By Kaylee Johnson
On my most recent vacation I found out that cruises are more like college than I’d ever expected. I enjoyed the cruise, quirks and all, but such trips are still fun to make fun of.
Everyone’s college journey is different, but some things are universal. I hope your college cruise avoids rough waters and keeps smooth sailing. Here are some similarities I found at my college and on my cruise:
The cabin – A dorm room is a lot like a cruise cabin. In other words, it’s like living in a box. You can hear the people in the next room over partying all day or the group of men stumbling down the hallway in the middle of the night. Not all things were bad about the cruise coffin though; there is no maid or room service, and certainly no towel animals in college dorms.
The buffet – Anybody who says cruise food is amazing is lying to you. Unless you go on a luxury cruise line, you will be eating cheap hot dogs, chicken nuggets and pizza every single day. You will find the same mediocre, lukewarm food from your college cafeteria on the buffet line at cruise; seriously, though, they must order from the same frozen food distributor.
The change of lifestyle – Going away to college is a total culture shock for some people. For most it’s their first time leaving the comforts of home. Some students are not used to sharing space, or eating cafeteria food, or not having cable. On a cruise it’s not quite as bad, as you are only away from Internet and Wi-Fi for the duration of your trip, unless you want to pay two dollars a minute to check your Facebook feed.
The muster drill – A cruise ship’s muster drill can be compared to freshman seminar. They pull you in a room and pretty much tell you, “I don’t want to be here and neither do you so let’s get this over with. Here’s how you don’t drown. …” Much of the information they feed you is mostly logical, unless of course you haven’t seen Titanic.
The partygoers – I’m sure there are lots of college students who wish their campus had an unlimited alcohol package like cruise ships do. It’s almost more fun to be sober so you can watch people fall apart as the day goes on. It seems like the wild ones never go to sleep; they are too busy singing karaoke at 3 in the morning.
The liveliness – There is always something to do on a cruise ship and unless you aren’t looking hard enough there is always a fun event happening on most college campuses. Too bad colleges don’t have corny cruise directors who crack jokes during bingo!
The alcohol – Most cruise ships have a strict “no alcohol” in your suitcase rule (or a limit of one bottle per person) because they want you to buy their overpriced, watered down drinks. Some people have gone as far as putting alcohol in mouthwash bottles, or shampoo bottles. If they find more alcohol than the limit in your suitcase, they will confiscate it, just like they will if a dorm supervisor finds alcohol in an underclassman’s “cabin.”
Pier runners – There are hundreds of videos on YouTube of tardy people trying to catch their cruise ship as it dramatically sails away. There was one in particular that caught my attention: it was a mother and father sobbing when they realized their ship was already gone because their two children were on board. Thankfully a relative was on board and they were reunited a few days later. This whole genre reminded me of people who are never on time to class, they must be in the wrong time zone.
The diversity – On cruises you will find all different types of people. There are the parents, the rambunctious children, the senior citizens, the bachelors, the bachelorettes, and the singles. College is so different than high school in that you are much more likely to find people who have the same interests as you since there is much more diversity on a college campus than in a typical high school.
The experience – Whether you go to college or go on a cruise ship you gain a little more world experience than you had before. Seeing a foreign country is a lot like entering college for the first time; everything is new and exciting. Both of these can create memories that last a lifetime (good and bad, but mostly good).