Have you ever taken a vacation on a cruise ship?
I’m just curious because these things have negative appeal to me. Going out on a floating hotel to circle around in the water, spewing sewage into the ocean, descending en masse on tourist traps, confined to a totally artificial environment surrounded by people with more money than sense? Eww. I really don’t get it, but these abominations are monstrously profitable.
And then…these are basically glamorous plague ships. To be fair, Tara does nod to an explanation for why people like them, but the negatives loom too large in my mind.
I know plenty of people love cruises. The convenience of seeing a variety of places without having to plan them individually; the all-inclusive meals; the variety of entertainment options; and for those with kids, the special activities provided for youngsters. I get it. But as an individual trained in microbiology and infectious diseases, what I see when contemplating such an excursion is the potential to be trapped with thousands of others in a confined space, suffering from gastrointestinal aliments like norovirus and E. coli, respiratory infections including influenza and chickenpox, or, as a recent Scientology cruise demonstrated, measles. And that just doesn’t sound like a fun vacation to me.
This hardly a secret: Just this week it was reported that inspectors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave the Carnival ship “Fantasy” one of the company’s worst ever sanitation inspection reports. (The Carnival Corporation & plc made close to $19 billion in full revenues in 2018.)
Read the rest to learn more about norovirus than you ever wanted! She doesn’t even get into the environmental catastrophe that is a cruise ship.