A one week Caribbean cruise, starting and ending in Miami, is probably the most bizarre thing someone like me could experience. However, this Summer, I did in fact go on a cruise. I'd like to say it was for the 'experience'. The family I went with described the people who go cruising as "the newly wed, overfed and nearly dead" and, on walking around the boat, the truth of this description struck me. I'm not sure what was more bizarre however - the atmosphere on the boat, or what I saw on the islands we visited.
On land days there was something disturbing about the cultures we saw. Each island had generic island cultures yet there was nothing to distinguish each place. Although, each place does have histories linked to outside infiltration or colonisation, it seemed that they were a craft of the tourist's ideal. Despite the bright colours and tropical weather there was something disturbing underneath it all. Also, I'm not sure if there's anything good about the site of three cruise ships (each carrying about 5000 people) docked at a tiny island. Then again, these small economies live of it entirely.
Above are photos of the Caribbean island St Maarten. This island was, by far, the best place we visited. The cigars and beers were great and it was fascinating to watch the 747s fly onto the runway by the beach and cause people to roll back into the sea. The shape of the beach also meant that most waves rolled in with huge force - causing perpetual 'beachings'. However, my experience will remain forever tainted due to a trollied elderly Texan lady who let her tits permanently smother the beach's bar top in order to get free drinks. Not only was this a terrifying site, but a policy like that is questionable. Perhaps, from a third wave feminist perspective, flashing your tits for free alcohol is empowering however, I'm not sure if I can get over the objectification it creates, especially because there was no equal policy for men.
More cruising posts to come. Happy Good Friday everyone!