Start packing the 'Wing!

I've not actually been on an ocean cruise myself but I did tour the Queen Mary once in Long Beach twenty-five years ago and that seems like enough. As all TV viewers know, even a "three hour tour" on the water can go terribly wrong.

Keep in mind too that a snazzy ocean cruise costs as much as a decent used bike unless you want to row the boat yourself, sleep in an ocean going foot locker, and eat pickled carp lips with the Zamovian immigrants traveling in steerage. Why spend thousands on a fleeting week of sea sickness and shuffleboard with when you could buy another motorcycle and have it forever? OK, I don't keep bikes more than about a year but you get the idea.

I even showed Mrs. Cruise fan an on-line video of a storm tossed cruise ship and carefully explained that a ship being tossed by the waves like a cork in a flushed toilet was a common occurrence. Happens nearly any time one of those fancy cruise ships gets more than a mile or two off shore. Trust me! She asked why we never hear of such things on the news and I explained that there is a huge conspiracy by the cruise lines, travel agents, and pharmaceutical companies who specialize in drugs for the treatment of sea sickness to suppress the stories because they are making a lot of money.
Moreover, the problems don't stop with just the "price-of-a-bike" trip costs, oh no. When you finally get on the ship the party of the 1st part, the wife, expects the party of the second part, the husband, to wear new "cruise clothes" that are not permitted to have motorcycle logos anywhere on them and to "socialize" with dull people who probably don't like motorcycles (or they wouldn't be on a cruise). Henry David Thoreau warns us "Beware of any enterprise that requires new clothes."

Worse, sometimes the party first part, the wife, requires that the part of the second part, the husband, to "dress for dinner" which of course is followed by the ultimate degradation: Dancing in public. I know for a fact that one of the tortures used to persuaded captured terrorists to talk consists of sending them on a cruise and making them dance in public. Most spill their guts at the first sight of a cruise ship brochure. I love my wife but there are limits to what I can endure for her. Need kidney donated? No problem. Pick up dog poop on the carpet. Got it done. But public dancing? Well, there are some things even a bug splattered old motorcycle guy like me won't do.

Sadly, she bought none of my stories and is still talking about cruises to Alaska. Makes no sense to me since we own paid-for adventure bike and the Alcan highway goes that way anyway. I sense that I am losing battle though and should next try to lose some weight so I look my best in my tuxedo for "Passengers Talent Contest Night." The thought of it all makes road rash seem like being tickled with a feather.


Anonymous said...

You could always cruise to Alaska and ride the bike back.... least thats what I did.

Brother K said...


Another great blog entry. I loved many things about it, but I'll just mention three: the Gilligan's Island reference (unexplained, as most of the great allusions must be), the wonderful conspiracy theory--and if you've read back into my blog, you know I have great fondness for some of those critters, and the definition of public dancing as the ultimate degradation. You are one fine writer. I've already had quite a few laughs on you, and I've still got a few miles to ride on the blog highway. I've been working my way in from the beginning, and since I'm also reading the most recent entries it gives me a strange kind of perception, but it is also great fun. Thanks also for visiting my blog and leaving a comment--it made my day. As you can see from my newly installed counter (which was also inspired by your blog, by the way), I don't have a heck of a lot of readers . . . and my wife is the only other person who's left a comment so far. Speaking of the better (sometimes bitter) half, I've been thinking about your future cruise. Two things there: one, my ex-wife and her S.O. (female, hence the ex) just got back from an Alaskan cruise, and I have to tell you that they had a great time. Sorry. Maybe it was just some kind of lesbian thing. Two, there's a great book entitled A Supposedly Fun Thing That I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace, and the title essay is about DFW's experiences on a cruise ship. It's probably at your local public library . . . or maybe even floating around on the internet. Isn't everything?


Steve Williams said...

Doug, your fate is already sealed. The fact that your post wasn't just NO means that you are undergoing the rationalization process and in part trying to premptively apologize for the loss of control in your life. *grin*

I have, in the past, had a fondness for ocean cruising albeit in much smaller vessels --- less than 40 feet, 2 or 3 people on board. Your references to storms and being tossed around like a cork are accurate though not going to help you at all.

I suppose all I can share is a comment a friend made to be one day while watching some inland cruisers. We were sitting having an ice cream cone while a big tour bus pulled up. In orderly fashion a queue of mature men and women, all dressed in flowered prints, bright colors, modern fabrics, white shoes, etc, marched on towards ice cream while my friend and I watched in silence from across the street.

After awhile my friend finally speaks and says, "If you ever see me dressed like that..... kill me."

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Joe said...

Doug, I'm with Steve. Your goose is cooked. I'm facing the same "pressure" from my better half. Enjoy the cruise

goldwingman61 said...

Gwrra is having a cruise or 2 where you can take your Bike with you and ride it while in Puerto Rico, however they have been booking these cruises fast, I know I checked into it myself. I also agree that the wing offers as much as the cruise ship. Check out my wing at:http://goldwingman61-goldwings.blogspot.com/

Mr. Kalb said...

Hey, Doug--

Sorry to waste your comment space here, but I couldn't make out your e-mail address on the lead blog page--what is that after the "x"?. I was just wondering if you could (or have you already?) comment on your fondness for Mark Twain. I'm getting ready to teach American Literature to 93 high school juniors, and I'd like to hear your thoughts on Twain.



P.S. I'm also just now getting around to watching the Ken Burns film on Twain, and if you haven't seen it you should check it out of the local library. It's great stuff.

Doug Klassen said...

Guys, You are all correct, there are options for me but they all involve winding up on a cruise ship.

At least Debbie wants to do the Alaska cruise thing and not some Caribbean ocean dawdle where I would, to avoid searing my memory, have to constantly avert my eyes from acres of white skin. blue veins, and overfilled one piece bathing suits. Middle aged people are far more likely to remain properly clothed on a trip to Alaska.

Mr. Kalb, that's an "r" after the x in the e-mail address. I'll have to ponder the Mark Twain thing a little bit. He loved mechanical things, nearly went broke funding a mechanical typesetting machinge, so I have to think he'd have been fascinated by motorcycles.


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