Introduction: Turning a Cruise Full of Old People Into a Death Defying Adventure
It's pretty much a given that most cruises are intended for old people. Nothing against the elderly, of course, but the pre-packaged sub-par entertainment, all you can eat buffets, hand held "tours" of the surrounding area, high touristy prices...all of that doesn't really scream "adventure" to me. Relaxation, maybe, but relaxing is also for old people and there'll be plenty of time to do that when you're dead.
Even so, only an idiot would pass up a free* cruise when offered, so if you're young**, fun and fancy free*** and aching for a raucous time, we have five easy steps to transform a slow paced trip on a giant boat full of masseuses and people who need them into a DEATH DEFYING ADVENTURE.
In the immortal words of former Gov. Jesse Ventura, sometimes you gotta defy death in order to enjoy life.
Let us begin.
*even if the cruise is not free, but just a really good deal, I still suggest you take it.
** or young at heart (tm)
*** that came out a lot fruitier than I meant it to
Step 1: ONE: Every Traveler Needs a Good Companion And/or Hat
Much like a good interstellar space traveler is nothing without his towel (see The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) a good cruiser is nothing without a like-minded companion or a decent hat. Lucky is the man who has both. Keeps the scenery fresh (companion), keeps the sun out (hat) keep the jokes coming (good companion or a really stupid hat).
Step 2: TWO: Explore the Boat. Death Defying Possibilites Are Everywhere.
But it's just a boat, you say. What could be so exciting about a big boat?
You might as well ask what's so great about The Pyramids in Egypt? Or ancient Pompeii? Or the ruins at Chichen Itza? Or the city of Petra where Indiana Jones spelled out "Iohovah" and got the Holy Grail? There are metaphorical holy grails to be found in all levels of any cruise ship, although you might have to lob off some metaphorical heads of some metaphorical Nazis to get there.
Some things to consider:
Go find the portholes that dip below the water line and watch the flotsam and fishes. Watch for sharks. Warn other passengers if you see them, but do not specify whether you saw them in the ocean or in the swimming pool on Deck 3. Defy death by dodging deck chairs.
Defy death by staying out on deck on a particularly stormy night. Go the front of the boat (cross over lines prohibiting so at your own discretion) and stand at 45 degree angles to the wind. Get very wet and windbeaten.
Find the arcade. It's usually free and most old people avoid it, especially late at night. Half the games will be broken. The only one that will work well will be "House of the Dead." Defy death by seeing if you can get through the first level without throwing up, because it's a pretty gross game.
Challenge someone to pistols at dawn. You'll be surprised how many old people take you up on it.
Step 3: THREE: Climb Everything Possible
Cruises sometime take you to really cool places and as over populated as they may be with tourists, remember this golden rule:
Tourists are like breathable air. The higher the elevation, the less there is of them, the thinner they get and the fresher the views.
Okay, not a perfect analogy, but the point is made.
Seeing ruins? Climb them. Going hiking? Outlast the pack. See some slighty vertical rocks? You get my drift. You'll be surprised what you see and how much you'll hate yourself if you don't. Be grateful for your ankles, hips and knees. You're surrounded by people that would kill for them.
Step 4: FOUR: Consider Life Altering Decisions
Life Altering Decisions (i.e. LADs) can come in many shapes and sizes. They could be in the form of quitting/starting a new job, adding/subtracting friends and family from your current dossier or deciding to blow/save all your money on/for cruises/death defying adventures. The nature of the LAD is up to you, as is the time at which to make it. We only encourage that it be considered.
Step 5: FIVE: Commandeer the Wheel, Sail Where You Darn Well Please
Juuuuuust kidding. Don't do that. They could charge your room.
Step 6: Repeat As Necessary
So, there you have it. Cruises aren't just for the geriatrics anymore: anything from soda by the pool to shuffleboard at dawn can be a death defying adventure if you really set your mind to it. Above all, have fun. Enjoy your bursting youth or youth at heart! Tear the ship apart until you've found that adventure, I want it ALIVE! Uh...I mean Carpe the freaking Diem.
First Prize in the
Lonely Planet Travel Tips Contest
Participated in the
The Instructables Book Contest