5 Bizarre Theme Cruises For Unspeakably Lonely People
When you go on a vacation cruise, you're really paying for the privilege of isolation -- being hundreds of miles away from work or school, relaxing in the middle of the ocean where nobody can reach you. However, there are some people out there who mistake "isolation" for "things you normally do alone in your apartment," resulting in some of the most unintentionally depressing theme cruises ever conceived.
Meow Meow Cruise
Vacation-starved individuals who love cats more than they love other people can book tickets for four nights of relaxation aboard the Meow Meow Cruise, a trip for folks who refer to their pets as their "children" while spamming their social media accounts with pictures of animals trapped in bondage. You may recognize this as a genre of photograph typically accompanied by a ransom note.
But if you send them money, they'll just torture the cat more.
The first indication that the Meow Meow Cruise may not be the trip of a lifetime for cat lovers is the fact that there are no cats allowed on the ship. That's right -- the vacation/singles mixer designed explicitly for cat owners to meet and gush about their furry friends with the life expectancies of a Star Wars trilogy doesn't actually let you bring any pets along. However, the Meow Meow Cruise does encourage you to send post cards of your trip home to your cat(s), because once you've reached the state where sending souvenirs of your week-long cruise to your cat seems like an attractive option, there is no one else in your life to whom you could mail a post card. It's like putting your kid in daycare for four days specifically so that you can go somewhere else and talk to strangers about how much you love being a parent. This cruel irony is echoed by the Meow Meow Cruise's expertly crafted banner:
Too bad, because you can't.
The founder of Meow Meow Cruise was inspired by her love of sharing photos and stories about her cats with (presumably cornered) strangers whenever she went on vacation. Despite the fact that this is something that can be done right now, on thousands of message boards, for absolutely free, if you act before the end of February you can shell out $500 to hop aboard the Carnival Victory and enjoy such activities as the Meow Meow Scavenger Hunt, Meow Meow Karaoke, Meow Meow Gambling, and the inevitable Meow Meow Mixer, which will probably end up ruining any of the tenuous friendships you might make with your fellow cat enthusiasts (let's be honest -- this cruise is going to erupt in at least one fistfight over whose cat is the smartest/cutest/best at a James Mason impression).
Because there just aren't enough socially barren cat owners with entirely too much disposable income, Carnival Victory will be running a normal cruise on the same boat at the same time, which means you and your fellow Meow Meow passengers can mingle with the regular vacationers and delight them with adorable pictures of Meowlcolm Reynolds and Admiral Whiskers. You also go home with a Meow Meow gift bag and T-shirt, which will almost certainly be forced onto a cat at some point in the near future.
We don't know whether the shirt will have James Franco's face on it, so we have no choice but to assume that it will.
Steampunk Cruise and High Seas Ball
Steampunk is a genre of science-fiction for people who wish that the Industrial Revolution never ended and people who really savored the experience of watching Wild Wild West in the theater. Now, fans of the genre can sign up for "eight nights of steampunk music, literature, and lace" aboard the Steampunk Cruise ship, although in all fairness it really should be on a blimp (apparently cruise blimps are difficult to reserve).
"Sorry, sir. She can lift four buffets of decaying shrimp, five tops. But not nine. Not nine!"
If that doesn't grab the socially oppressed nihilist in you, hold on to your bloomers, because there's more. Activities in which you can participate include such gems as the "Unbirthday Party for All," the "Mermaid Costume Contest," and "Mind-Bending Steampunk Confabulations on Everything From Steampunk History to the Future of Our Past," a series of words that sound like a randomly generated sentence shrieked out by a dying robot.
There's also a Steampunk Film Festival, which will presumably consist of repeated viewings of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Treasure Planet, because the library of steampunk films isn't particularly deep.
"Eh, just add a card in the beginning calling it an alternate future."
There's also the sure-to-be-disturbingly-sweaty steampunk clothing swap, some damn thing called the Tea Bag Swap (which we can only assume will also be disturbingly sweaty), and the Swimming of the Mermaids, which we hope is the part of the cruise where the losers of the mermaid costume contest are thrown overboard for being philistines.
Just like the Meow Meow Cruise, the Steampunk Cruise doesn't occupy the entire ship -- it's a standard Royal Caribbean cruise, with the steampunk folks having reserved certain rooms for their whimsical activities at various points during the trip. In fact, last year (yes, Steampunk Cruise has been unleashed before), many of the other guests mistook the steampunk passengers for costumed employees as they paraded around the ship, though one wonders how in the clockwork shitwhistle someone could've made that error.
All tips went to their gear-monocle repair fund.
Wearing fanciful costumes on a boat surrounded by waspy adults who have no idea what the hell you're doing is a bit like having a party in your parents' basement, but it's a small price to pay to spend eight days floating in the Caribbean dressed as Mr. Peanut.
Ghost Hunter Cruise
Ghost Hunters is a show about grown men stumbling around with night-vision cameras and whisper-shouting frantically insistent claims, such as, "I heard something, brah! I heard something! Something just touched me, brah! Brah! Braaaaaaah!" For the improbable overlap between people who enjoy that show and people who are financially secure enough to spend $1,000 looking for ghosts on the ocean, there is the Ghost Hunter Cruise, which, blessedly, is exactly what it sounds like.
