I’m sure you’ve heard of this so called “cruise ship from hell”. The vessel lost power several days ago and the thousands of people on board were left trapped without electricity or functional plumbing. From all indications it does appear that this cruise was less than satisfactory for all involved. There was raw sewage running down the walls, the passengers had to sleep up on the top deck because the air conditioning wasn’t functioning, and they were forced to eat onion and cucumber sandwiches because they were running out of food. And, as if in a deliberate attempt to vindicate the bleak view of humanity envisioned in Lord of the Flies, fist fights and physical assaults broke out over the supplies. People apparently started hoarding food rations. And some passengers have even described groups of “savages” struggling over the dwindling provisions.
A few thoughts here:
1) I think “cruise ship from hell” betrays a bit of an overly optimistic vision of hell. I could be wrong but I don’t think Damnation offers a vacation package. That’s like talking about a “four star ski resort from your worst nightmare”. I don’t know about you but my WORST nightmare doesn’t involve a ski resort at all. It does, however, involve a large spider, an undead cannibal, and Jeff Dunham (there’s another version where the undead cannibal actually kills and eats Jeff Dunham, but that’s more of a dream come true than a nightmare). If any cruise ship gets to claim the “from hell” designation, it would be the Titanic. Not the boat that lost power for a few days.
2) It’s a damn good thing most of the exploring, pioneering and circumnavigating happened before modern man showed up on the scene. I mean, all the sudden it’s Mutiny on HMS Bounty because there was a small engine fire on the cruise ship? Tourists turn into pirates in the span of 4 days because the kitchen ran out of hamburgers? Maybe I’m slightly understating what they’re going through but there’s no doubt that in the end this whole thing registers as, at most, a mild inconvenience. The powerless Carnival Cruise ship isn’t exactly the Nina or the Santa Maria. It’s not a European merchant ship in the 1700’s. They’re camping out on the deck of a luxury boat, not chained to the oar in the galley during a 4th century naval battle in the Mediterranean Sea. I’d keep going here but I’ve run out of historical boat references.
3) All you do on a cruise is eat. That’s why people buy the ticket. A cruise ship is essentially a floating trough. You start the day in line at the omelet buffet, you follow that up with brunch in the dining room, you top off your brunch with a drink or four and some appetizers on the top deck, next comes burgers for lunch, then you waddle downstairs and change for fancy dinner in the fancy room where you’ll attempt to bury your head in sushi to avoid having a conversation with the strangers they’ve forced you to awkwardly sit with. Finally you’ll stop in the dessert line before sluggishly scampering to the overnight pizza buffet. Then you go to bed covered in a warm blanket of fresh lard and self loathing. My point is, these people were on the last day of a 4 night cruise. They probably don’t need to eat again until mid April. Magellan survived for months at sea by eating sawdust and shoes. These folks ate 90 pounds of meat and ice cream in a 3 day span. They’ll be fine.
4) I wish I was on board with them. I’d be able to build my own cruise ship with the lawsuit money surely coming their way. The lawyers, I’m told, repelled in like Navy SEALS 4 seconds after the power outage. Others attached themselves to the hull like barnacles. And thank God for that. These passengers were literally uncomfortable for days. DAYS. It’ll take AT LEAST a 600 million dollar class action lawsuit to alleviate the emotional trauma they’ve suffered.
As they say at Harvard: let no minor misfortune go unexploited.