I hope everyone is having a fantastic start to the week.
Yesterday, I published my first blog in a while because my partner and I have been on a wonderful Caribbean cruise.
As I started today's blog, my plan was to use my latest trip experience to outline some simple travel tips for the 50+ crowd thinking about booking a cruise of their own.
But, because I was having so much fun developing a list, I changed my mind and decided that each individual tip deserves it's own separate blog.
Why? There are several reasons:
1. These tips are kind of "Crazy." You will not find them in any other cruise or travel advice column.
2. These tips not only hold true for vacation cruises on a luxury boat but also for the mundane travels of everyday life.
3. You will need a certain level of courage and determination to follow my advice. Sounds scary, huh?
4. If you follow my advice, not only will you experience a more stress-free and enjoyable cruise but you will have some real fun. That's why you are on vacation after all, right?
5. Considering my extremely sarcastic personality and my penchant to toy with the rest of the people on this planet, it would be way too much to handle my advice in just one sitting.
Let's call it my "Top 10 Crazy Cruise Tips for Baby Boomers."
That has a nice ring to it doesn't it?
So, I will present to you one "Crazy Cruise Tip" a day for the next 10 days.
Is that a deal? All you have to do is follow along and leave comments.
Everyone knows by now (hopefully) just how easy it is to spend a few minutes researching the internet to find great suggestions on traveling and cruising (and everything else for that matter) that will save you time, money and heartache.
Just type in the phrases "cruise tips" or "how to cruise smart" and you will find a myriad of websites offering up some great ideas to make your travel lives simpler.
In fact, I did just that and 173,000,000 suggested websites came up on Google.
173 Million...........Damn !!!
Everyone and their uncle has advice for you.
Frommers, Travel Channel, NBC News, Fodor's, YouTube, AARP and hundreds of other reputable organizations all want you to be a better prepared cruiser.
There are "Cruise Tips for Beginners", "Cruise Tips for First Timers", "Cruise Tips and Tricks", "Cruise Packing Tips" and even "Cruise Tips with Alcohol".
Heck, you could spend your entire vacation reading all of this incredible amount of information.
So, what do my tips offer you as a novice "cruiser" that are different from all of these well respected websites?
First, I have been on 5 different cruises now and each one has a story that could wind up on the NY Times best seller list.
Second, my tips are irreverent with absolutely no consideration made for proper etiquette or good behavior. If you are looking for a "prim and proper" vacation then scratch a cruise off your list. There is no room for the timid and soft hearted when you are locked up with thousands of other passengers on a floating Garden of Eden with dozens of bars, gambling, buckets of beer and sunscreen and way too much exposed flesh.
Plus, my tips include my own wit, wisdom and deeply idiosyncratic, offbeat, odd and sometimes referred to as "bizarre" perspective on cruise line traveling (and life in general). That's worth the price of admission by itself.
My tips are in no particular order (basically) and are not listed in any order of importance.
I just began with the first tip that popped into my mind. That's a great way to start isn't it?
Today's tip examines the eternal debate between right and wrong.....or should I say right or left?
If that sounds interesting to you let's get started.
Everyone, at least once in their life, has waged battle between right and wrong especially when that means deciding between right and left. I am talking about where you walk folks. What side of the road are you on?
CRAZY CRUISE TIP #1
Always walk on the right side no matter where you are !!
That's right, the right side is the right side to walk on.
Basically, 90% of the world's population is right handed.
75% of the countries of the world drive on the right side of the road.
Less than 75 countries in the world are places where you drive on the left and most of these stemmed from behaviors developed by early British occupation and most of these are little islands and most of them aren't very important in the big scheme of things anyway.
What about a little uniformity in our lives?
The Geneva Convention on Road Traffic (1949) has been ratified by 95 countries and requires each ratifying country to have a uniform direction of traffic in their country.
Article 9(1) provides that: "All vehicular traffic proceeding in the same direction on any road shall keep to the same side of the road, which shall be uniform in each country for all roads. Domestic regulations concerning one-way traffic shall not be affected."
I really don't understand what Article 9(1) has to do with my argument but I thought is sounded important since it was written by the Geneva Convention people.
So, back to my argument....why do these countries still drive on the left?
Stubbornness that's why.
Let's start to stamp out unsuitable stubbornness where we can.
Walking and driving (and traveling in general) on the right side (which if you remember from earlier is the "right" side) just makes life so much simpler and causes so much less bloodshed.
I know you will find it hard to believe but, the rest of the planet does not find it important enough to simplify their lives by following this tip and it doesn't matter if these people are from right side or left side driving countries.
That's right, people in general have no direction and they are stubborn about it.
Remember, there are 3000 or more people on your cruise ship from all ends of the earth.
Even worse, they are on vacation and have left what little moral fiber and etiquette they had at home.
When you are traveling outside of the United States you will quickly notice that people walk wherever they feel like it (right, left, right, wrong) and when they have a cell phone or a camera stuck in their puss (which is most of the time) it is even twice as aggravating and dangerous.
Let's put an end to this.
I was raised (properly I might add) that it was the proper and most intelligent option to walk on the sidewalk to the right of a street, or the right side aisle in a shopping mall or grocery store or even on the right side of a hallway or corridor when in pedestrian traffic. Whatever direction you are going, you should always travel on the right.
This way you don't bump into each other, lines move faster, you enter doorways without causing a pile up and the flow of traffic maintains a steady pace.
Where does this become critical on a cruise ship? Everywhere.
On a ship space is budgeted. The hallways are narrow. The stairways are narrow. The doorways are downright anorexic. Maneuvering around the congested restaurants without knocking over tables or fellow passengers should be an Olympic sport. Trying to get on or off an elevator without bruises is nearly impossible.
Let's get focused people. Stay to the right. If someone doesn't know this plan yet then gently nudge them over. Eventually they will catch on. We are a smart species. Who knows, this whole thing might go viral.
So, what do you think of my "Crazy Cruise Tip #1?"
Are you ready to stay to the right folks !!!
But what do you do when you encounter other travelers that don't follow my "Stay to the Right" traveling recommendation?
Be ready for that tomorrow........