"Now with even more motion sickness!"
In exchange for the aforementioned $1,000, you can board the Norwegian Epic with Barry Fitzgerald and Karl Pfeiffer, two cast members from Ghost Hunters International, and Sarah Lemos, a certified psychic medium, to cruise around the Western Caribbean in search of paranormal activity. (Don't get too jazzed about that lineup, because the talent is subject to change at any time.) For reasons that cannot possibly be explained, the Blue Man Group will be there as well. So even if you don't see any ghosts, at the very least you can look forward to seven days of esoteric performance art.
Possibly for ambiance.
Ghost-hunting seminars and workshops will be held, and your fee also covers all paranormal investigations and ghost-hunting expeditions for the duration of the trip. The shore excursions haven't been announced yet, possibly because of the difficulty in finding "haunted" places with the right atmosphere to investigate in the Western Caribbean, but hey, maybe the boat is haunted and you'll be spending a lot of time in the boiler room with a flashlight and an R.L. Stine paperback.
Craft Cruises for Kids
Hey kids! Wanna brush up on needlepoint and basket weaving instead of all those other fun things people usually do on cruises? If you're the sort of twisted goddamn lunatic that would say yes to such an obviously ridiculous question, then Craft Cruises for Kids is the thing for you, because it's not like you were going to make any friends this summer anyway.
Described as "hip" and "totally cool," Craft Cruises are hellbent on taking kids between the ages of 5 and 15 on vacation and then putting them to work knitting, crocheting, sewing, and embroidering, while also "giving [them] practical applications for math skills at an age when it matters the most -- while they are still in school." Because we all know that the one thing children have been yearning for is a chance to go to summer school in the middle of the ocean.
"Yay! None of the fun of Mardi Gras, but all of the beads!"
Craft Cruises boasts that standard cruise activities -- surfing, swimming, going ashore, and buying a puka shell necklace from a man with a rusty oyster knife -- don't hold a candle to the joyous memories your kids will create while sitting on the boat crocheting a sweater, watching through a narrow porthole as everyone else jet skis through the crystal waters of the Caribbean.
Now, you may recognize crafting classes as a thing that many community centers (and even freaking Lowe's) offer for free, which means there's absolutely no reason for this cruise to exist except as a prison barge for exacting revenge upon irritating children. Thanks to Craft Cruise's bizarre "bring a child, any child!" suggestion, that irritating child doesn't even need to belong to you. Family friends, aunts, uncles, and kidnappers can feel free to drag a child of their choosing aboard this floating needlepoint gulag to dangle real, actual fun in front of their faces while they make pipe-cleaner dinosaurs and do math problems.
Cruise With Fred Durst
The A.V. Club recently held a contest for a four-day cruise of "music, mayhem, gnarlatious activities, and theme nights," hosted by Fred Durst, who looks like Brett Favre's picture of Dorian Gray. Calling such a thing a "contest" is like referring to the titular event in Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" as a "raffle."
Or referring to a night with Durst as a "date."
Despite Durst's reputation as the Brett Ratner of music, the cruise has managed to assemble a lineup that isn't entirely terrible, with acts like Andrew W.K. softening the blow of what would otherwise be a week-long labor of Hercules. The fact that Durst's cruise can't be totally written off mirrors his band, Limp Bizkit, a thoroughly shitty outfit with a legitimately good musician (Wes Borland) trapped inside of it. This is possibly one reason why Borland is perpetually wearing identity-obscuring costumes.
"I'm not in this band, I'm not in this band ..."
Durst, clearly stoked for the opportunity to hang out with people who still think he's relevant, had this to say:
Limp Bizkit? New Album? Sunshine? Metal party? Phil Anselmo? Unlimited lobster? Half-naked women? No rules? Loud music? Every day? Every night? Repeat five times in a row? You don't have to ask twice. I'm in!!! See you there, Bizkit heads!
Despite containing entirely too many questions, Durst's statement somehow failed to ask what unlimited booze-cruise lobster and Limp Bizkit have in common. The answer, of course, is that both will make you shit out of your mouth until you deflate into a shriveled husk of lip rings and Kanji tattoos.
And both offer cramped, diarrhea-soaked nookie.
Like we said: in fairness, the rest of the cruise's lineup isn't bad. Any one of those bands would probably be a blast to hang out with (except Chevelle, who agreed to play only in the cruise's pre-party, possibly because they didn't want to spend a week on a boat with Limp Bizkit). We'd buy a ticket just to go on a cruise with Andrew W.K. if it weren't for two key deterrents -- Fred Durst and Fred Durst's fans.
Because there's approximately zero overlap between people who would want to spend a week trapped at sea with Durst and people who can afford to go on a cruise, the A.V. Club's contest was really the only chance any Limp Bizkit fan had to go. Also, the contest was for tickets only -- the winner still had to shell out for fare to Miami, alcohol, and taxes, and listening to Limp Bizkit sober is like getting a drawing of a cake for your birthday. You could eat it, but holy shit, what's the point?
For more on vacations, check out 4 Insane Ways Tourists Are Ruining Famous Vacation Spots.